Wednesday, 22 May 2019

22 Stories Multi-room theatre [REVIEW]

22 stories is one unique kind of interactive show and story telling fun of its own. It is a fresh concept of multi-room theatrical experience from ANDSOFORTH Jr. The masterminds behind hit shows such as Tales of Grimmsneyland and Wonderland. This time round, audiences are in for a big treat as they enter a sprawling, 20,000 square foot play area and explore 22 unique, Instagram-worthy experiential rooms.

Spot the ugly duckling

Inside the Cheshire cat

The Four Colourful Worlds of room are:

STORYLAND
1. The princess and the neon pea
2. The emperor's new clothes
3. Hansel and Gretel's adventure in the forest
4. The witch's candy house
5. Spot the Ugly Duckling
6. The magic beanstalk climb and slide

WONDERLAND
7. Down the rabbit  
8. What time is it?
9. Wonderland's Garden
10. Inside the Cheshire cat
11. The Queen of hearts

GRIMMSNEYLAND
12. I wish for more wishes
13. Snow white's poison apple
14. Cinderella's carriage
15. Sleeping beauty's resting place
16. Under the sea with the little mermaid

LAND OF NIGHTS
17. Aladdin's lamp
18. The magic carpet
19. Aladdin's thieves market
20. Jasmine's place
21. The Cave of Treasure
22. Alibaba's Discovery


During each session of 4 hours, you will move freely through 22 rooms across the four colourful unique worlds, where you can queue for shows and meet characters. Each room has 11 showtimes, with two 40 minutes interval in between. This will be the best time to load your camera with photos as you explore the rooms, since no shows run during interval. It is also the time when you should get food for your juniors, since the session time overlaps dinner/lunch. Drinks, food and snacks choices such as donuts, chicken wings, fish taco, meatballs and mashed potato are available for purchase on site. Not much to my liking, we ate a little and had a super late dinner elsewhere. If not, fuel up your child before entering.

Whichever works for the little tummies.

Food aside, this is the next best place to spend your other 40 minutes will be the slides at The Magic Beanstalk Climb and slide. Our kids went on it umpteen times! Adults permitted too!


The magic beanstalk climb and slide

Rooms will then be closed about 15 minutes before each show to prepare for turnover. Our visit was all good at a no rush pace. You will definitely be able to cover all shows if you are on time for your session. We were half hour late, and sadly missed two shows. 

22 stories is what you can cover in 2 different weeks. Each week covers only 11 stories. Two sets of characters alternate every week. If your pocket leads you to a bigger budget, it is recommended you attend two sessions, one on an odd week and one on and even week, in order to enjoy the full range of characters available.

Listing them here so you can plan to buy tickets according to your child's favourite characters. 

Odd Week (Orange star on given map):
1. The Queen of Hearts
2. Fairy Godmother Fabrizia
3. The Little Mermaid
4. One of 40 theives
5. Magic, The Carpet Ride*
6. Aladdin
7. Hansel
8. The Royal Card*
9. Genie*
10. Emperor's New Suit
11. Alice*
12. Cinderella
13. Mama Duckling 

Even Week (Green star on given map):
1. Snow White
2. Princess Jasmine Badrouldabour
3. The Royal Card*
4. Genie*
5. Jack and the Beanstalk
6. Magic, The carpet ride*
7. Cheshire Cat
8. The Mad hatter 
9. The Candy Witch
10. Ali Baba
11. Sleeping Beauty
12. Alice *
13. Princess and the Pea


*Characters appear on both weeks.

We had tickets to the Odd week.
Magic, The carpet ride

One of 40 thieves

Each showtime is about 10 minutes. The respective character in each room will tell a short story and give its audience a simple mission to accomplish with much fun and interaction. Prep your kids to play along with the characters, if not, the adults will be tasked to play. So yes, it is suitable for both the young and young at heart. Do explore the place light, because you will need to be ducking and winding through small secret passages to meet characters.

The Little Mermaid

Sea of balls!

