Friday 30 October 2020

Online Christmas Tree Shopping

As with any other celebrations like birthdays and Chinese New Year, Christmas has always been something we look forward to. With the joyous occasion approaching, we’re already making plans on the theme of this year’s Christmas. We’re thinking somewhere along the lines of a simple, White Christmas party theme. What this entails is that usually the christmas ornaments will include anything from white lilies to anything dusted with spray-snow to paper origami birds. I’m sure kids will have a blast with that one. We’re also planning to get everyone dressed in white and have a beautiful White Christmas Tree this year. Christmas, although exciting, is also hectic as well. With so many things to plan and buy, it’s not that easy doing all the Christmas shopping in person which means much of our holiday shopping has shifted online. Yes, the tradition has always been to get your Christmas Tree in person at the shop itself, but many don’t know that getting a Christmas tree online has been available for years and it actually makes it a lot easier on your part. Here’s some things that we’ve learnt to look out for when purchasing your Christmas Tree online.


1. The Convenience of Setting Up Your Tree


With online shopping for Christmas trees also comes your own personal manual labour. What’s important is ensuring that your pick of Christmas tree is easy to set up so not a lot of effort is required on your part. After all, the whole point of online shopping is to make your life easier and hassle-free. Nowadays, although breaking the tradition, we find that artificial Christmas trees are a lot more convenient. You don’t have to worry about branches falling off (which equates to more cleaning), and you can easily set it up by yourself. We personally like to go for artificial Christmas trees with the self-collapsing branches. How it works is that basically all you have to do is flip the tree upright from its packaging and the branches just fall into place. It’s simple and convenient. Unlike other types of artificial trees where you have to individually spread the branches one by one, this concept saves a lot more time. Storing it back is also easy, just flip it back upside down and it will collapse back on its own into the packaging. Easy breezy.

Pine Concept adopts this convenient method of self-collapsing branches to all their trees and they even have a White Christmas Tree option to go with our desired theme. If you’re looking for this specific type of artificial Christmas tree, you can head to their website to check out the various different types of trees that you can pick from.


2. Value for Money

Another benefit of artificial Christmas tree is the durability of it and how much you can actually save due to the fact that you don’t have to keep repurchasing a new tree each year. With artificial trees, you can reuse the same one for years to come and you don’t realise it, but you’re saving you and your family a whole lot of money. Christmas trees, depending on where you get them, are not exactly the cheapest. You could spend up to a thousand dollars on Christmas trees alone. That’s assuming you’re getting a new one every year. Why we personally prefer artificial Christmas trees is the fact that it doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet and it’s a great investment.

Unlike typical artificial Christmas trees which are usually thrown away after the season due to quality issues, our go-to Christmas Tree shop, Pine Concept’s trees are guaranteed to maintain their structure and engineered to last a lifetime. What’s great about them is that they also offer a 10-year warranty and free replacement for any damages. You can be certain that your purchase with Pine Concept is a great investment. It’s definitely our best Christmas investment so far.


3. Product Misrepresentation

With online shopping comes a lot of worry that what you’re seeing in pictures may not necessarily reflect the actual product that arrives. We know that has always been our main issue with purchasing products online. Thankfully, this isn’t a cause of concern when getting your Christmas Trees from Pine Concept. Their product photos are personally shot and taken in their own studio and they avoid putting too much edits on their trees so customers know what they actually look like. Initially, we were quite skeptical when we first purchased from Pine Concept because the photos available on the website are all so aesthetically pleasing (kudos to their photography skills) that we were afraid it was a lot of edits and wouldn’t look as good as the pictures when it came. But in actual fact, we were so pleased when the tree actually came (kudos to their product quality)! Trust us, we’ve had our fair share of products looking nothing like their pictures online so we’re glad that Pine Concept really delivered. You can also check out the pictures on their site to get inspiration to decorate your Christmas Tree.


