Msclak

Welcome to CLAK! I am Charlene and I own an online skincare boutique, www.efreshsingapore.com. I will love to share about my sweet family, skincare tips and reviews, my travelogue and everything that excites me.

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Alexis’ progress at the British Council.

We are going 3 months into Alexis’ course. I promised an update so here we go.

Alexis is definitely enjoying her time at the British Council, so much that I overheard her conversation with Lauren asking her sister to join her at the British Council as well.  She has been taught well and her vocabulary has improved leaps and bound.  Her writing, as compared to 3 months ago, is also neater and she is able to read 90% on her own now.  I like how the centre encourages the child to use their creativity; Alexis told me that her teacher would ask her to doodle on her file. She absolutely loved this idea! Other than having her creativity unleashed, the doodling on the file gave it an identity – her identity, and she named it the Galaxy Folder.  Her worksheets are filled with her ideas of rainbows and unicorns. I read her latest writing and it immediately brought a smile. Her sentences sounded ridiculous but her teachers are so encouraging with her writing. I am not sure if the occurrences are totally related but ever since attending the British Council, Alexis has been writing a lot at home. You know I always remember this quote that my secondary school teacher shared with me – “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world” – Albert Einstein.

Besides encouraging the child to use their imagination, the teachers at the British Council also requested the children to bring their toys! Wow! Can you imagine Alexis jumping into the car delightfully planning about the toys to bring for her lessons? The reason for bringing the toys was for a show and tell.  Each child was supposed to hide the toy in a bag and describe the toy that they brought to their classmates. 

Everyone in class would ask questions pertaining to the toy and try to uncover what it was.  How I wish I could be there to witness all these but the British Council is rather strict with photo-taking in the class. This is to protect the privacy and safety of the students and staff. I am happy to share that despite me seeking their permission of a photo to share on my blog, the school politely rejected. This shows that they valued the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the centre more than just wanting to gain publicity. Kudos to the management of British Council for that!

We are in the last term of 2020 and since I am preparing Lauren for PSLE next year, I tried to get a little ambitious with Alexis. I bought some P1 assessment books and I am truly surprised that she was able to understand most of the questions in the assessment book! Reading the comprehension was a breeze for her too.  

We have slightly more than a month to go before we complete the year for K2. I shall be back with another round of review and then I will share on the British Council’s course for Primary 1. Before we go, have a look at what Alexis’ Student Report. 😊

For more information about the British Council’s English enrichment courses, visit www.britishcouncil.sg/ylcharlenesim

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Getting Alexis Ready for Primary 1- British Council Edition

Alexis is a few months away from clocking the milestone of starting her education journey in a primary school. A recent review of her work sparked a concern that she might not be as well prepared as I thought. Alexis has always been able to read without much guidance so most of you might say that that may be sufficient for Primary 1. Her reading ability is indeed not too bad but her grammar, her speech and her writing would definitely need coaching to improve.

We contemplated on a few enrichment centers before deciding on the British Council. We have done our research and read many reviews that the British Council has a fun and nurturing environment which would cultivate the learning interests of young children. We were also pleasantly surprised that the curriculum at the British Council is also tailored closely for our local syllabus.

I wanted to show more of how the class ambience in the classroom would look like but was informed that such leisure photography at the center was not allowed to protect the privacy of students and staff. Thus, I could only seek permission to take some photos of the empty classroom. If you are concerned about the safety measures that are put in place at the British Council,   you can be assured that your child is in good hands. I accompanied Alexis into the British Council since it was her first lesson thus I had the opportunity to have a short walk around. Besides the enforcement of safe entry practice and sanitising of hands, we noticed that the books and toys were temporary sealed to prevent cross contamination. There was also a sanitiser in the classroom and I saw the assistant teacher disinfecting the room regularly.

Here you can see some of the homework that Alexis brought back. Did I say I actually did the puzzle on the back of the recycled paper. Oh boy, I thought their learning material is really interesting indeed. As it was only the first lesson, I can only show how Alexis is fairing currently. I will be sharing another update post sometime in September or October to document her progress.