The kids had tremendous fun as their favourite childhood stories came to life through meetings and interactive art installations across the various rooms. It is one impressive concept that dared to be different. The set ups, props and costumes were astoundingly beautiful, contrary to what I had imagined it to be sheepishly put up. What delighted and impressed me most, as a parent was that the characters were not only quick witted and expressive, they spoke good English with a captivating story accent. Even their door keepers were very well trained!

It was no wonder all the kids were listening attentively every moment. Even our short attention span toddler followed through, with some aided help on the missions though.

Queen of Hearts

Genie!

With Hansel

Cinderella

The Emperor's new clothes

It was also pleasant that each showtime contained a small group without feeling cramped up in the room. There was good amount of space for move around and time for interaction. In fact, it would be more awkward being the only family during that show. Good for taking photos with no photo bombers though.

Every room is assuredly a wonderful place for photo! Except that some rooms' lighting was a tad dim or uneven for good photos. 


Alice

Down the rabbit hole room

What time is it?

Wonderland's Garden

Oh, don't forget to hang in till the end for a mini march out parade where all the characters will be out for a finale appearance!

So, is it worth travelling all the way down to the wild wild west for this? I will give a resounding "Yes!" I have also put up a video collage of the fun we had, do hop over to our Instagram story/highlight @mumscalling for view. Hopefully, it helps affirm your wavering thought about catching the stories.

Get your tickets now! 22 stories promises plenty of laughs, fun and all-around wonder! It is a land of curiousity in here. A different kind of experience for your little one.


22 Stories 
Date: 1 May to 30 June 2019
Days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 
Time: Friday: 5.30pm - 9.30pm    Weekends: 10am-2pm, 5.30pm - 9.30pm 

Location:   
PeopleUp @ Pandan  
200 Pandan Gardens, Singapore 609336

Prices:
Standard: $38 Admits One
Family pack: $140 Admits Four
Nearest MRT: Jurong East MRT
Nearest Carparks: Public Carpark at Ayer Rajah CC OR Opp Pandan Gardens Blk 414

Get tickets here

Disclaimer: Tickets were given for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are as usual, solely ours.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Books recommendation for advance readers

Jazz reads avidly, and excessively. Almost like the air she breathes. Happy problem, I know. 

Since she reads so widely, I asked her for a list of recommended books for advance readers. She is 10, I guess her recommended titles are good for 7 to 12 year olds. Sometimes, just likes movies and dramas, I prefer watching and reading them recommended. It can be a total waste of time chasing one that is ultimate boring. Preference may be subjective, but at least there is a trace of recommendation for reference. No spoilers here. 

We usually buy books from Book Depository (Free shipping) or the annual book box sale, which the daughter said some of her favourites were from this hunt. And of course, our most well visited place for books would be our well stacked local libraries. In fact, most of her recommended titles here were loaned from the library.


Here are FIVE titles the daughter listed as MUST READ. More titles to come, but these first:

1. Switched at Birthday: A Wish Novel
By Natalie Standieford

Lavender and Scarlet are nothing alike. Scarlet is tall, pretty, and popular -- the star of the soccer team and the queen of the school. Lavender is none of these things. Her friends aren't considered cool, her hair is considered less than uncool, and her performance at the recent talent show is something nobody will ever forget -- even though she really, really wants it to be forgotten.

There's only one thing Lavender and Scarlet know for sure they have in common: the same birthday.

They've never had parties together. They've never swapped presents. But this year, because of two wishes that turned all too true, they are about to swap something much bigger than presents. Because the morning after their birthdays, Lavender is going to wake up in Scarlet's body and Scarlet is going to wake up in Lavender's. But in order to change back, they're going to have to figure out how to be someone completely opposite of who they ordinarily are.


