Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Review & Giveaway: June Holidays Special Promotion- Underwater World Singapore + Island Cuisine Buffet

In a flash of an eye, the June holiday is half gone ! I hope this term break has been a fulfilling one for you ! So now, what comes next before our holiday plans ? After all the fun at the kids' camp, Sea Games carnival as well as the most recent Chinese Speech & Drama holiday programme, we managed to set aside today, just in time to visit Underwater World Singapore (UWS).

One thing about it, we will never get sick of visiting aquariums ! The last visit to UWS was before the opening of RWS SEA Aquarium, the crowd was always there and I remembered we would need to squeeze and nudged through the crowd to get near to the Touch Pool.

Two months ago, we visited RWS SEA Aquarium, there was a Touch Pool too but the queue is always "overwhelming" and snaking out of the cordon area. Personally I do not like crowded places especially on weekends. Usually, we would avoid the mall. Seriously, if you ask me how was today's trip ? I can honestly tell you that this time round at UWS, we did not have to jostle among crowd ! Here's my experience visiting UWS on a sunday morning.

We arrived promptly at 11 a.m to watch the dolphin show (Approximately about 20mins).  The staff will prompt you to the area to get the best view of the whole show. I did not really managed to capture much shots as I was on solo parenting duties that very day and also due to having one very excited toddler, who refused to be carried by my sister. She was really excited to watch the dolphins and the seals performed ! She really did gave her loudest cheers and applause for these adorable creatures plus not forgetting to land her excited jumps on me !


Pink Dolphin

Jumping seal
 
How about a stunt from me ?

Xav was as usual in his #EverythingAlsoMustTry mode ! I purchased a ticket at SGD 20 for him to get up-close and have a picture taken with it. I was taken aback when he just walked into the pool, with the water level almost reaching slightly below his waist level. I could tell that he really adored these creatures and he did not even mind getting wet to get up-close with them.    
 

Thereafter, we proceeded to tour the aquarium and got "stuck" at the Touch Pool for the longest time simply because there was no crowd at all. We got almost the whole pool to ourselves.
Just bear the following points in mind:
- Be gentle to the marine creatures by not pressing hard on them or shaking them when you are in touch with them.
- Do not bring them above the water.     


 

The children got to feel the baby sharks, stingrays, starfish and other fishes to their hearts' content. Do not fear that the stingrays at the Touch Pool may sting as all their barbs have been removed. I could even felt the blue spots on the stingrays as they glided along.     
 
 

Just next to the Touch Pool, was Magic T or they called it the Mystical Anti Gravity Interactive Concept Tank. It was designed in such a way that vacuum is created at the top of the tank, keeping the pressure at its low, thus water does not gush out from the opening ! How amazing !!      
Magic T

We found it so hilarious when the fishes gave a really loud "smooch" when they tried to eat the food held in our hands. To an extent,  I was worried that the fishes may just leaped out from the opening !

 

Both Xav and his cousin, filled the Dome Tank with their squeals and laughter ! Even I could not resist but to make my way into the dome with Vera strapped to the carrier !
    
Fun in Dome Tank with the swimming clown fishes 

I would assume that all most of us love to go onto the travellator that goes round the tunnel ! Watch those marine creatures swim above your head. If you do not mind, doing a bit of walking, you can always walk along the isle beside the travellator. We had almost the whole tunnel to ourselves with some other visitors, leisurely making at least 5 rounds before making our way out.
   

For me, convenience is the top priority when it comes to "hunting" for food after an outing with two kids in tow and sometimes for solo parenting days just like this Sunday morning. Island Cuisine is conveniently located right opposite the exit of UWS. It has a pretty wide selection of food, spicy and non spicy food, vegetarian and some steam food items. You can also help yourself to the free flow of ice cream ! And for this period, there is promotion at just $19.90/pax for this June Holidays! The usual entry to UWS is already $29.90/pax! I invited my sis and family along and paid for an additional ticket for my brother-in-law to join us, the deal is too good to be missed and we had a great family outing!   
 

The best part of it is, I am hosting a giveaway of not just one but for five lucky readers ! Three simple steps to join :
1. Leave a comment on THIS page, tell me who would you want to bring to UWS and what significance would the trip be to them.
2. Please log your entry on the Rafflecopter a Rafflecopter giveaway , the winners will be picked via Rafflecopter.
3. Share this post on your Facebook Wall , tagging 3 friends "@friend A @friend B @friend C "Underwater World + Island Cuisine June Holiday Specials Giveaway by @Xavvy-licious" Remember to tag me in your post.

The contest runs until June 21st midnight, if you happen to win and want to bring MORE than 2 people, you are still in time to make use of the $19.90 offer !