4. Realistic Looking Artificial Christmas Trees


After realising that artificial Christmas trees can look just as good, sometimes even better than live ones, we were sold. I’ve realised that you can place an artificial Christmas tree beside a real one and can almost always never tell the difference. The

great thing about shopping at Pine Concept is that their trees are mimicked to look exactly like how a real Christmas tree should look like. They’ve specifically selected a shade of green that is a darker tone as compared to other artificial trees that are lighter in colour which makes it look a lot more real. Their self-collapsing branches are also filled with the most tips to achieve that full and grand Christmas Tree look that is what many of us want to achieve to go with our Christmas tree decorations.

These are just some tips that we’ve found to be helpful when looking out for my Christmas Tree Singapore online. We’ve come to find that shopping on Pine Concept for all my Christmas needs saves us a lot of time, effort and money without having to worry about the product quality. Check out their website, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for as the season approaches.

We've got a discount code for share. Use code 'EARLYBIRD15' for a 15% discount upon check out.
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Thursday 29 October 2020

Cosmo Air Purifier [Review]

An air purifier should be a permanent piece of home furniture. It became my necessity when kids came along, and especially more needy when haze hits us hard on some months.  

Clean air in the home

Recommending you a choice of air purifier, Cosmo Prime® Air Purifier. Designed in Germany, produced locally, it uses trademarked technology and smart design to provide a long-lasting, silent and powerful air purifier. Here are some of its specifications for reference: 

Cosmo Prime® Air Purifier

1. Noise level = Soft whisper
Equipped with the SilentMotor-VX™ the Cosmo Air Purifier functions so quietly, you’d forget it was even there. At 20 decibels, it's softer than a whisper. It allows even the lightest sleepers to fall into deep, rejuvenating sleep.
2. 3-in-1 HEPA Filter
With a revolutionary 3-in-1 HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, it filters up to 99.97% of all air pollutants like pollen, dust, bacteria, tobacco smoke and more. It has pores that are up to 20 times finer than the average HEPA filters, ensuring that it traps fine pollutants and removing indoor allergens.
3. Pet Guardian
For having a pet dog, this feature is a 'must have' for us. Cosmo's carbon filter layer is fitted with an antimicrobial agent called Pet Guardian™. It works in tandem with the activated charcoal to effectively neutralise odours especially with pets. Our dog loves hanging around the kids room, so that's where the filter ends up sitting at. 
4. Coverage Area: Up to 80m²
Even though the filter is in the kids' room, I get to benefit clean air for from another part of the house. Cosmo’s 80㎡ coverage can cover the average household’s kitchen, living room, bedrooms and toilets.

2. PM 2.5 counter
PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is about 3% the diameter of a human hair. Particles this small can only be seen through a microscope! 

3. Night Light Toggle
If the air is clean, it emits a soothing blue light if you choose to keep it on. It works perfect as a room night light. The indicator light reflects the true air quality where blue is good, yellow is average and red is poor. 

4. 5-year warranty
Knowing that your product is well covered for 5 years, it makes the purchase more confident. There terms and conditions to be met though.
5.  Smart Mobile Application
Download their free mobile application to control and manage your air purifier remotely from your phone. Access data collected and learn how well your air quality is.

6. Dimensions
Sleek looking at: Height: 49.7 cm, Width: 27 cm and Length: 30.3 cm
7. Free Delivery
Expect swift and free delivery within the same day!  

Cosmos air purifier
And of course, some of the need to know includes cost of changing filter every 6 to 12 months. The proprietary filter costs $130, you will be sent a link to the product page once you place a purifier order. 

Air quality in the house is a consideration not to be put aside. The air in our home can be more polluted than the air outside. Our air indoor is often polluted by mould, dust, cleaning chemicals, cooking by-products and many other invisible compounds. Keeping the air at home clean gives us a peace of mind.  

Clean air we have!

Cosmo Prime ® Air Purifier is retailing at $399. On a 26% discount from its original price of $538. Get a full refund with no questions asked, if you are not convinced with your purchase within 20 days. That's how confident they are with their product! 
Cosmo Prime® Air Purifier 2020 has undergone 7 significant upgrades from the year before. It has now a lighter and sturdier fan that cut decibel count by 6%, higher density activated carbon, improvements in the purifier software and sensors. Finer mesh filter to decontaminate the air with more efficiency and much more. We are also loving how simple and sleek looking it is.  
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Thursday 22 October 2020

The third born changed the way I parent

Raising kids may come with experience but that doesn't equate to us having the wits to handle each child that comes along. After all, kids are uniquely different in personalities. The third born has helped me recognised some things that could have been done differently when I was raising his two older siblings.

