Showing posts with label family traditions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family traditions. Show all posts

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Chinese New Year 2018 | Family Walk in Chinatown

Counting down to Chinese New Year {CNY} next week!! For some reason I feel that it's coming by really fast this year? Do you feel the same way?

I mean, not that I'm complaining as I love all the joyous celebrations but it seems like Christmas wasn't too far away, then it was New Year's and now at the blink of an eye it's Chinese New Year!!

Anyway last weekend we went down for our annual family walk in Chinatown to soak in the festivities and nom on our fave local snacks and CNY goodies.

This year, the Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations adopts the theme “Blossoms of Happiness & Prosperity” and will see celebrations taking place around Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and other streets at the historic Chinatown precinct.

From now until Thu 15 Feb 2018, visitors can feast on mouth-watering New Year delicacies, enjoy the brilliant lights and decorations of the stalls and shop for the many CNY traditional goodies from cookies, decorative items, waxed duck and preserved fruits to potted plants and clothing at the street bazaar shops that are open 6pm-10pm daily {extended hours until 1am on CNY Eve}

Lil Pumpkin and I wore our matching modern cheongsams by local boutique, Glitter Glam {see their full CNY collection on Glitter Glam website!}. We're wearing different colour combinations of the same design and I really like the sweet duo colours and simple, yet intricate flower embroidery in the front. Nothing too flashy and so so comfy even when walking about outdoors in the crowd...

It was also kinda bittersweet knowing that she's wearing the largest size {size 14} in their kids collection now #wheredidmybabygo

She can probably still fit in it next year when she's 10 years old.. but after that, she'd probably has to start wearing adult sizes?? But that's if she still wants to twin with mummy!! As it is, although she still likes the clothes that I choose and buy for her, our little fashionista prefers to dress up herself and choose her own accessories.

Will she soon find mummy too "uncool" to wear matchy-matchy clothes with??! hmmm... 

人山人海!We went on a Saturday evening and yes although it was crowded, it wasn't a stampede and there was still space to walk around without getting shoved and pushed {toooo much}.

Plenty of families and small kids around, but I'd still recommend not bringing your stroller / pram though and to avoid peak periods.

Must-do shot of Lil Pumpkin and her daddy in front of the hand-made sculpted lanterns of the Chinese zodiac animal of the year - which happens to be the Dog for 2018.

Love seeing how much Lil Pumpkin has grown when comparing photos like this but where did our baby go?? Missing photos from 2016 and 2017...

The CNY street bazaar may end on Thu 15 Feb 2018, but the lantern decorations will last until Fri 16 Mar 2018. The daily light-up will take place from 7 pm to midnight from Sundays to Thursdays, and be extended till 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. On CNY Day 1 and 2 {16 & 17 Feb 2018}, the light-up will continue overnight till 6 am the next morning.

Managed to get a bag of delicious roasted chestnuts too... Mmm love those! I used to eat so much of it but since we only buy it in Chinatown and we don't go there that often nowadays, I haven't eaten that in over a year I think??! #sodeprived

Since the boy and Lil Pumpkin don't like to peel and eat the chestnuts, I finished that whole bag of 500g chestnuts all by myself in 2 days hahahaha...  #donttellmytrainer

We spent about 1hr walking through the street bazaar and small shops.

It's usually the same CNY food and products recycled from year to year, but it still puts us in a cheerful, festive mood nonetheless. Can't wait until our long Chinese New Year weekend break next week!!

Night shot of the lighted-up Dog lanterns.

I was standing on the bridge between Chinatown Point and People's Park Centre trying to get a good shot on my mobile with a crowd of people who obviously had the same idea when the boy said, "You know we can just google for a good image and it'd be much better than whatever you take, right??"

Roll eyes. Yes yes... we can.... so in the end I gave up and we just took a selfie instead because you can't just randomly google a shot of that on the internet, right?? haha.

More Chinese New Year posts:

P.S. Last day to use my promo code of 10% OFF Peas and Plums modern cheongsam pieces for mums & kids! Check out the rest of our Bub & Me activities or list of kid-friendly places in Singapore too :)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017! ♥

Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best that Christmas has to offer. 
May this incredible time of giving and celebrating with family & friends 
bless you with happiness and love that lasts throughout the new year! 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
from our family to yours! ♥

Friday, December 30, 2016

Outdoors Family Shoot at Gardens by the Bay {East} ❤

So after much postponement and rescheduling, we FINALLY fixed a date with good weather to have our annual family photo-shoot with Alwyn! Woot woot!!

I had almost given up on having one for 2016 but God is good and we arranged with Alwyn to meet up one Sunday at Gardens by the Bay East. On one of our cycling trips at East Coast Park, we cycled all the way there via the Park Connector Network {PCN} and found it to be lovely spot for photo-taking with the beautiful scenery and relaxed atmosphere.