In the meantime, do drop me any questions you have and I will be more than happy to share the information. You may also read up about their courses here


 

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Sentosa Staycation – Village Hotel

School holiday is here and if you are thinking of ways to bond with your child, perhaps I can share about our recent discoveries with One Faber Group?

Our visit to Sentosa was coincidentally tied with the time of our Faber Membership renewal. I was pleasantly surprised to be informed that the membership is now digital! Yay to 1 lesser card to clutter my already “filled to the brim” aunty wallet.  https://www.onefabergroup.com/faber-licence-membership

New digital Faber Membership
The girls first ride on the Monorail. Courtesy of Village Hotel at Sentosa

Thankful that despite being a little red dot on the world map, Singapore has so much to offer. Ask any tourist what they know about Singapore, Sentosa is probably one of the mentioned must-go places. Who would remember going to Asia Village or Fantasy Island when we were a kid? I wanted to bring the girls for a different Sentosa experience, not the usual RWS or Kidzania. Exploring Sentosa via foot, Cable Car and Monorail; the way I would explore when I was a kid. To enhance the experience, we also checked ourselves into the new Village Hotel so we could have a good 2 days to breakaway.

Feeling at home at Village Hotel Sentosa

In conjunction to the celebration of the Singapore Cable Car’s 45th Anniversary, One Faber Group came out with its Explorer Passport expedition. Pick up your Passport at the cable ticketing kiosk and start exploring the route and collect limited edition ink stamp at selection cable car station. There are 5 activity points and out of which, I have to say I enjoyed the 5 min walk to Faber Point the most. It was something that my usual self would probably skip (I am someone who would drive even if its just 5 min walk) but surprisingly I asked myself why did I not know of such a place? Ans: That’s because Charlene you are a lazy bone who did not appreciate nature due to the fear of sun and insect. A scenic 5 min walk from Mount Faber Cable Car Station, we were even greeted with the sight of a Merlion at Faber Point!

Grab your explorer passport from any cable car ticketing kiosk
Complete the 5 activities in the passport

We stopped for lunch at Arbora which boasted an unblock magnificent view of the rainforest hillside. The restaurant menu had a wide selection of western and local classics. I ordered a delicious lobster laksa that caused me to ruin my Keto diet, eat first diet later. Do you know there is a new nightly attraction at Arbora? Miraculous, a multimedia night show, featuring Mira & Mirak – a pair of mighty squirrels who lived in a heart-shaped Angsana tree at Arbora. The girls really wanted to watch Miraculous as all the Cable Car staff was telling them about it. Unfortunately, we could not watch on the day we were there as there was a private function. Nah, this gives us another reason to be back.

We continued our explorer adventure heading back to Sentosa Island. Admiring the Birdseye view of our beautiful island. In our current hectic life, how often do we stop and appreciate the things we have in our life. Thus when we completed the fifth activity at Siloso Point station, we explored Siloso Point with the recommendation of a tourist. How shameful? A Singaporean guided by a tourist. LOL

After a quick freshen up back in our rooms, we headed back to Dusk for dinner. This was supposed to be a session planned for hubby. Sadly, he had to travel at the very last min and we did the sunset dinner without him. Here goes another, nah.. we will be back. Dusk is highly recommended for a place to chill over drinks and dinner, come around 630pm and watch the sky take in its breath-taking hues of vermillion and violet.

cheers…

If you are thinking about where to stay in Sentosa or planning a staycation with your family. Do remember to check out the new Village Hotel which recently welcomed its first visitor in March. If squeezing in a hotel to save cost is not your style, then you will be thrilled to learn that Village hotel offers a Family Room at an attractive rate of $260 per night. (This is under their opening special) Yes 2 rooms for only $260! I think this is a steal for a hotel in Sentosa that offers great facilities and a stone throw away to all the attractions. Village Hotel is just a 3 mins walk from the Merlion Station and Imbiah Monorail Station. You can also walk to RWS from the Festive Walk. If you are a lazy bone like me, the hotel provides free shuttle service to RWS and Vivocity. They gladly provide all patrons with complimentary Monorails tickets which is valid for 3 days of activation. Who needs to travel this June Holiday when there is so much being offered in Sentosa!