 


2. Times Squared
By Julia DeVillers and Jennifer Roy

Identical twin sisters Payton and Emma Mills have "traded faces" and created "twin-dentical chaos" at school and at home. But you haven't seen anything yet. Payton and Emma are off to "twin-vade" New York City! Payton's drama club plans a field trip to see an off-Broadway show, and Emma's mathletes team will compete in an elite competition. Sounds twin-tastic! But Payton never imagined the star of the show would be Ashlynn, her old nemesis from summer camp whose chores Payton traded for designer clothes. Are Payton's "Summer Slave" days coming back to haunt her? Or will she be saved by a flip-flop twin swap? Emma has her own nemesis to face--she and Jazmine James are on the same team. But teamwork? Not so much. Since Jazmine is in it to win it...will Emma have to "twin" it? Payton and Emma must do a 'twins-formation' to rescue each other again. And again! (Not again!) Toss in cute boys, crazy triplet poofy Pomeranian stage puppies, and New York City and things get a little twin-sane. Is the big city ready for Payton and Emma! (or is it Emma and Payton?) and their mixed-up mayhem? Which is which in the biggest twin switch yet!


 



By Laurel Remington

When Andy's school announces a new no-uniform policy, her classmates  are over the moon - but her heart sinks. All she wants is to dress like everyone else, but her mum's the owner of a run-down kooky vintage boutique, so she's bound to look - well - different. But when Andy finds a gorgeous bag full of designer goodies in the shop's storeroom, everything changes. Can she learn to love vintage, and help transform her Mum's shop into something truly special?




By Stuart Gibbs

Can an undercover nerd become a superstar agent? Ben Ripley sure hopes so--and his life may depend on it! Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he's already pegged his dream job: C.I.A. or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn't exactly scream "secret agent." In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate nerdiness, Ben is not surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science--but he's entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior C.I.A. academy. Could the C.I.A. really want him? Actually, no. There's been a case of mistaken identity--but that doesn't stop Ben from trying to morph into a supercool undercover agent, the kind that always gets the girl. And through a series of hilarious misadventures, Ben realizes he might actually be a halfway decent spy...if he can survive all the attempts being made on his life!

There are a couple of Spy school series for read. 





5. The World's Greatest Chocolate-Covered Pork Chop
By Ryan K. Sager

This is her most recommended title of all. I can't find it on Book Depository, or any local book stores. It is available on Amazon, with applied shipping fees. Jazz encountered this book from our library, call number SAG. 


Twelve-year-old chef Zoey Kate's Fried Banana Fondue is delectable, her Maple Cinnamon Crab Fajitas are divine, and her Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops are to die for. Zoey is the best cook in town and she wants everyone to know it. She's on a mission to start her own restaurant, but quickly learns that the restaurant industry is competitive and dangerous. There are people who see Zoey as a threat, and they'll use any means necessary to make sure that she fails.

Featuring a precocious, larger-than-life character, lots of humor, fast-paced action and mouth-watering foods, this cooking story is sure to appeal to young foodies and fans of shows like MasterChef Junior and Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off.





If your child loves to read, you may hunt these down to keep him/her occupied this upcoming school holiday! We believe something magical will happen if you read a good book, like taking a journey away from reality. 

Happy Reading! 

Friday, 17 May 2019

Kiddomo Discovery at R&F Mall, Johor Bahru

Are you one who visits Johor Bahru often with your family? Introducing a new indoor playground, in the recently opened R & F Mall. Located just next to the Causeway which leads to Singapore’s Woodlands checkpoint, Kiddomo Discovery in R & F Mall is opening its doors for some good family fun on 25 May 2019. Tickets will be on sale at buy 1 get 1 free on 25th and 26th May 2019. 




Kiddomo is the first playland of its kind in Malaysia. An innovative environment where children can excite all their senses, exercise their creativity and unleash the true potential of their imagination, at their own pace, in their own way! Kiddomo applies a holistic approach in all its activities. Everything in their playland is specially designed to encourage independent discovery, tickle a child’s natural curiosity and most importantly, to inspire imaginative play. 

A place where adults can watch their kids go wild with their own imagination coming to life by combining classical play with the latest technology. After all, technology is what our generation should be proficient in. 





Some of the fun stations are:

1. KIDDOMO HEROES STATION 
The child will take a selfie and slip into a dream career or transform into a fantasy character. He can choose to become a policeman, doctor, wizard or fire breathing dragon. Imagination is wild.


2. DISCOVERY STATION
Here is where your child will discover new dinosaur species by finding the hidden eggs inside this enormous ball pool and scan it using the interactive scanner.