It isn't as crowded as Bay Central Garden with the popular main attractions like the Flower Domes and Supertree Grove and you can still capture the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands as backdrop.

It was a pretty short, casual photo-shoot. Nothing pose-y or contrived... very much Alwyn's style. We just knew we wanted something to show our current fit family lifestyle so wanted it outdoors and only decided on our outfits that morning from something we already had in our wardrobe!!

We also decided to cycle to the photoshoot area from East Coast Park so arrived looking a little disheveled and sweaty haha.

Alwyn was amazing, as always, in capturing a lot of our spontaneous family moments. Love love love how all the photos turned out... I even bothered to go and print some to frame up haha ❤

Also glad that the boy was still able to carry me up like this and still look pretty relaxed! haha..

The photoshoot was after our trip to Hong Kong where I binged on 鸡蛋仔 {egg waffles} EVERY DAY and took some time off training so I definitely wasn't at my fittest nor leanest {at 15% body fat composition} anymore...

... and I really wanted to have film memories of that period but never mind, I don't need to be at my fittest or leanest to show how blessed I am with this little family of mine (*≧▽≦)

These are fond memories to treasure and look back on..  

to see how far we have come through the years...

... and how Lil Pumpkin has grown from a wee little bub to a beautiful, precocious, and kind young lady. 

But no matter how much she has grown, she will always be her daddy's little girl.

Our darling baby girl ❤

This is one of my fave shots actually and perfectly shows how strong and supportive the boy is to us.

He has been there for me through so many milestones {and dark periods} of my life and I know he will be there for us both in the future too.. 

Love you, Poogeo.

Love you both a lot.. ❤

Our family photoshoots:

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015! ♥

Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best that Christmas has to offer. 
May this incredible time of giving and celebrating with family & friends 
bless you with happiness and love that lasts throughout the new year! 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
from our family to yours! ♥

Received news last week that I've been selected to be one of the top 4 finalists
in Her World Plus Social Media Awards.
Always honoured to receive recognition for sharing my motherhood and life stories ♥
Will probably post more on it later but if you can and don't mind,
You only need to vote once, not daily so it shouldn't be too troublesome!

Thanks in advance and appreciate you being here to read this, nonetheless xox


Monday, May 18, 2015

6th Birthday Interview! + Win PediaSure Goodie Bags

We recorded Lil Pumpkin's birthday interview over the weekend. Haven't done a vlog for a long time and seemed kinda weird haha but Lil Pumpkin does her own random mini-vlogs so is such a natural :p

Other than the set of questions I prepared {same as those for her 5th birthday interview}, it's totally unscripted and unedited. We took this video in just one take.

She even said a boo-boo in the middle of the video. See if you can catch it! (>人<;)

I thought of editing it out but then, I wanted to capture all her natural reactions and answers to remember her at this period of her life. Even the little embarrassing bits that makes me want to find a hole and crawl into sometimes!!

Here are the questions and Lil Pumpkin's answers from the heart:
  1. How old are you? - 6 years old
  2. What's your favourite colour? - Gold and yellow
  3. What's your favourite food? - McDonald's and Cha Soba
  4. What's your favourite toy? - Her Disney "Magic Clip" dolls
  5. What's your favourite TV show? - Ben 10, Jake & the Neverland Pirates, Sofia the First
  6. What's your favourite place? - Malaysia and Japan
  7. What's your favourite song? - "Let It Go" {from Disney's Frozen}
  8. What do you like to wear? - Pretty dresses
  9. What makes you happy? - When she can play
  10. What makes you sad? - When Mummy scolds her
  11. What do you like to do with Mummy and Daddy? Play hide-and-seek
  12. What are you good at? - Maths
  13. What are you not so good at? - Swimming
  14. What makes you laugh? - Daddy
  15. What are you afraid of? - Ghosts
  16. Who is your best friend? Freya, Clarice, Claire, Weiling, Sadie, Emily and Ava
  17. What do you love about school? Numbers & eating breakfast with daddy
  18. What do you want to be when you grow up? -A fairy princess & a veterinarian
  19. If you had one wish, what would it be? - To be a fairy
  20. What's the best part of your birthday this year? When we went to to USS theme park

She's definitely a lot more talkative and animated in her birthday interview this year.. and can expand on her answers pretty easily. I think she'll have no problem with her English oral exams when she goes to primary school haha. Watch the video above for her full answers and if it isn't working, see it on my YouTube channel here.

Interesting to see how some of her answers have changed from the past year, and how some have remained the same e.g. that she still likes her "Magic Clip" dolls and her daddy is always the one that makes her laugh :)

Last year she mentioned that she felt sad when her Daddy scolds her, while this year I make her sad for scolding her. Sigh...  I guess that's the inevitable part about being a parent. As much as we want our children to feel loved and happy with us, we have a responsibility towards them as well to guide and teach them the right values and behaviour. And sometimes, that may require harsh words.