Village Hotel at Sentosa

10 Artillery Avenue, #02-01, Sentosa Island, Singapore 099951 Contact No.Hotel:
+65 6722 0800
Reservations:
+65 6881 8888
Emailinfo.vhs@fareast.com.sg

https://www.villagehotels.com.sg/en/hotels/village-hotel-sentosa

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Lauren’s Birthday Party at SuperPark Singapore

We had such a blast at the Super Park last weekend where we celebrated Lauren’s birthday and she had so much fun with her friends! I have also received so many questions when I shared about the party on my IG stories thus I thought I would share more with you guys here.

The last time we had a birthday party for Lauren was held years ago in a function room at our condominium. Although we had more guests then, the cost of preparing for the home party was also rather high as we had to include for the cake table set up, party decorations, buffet, door gifts and professionals to conduct activities (such as balloon sculpting, magic show, etc.) to entertain the kids. I recalled that the amount of time and effort we went through was crazy. Honestly, we are very drained with our time this year (due to work and the new house construction) even as we thought of organising a birthday party for Lauren. So when we chanced upon the idea of “outsourcing” this entire planning effort of time, venue, food, fun, etc, the thought of Super Park came right into our mind! We had witnessed and experienced it as one of the most hippy venue where kids can enjoy to the fullest in a safe and secure environment. Most importantly, we could leave everything to the park organiser who also planned a few party hosts to lead the party and take care of the kids at the play land!

We selected the Freestyle Package on a weekend and kept the number of guests to a maximum of 25 pax. Do be reminded that any child below the age of 8 years old must ALWAYS be accompanied and supervised by a responsible guardian (aged 18 or above) with paid and valid admission – this may be of consideration when planning for the invitations. While the kiddos were having their fun with their party hosts, we invited the parents of the older kids to chill in the party room.

 

The package included a 45min of hosted activities and 1 hour usage of the party room. The admitted guests could re-enter the park after the party ended if they wished to maximise the play time up till the closing time.  Some of the common questions we received were:

  1. Can parents join in without being part of the package? – All guests entering the play area require a ticket. Parents are always welcome to chill in the party room while the kids are playing in the play zone. There are also designated seating areas outside the party room. Otherwise, there are plenty of cafés in Suntec City!
  2. Are we allowed to decorate the SuperPark party room? – Yes! Even though the party rooms are pre-decorated with themed walls, SuperPark allows decorations in their party rooms. Do note that only use of blue tacks are allowed.
  3. Are we allowed to bring in outside food? – If you meant birthday cake, yes. The SuperPark party package includes cakeage fee; we brought in our cake from Creme Maison.  For external catering service, do note there will be an additional catering fee of $20 per pax. We highly recommend that you to go with the new SuperPark buffet menu – great choices available plus you will save all the trouble.

We are extremely pleased with the entire party experience as all our guests sang praises on how their kids truly enjoyed the session.

SuperPark Party timeline. Image credit SuperPark

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Hosted activity- RoboKeeper

 

Hosted Activity- SuperBall

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday Party Packages offered at SuperPark

 

We were truly fortunate to be one of the first to try out SuperPark new buffet menu where we had a 6+1 buffet course! Watch the video below to see the wide selection of food choices.

 

For more information about SuperPark and their party packages, do head over to their website  https://www.superpark.com.sg/

SuperPark is located at

Address

3 Temasek Boulevard
Suntec City Mall, #02-477 (North Wing)
Singapore 038983


p.s We made the right decision to engage Richard to capture the highlights of the party. Thank you my dear friend for this video. If you guys are planning for any party, consider engaging Richard (tel: 8168 8212) as your videographer.  He charged us $300 for 2.5 hours and I do hope you guys get the same deal too. 🙂

 

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Exploring Penang in 2 Days!

I received many DMs asking about about our Penang holiday so I thought it might be useful if I just share what we did during the 3D2N trip.

 

We departed on a Friday evening flight to avoid any disruptions to school and work commitments. There are many flights to Penang daily and we chose to go on Scoot. As we arrived at night, the first day was merely just us resting at DoubleTree Penang to prepare for the next day. https://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/malaysia/doubletree-resort-by-hilton-penang-PENMBDI/accommodations/rooms.html

 

We were really pleased with the family room that was arranged.  I was able to watch some movies in the room without worrying that I might wake the girls up and with 2 bathrooms, getting them ready was way faster than usual.