Some points to note:
 - Redemption period for winners will be 3 months within receiving the tickets
 - Each winning ticket only permits a complimentary entry into UWS and a one-time buffet at Island Cuisine.
- Each winning ticket does not include the additional perks as stated in above poster.

*Terms & Conditions that I got to let you know about for this fantastic contest:

Promotion is only applicable to local residents of Singapore. (i.e. Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, Holders of Employment Passes, work Permit or Dependent’s Pass)
  1. Promotion is valid for both adult and child.
  2. To qualify, visitors are required to produce relevant identification, subjected to one admission ticket per local ID.
  3. This promotion is not applicable with any ongoing promotions.
  4. This promotion is not applicable for group tours.
  5. This promotion is only valid for watching the dolphin show. Charges are applicable should invited visitors wish to participate in the dive or have contact with the dolphins.
  6. Point-of-exchange for promotion: Underwater World Singapore ticketing counter.
  7. Promotion is only valid for communicated date of visit
  8. Guest must retain and present this invite for entry.
  9. Guest must retain and present this invite to redeem buffet meal at Island Cuisine.
  10. Guest are only allowed to use this invite once.
  11. UWS reserves the right to refuse redemption, entry and/or participation if the above conditions are not fulfilled.
  12. UWS Shall not be liable for cancellation of any programmes due to wet weather or unforeseen circumstances.
  13. Island Cuisine will offer local delicacies in a buffet format daily from 11.30am – 3pm (Last seating: 2.30pm) and 5.30pm – 9pm (Last seating: 8.30pm).
  14. Island Cuisine is not a halal certified restaurant. Dishes do not contain pork/lard.
  15. UWS reserves the right to substitute the buffet meal with another item of equivalent value.
Please pardon the alighment of the pictures. I have been trying to align them for the past 30 mins but I still can't get the spacing right !

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Disclaimer : Thank you Underwater World Singapore for the invitation, we had a great morning! No monetary compensation is involved. All opinions are of my own.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Canon Imaging Academy - Fast Track Workshop

Media Invite

Promise me that you will not laugh at my photographs alright ? I am a total noob to photography and I have always rely on the Auto mode of my compact camera. Reason being is because by the time I have adjusted the settings, the kids would have probably ran off ! I was coincidently searching around for photography tips, wanting to pick up the skills slowly on my own before I was invited to the Fast Track Workshop conducted by Instructor Nugene Chiang and Alvin Foo from Canon Imaging Academy (CIA). I thought why not.

What is a Fast Track Workshop ?
- For beginners who are keen to pursue an interest in photography.
- Utilising the various modes available in the DSLR and Compact Cameras.
- Theoretical and practical guide on the functionality of your camera.
- An hour of Outdoor photo-shooting around Marina Bay Sands (Hands on session)
- Enjoy a 4 course lunch at HY California coupled with tips sharing from the instructors as you enjoy the meal.
- You need not to be a Canon camera user, just bring your own camera and join in the workshop!

Basically, Nugene covered on the different levels of aperture settings, shutter speed and ISO. How should we adjust the ISO so that the photograph will not be under or over exposed, as well as to adjust the White Balance to achieve the desired shot you want. The theoretical part on how to take a panning shot by Nugene.

How to capture panning shots by Nugene

These are some of the shots I took using Canon Powershot SX530 HS.

The lotus pond

I tried to apply #1 Rule of The Thirds on the shot below. Rule of the thirds helps in better composition and balance of the images. Get your objects at any one intersection points.

Photo credit : Digital photography school

Somewhere getting there, no ?

Bees in action 

Lotus

From Helix bridge, using Canon Powershot SX530 HS , I can zoom in all the way into one of the capsules from the Singapore Flyers !


Yes, I am in love with it ! It is pretty light in weight and I am amazed by how clear the shot can be despite the distance.

Taken from Helix Bridge

Happiest was I finally understood and managed to take a panning shot !! I should have zoom in further for this.

Taken from Helix Bridge

Taken from Helix Bridge

We were taught how to capture a synchronised jump shot of a group / a jump shot.

Instructor Nugene being the jumping model

Synchronised jump shot by Nugene

I have ever tried taking jump shots of Xav but each time he had to jump a few times before I can successfully capture a nice one. This were my jumping shots of the instructors, like as if they are floating in space ! *Did a happy dance !* I got it !

#2 The trick to it was, give the que to jump by counting 1,2,3 jump ! Press on the button only when their legs are off the ground and not concurrently when they jumped by the end of the three counts. Try it and see if you can get it !



After the 1hr outdoor shoot, we headed back for lunch and Nugene shared more tips on taking food shots and creating light if there is insufficient lighting.


Here are some of the food shots which I have really tried my best in getting the best angle (from my eye), I would say there is so much to improve on and am still not having an eye for photography. One of the tips that was shared was #3 you can "arrange" your food to get the angle you want to capture.