 

3. FITNESS STATION
Engage your kids’ physical prowess as they traverse through the Musical Maze and collect galaxy stars on the Luna slider. Where your child will slide through a playful kaleidoscope of stars, candies and other colourful shapes.

Get some fitness too, out from Power ride!




4. PERFORMING STATION 
Play Musical Maestro by conducting an orchestra filled with different instruments to play popular pieces of music. Or if not, sing and dance to your child's favourite song, and star in his own music video!




5. MAGIC STATION
Magic lovers can get some fun onto the magic mirror, where your child will scan his band to see his earlier created selfie on screen. Moving this selfie character on screen with his actual body movements, the child will compete with the computer and also previous high scorers to burst as many balloons as he can on the screen.

Or get on the Magic Academy where your child has a chance to be like Harry Potter to cast magic spells with a digital wand, overcome obstacles and to find his or her inner magician.




6. BABY GYM (Under 3 years old)
A great place for children and little siblings below 3 years old. The Baby Gym section consists of products from the award-winning Weplay brand that have been designed to cater to the holistic developmental needs of young children. 




7. KIDDOMO CAFE 
This is the highlight of most parents. Having a place to chill out while the kids play!



Other facilities include the lockers for belongings, washroom as well as a nursing room. Remember too, to bring along socks for play!

At Kiddomo is a unique open space for children to explore their creativity and ideas, and to ultimately release the true potential and power of their own imagination.

These artist impression images give a good gist of the playground. While the place may be still undergoing final touch ups and tests without live photos, we think it will be a great fun treat for all children.


Ticket prices
*Customers must purchase at least one Kiddomo ticket for their accompanying Babies and Senior Citizens to qualify for free entry

We may not have visited the place for a detailed and comprehensive review, but it looks like a great place to check out!

R&F Mall
Address:
L2-086-A5, Mercu 1, Jalan Tanjung Puteri, 80300 Johor Bahru, Malaysia.


GIVEAWAY
We have 2 family sets of 2 adults and 2 child family ticket for GIVEAWAY on Facebook and on Instagram. Which means 2 winners, with 2 adult + 2 child ticket per family. Hop over to our Instagram post for additional win chances!

Facebook participation:
1. Follow Mum's calling on Facebook
2. Follow Kiddomo on Facebook 
3. In a single comment on this Facebook post, tag 3 friends from Singapore or JB whom you think will love a visit to Kiddomo!

Instagram participation:
1. Follow @mumscalling Instagram
2. Follow @kiddomo on Instagram  
3. In a single comment on this Instagram post, tag 3 friends from Singapore or JB whom you think will love a visit to Kiddomo!


Tag responsibly :) And yes, you may try your luck on both accounts. Best of luck!

Giveaway ends 24 May 2019, 2359 hrs. Collection of tickets by 15 June 2019 and redemption by 30 June 2019.


Disclaimer: Paid collaboration. All photos and facts are solely provided by Kiddomo. 


 Terms and Conditions:

  • Winners will be picked by random.org
  • Winners will be announced on Facebook, Instagram and this blog post
  • Winners will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn
  • Collection and redemption dates are firm
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified
  • All entries will be verified before the winner is announced 
  • To be fair to our sponsors, social media accounts set up purely to take part in contests will be deemed ineligible to win.
  • Giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed, administered or associated with Facebook or Instagram 

Monday, 6 May 2019

Astute Medical Centre - Pigmentation Woes

I can scrimp and save when it comes to shopping, but cave in to skincare. Maybe because beauty does not withstand time. There is vanity in a woman. And I am rather impatient when it comes to removing spots and blemishes on my face, laser treatment will always my first choice over commercial creams. I have no patience to wait on the effect of just using topical application alone. The market has it all, but too slow for me to wait on.

For months, I have been getting my face treated on pigmentation at Astute Medical Centre. Which unfortunately with my inherited genes, I battled with freckles, brown spots and now, melasma. Melasma is a common skin problem that surfaces mostly after child birth. It causes patches of brown spots on the skin. For me, it appears more obviously on the cheeks. And they were disturbing enough to prompt me to act on them. Talk about Motherhood and sacrifices.