Penang DoubleTree

The entrance of Family Room at DoubleTree Penang.

DoubleTree Penang

Papa & Mama’s Room

DoubleTree Penang

The girls’ room

The next day, we explored Entopia, Penang Peranakan Museum and the George Town heritage walk. To be honest, Papa and I enjoyed all the 3 venues. Entopia exceeded our expectations. We thought it would be like the Butterfly Park in Sentosa but no, it was much bigger with more lovely butterfly species. We all had the chance to release newly hatched butterflies and it was a memorable one as we each made a wish before releasing them. http://www.entopia.com/

Entopia Penang

Entopia is located just 20min drive from DoubleTree Penang

Entopia

My 1st Caterpillar handling experience!

 

For Peranakan Museum, I absolutely adored it. I loved every intricate detail that was in the house. As you know we are currently building our house thus we were very impressed with the architecture facilities back in the olden days. If you have watched our local drama, Little Nyonya, you would probably be reminded of many scenes in the show. The place is really so rich in history and it is just indescribable by simple words. http://www.pinangperanakanmansion.com.my/

Penang Peranakan

The details at Penang Peranakan Museum.

Penang Peranakan Museum

Love the furniture, the antiques and every intricate detail of the Peranakan Museum.

We had a good time exploring George Town which was walking distance from the museum. Street art, yummy food and stalls selling interesting souvenirs flooded the heritage streets. It was a touristy place but I would still recommend going because there are so many things George Town has to offer. You can also walk to New Lane where there are many nice food stalls too. Our family found a treasure there! A stall selling Fried Hor Fun and it was one of the most delicious food we had on the trip. The girls gobbled up every strand of noodle on the plate and we were shocked to hear Lauren telling Alexis if she couldn’t finish the Hor Fun, she would help her with it. That offer had never ever come from Lauren before.


The 3rd day was the final day and we checked out from DoubleTree Penang. We had a sumptuous breakfast at Makan Kitchen and the girls headed to Kids Club and the pool right next to the restaurant for some fun. We also explored Teddyville which was within the hotel; a beary entertaining way to showcase Penang’s history.  http://teddyvillemuseum.com/

DoubleTree Penang

Delicious breakfast at Makan Kitchen

DoubleTree Penang

Kids Pool and Kids Club are conveniently located next to Makan Kitchen

Kids Club DoubleTree Penang

Kids Club is complimentary for hotel guest

The girls love the kids pool at DoubleTree Penang

Kids Pool at DoubleTree Penang

Teddyville is located within DoubleTree Penang

 

It was really a short and lovely stay at DoubleTree and even a butterfly came to bid us goodbye. 😊

 

We then headed to Penang Hill and Made In Penang Museum before going to the airport. Penang Hill reminded me of The Peak in Hong Kong. There was a funicular train up the hill and we were greeted with gorgeous views of Penang at the top. CLAK sealed our family love with a lock on a bridge up on Penang Hill!  http://www.penanghill.gov.my/index.php/en/

Penang Hill

The gorgeous view of Penang Hill

Our family’s Love Lock at Penang Hill

Penang Hill

We sealed our love here in Penang

 

The Made In Penang Museum was very much like our trick eye museum. I would think this place is not a must-go but you should explore if you do have spare time.  Do explore the Chew Jetty nearby, it is a Penang Heritage venue.

The girls playing inside Made In Penang Museum

 

Team Honeycombers brought us to China House for lunch. This is a nice and hippie place. Fusion food was served and the restaurant is segmented into different sections offering a different feel. There is a bar, an exhibition cum gallery area, and an open terrace by the pond. Very unique and chic place indeed.  http://www.chinahouse.com.my/index-new.html

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We were very blessed and glad to have explored so many interesting places in Penang with Honeycombers and Hilton Asia Pacific within just 2 days. Yes, 2 days but we covered a lot. This was definitely way better than an usual weekend staycation in Singapore.

 

*This is a sponsored post but all the opinions are mine.

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