Showing posts with label traditions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 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 :)


Friday, February 13, 2015

Singapore Cheongsams :: {Matching} Cheongsam for Mums & Little Girls

It's been a really hectic time what with Mum in surgery and Lil Pumpkin having a suspected case of HFMD {doc can't confirm either because it's just a few tongue ulcers}. Been in and out of the hospital all week and thank goodness, my mother-in-law is feeling better from her own surgery last week to help take care of Lil Pumpkin since she can't attend school at the moment, and I can't bring her to the hospital with me.

Just want to write and think about happier stuff so sharing some of the modern cheongsams we got recently. I believe cheongsams should be worn all year round, and Chinese New Year {CNY} is really a fantastic time to stock up on cheongsams for the rest of the year! So many beautiful designs released, and even shops that don't usually sell cheongsams have a special collection or two for the festive period.

For example, one of our fave shops for matching mother-child clothes, Glitter Glam, launched modern cheongsams with detachable collars! Very versatile and certainly appealing to those ladies that prefer not to wear cheongsams outside of the CNY period.

I like the cheerful floral prints that just screams "Spring" and "Chinese New Year" to me hahaha. Lil Pumpkin and I will be wearing this on our CNY Day 1 as we'll be doing most visiting that day, and I want something light and comfortable since we'll be running around so much.

The short collars {3cm} are attached by hidden buttons and even when the collars are removed it does not look unfinished... it's just a beautiful by itself as a simple shift dress.

I've not seen any modern cheongsams with detachable collars before so if you're interested, you can get these from their online website, Harbourfront Centre boutique {1 Maritime Square #02-11} or shop counters at Isetan stores.

As I mentioned before, dressing matchy-matchy doesn't mean you always have to wear exactly the same things {see my tips on how to work the matching mini-me trend}. Just having similar details, such as colours or accents, will work as well.

I liked my Lark & Peony Princess Pingyang cheongsams so much that I bought another one in my fave colour - RED. How to not wear something ang ang during CNY??! hahaha

So bold and vibrant, it's really comfortable and fits my body like a glove. The Princess in Crimson comes with an obi belt with shippo {七宝} accents. Shippo is a traditional Japanese print where a series of geometric design combining four ellipses in a circle such that the lines inside make more circles. Somehow people thought the inside of the circles look shiny and they called this pattern shippo, which literally means "seven jewels".

It's not typically so colourful, but the designer of this printed fabric incorporated colours into the parts where the circles overlap giving it a playful feel. Shippo is a lucky pattern in Japan, and red is a lucky colour for Chinese, so I should be doubly lucky wearing this piece???! :)

If you like it too, you can get it from their online store or make an appointment to visit their atelier. I thought it matched Lil Pumpkin's Pretty Porcelain Tutu dress because well, both have reds in them, and there's a shippo-ish pattern in her cheongsam. :P Planning on us wearing this set on CNY Day 2 since we usually have a big buffet that day, and the obi belt will hide my bulging tummy well haha.

Her cheongsam comes in blue as well! Fits girls aged 2-7 years old. We got them from Dreams Avenue, a local kids online boutique, and I'll share more on some of our other clothes from the store later. 

Her dress marries traditional and modern in the most enchanting way: the stunning bodice has cute Chinese cheongsam details including a mandarin collar and Chinese knot buttons set, contrasted with a simple white tutu skirt that keeps all our little princesses happy. There's also a hidden zip at the back for quick dressing up!

I don't usually buy free size clothes, especially for cheongsams, BUT this was too cute to resist! Wasn't that expensive either, so just decided to go ahead with it, especially since I didn't have any in this sweet shade of pastel lavender. 

The Alice Cakes Macaron Cheongsam has adorable prints of maracons and other tea-time delights on the dress collar and skirt rims. There's no inner lining, but the material is soft, stretchy and thick so no need for that anyway. One thing I'm groaning about though is that it crinkles easily and needs to be ironed properly before wear. I prefer fuss-free materials {like that used in the Princess cheongsams} that need little or no ironing :P 

The front Chinese knot buttons can open up for you to put your head through easily, but it doesn't open up fully as the side zip is on the opposite side from where the front flap joins the side.