1. Read More Chinese Books
I've learnt to be more consistent in reading Chinese story books to Juboy. Every night's bedtime is always permanent with at least one English and one Chinese story book. He knows the drill, and he will pick out the books on his own when it comes to bedtime stories. Loving a language begins at a tender age, as early as birth! I saw how the older kids struggled with Chinese in school, and I attribute that to our insufficient speaking and reading of Chinese at home. I do read them Chinese stories when they were younger, but it wasn't consistent enough till the language became an examinable subject. 

2. Less Indulging
Kids of our century often ask for material possession as gifts. It's an easy accedence for busy parents who are usually buried with work guilt. Raising the third born got relatively easier on toys and clothes because he had most stuff hands down. He inherited a heap of toys from his siblings and piles of clothes from big brother. I kept them! Somehow dissatisfied with stopping at two. Of course, being individually different he gets to buy his favourite theme toys that his siblings didn't own. But I'm glad I've not spent much on buying him toys since babyhood. I got smarter in hiding and rotating toys, just so the toys looks fresh to him. At four years old now, he does request to buy toys, but I am careful to not over indulge. I've observed how owning less means more. He treasure his toys more preciously than his siblings. 
Cheeky little one

3. Hold Back On Over Caring
Not that it's less attention, but being a third born Mum gives you greater threshold of risk and mess. I realised I helicopter over him much lesser than his older siblings. I give him space to explore and take risks in a safe environment on his own. I'm much chill with knocks and falls, than being panicky over the slightest scratch or bump the eldest had. Over caring also means I'll do more things for him when he has the ability to do it independently on his own. So yes, the independence came earlier for Juboy. Helping him less means he can help himself more.

4. Old and Wrong Habits Die Hard
It's true that old and wrong habits die hard. It's better that we cultivate the good habits from the beginning than trying to kill a bad habit after that. It takes consistency in this part of training. I've learnt to not allow one or two casual incidents fall through the discipline crack when cultivating a good habit. If laundry clothes need to be in the basket immediately, it needs to be done without hesitation. If school bag needs to be packed before bedtime, it needs to be done so that way.
5. Milestones Chill
I worry less about milestones. I know they will come to past eventually because every child develops at a different pace. With that, it's less comparisons and manageable expectations. It's not about what his siblings and peers can do at that age, but when will he be ready for it. Preschoolers are entitled to be in the phase of lullaby. I only hope Juboy can start reading and writing independently before he enters primary school. Minimal expectation. 

Being the third child commonly equates to less attention and early independence, but I like to bring in my favourite phrase, "Love doesn't divide, it multiplies!" A child's birth order can actually dominate his personality. It looks like Juboy is one with the earliest independent skills, and probably the most resilient among all. And of course, there are worse that the third born has brought out of me. Patience has run thinly in me as I manage having three. Surely something I need to deal with diligently. 


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Wednesday 21 October 2020

Shepherd Pies [Review + Giveaway]

Is Shepherd Pie associated with shepherds? Shepherd’s Pies do originate from shepherd families. Traditionally, Shepherd’s Pies are made using sheep or lamb meat. Prepared by the wives of a shepherd, it was a way for them to reuse the leftovers from the night before, and thus, born was the art of the Shepherd’s Pie. Other than the use of lamb meat as a protein main, Shepherd’s Pies also usually come topped with creamy mashed potatoes. A good pie is one that has the thick, creamy layer staying well integrated with the meat, on every spoon.

We love shepherd pies as a family. Some days, we would home make one. It makes a great party dish too! And if the pie or lasagna craving kicks in without wanting to whip up, you may gave Shepherd's Pie a try. 