A few sessions with Dr Jason Pek at Astute, I am most delighted to have seen improved results from the Qswitch and long pulsed combined laser treatments that were recommended to me. It was assuring to know that Dr Jason had been vastly trained and experienced in the realm of plastic surgery and dermatology in public hospitals before moving to private aesthetics. He is a man of few words, as in not chatty but definitely knowledgeable in sharing what you need to know as well as your concerns. Upon the work of researching on an aesthetician's profile, it takes some chemistry and trust when it comes to the essence of face.


Spots analysis

Long pulsed laser has an important role in the treatment of melasma, as it treats the vascular (blood vessel) component of melasma. By targeting the vessels in addition to the pigment, there is improved clinical results and fewer relapses. To achieve the best results, it is recommended to combine laser treatments with topical preparations and oral antioxidants. Depending on your comfort level, I do not really like oral products. I stuck to just laser and cream.

Q switched Nd:YAG laser is one of the most popular lasers used in the treatment of pigmentation. A beam of high powered laser is directed at skin pigments, where it specifically targets melanin, fragmenting large pigment particles into smaller ones and allowing the body's immune system, to gradually remove the pigment particles.

Feel so embarrass to bare my right face profile skin for show, but this is the after effect of my few sessions. A comparison photo that speaks for itself. 


After 4 sessions of combined laser - Long pulsed and Q switch

The laser energy is not of the same level set on every face. After all, different skin responds differently. Test spots will be done to determine the energy level that is most effective for your face. I had failed test spots, and that took another 2 sessions to find a right level and alternative for me. 

I did not use any anesthetic cream during my treatments, but the sessions were bearable for me. You may opt to use anesthetic cream if you have 20 minutes to spare before treatment. No extra charges. I am often rushing in and out for school runs, sometimes with a toddler along. It is usually a quick time for me in there. Those are the days when I would always bring my after treatment mask home for application, instead of spending another 20 minutes in there. Sunscreen is definitely a must before leaving. Downtime for both long pulsed and Qswitch is almost zero, except for some red itchy spots on my face, which didn't take long to subside.

I was recommended a 10 session treatment, paced at 3 to 4 weeks apart. Sounds many, but it may be good as maintenance too. Together with topical application to complement the treatments, I saw results upon the second session. The results are gradual, with photos taken before every session for comparison.

My tag along son for aesthetic treatment

Astute Medical Centre is assuredly a no frill Aesthetic centre. It is one that shares the same beauty goal as you. I was initially disappointed with the failed test spots done on me. The obvious spots were still hanging around and it felt like this was not working out for me. But the team was really helpful to offer solutions and try different laser wavelengths on me. I will just have to be super patient with stubborn spots I guess.

Looking good is a confidence boost, and this is the limit I would go. No under knife cuts or extreme beauty fixes for me. Perfection can become an obsession. Book your consultation, discuss your beauty goals with Dr Jason and their therapists! Their sign up comes in packages. And I have to be really honest that there is a little of up selling. But of course, they are services and products targeted at your beauty needs. Be clear headed when it comes to discerning your decisions.

Their price list is also available here.

Most important beauty advise of all is to never leave home without your sunscreen! 


[DISCOUNT CODE] Quote MUM'S CALLING to get a 30% discount on treatment upon your first visit. You may call, SMS or Whatsapp 9155 2243 for consultation appointment. Consultation fee is waived upon the sign up of services.



Disclaimer: Laser package was offered to me at a discounted price for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are, as usual, solely mine.



Friday, 26 April 2019

The Phantom Of The Opera [Review]

The world’s most popular musical, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA makes a long-awaited return to the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands for a limited season from 24 April to 08 June 2019.



Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA tells the tale of a disfigured musical genius known only as ‘The Phantom’ who haunts the depths of the Paris Opera House. Mesmerised by the talents and beauty of a young soprano – Christine, the Phantom lures her as his protégé and falls fiercely in love with her. Unaware of Christine’s love for Raoul, the Phantom’s obsession sets the scene for a dramatic turn of events where jealousy, madness and passions collide.




