Saturday, July 25, 2015

My "Me Time" Moments

How many of you are with me that even if you would have to run an errand around the neighbourhood without having the kids with you, that short moment can be quite helpful especially when you need a breather for yourself.

I have to admit that Life as a Stay-At-Home-Mum without any helper and additional support can be pretty draining for me at times. For now, am with a duper active toddler who simply just loves to explore around the house by pulling things off the shelves other than her own toys while on the other hand, am still training up the 7 year old to keep his toys and books in place after use.

I appreciate my other half for his contribution by helping out in the house chores and kids and is always more than willing to give me "ME Time" to unwind.

Some of my favourite "ME Time" Moments without any kids' interruption, just me doing the things I love to do and MY TIME starts usually after 9.30 pm, call me a night owl else I will usually squeeze time out in the early morning.

- It's as though I am fighting sleep. I find that sleeping is a waste of time because I have so many things in mind which I wanted to execute but with so little time available. I will BLOG usually in the night when both are asleep or early morning when Vera is still in her dreamland.


- When am not blogging, I am and have tried to reduce my time spent scrolling aimlessly to read facebook updates. But I love to SURF for ideas on Pinterest to look for ideas to make busy bags for Vera. I used to make my own home learning kits for Xav, though the kits will be handed down to Vera but I would still very much love to make something different for her learning. Currently, I'm working on a fishing kit for a busy bag exchange with 9 other mummies and at the same time, planning a second exchange with another group of excited mums who stays in the vicinity of Sengkang as well as a quiet book just for Vera next in line.

It gets me excited each time as I planned and looking very much to the completed kit. 


I cut out the foam shapes one by one using this "elephant" of mine. This die cutter machine has been with me for 8 years ? The feeling of rolling out the plates, especially in the night can be really therapeutic.


- I love to CRAFT, create and keep the beautiful memories in albums. But it has been a long time since I last worked on a layout. I am gradually trying to try new stuff like trying out Project life to document down the memories as it seems to be less time consuming.

Project Life - January 2015

What am currently working on; a belated anniversary gift. No surprise as usual because dear already saw me working on the frame with the spray mists.

Making & keeping memories

- Due to the length of my hair, a cut is needed monthly to maintain the "shape" otherwise, I will book for a facial or a very much needed body massage SESSION. That 3 hours away from the kids, I went home feeling refreshed and it seems like we missed each other pretty much when big hugs and excited "screams" greeted me when I opened the door. This time is very much given by my other half who allowed me to go for some fixes.

- Ever since I embarked on the oiling journey, I ENRICH myself with knowledge of not just essential oils. I am going into Food Immunology as well and would usually share the knowledge with the rest of my team members on how a healthy diet and well balanced hormones can have an impact on our immune system. You may see or "read" me going for morning appointments with my Zyto scanner !


Enriching my knowledge with the above
 
If you are one of the mums or even dads who are going to tell me that after getting hitched and having a family of your own, you start to "lose" friends as you have no time to contact and connect with them nor join in any social gatherings, then you might want to take a step back and think about it. (Note that am not targeting this at anyone who are probably already in this situation or gradually allowing it to happen, I am just lucky that my other half is understanding and supportive)

No doubt that family is on top of everything but I feel there ought to be a balance somehow. If you have been putting all the focus on your kids most of the time on top of your work or housechores, be ready to get burn out in no time. Go plan in advance, set a date with your friends, ask your other half to take over while you go for a well deserved break.

It takes two hands to clap, not to mention about keeping and maintaining FRIENDSHIPS. Me and my other two rusty, old friends will make an effort to meet up once a while to catch up with each other over a meal. We are practically still very much the same since 1996. Nothing changes, no pretendence among us, just the same old us.

The two gems which I am keeping for life =)

My network of friends expanded as well after I became a mom. Two years ago, I joined in the Singapore Mom Bloggers Community, I made friends with other mum bloggers, new friendships were forged when Vera came into my life with the 2013 Sengkang mums,  as well as after Xav started on primary one with the parents of the primary one goers.

New friendships were forged too along my oiling journey, from strangers to friends after all the care and share ! I have even reconnected back with some long lost school friends from the embarkation of this wellness business.

Last but not least, I love to TRAVEL ! I was granted my longest "ME Time" last year when I travelled to attend Young Living's International Grand Convention in Utah and extended my stay there with blessings and approval from dear. A straight 10 days ! For the first time, I learnt to LET GO of the kids totally as I told myself that the kids will be in good hands of the daddy and had a really nice break alone.