This cheongsam's free size fits UK 6 - 10. I'm a UK 8 {or 10, depending on cut} and it's an ok fit for me, except for the bust area which is a bit tight. From Little Bow Co, a local baby wear online boutique, it also came in other pastel colours but now there's only light blue, navy blue and red left.

Ok, that wraps up our recent cheongsam haul! :) Hopefully Lil Pumpkin's love for cheongsams will start from young too :P I think for any of the online shops I've listed here, if you order by this weekend, you should be able to get your piece by Chinese New Year since they are all based in Singapore #sgpride #golocal

Also check out these shops that sell traditional and modern cheongsams all year round. I updated the list yesterday.

P.S. It's been a crazy week, but I'm having some crazy good giveaways on the blog that are ending soon too. Have a look to win a Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10" Android, a KidsFest 2015 Hamper or pair of Havaianas Disney Frozen FlipFlops!


Friday, June 6, 2014

When Pizzas Aren't Just Pizzas, & Smiles Are Truly Smiles

Lil Pumpkin and I have a simple Saturday morning routine. After we wake up, she goes for her Speech & Drama class near home, and when she returns, there’s piping hot pizza waiting for her to eat at lunch. I wish I could say it’s homemade pizza but nahh.. it’s just frozen pizza by Dr Oetkers {so so so good though!} warmed up on my oven :P

I thought that she would get bored after eating it two weeks in a role but nope! She actually remembers and ASKS for it! Every. Single. Week. That's dedication for ya.

Then I realized.. the pizza isn’t just pizza. It's that special time where it's just the both of us slowly relishing a whole pizza on a relaxing weekend that makes her happy. The TV is off, my mobile is kept away, and I'm fully present. No distractions, no mummy nagging at her to finish every morsel quickly... just us sitting on our living room floor having a home picnic with warm comfort food.

And you know what's the best part? I didn’t even have to use expensive ingredients or slave hours making the pizzas; all I had to was to spend a minute taking it out of the box and popping it into the oven, then wait for it to get all crispy and cooked. So darn simple and yet, Lil Pumpkin loves it. She'd give me her widest grin and tell me oh how delicious it was and it was the best thing ever! #truestory

Just another way she reminds me that it's the simple things that truly matter in life, and the things that the kids appreciate, and remember the most.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm a good enough mother for her. Am I doing the best I can for her? I know she smiles and laughs a lot but is she truly happy? I'm not the most patient, or the most stress-free person around {although I think I seem that way to some people!}, and I know that affects the way I parent her. In a rather negative way :/

And then I see these drawings that Lil Pumpkin does.

>
Happy, shiney, smiley people. I'm no child psychologist expert, but isn't it true that a child's drawings reflect their feelings and thoughts about life? It is a snapshot of her point of view of her role in the world, her relationships with others, her confidence level etc. If she's drawing such happy smiley people {and I use the term "people" loosely because even her sun and flowers are smiley!} all the time, doesn't that mean she's very happy too?

I know they aren't very elaborate pieces like what she used to do in her art class, but these are purely from her imagination and not guided by anybody. Which I feel makes them even more special :)

It gives me great joy to see her draw like like this, and I hope they always stay bright and cheerful. I wish our weekends were longer, or I could go travel with her more often as holidays tend to make me less stressed {obviously} but realistically speaking, that probably won't happen too soon. I'm staying on in my job for these reasons which still hold true to me, finding ways to be less stressed and to be little less hard on myself, and a little more satisfied with the fact that what I'm doing is really, good enough.

What do your kids like to draw?
Do you look at your kids' drawings to find hidden meanings into their world too? 

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {linky}: Family Obento Ideas - Chinese New Year Traditional Snacks | Week 6


 What's in my obento this week? 
TCC Bear Pineapple Tarts, Homemade Pinapple Tarts, Kueh Bangkit, 
Pistachio Nuts & Bak Kwa.