I think she knows, but hope as she grows up she will truly understand that even when Mummy and Daddy scolds her, we still love her very much and want the best for her

Do you have any family birthday traditions? 
Done any birthday interviews lately?

May is a very exciting time for us as we are all May babies! To celebrate, special prizes are up for grabs for the last 3 weeks of May just for my blog readers and friends :) 1 giveaway per week! Don't miss it!

For this week, I've FOUR PediaSure Goodie Bags {worth S$60} to give away!! Each prize includes:
* PediaSure nutritional bottled drinks
* PediaSure vouchers
* 1 x Fruits / Vegetables toy set
* 1 x Fun Food shape cutters {set of 2}
* 1 x Fruits & Veggies OR Jobs & Careers ‘Match It’ puzzle set {Please choose one}

As parents, we often feel that we have to do whatever it takes to help our children achieve their fullest potential, and part of it lies in us giving them the best nutrition we can. In recognising the hopes of parents for their children, Abbott specially developed #MyKidsPotential quiz that will help parents discover what their children might grow up to be, and how to help them achieve that!

The quiz consists of 10 short questions about your child’s personality, favourite activities, play habits, food and dislikes. After completion, the results will be presented on your child’s very own business card with her potential occupation, and also tips on how to help your child eat healthily. After all, good nutrition provides a foundation for children to grow up healthy, strong and to be the best they can be.

Try out #MyKidsPotential quiz and see what's your kid's potential! Our results showed that Lil Pumpkin has the potential to be a Movie Star!! No surprise there :P

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 what your kids want to be when they grow up & how you are supporting that dream + 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 Facebook photo on IG & tag @ASakuraHaruka #ASHxPediaSuregiveaway

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

* Open to Singapore residents only.
* Ends Tuesday, 26 May 2015 2359hrs {Singapore time} 
* Incomplete or inappropriate entries will be deemed invalid and will not be included.
* Winners will be announced by Friday 29 May 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.
* Food toy set and shape cutter theme and designs may differ, depending on stock availability.
* Sakura Haruka is not responsible for any prizes lost, damaged or misplaced in delivery.

UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. The winners are Christine Ang, Jamie Chaw, Bebe Lee and Noor Fazillah. Stay tuned for more blog giveaways on Sakura Haruka! Check out my current readers promos too. Thanks for your support!

* Disclosure: PediaSure Goodie Bags were provided by Abbott Singapore for giveaway.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Chinese New Year 2015 | CNY Goodies Shopping @ Jia Confectionery, Sims Vista Market & Food Centre

Last night we went for out for dinner with my mother-in-law. Her eye is healing properly {she had cataracts surgery earlier in the week} but still has to be careful with her movements since her left eye is still patched up.

After dinner, she wanted to go order some Chinese New Year {CNY} goodies to distribute to friends and industry partners. She does that every year for CNY to spread joy, and build better relationships with them. I think it's pretty common for companies in Singapore to do so during this period. My office gets a lot of hampers from our vendors and partners too. Some even give bak kwa and crates of oranges.

I've noticed locally, other corporate gift-giving seasons are during Mid-Autumn Festival, when the gifts are mooncakes, and Christmas for hampers again.

In Japan the corporate gift-giving season is usually during summer {お中元, o-chugen} and winter {お歳暮, o-seibo}. These gifts are given as expression of thanks to the people who have shown you kindness during the year e.g. industry partners, clients, superiors etc. The gifts are usually food e.g. cakes, jellies, chocolates, or other consumables and you can easily find ready-packed gifts at supermarkets or departmental stores. 

Anyway she asked us to bring her to Jia Confectionery in a heartland hawker center. A few minutes walk from Aljunied MRT station and tucked within an old neighbourhood of Sim Drive, most of the stalls were already closed when we arrived about 8pm plus, as the crowd is usually in during lunch.

I was very surprised to see that this shop was still open though, with a number of other aunties there shopping for CNY goodies.

Jia Confectionery usually sell traditional Chinese pastries and cakes like walnut cake and pineapple sponge cake. Their Wife Biscuits and Sun Biscuits are famous for being delicious and fragrant too.

Of course now, they are concentrating on making CNY goodies. Everything is baked fresh from the oven daily...

And hand-packed! Wow, it's really labour-intensive.

This guy was slowly putting them into the containers piece by piece.

There's a huge range of CNY goodies here... it really is a one-stop place for all your CNY goodies shopping. The shop owners were really nice and kept giving us samples of all their goodies :P

They also sell 年糕 but I'm not sure if it's made by this shop, or imported in from somewhere. Didn't buy any since I'd already bought from Tai Chong Kok during our Chinatown family walk.

These are much cheaper than Tai Chong Kok though!

Lil Pumpkin was very happy to be out and about exploring so late at night haha...