@ Grand Canyons

The above are my favourite "ME Time" indulgences. What are your favourite "Me Time" moments ?Leave me a comment and share them with me ! Feeling on the verge of burning out and yet to get some break away from everything, do request for it. Be kind to yourself and not wait till you are exhausted from everything. Remember self care is crucial !

This is part of a blog train, Mummy's Me-Time hosted by Danessa.


Next on the blog train is Valerie.


Valerie is a sentimentalist, a natural hoarder, and a self-confessed mystery. She also likes all things cute and sweet. And that was exactly what little Sweets was, fresh from the womb. PLUS a lot more, as she would soon discover. Loving her family is what she does best, though she doesn't always get it right. She is into the business of hoarding collecting memories on her blog at Home On the Stone. There she shares the thrills and spills of marriage, parenting, faith, and life and hopes that she can sit down with her hubby and Sweets one day in the far future and laugh and cry as they reminisce the memories they created together.

Hop on over to her blog tomorrow to find out how she finds time for herself and what are some of her favourite ‘me-time’ indulgences.

If you have been reading our posts, do follow us ! We are on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Our travel essentials - 2015

We were done with our 13 days trip to the States, with an almost close to 23 hours flight, one kid and one toddler, adding on our self-driven road trip from California >> Las Vegas >> Utah and back to California. I was telling a few of my friends, I wonder which will be more challenging, handling the jetlag or handling the cranky kids during the long flight. Anyway, we shall see !

This trip was the furthest and longest trip for the family, things brought along was obviously much more. I thought I would love to share what are our essentials for the long flight and the trip. From my last trip to Utah last year, I learnt a lesson to always bring a portable weighing scale for the luggage to prevent any excess baggage. I remember having to go to the gym at the hotel to loan their weighing scale !

Palm size portable weighing scale 

Mister bought the neck rests during his recent Bangkok trip. Personally, I prefer to go without it. But I find this more useful during the road trip, especially when Xav fell asleep. I don't need to be there to loan him my shoulder and stay frozen while my hands were full from handling Vera.

Neck Rest

Kids entertainment is a MUST for the long flights, we decided to save space in the bags. Instead of lugging those books along for our bookworm. We bought a kindle on Groupon when it was on promotion. Not much difference as compared to the price in States, therefore we decided to purchase it here and load the ebooks in.

Kindle for our bookworm

Gadget holder to hold them as long as the show runs, saving me from those hand-breaking moments. I spotted this holder at one of the shops on Level 3 of Suntec City, as you walk further down to the right if you are facing Gong Cha. If you are a frequently shopping in our neighbouring country, JB. You might probably find it in the malls at a cheaper deal.

For the Ipad / tablets and mobile phones

My problem was solved for road trips when she decided not to enjoy the scenery, forgo her nap and wanted to just watch her videos.

Entertainment during the long road trip

With all the cameras, mobile phones and other different gadgets to charge, we brought along a 4-way extension plug to enable us to charge everything that was needed to recharge, without having to "fight" over which one to charge first. 

You may wish to add this into your luggage. Mister bought this socket with 2 USB ports for any device that needs to be charged with a USB cables. There are other portable plugs with more USB ports but with 2 ports, it's sufficient for us.

To charge our mobile phones at the same time 

Games of course are a MUST and with colouring and writing materials.
- My colouring book incase I have some free time but totally none for me but Xav can utilise them.
- A set of giant keys to learn and revise his multiplications on the go with self correcting markings behind as you loop the strings over.
- A set of Travel Tangram of 120 puzzles with thanks to Yourkidzstuffs. I was caught by surprised of the size of the game set when Pearlyn sent to me. It's measuring :
15 X 16 cm Dimension when booklet is closed 
16 x 29 cm Dimension when booklet is open
(Yourkidzstuffs is run by a FTWM, Pearlyn. She is a great supporter of learning through hand on activities and play. Through her daughters, she was inspired to set up an online toy store offering a range of interesting and affordable, educational toys to the parents out there. There will always be a toy catering to serve different development needs for babies and toddlers. Drop her a PM if you need any recommendation of any products relevant to the age group you are looking for. )
- Worksheets Don't call me a Tiger Mum hor... I don't think Xav should be sticking to the shows and gadgets all the way for the whole flight. My idea was just letting him do the papers as revision so as not to totally forgot what he has learnt. Once completed, I checked through and threw it away to free up space.

Games - Clockwise from the bottom left : Travel Tangram from Yourkidzstuffs, school journal, worksheets, colouring book, Guess Who ? & Timestable Giant Keys.

I bought this like three years ago and finally it came into good use ! Travel John was really useful in times of "emergency" during the road trip. It actually solidified the liquid like how diaper does. It can probably hold up to 3 to 4 frequency, depending on how much urine is passed out each time and we did not forget about the useful QuickGrab Nappy Disposable bags too !

