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Friday, October 9, 2015

Bub & Me: Obento-Making with RICE Denmark x Motherswork

If you've been to Motherswork {and if you're a parent I'm pretty sure you've shopped there before!}, you'd probably have seen shelves of colourful melamine, handmade baskets and storage from RICE, a Danish home wares and accessories company.

Their designs are inspired by “the good old days” and are very “down to earth” with lots of detail. RICE hopes to colour you happy when you are washing, cleaning, baking and relaxing in your home with funky, fun and functional products. Since the products are mainly melamine {although they do have ceramic & enamel collections too}, it's very child-friendly both because its hardy and because it has been tested to be food-safe and not contain harmful substances like Bisphenol A {BPA} and phthalates. The cheerful designs are definitely very attractive to children too.

I don't cook/bake as much as I used to nowadays, but that doesn't stop me from getting pretty stuff for the kitchen and home. I love RICE's colourful and whimsical homeware, and their whole collection is to die for. If my home could be filled with RICE products like Paula / Colorfulsparkle {their brand ambassador}, I would be a very happy girl hahaha #homegoals

RICE recently launched their Autumn/ Winter collection in Singapore and we had a sneak peek of it over an obento-making workshop at Motherswork's Great World City outlet.

The last time Lil Pumpkin and I attended an obento-making workshop was 2 years ago for Hina-Matsuri {Japanese Dolls Festival}. Coincidentally, the workshop instructor was Shirley again!! We haven't met each other since then and it was nice to have a short catch-up with her ヽ(^Д^*)/

We were both reminiscing how small Lil Pumpkin was then and she had to stand on a chair to work with me on the Emperor & Empress kyara-ben {character-obento キャラ弁} heh.

This time, Shirley taught us to make a Bear and Whale kyara-ben again inspired by Teddy and Whale plates available in their newest collection. So adorable!!

Now that Lil Pumpkin is bigger she doesn't need a chair, of course hah. This time round since Lil Pumpkin's older and more adept with her motor skills, she was even more helpful in making and packing the obento. But of course, she still enjoyed snacking on the food {especially the seaweed!!} along the way (●→‿ฺ←●)

The whole workshop session took about 1 hour before it was all done!!! Ta-dah! What do you think of our Bear and Whale kyara-ben? I added extra lashes on our whale hehe. It's packed inside this cute Flamingo and Monkeys lunchbox that was just launched too.

I was very inspired by this obento-making session and it fired up my interest to make obentos on a regular basis again {remember my 52 weeks of Obento Ideas series?}. After that I went to buy more obento boxes and accessories hahaha. I think it's good if I start making them again as it'll help in my meal-planning to eat healthier for my Operation 健康アップ fitness training program. I can hopefully pack and prep them earlier over the weekend for the following week.

Lil Pumpkin was very pleased with our obento and happily brought it home to her daddy, who said it was very cute gobbled everything up #fistpump

After the workshop we enjoyed a very sumptous tea session with food plated on RICE's new products.

Love love love all the eclectic bursts of colour and pattern in the RICE plates, cups, cutlery etc. They really prettify a party table~

RICE sells cake stands but if you like to DIY, you can also make your funky 3-tiered cake stands using the RICE plates and bowls. Such a fun idea!! Here's a tutorial on making your own cake stand with candlesticks if you can't find the metal center handle rod fittings locally or perhaps use their sturdy melamine cups.

I found some cake stand handle rod fittings for sale on eBay though.

It was really enjoyable catching up with my blogger friends whom I haven't seen in ages too since I hardly go for blog events now due to our tight schedule (*>艸・) Must make an effort to socialise more!! Hopefully next year when my work commitments wind down a bit... ( ⋂‿⋂’) 

Check out the other fun activities we did with Lil Pumpkin here or my list of Kid-Friendly places in Singapore.  Let me know if you have other recommendations :)

P.S. I was wearing my new baby blue cheongsam I got from Shanghai! Linen and so comfy.. bought 3 pieces but maybe should have bought more hahahaha. See suggestions on where you can buy cheongsams in Singapore all year round here.

P.P.S. Don't miss my SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL family tickets giveaway based on Dr Seuss book characters and stories. We'll be there too so see you!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wordless Wednesday {linky}: Shanghai Playgrounds - Me&City, East Nanjing Road

Where is this week's playground?
Level 4, Me & City, 580 Nanjing Rd Pedestrian St, Huangpu, Shanghai, China

FUN Factor?
7/10. We didn't spot any big playgrounds during our recent
Shanghai trip, but found this little gem in the major shopping/ eating street,
Nanjing Road. Located inside the big Me&City flagship store on the kids level,
it's colourful, clean, safe with simple toys & books - a fun spot for children to release their energy
and parents to rest amidst the busy shopping and exploring!
Suitable for younger kids.