The boy, Lil Pumpkin and my movie-star mother-in-law :) She still has to wear a pair of sunnies whenever she goes out to protect her eyes from harsh lights etc.

Think she bought about 30 tubs of pineapple tarts {very buttery & not that sweet, which is good} and other CNY goodies to give away, while I bought a tub of pineapple balls {prefer these to pineapple tarts}, kueh bangkit and almond cookies to give to my parents. Or rather my dad, since mum is going for surgery tomorrow and can't eat such snacks :/

There's another traditional Chinese confectionery shop just 2 doors away called Huat Huat Cakes {see what my bloggy friend Sweet Day thinks about them here}. We didn't check them out, but they seem popular for CNY goodies too.

This is the price list for Jia Confectionery's CNY goodies for 2015.

My mother-in-law mentioned that they also supply to the bigger shops and some restaurants.

I'm glad we went with her last night to discover one of her fave shops for CNY goodies. Best to capture all these memories while we still can, and not live to regret it when the time comes that we can't.

Jia Confectionery
Block 49 Sims Place #01-46 {Sims Vista Market & Food Centre}
Tel: 8198 7393

What are your favourite CNY goodies?
Where do you usually go to buy them?

*Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored review. All opinions are my own.

Rediscover old Singapore heritage playgrounds & 


Check out what Erth's Dinosaur Zoo live family show is about &

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chinese New Year 2015 | Family Walk in Chinatown

We visit Chinatown at least once a month {especially since I haunt for enamelware there & like to eat at Keong Siak}, and we'll definitely make a trip there during the Chinese New Year {CNY} season to soak in the festivities. It's kinda like our family tradition. You can read about our past family walks in 2013 and 2014 {included some tips when visiting}.

The shops usually sell the same food and goodies every year, and I don't usually buy anything because my father-in-law buys all our CNY goodies, but it's just fun to go looksy-looksy as a family and take some photos. It's much easier now that Lil Pumpkin is older and can walk around herself.

Bringing a stroller/ pram to Chinatown during CNY season is a death wish. Everywhere is just soooo crowded and you can barely move around with one! I thought the crowd wouldn't be that bad when we went last Saturday but apparently there was the Opening Ceremony for Chinatown's CNY festivities that night, so there were heaps of people and road blocks! 

Lots of CNY decorations, lucky plants, fruits, food etc all sold at the street bazaar. Lil Pumpkin happily helped herself to the food and nuts laid out for tasting haha.

I was rather tempted to get paper cuttings of our whole family {S$10/piece} but decided nahhh. We already have too many things to declutter at home! :P The shop is there all year round anyway, so no hurry.

I'm not that big a fan of 年糕 {nian gao, Chinese New Year cake} by itself, but I like to eat it when it's pan-fried with egg batter.

Every year during CNY, my sis will go down with my mum to Chinatown to buy 年糕 so that she would cook that. My mum only likes to buy the 年糕 from Tai Chong Kok {34 Sago Street}, a local bakery that's famous for its handmade Chinese pastries. She says that they are the freshest and most authentic since its made the traditional way.

I don't usually go with them but since my mum's health is failing, I made it a point to join them this year with Lil Pumpkin and found out about this shop. A few days later I told them I was going to Chinatown again with hubby and Lil Pumpkin, so they told me to get more 年糕 and kueh bangkit, which are like melt-in-your-mouth coconut sago cookies, so I went back to the shop.

Ended up tasting more CNY goodies there and spending nearly S$100!! hahaha.. Since its a heritage brand and the the pastries are handmade with good quality ingredients, the products there are more expensive than other supermarket-kind of CNY goodies. For example, a tub of kueh bangkit costs S$18.90, while you can probably get one from NTUC for S$8.

Bought a 年糕 to try and pan-fry at home with mum's recipe too :)

Lim Chee Guan's bak kwa {grilled meat jerky} is another must-buy for most people during CNY. Considered the one of best in Singapore, although I can't really understand why. Bak kwa tastes all about the same to me oops :P

If you do intend to buy, it's best to get them early to avoid the long queues and higher prices nearer to CNY. The price jump is pretty significantly, especially since people tend to buy a few kilos to eat at home and give to friends & family. You can get them now as unless you can't resist finishing them all, they are sure to be able to last the next 2 weeks in the fridge. Just warm them up in the oven to eat during CNY.

The popular branch is at People's Park Complex #01-25, but they now have a branch at ION Orchard #B4-37, which is much more convenient for most people I guess, especially if you don't want to fight with the crowd at Chinatown!

We'll probably avoid Chinatown for the next 3 weeks until CNY is over :P But do head down if you haven't yet to show the little ones how CNY is celebrated in Singapore, and to get all excited for the biggest Chinese holiday of the year! :)

Rediscover old Singapore heritage playgrounds &