Travel John

Medication, supplements and of course my bag of essential oils (eo) for the family , which I ever leave home without them. The pink "stick" on top is a thumb drive diffuser meant to plug in during the road trip to diffuse Peppermint EO, which helps with alertness and focus.

And if you are wondering if the pouch of eos can be hand carried ? Yes, as long as they are contained within a pouch and do not exceed 100ml. You can read HERE for more information.

There is an oil for everyone ! Oils for the adults during those arm and shoulder breaking moments from the long hours of carrying Vera and  those heavy luggage. These are my favourites (From the left) :. Copaiba, Majoram, Cypress, Aroma Siez, Deep Relief Roll On.

For immunity boosting and first aid Immupower, Peppermint, Thieves, Digize.

My favourite for respiratory support : Breathe again Roll on, Raven, Dorado Azul, Copaiba, Purification & Lemon.

For the jet lag and better sleep : Cedarwood, Lavender, White Angelica.

Of course having mentioned the above, the oils have other uses. Drop me an email if you wish to find out as I won't be going into much details here because I will just go on and on when it comes to talking about oils.

 Young Living Essential Oils

Our NingXia Red packs to boost up our energy level. I have already been taking it way before the trip and had observed that I felt less tired in the day with taking care of the two kiddos, house chores as well as running errands around after consuming for a week or two.

It's a must have when travelling as the drink help with giving our immunity a boost as well. (Read more about the benefits HERE.) It works pretty well for me when I feel that my body is starting to feel cranky. I usually order the 4 bottles pack but these sachets come in handy for travelling. By the end of the trip, the luggage space would have been free up for more stuff bought during the trip.

Another must is NingXia Nitro is a totally different product from NingXia Red. The mister has affirmed that it did really help him to be more clear headed after the long hours of flight and driving. There is sure to be one in the food pack to standby incase he needed to take it.

Supplements - NingXia Nitro

Coming back to the littlest in the family. No doubt that she is now taking adult food like us. But still, we did prepared food for her. On flight they had food jars for the babies but mostly were puree for younger babies. We gave her our share of bread and rice when she wanted on top of what she was eating.

Usually, I dislike giving the kids vacuumed packed food or jar food as I felt that it will still be better to prepare fresh food in terms of nutritional value but I close one eye when it comes to travelling. I will pack some sachets for her in case she decided to be just choosey out of the blue ! And duper thankful for these packs, indeed she was choosy through out the whole trip ! She rejected all pastas and the only food she liked was bread.

I packed the portions needed per day using ziplock bags, everyday I will just put in a bag or replenished what have been used.

On the left, was a Japanese Brand, Wakodo which we preferred and normally we chose the type that comes with porridge.

On the right, you see packs of Isomil. Instead of lugging the whole tin, I prefer these packs as the number decreased as days past to free up luggage space. I accumulated them from my two visitations to the PD before the trip with thanks to the staff who was nice to give me the packs to suffice for 13 days per milk feed.

On top of this, I packed another 13 packs of soy milk powder into sandwich plastic bags to cater for the second feed in the day. If you are wondering why am I giving soy, Vera was down with a persistent phlegmy cough that would not go off and dairies will reproduce more phlegm in the body. Hence, she was given soy instead of dairies. (Off track, if you need a recipe for cough. There is one which I would always cook. Refer to Pears/Apples with Fig fruit, Fritillaria and Kernel Almonds)

 Baby food sachets & milk powder

During trips, food intake would normally be not too healthy. I bought these as recommended by a friend, to make sure that Vera had sufficient greens intake for the day. VegeColour is a specially formulated powder beverage consisting of over 20 colourful vegetables and fruits. I will sprinkle some and mix into her food. I have tried once drinking from a cup. It tasted really green. I guess mixing into a bowl of rice like furikake would taste better.

Supplements (for the kids)

Now the cups and cutleries ! I  told the mister that for this trip, I am going to use pretty lots of disposable items for her milk and meals. Mainly because, it's tiring enough from the jetlag. Hence, I did not want to spend so much time washing bottles and cups at the end of the day. I found these disposal straws, spoons and cups at Daiso ! They are all individually wrapped and best of all the cups come with a paper spoon. Good enough to mix when making milk. What we did for her food was, we warmed up the sachets in the thermos and poured them into the disposable cups. They have really saved a lot of my time from washing them at the end of the day. I brought all the below together with one milk bottle for measurement purpose.

Disposable cutleries and cups from Daiso

I am very particular about what goes on my hair and face. I will usually bring my own even if the hotels do provide.