Play is important for children to learn, grow and discover the world we live in.
As we visit as many fun, nostalgic and even quirky playgrounds as we can this year,
I hope to inspire you to make play an even bigger part of your kids' lives and
explore much more of our beautiful Singapore!

Still too hazy to explore outdoor playgrounds
these few days but check out the 52 Weeks Singapore Playgrounds series
for when the weather improves.


Sakura Haruka's wordless wednesday
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You are not able to just highlight and right click to copy any text on my blog.
  1. Grab my button & place it in your post or sidebar, or text link back to my party.
  2. Add me on Google Friend Connect or Facebook before you link up.
  3. Come back every Wednesday!! :)


Monday, October 5, 2015

Dr Seuss "Seussical the Musical" Live in Singapore! + Win Family Show Tickets

Direct from the UK, the fantastical, bombastical and songtastical world of Dr. Seuss, one of the most celebrated children's book authors, will be here live on stage through Seussical the Musical at the Esplanade Theatre from 6 to 8 November 2015!!

Lil Pumpkin just caught The Cat in the Hat production with her classmates last month on a school outing and is thrilled to know that a new Dr Seuss show is coming to town!

The broadway musical follows a unique story-line and actually features a spectacular compilation of whimsical elements, characters and delightful verses from some of Dr. Seuss classics – Horton Hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat (♥◕ฺ∀◕ฺ)ノ

Follow the adventures of Horton the Elephant who discovers a small world floating by on a tiny speck of dust. This small world is floating out of control through the universe and is the home of the Whos, including Jojo – a Who with “Things” that defy all description. Between them they must find a way to save Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers.

But Horton faces a double challenge, he’s been left alone to guard an abandoned egg, abandoned by none other than Mayzie La Bird! Caught between a dust speck and his incubating egg, Horton is truly alone in the universe, but while he faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and ends up on trial, little does he know the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him.

While the kind-hearted Horton tries to protect the speck of dust and the Whos who live on it, look out for Cat in the Hat, the zany narrator who peppers the musical with his endless tricks, and witty, thought-provoking commentary.

I'm sure the live show will be a hit with all those who love Dr Seuss books, and is a great introduction to his fantastical world for those who haven't got in touch with his magic yet. So let your toes tap, your fingers snap, and fire up your imagination in the world of Dr. Seuss with Seussical the Musical! (๑☆‿ ☆#)

Tickets are already on sale now with prices ranging from S$58 to S$108. You can book them at any SISTIC outlet or call the hotline 6348 5555. A 10% discount is applicable for group purchases or 10 tickets and more. For more information, check out the ABA Productions website or their Facebook page.

I know tickets have been selling fast but just for my special friends and readers, I have ONE Seussical the Musical Family Show Tickets Package {worth S$432} to give away!! It includes 4 x Category 1 tickets {best seats!!} to the show on Friday, 6 Nov 2015, 5pm at Esplanade Theatre.

This show is recommended for kids aged 5 and up, and running time is approx 75 minutes.

Giveaway Method: Random Draw

1. Be a Sakura Haruka Facebook page fan

2. Subscribe to my upcoming newsletter. Make sure the email add you used to subscribe is working as I'll be using that to contact the winner. Remember to confirm the subscription and check your junk folder in case the confirmation email goes there.

3. Like & Share this Facebook photo and tag 3 friends. Make sure your post is public!

4. Leave me a blog comment telling me your best advice to a kid starting P1/ going to a new school + FB name you used to like the page + name you used to subscribe to the newsletter. For those unsure of how to comment, choose "Name/URL" option then add your name and comment.

Bonus entry:
1. Follow me on Instagram {@AiSakuraHaruka}
2. Repost this photo on IG & tag @AiSakuraHaruka #ASHxDrSeussgiveaway #SeussicaltheMusical + 3 friends

ONE random winner will be chosen. Just complete all 4 simple steps + bonus entry {if you like}!