It is one timeless story, an unforgettable score, and an undeniable obsession that could never die.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous musical is also one 
of the most successful in entertainment history, playing to over 145 million people in 150 cities across 30 countries. 
It is the longest-running show on Broadway, having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018, and has won more than 70 major theatre awards, including seven Tony Awards and four Olivier Awards, including one for Best Musical.


Photo credit: Base Entertainment

It has been around for decades, but was my first experience with this legendary musical last evening. One filled not only with familiar music, but with mystery, gothic horror and romance. The Phantom is a deformed man with ghost-like qualities in that no one can ever find him or his lair. People are frightened by him because of his deformities and the acts of violence he commits.

Weaving the dark emotions all together, the musical was elegantly portrayed, visually impressive with stunning stage set and dazzling costumes. And most memorably, the shimmering and crashing chandelier that was like the prop star of the evening. The crashing chandelier that almost scared the living daylights out of the audience. Must not be missed!

With the musical around for 30 years, this is not one modern musical you would match up to the current. We talk about opera in here, with entirely sung pieces from low base to high pitched soprano and with minimal dialogue. Which honestly, at moments I was not able to make up of the words sang. It may be best to enjoy the songs as a whole. The amazing thing about The Phantom of the Opera is that you hear its famous songs over the radio and elsewhere even before catching its musical. My most enjoyed scenes were definitely when "The Phantom of the Opera" and "The Music of the Night" were sang.

These titles remain irresistible as they serenaded the whole theatre!

Photo credit: Base Entertainment

The most beautiful scene that sent me to the edge of my seat was The 'Masquerade'. Came right after the interval, it gasped the audience with dazzling costumes dancing under the clever play of lighting.

And if your pocket leads you to a bigger budget, getting tickets in the front rows will be very well worth. A close up view of facial expressions, imperious gestures, stares, stage and costumes details will be very rewarding. But of course, it comprises on being able to take in the whole spectacular of the show.

Photo credit: Base Entertainment

The ending was very much linked up to its opening scene, the auction. Watch and you will know where the auction items were from. The musical flowed like a playback. Though, I thought the ending was a little abrupt, it left me open ended about the Phantom's fate. It was a twist from the novel and movie. In the musical, he disappeared through an escape hatch in the throne with only his mask left. In the novel, he died and in the movie, Christine grew old and died with both her love visiting her grave.

Whichever the ending was, it is always a clear pairing of Christine and Raoul. 


Photo credit: Base Entertainment

No spoiler here, I am sure it ran long and popular enough for anyone to know of.

If you have seen the show, you must be loving it so much to read this. If you have not seen the show, watch and decide if it deserves to be the most successful entertainment piece of the world! I say, it is truly a timeless classic. One that will be watched, re-watched and remembered in the many decades to come.

I was most Thankful to have spent this evening with the man, without kids tagging along. This musical may not keep our young children on seat as it appears as slow moving with inappropriate story happening of strange things and loud sounds. For the grown ups, The Phantom of the Opera undoubtedly makes a great evening date!

 


 Grateful and Thankful for having us, Base Entertainment! 



The show is about 2.5 hours long with 20 minutes interval. Get your tickets soon! We do not know when is the next return.


The Phantom Of The Opera
Wed, 24 Apr - Sat, 8 Jun 2019 Tue - Fri: 8pm
Sat: 2pm and 8pm
Sun: 1pm and 6pm
Venue
Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands
Ticket Pricing
(Excludes Booking Fee)
Tue - Thu
Phantom Reserve : S$205
VIP Reserve : S$175
A Reserve : S$155
B  Reserve : S$135
C Reserve : S$115
D Reserve : S$95
E Reserve : S$75
VIP Box (For 4 seats) : S$700
A Res Box (For 4 seats) : S$620
Restricted View : S$135

Fri - Sun
Phantom Reserve : S$225
VIP Reserve : S$195
A Reserve : S$175
B Reserve : S$155
C Reserve : S$125
D Reserve : S$95
E Reserve : S$75
VIP Box (For 4 seats) : S$780
A Res Box (For 4 seats) : S$700
Restricted View : S$155


Disclaimer: Tickets were given for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions, unless otherwise credited are as usual, solely ours.