Sashimi Platter

Grilled chicken

Sushi Roll Platter

This was really tender and juicy ! This is the reason for my plans to make a return trip!

Pan fried beef on mash potatoe

The vanilla ice cream that was paired with the Molten chocolate cake ! It's a perfect match !

Spot those specks of vanilla pods !

Under the companion of a group of happy people, we had a hearty lunch, made friends and chatted with the other parent bloggers, exchanging some of our parenting experiences as well !

Group picture from CIA,  Fast Track Workshop
 
From the left : Nugene, Me,  Estella & Alvin

If you would like to get started and pick up some useful and practical photography skills and tips with CIA, these are the Upcoming Workshops and Walks which you would love to sign up for:

- Family Photo Walk at Singapore Zoo ,  18 June 2015 (Thursday) 
Time: 2.00pm to 5.00pm
Venue: Singapore Zoo
Fee: $38/pax and one child below age of 15 (excludes Zoo entrance fee)
Click here to find out more details.

-Fast Track Workshop, 27 June 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 10 am to 1pm
Venue : HY California at Marina Bay Sands
Fee: 88/pax (Inclusive of 4-course lunch)
More details to click here.

And of course if you wish to read on what the other parent bloggers shared from the workshop, do hope by their blogs below.

Claudia of The Loving Mum
Estella of Sooddlydreamlike
Phobe of BPDG Travels
Michelle of Mummy Wee Blog
Soon Koon of Lemon Film

Disclaimer : I was invited to attend the Fast Track Workshop by Canon Singapore. No monetary compensation was involved and all opinions are of my own.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Army Museum of Singapore - Cadets, Fall in !! 2015

Term break is all about FUN, FUN and more FUN ! June is fully packed with activities for Xav for the first two weeks and the following next two weeks with our travelling plans in place.

My friend shared with me a "poster" for the Children's Season at the Army Museum Singapore and I was lucky enough to register and got a slot on the 30th May, 3pm for the "Cadets Fall-in" Programme. For an hour, the children get to got through the Basic Military Training experience.


All the way from Sengkang, we took a train to Joo Koon Mrt Station. If you are taking train like us, alight at Joo Koon Station, turn left after you exit, take a lift down and turn right onto the pathway.Walk all the way straight until you see the signboard towards Singapore Discovery Centre, cross the road and keep left to reach.

 

We were slightly late for the briefing but managed to join them in time for the first activity at the mini obstacle course where the designated area for the kids is located.

There is a mini version of the Standard Obstacle Course (SOC) for the little cadets. The facilitator ran through three stations with the kids before they proceed into a room where they displayed a typical setting of the cadets' bunk.





Xav did not had enough of the mini-standard obstacle courses. After the programme ended, we went back to the corner for more.

This station really requires a lot of confidence. He made it up but had no confidence at all to make his way down. The fear of falling hindered him from going further. Daddy then went through a few times with him until he was confident enough to walk down.


 Meet the youngest cadet !


* Do ensure that parental supervision is always there when the little ones are attempting at the various stations.

Stand- By-Bed Challenge was next, they fall in for a briefing in a room before they commenced the challenge.


The cadets were to form groups of threes or fours and observed how the sample setting was laid (located right after the entrance), the arrangement of the items in the cupboard as well as how the shoes, boots and slippers were arranged under the bed.




The little cadets were given three minutes to complete the task and stand by bed for inspection. Parental involvement may be needed here especially when the children needed help to spread and tuck in the bed sheet neatly.


Last station was Fire and Movement where the children proceeded to have a mini round of laser tag game before the programme ended.

A briefing was conducted on how and when to shoot down the enemy.


While waiting,  the father and son kept themselves occupied with the screens.


Enemy spotted !
Cadets : You have been cornered.

With the friendly facilitator
POP loh !


All cadets were given a really nice momento "I am a soldier" Pass. After you made your booking for the preferred time slot, an email will be sent to you asking for the child's name and age and subsequently followed by a photo of the child so that they can print on the card.


Somehow I felt that the session would be more complete if the children get to dress up as a soldier ! I hope they would include it in the next Children's Season. If you have missed out this season, do keep a lookout for the next with updates from the Facebook page. Should you are able to book a slot, do remember to bring :
- insect repellent if you are very prone to mozzie bites
- water bottle
- a cap if you have booked a mid noon slot to shade the little one from the scorching hot sun

Admission to Army Museum of Singapore is free for all Singapore Citizens & Permanent Residents of Singapore.

Photo credit : Army Museum Singapore


Army Museum Singapore is located at  :
500 Upper Jurong Road,
Singapore 638367
Hotline : 6668 0338

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