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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Thinkasaur – where Learning science is made Fun

Think Thinkasaur, think fun science experiments for the whole family sent to you right at your door step.  Designed chiefly for children between the ages of 5 to 10 years old, Thinkasaur comes in the form of a science kit that provides the full spectrum of materials, equipment, instruction manuals and learning points for up to four experiments per box. Each box covers a specific scientific theme, such as chemistry, physics and Earth science.   Thinkasaur strives to bring back the wonders of Do-It-Yourself fun by providing a monthly subscription-based service that delivers boxes packed with science experiments straight to your doorsteps!  In this modern era, kids are now overly dependent on electronic gadgets for entertainment.  I have to admit that we as parents are guilty of doing that too, quite often we are always on our devices even though we are seated together.  We are very blessed when Thinkasaur approached us for a review of their products.  I knew straightaway that it would be a hit with Lauren.

Thinkasaur. Where fun is never extinct

Receiving Thinkasaur boxes (Sponsored Review)

Experimenting Thinkasaur with Lauren and Alexis brought back memories where I was so eager to collect all the Science card badges during my primary school days. I remember going around my neighbourhood with my classmates exploring different tasks and we were always amazed by the outcome of the experiments.

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Young Scientist badges

 

We received 3 boxes from Thinkasaur.  The girls were so excited to see the boxes and curiosity was instantly aroused from that moment.  Each box contains 3 to 4 fun-filled experiments. We started with the Wonder of Colours box. I have to compliment Thinkasaur for such a well thought and planned experiments.  Aprons and gloves were provided for experiments that were a little messy.  Each experiment was individually wrapped in ziplock bags with all the materials needed so we did not need to fumble for anything when working on the experiments.  There were detailed step-by-step pictorial instructions to guide us through the experiments, a learning guide filled with fun facts to explain the science behind each experiment.  I love the quality bonding, and yet educational, time I had with the girls.

 

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Wonders of Colours from Thinkasaur

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What is inside the box

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Alexis listening attentively while Lauren was explaining the science behind each experiment

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The young scientist at work

Thinkasaur, Wonders of Colours

Look at the amazing effect!

 

 

It was so fun that Lauren begged for another project the next morning.

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 Working on project #2 together

 

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Look at her elephant trunk!

 

We tried projects from the other boxes too and the girls were totally intrigued with the effects of reaction which were well documented with scientific facts. Lauren has not started science in her academic curriculum but this had certainly  triggered her interest in chemistry which I am very glad. Early exposure to science, made in a very fun way.

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Inside the box of Thinkasaur Magnet Magic

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Thinksaur Crazy Chemistry

 

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Working on Project Lava Lamp

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Following the steps from the instruction manual

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In anticipation of the result

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The wow effect has arrived

 

What I love about Thinkasaur:

  1. Time efficient and hassle-free: As a full time working mum and wife to a frequent flyer.  Time is an essence for me. Thinkasaur solved this aspect by sending me fun activities which I can spend quality time with my girls right at home. I do not need to crack my brain about sourcing the materials needed to do any experiment.
  2. Cost effective: Each box comes with 3 to 4 experiments.  I told Lauren that we will do one experiment weekly.  Mum does not need to fret over where to bring the girls on a Saturday now as they are so looking forward to going home for fun science experiments.
  3. Quality family time:  It was heartwarming looking at the photos of us doing the experiments together. Everyone was so happy and involved. Furthermore, everyone learnt something new.
  4. Last but not least, Thinkasaur made learning science a very fun process. Extremely effective for children of young age. These tools EDUCATE yet do not extract the FUN from the process. I had never thought that Learning and Playing could be integrated.

 

Thinkasaur subscription programmes are offered either on a 6-month period at $43/month or a 12-month period at $40/month and are available for purchase online at www.thinkasaur.com. Alternatively, single boxes are available for purchase at $48/box. These could make a great birthday gift, more in fact an “anytime” gift!

Thinkasaur is offering CLAK readers a 5% discount on your orders with code “BACK2SCHOOL” . Following terms and conditions apply.