Mac n cheese and lasagna

We gave these a try:

Mac ‘n’ Cheese Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie
Cooked macaroni tossed in a delicate ground beef sauce that is blanketed under hand-whipped mashed potatoes before being baked till golden and crusty. It is a good option if you are caught choosing between the two most popular comfort food - Mac ‘n’ Cheese and shepherd’s pie. 
Comes in two sizes: medium, $18.90 (2 to 3 pax) and massive, $30.90 (4 to 5 pax). 

Photo credit: Owari Photography

We love how this combination can excite kids specially. Mac and cheese, with meat protein makes a perfect meal. Only that we felt the taste wasn't as impressive as we associated shepherd pie to be. Potato was subtle and of too little amount. Perhaps, layering too much would make the dish high on carbs. 
Sienna’s Traditional Lasagna (Triplo Cheese)
Nothing makes a lasagna better than thin, silky sheets of fresh pasta. Shepherd's Pie have crafted an effective and tasty method to make lasagna sheets and they begin each business day by making a new batch. The pasta sheets absorb the tomato base sauce as the dish bakes, and helps bring the dish together. 
They also pick their ground beef very carefully and use premium ground beef with a higher fat content. The sauce is simmered on low heat to make sure that all of the flavours from the herbs and spices are well absorbed.
Comes in four sizes: Personal tray for 1 ($13.90) up to party of 6 ($71.90) 
Busy devouring
We love the rich taste and freshness in this lasagna topped with a good amount of mixed fine cheese. It was the fast moving dish among the both we ordered, and the kids love it as much as we did. I'm sure it makes a great party dish!

This authentic homegrown bakery aims at bringing you the best shepherd’s pie, from preparation to delivery, all in one hour! $7.50 per delivery, or Free delivery for orders above $70. 
Opens daily: 10am to 11am, including public holiday.

We have a $30 Shepherd Pie credit to giveaway to 1 winner. To win, simply participate on our Instagram account post over here
Best of luck! Giveaway ends 28 Oct 20, 2359hrs.

The Shepherd Pie:

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Wednesday 7 October 2020

The Fruit Hut [Review]

It's rather impressive to get same day delivery for fruits. Within 2 hours to be exact. The Fruit Hut provides islandwide delivery to your doorstep in 2 hours with no minimum order. Enjoy FREE delivery when you spend above $60. 

They carry over 80 varieties of finest produce from the best farms worldwide. You name it, they have it! From Ecuador to Spain, they import fruits direct to Singapore and deliver right to your doorstep.

Here's what I checked out from the online store:

My fruit choices

Fruit choices and prices are always seasonal, do avoid use mine as a gauge. Having fruits well stocked in our home is always a delight. Apart from the boost of vitamin C, I love how these international, well-travelled fruits come together to make up a colourful set up.

Apples, Pears and Grapes

Watermelon, rock melon and Spain melon

Turkey peach, Japanese sweet potatoes, lemon and lime

We love the apples, it's Envy apples. No doubt, they are consistently crunchy and sweet! Grapes, peaches and Melons were great too. The sweet potatoes were as sweet as expected though. 

The Fruit Hut guarantees freshness with fruits air-flown daily, in small batches. The fruits are stored in 3-7°C temperatures (the optimal temperature) to retain freshness, natural juices, taste and nutritional value. And best part, The Fruit Hut guarantees only freshest fruits to your door. Spotted bruised or rotten fruits? Contact them with images and order details within 3 days to get your 100% replacement. 

Sometimes, getting fruits from the supermarkets is just too much of a hassle to get replacement or refund when I realised my box of fruits got mouldy or bad on the inside, upon reaching home. It happens. Umpteen times. It's best to find a reliable seller that takes charge of their fruits' quality, especially when these imported fruits are costly. 

Do check them out for fruit gift baskets too! 

Photo credit: Owari Photography

Real fruits for pretend play

Looks like we've stocked enough to open a fruit stall now! For pretend play I meant. 

We've got a discount code for share. Use code 'bestinsingapore10' for a 10% discount upon check out. 
We have a $50 The Fruit Hut credit to giveaway to 1 winner. To win, simply participate on our Instagram account post over here
Best of luck! Giveaway ends 14 Oct 20, 2359hrs.

The Fruit Hut:

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Best in Singapore:

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Disclaimer: Sponsored post