Haircare (review coming up soon)

Apart from my very own set of shampoo and skincare, the most essential to have, especially when travelling to dry countries, would be Young Living Day Activator. Usually, my face will feel dry during the long flight. But with the application before boarding, my face was pretty much kept moisturized.

In addition, during my stay in Utah last year, the area on my shin turned into flaky dry scales as I did not apply any moisturizer as I though they would be fine with being wrapped in the jeans. My face was perfectly in a good state with the application of the Day Activator. Vera's face started to peel and had some sort of rash due to the dryness. I applied sparingly on her face and it helped greatly when it was used together with Calecim.

Skincare: YL Day Activator

Last but not least, some money saving tips if you intend to self drive in the States. You may wish to bring these on your own as these don't come with the rented vehicle, else you would need to pay extras :
- Car Seat
- Booster Seat
- Global Positioning System
- Additional empty luggage (For your shopping if any unless you are planning to buy a brand new luggage to contain your buys)

Mister googled and input the coordinates of our destinations before the trip so that he can just touch and drive. This saved some time in a way but it got a little haywired at one point. Still we made it to the places as planned.

I am ending the post and hope this list would be of some help to those of you who are planning for your long trips. For those experienced travellers, do drop me some essentials must have if I have left out any useful items which you would think that it would be useful. Greatly appreciated =)

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Monday, July 6, 2015

{Review & Giveaway} QuickGrab Fragrance Nappy Disposal Bags

No more nose pinching with QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags.  Here I share some situations where these bags came into great use !

Before QuickGrab sent the bags over, what I usually do is disposing diapers with poop in small plastic bags accumulated over time from groceries shopping. I will tie them up in the small bags and chucked them into my bin as I will not make a special trip out just to discard the diaper down the chute. If the rubbish chute is located out of your unit, am pretty sure you will have bins in your kitchen like me. But in no less than  3 hours, my kitchen will be filled with the stench of poop.

But after trying out QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags, the stench was totally concealed after 3 hours. In fact, the stench only started to come out at the end of the day which I thought it was really so much better as compared to less than 3 hours and the stench was really, really minimal!


Sometimes, I have to change Vera on the pram when am out and about to somewhere with no baby changing facilities and rubbish bins are rarely in sight. I would usually leave the diaper under the pram, in the holding basket. Worse, the diaper will only be wrapped up with the Velcro, no plastic bags to contain, left in the holding basket until we have a chance to discard it. In fact, it's pretty embarrassing to walk around, with the diaper being exposed underneath.

And If you have ever stepped into a baby changing room, choked with stinky smell of poop, such that you would secretly wish that you can just leave the room immediately or wear an oxygen mask over your face.


Going on a road trip with the little ones and you can't stop them from doing it in their diapers. You can't possibly allow them to sit in the soiled diapers for long and changing has to take place in the car just like how I did during my recent trip to the States as the road trip can be between 6 to 8 hours of driving. QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags were simply the best choice to hold the soiled diapers in until you reach a resting point to discard it away as . If you love travelling with your budds like us. This is a must-have item on-the-go !
For mums on the go, the pack holds 125 bags. Just simply pull out some if you do not wish to carry out the whole pack. In any way, the pack is not heavy to be brought out.


So with QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags, the above issues are solved !! Why is it a must have in the diaper bag :
- The dark tint of this nappy bag is stylish and functional as it subtly disguises the contents. No more exposed diapers !


-  Most convenient, hygienic and fuss-free way of disposing soiled nappies, wipes and tissues. No more nose pinching from the stench in the changing rooms. Each naturally degradable bag is embedded with a long-lasting clean and fresh scent which helps to neutralize the odour. I think it's really considerate to keep the area odour free or least to the minimal for other users. This has greatly help to keep my kitchen stench free !


Should you want to get hold of QuickGrab Nappy Bags, the Nappy Bags are currently retailing at :
- Kulily
- Vaby
- Mummy's Market

It costs $4.50 per pack of 125 pieces (IMO, it's really value for money) You may want to check out if they have any bundle deals to get some savings. For more information, you can visit QuickGrab on their website and Facebook page.

And after raving about it, it's Giveaway Time ! QuickGrab have 3 packs to giveaway to 3 lucky readers of Xavvy-licious! Simply follow the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Condition:
-Giveaway will be from 7th - 12th July 2015, 2359 hours.
- Giveaway is for contestants residing in Singapore only.
- Winners will be notified by email. (Remember to leave your email address and preferred set in the comments section)

If you have been reading our posts, do follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for future updates !

Disclaimer : I received a pack of QuickGrab Nappy  Disposal Bags for review purposes. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.


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 !

If you have been reading our posts, do follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for future updates !

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.
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