Obento {お弁当} is a home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine and doesn't always need to be complicated or time-consuming. I hope to inspire you to create delicious, everyday obento meals for your family with these simple ideas and tools.

These photos are part of the 52 Weeks Family Obento Ideas series.

P.S. This is a very small sampling from the wide variety of Chinese New Year snacks!
Also, my mum is lending me some of her obento boxes for this series, so it's likely
you'll see 52 different kinds... she has an enviable collection! :P

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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!! :)






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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year 2014! 新年快乐!


Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快、万事如意!恭喜发财!
Wishing you a prosperous & healthy new year. Enjoy the rest of the long weekend

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014 | Family Walk in Chinatown

It's become our yearly family tradition to go down to Chinatown to soak in the festivities for Chinese New Year {CNY}. I don't go there to buy anything in particular as we usually get our CNY goodies from the comfort of our friendly NTUC supermarket hehe. It's just a lovely time to walk through and enjoy the bustling sights and sounds.
2014 is the Year of the Horse. If you believe in fengshui, it's supposedly a good year for the boy, who is born in the Year of the Snake. Not so good for Rats like me :P

Photo of the boy and Lil Pumpkin taken during our CNY family walk in Chinatown last year. Amazing how she looks more matured after just a year!

Chinese New Year is really, a time for feasting!! All diet plans just fly out of the window :P Some CNY goodies are actually sold all year round...

But there are some rare ones like arrowhead chips that are sold only around the CNY period. These are my fave CNY goodies and I can munch on at least 2 containers full heh.

Lots of CNY decorations to buy..

Lim Chee Guan is, as usual, mad crowded. This is just the tip of the ice-berg! The long queue spills over to the other store selling bak kwa next door. If you are a tourist to Singapore, you should try Lim Chee Guan bak kwa at least once. They say it's one of the best.

Bak kwa is a Chinese salty-sweet dried meat product similar to jerky, which you can get all year round but is a must-eat during Chinese New Year. Prices rise pretty exorbitantly during this period too due to the high demand... at least S$50/kg.

Mini Chinese lion toy... a very nice souvenir actually! Most of the shops were selling one for S$10.

A big-head doll leads the way in a traditional Chinese lion dance and you can purchase one in Chinatown too just for fun.

We walked all the way to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum which was gorgeously decorated! I think there are special prayer ceremonies held on Chinese New Year Eve and the first few days.

Family photo just outside the temple.

I love the cute children ang paos! :)

There are many shops selling hand-written auspicious CNY greetings for good luck.

You can't miss buying cheongsams or traditional Chinese costumes for you and your kids either. Large variety of designs. I've another list of places you can buy adult cheongsams for yourself all year round here.

You can also see lots of traditional auspicious food sold to bring good luck and prosperity for the rest of the year. For example, pomelo symbolises family unity while bottle gourd represents longevity {not bitter gourd! that's a taboo food during CNY}.

Blooms and blooms of fresh & fake flowers to decorate the home!

I'm not a fan of waxed meat, but if you're looking.. you can find all sorts here. Sausages, pork legs, fish, duck etc. Contrary to its name, there is actually no wax used in its preparation at all. Salt is used in the preservation of the meat.

Tips:
  • Don't bring your stroller / pram as it is tooooo crowded! Use your baby sling / carrier instead.
  • No need for umbrellas either as there's shade from the buildings and using it just gets in the way of shoppers.
  • Prepare your children for the crowd and remind them to keep close to you. 
  • Keep your belongings and valuables properly as well in case of pickpockets.
  • For great bargains, visit Chinatown on Chinese New Year's eve as the vendors will be slashing prices of goods since they will be closed for the first two days of the new year.
  • Chinatown Food Street is currently closed for renovation but I suggest you eat away from the shopping streets due to the large crowd. ChinaTown Point is a good place to go with many clean, air-conditioned restaurants.
Just wanted to end off this post with a picture of Sri Mariamman Temple {the oldest Hindu temple here}wishing all a healthy and properous Chinese New Year. Such a fantastic example of racial and religious harmony in Singapore :)

Check out the rest of our Bub & Me activities or list of kid-friendly places in Singapore :)