* Open to Singapore residents only.
* Ends Sunday, 18 Oct 2015 2359hrs {Singapore time} 
* Incomplete or inappropriate entries will be deemed invalid and will not be included.
* Winners will be announced by Wednesday 21 Oct 2015 on this blog post and notified via email with further instructions on how to collect prize. Winners have 2 days to reply, or the prize will be redrawn.
* Tickets only valid for performance on Fri 6 Nov 2015, 5pm at Esplanade Theatre, 1 Esplanade Drive.
* No refunds or changes to show time or date.
* Prize tickets cannot be exchanged for cash value or resold.
* Everyone must have own ticket for admission, including infants in arms.
* Sakura Haruka is not responsible for any prizes lost, damaged or misplaced in delivery.

* Disclosure: Seussical the Musical Family Show Tickets was provided by ABA Productions for giveaway. All opinions are my own. Unless otherwise stated, image credits to ABA Productions.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Blog Break | Off to Shanghai~ 飞去上海了!

In case you haven't realised, we're in Shanghai, China now! I had a whirlwind weekend trip with some friends here last year if you remember, and I'm now back here again with the boy and Lil Pumpkin. It's both their first time here in Shanghai, although the boy has been to China before (✪ω✪)

I'm really excited to be back and explore more places {see 25 Must-See & Must-Eat Things in Shanghai} in a more leisurely manner and spend Mid-Autumn Festival here. It's not often that we get to celebrate a traditional Chinese festival in mainland China and eat authentic Chinese mooncakes.  I think there's going to be fireworks at the Shanghai Bund this Sunday to celebrate!

Of course, I want to go back to get more Feiyue & Shulong shoes {for Lil Pumpkin's new school year too} and I'm kinda bummed that Dongtai Lu Antiques Market has already closed down (TェT) #sadness

I didn't really share much about Hu Xin Ting Teahouse {湖心亭, literally pavilion in the middle of the lake} previously but it was one of the highlights of my last visit and I really wanted to re-visit it, and the surrounding Yuyuan {豫园} and Old Shanghai bazaar, with my family.

Thought I'd just do a short intro of it in this post. Hu Xin Ting is known as the first teahouse in China with a history of 145 years. It is also the oldest existing teahouse in Shanghai and where the oldest chamber of commerce of Shanghai was once situated.

To get to the building in the middle of the lake you have to walk on the Nine Bends Bridge {九曲桥} which is a zig-zag bridge that's thought to prevent ghosts from reaching the teahouse as apparently ghosts can't walk in a straight line :P

That day when I went with Jerome, we arrived just as it opened in the morning but there was already a group of regular uncles enjoying their morning tea and chatting happily in a corner. It is usually really crowded so best to go early.

Going in, you really felt that you took a step back in time to old China.

We went straight up to the second floor and managed to get a window table with a good view of the lake and the famous Nanxiang Lou {南翔馒头店}, where we ate xiaolongbaos with Janice after our visit to Yuyuan. 

The whole building of Hu Xin Ting is made of wood with no iron nails and it has never been rebuilt in more than two hundred years!! The dark red walls, dark red window frames, wooden floor and columns are so beautifully carved and maintained.

There's a wide variety of Chinese tea to choose from and apparently the water used to make tea is purified and mineralized, which makes it tastes sweeter and different from tea provided in other common tea-houses. The tea may be more expensive than other tea-houses, but I don't think it's overpriced given the history and ambience of the place.

It's truly a very special feeling to sit there quietly sipping your hot fragrant tea, while appreciating the scenery and watching the world go by. I want to do that again with the boy and Lil Pumpkin

I'll be taking this time to go on a blog break to recharge and rejuvenate. In my last few posts you probably sensed that I've been feeling rather tired {of a lot of things} and haven't been sleeping well either. I need to get out of this rut and hope to clear my mind, get my sleep pattern back to normal and also spend quality, fun-filled time with the family.

The usual Wordless Wednesday which will still be up next week though for link-ups, and the ongoing giveaway for 2 x Ebizo Ichikawa XI's Japan Theatre tickets {worth S$145 each} will end this Sun 27 Sep 2015. Last 3 days! Pop by for a chance to win them if you want to watch an authentic Kabuki show at Marina Bay Sands next month.

I'll probably still post some on-the-go updates of our trip and other random musings as I feel like it on social media haha so feel free to connect with me on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter if you haven't yet. Take care, stay healthy and catch up again when I return xox

Hu Xin Ting {湖心亭}
No.257 Yuyuan Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai {outside the main entrance of Yuyuan}
Tel: +86 21-63736950 / 21-63558270
Opening hours: 7.30am - 9pm
Free admission