  • Limited to 1 use only per customer
  • Limited to 100 redemptions
  • Only valid for orders above SGD$40
  • Discount code is valid till 28 Feb 2017
  • Discount code cannot be combined with other codes and promotions

 

Reviews provided are totally independent and non-biased.

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We are going to the BIGGEST, GRANDEST Baby Fair in Asia, Supermom Baby Fair!!!

Baby Fair MBS

Supermom Baby Fair

 

To a shopaholic like me; the words, Biggest and Grandest would magnified with sparkle right before my eyes.  Combine it with Baby Fair, I am running for my wallet and car key.  It is Supermom Baby Fair at Marina Bay Sands this year.  Dear mummies, please block your calendar from 17 to 19 February 2017. With over 1,000 international brands & more than 100,000 products, this will be the best time for parents to try, test and compare all sorts of products right under one roof.  What’s more, parents can shop directly with so many brand owners and distributors for the best deals and discounts.

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Brands at Supermom Baby Fair

 

Browsing through their website already had me jotting down the list of things I am going to grab at the fair. To help better prepare my visit to the fair, I can start shortlisting the starbuys from as low as $1 at this link. From what I have marked, I would have a gauge of how much I would likely be spending at the event.  Then, the best part of the fair is I can also get Supermom Cash vouchers at 25% discount!!!  How it works is, if I am going to spend $1000 from my shortlisted items, I can get the  Supermom cash vouchers here at only $750!!! Here is the link to the get the cash vouchers  

In addition, to celebrate this Post CNY Blowout event, parents can redeem a $188 Ang Bag Bag for every $50 spent from 17-19 February 2017 (while stocks last)

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Held in conjunction with Supermom Baby Fair is the Supermom Luxe; which will be showcasing premium maternity, baby and kids products and brands on the cooler side of style and design for modern, savvy-chic parents who are starting a family.  With over 30 specially curated vendors, premium baby clothes, maternity wear, accessories, nursery decors and many more.  There is even going to be the 1st ever Junior Fashion Show at the event!!!  This will be the only kids show in Asia lending its platform to Asia’s up-and-coming designers alongside the world’s most iconic international designers.

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I have to say the organizer of the event had really put much efforts and thoughts for their shoppers in all aspects. From  beautifully designed diaper changing and nursing rooms, stroller rental, bag drop-offs to home delivery services for parents’ convenience.  These amenities and services that are never seen before in other baby fairs are added in an effort to make the entire experience a comfortable one not just for the little ones but also for every mum and dad.

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Supermom is offering CLAK’s reader a $5 voucher to use at the fair. All you need to do is to sign up for the voucher here with the discount code of “CLAK5“.  Limited to the 1st 50 signups*. So hurry and sign up NOW!!! *Collect the vouchers at the  Supermom Baby Fair redemption booth between 17 to 19 Feb 2017.

 

Signed up already.  You will be glad to know that to help mummies & daddies save even more, SuperMom will also be offering the following additional transportation perks:

  • Spent a minimum of $88 and get $5 off the next Comfort Delgro taxi ride home from 17-19 February 2017 (promo code will be provided)
  • $8 flat fee for parking at Halls E & F when customers flash the SuperMom website at Loading Bay entrance
  • Spent a minimum of $388 and get a refund of $8 for parking at Halls E & F only
  • Spent a minimum of $588 and get complimentary Valet Parking offered only at the Valet Parking located at the pick-up/drop-off outside The Shoppes/Casino Driveway only
  • For more details & T&Cs, please visit http://babyfair.supermom.com.sg/venue-info
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Goodbye 2016. Hello 2017

I am still thinking how 2016 has gone by in the blink of an eye.  Well, 2016 had been fantastic for me and I pray for 2017 to be as good or even better.  I travelled leisurely to Sydney, Bangkok, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hongkong, Bangkok (again), Tokyo and Hokkaido in 2016.  Wow.. That was alot of travelling indeed!  I got a new exciting job where I am reunited with a lot of my excellent ex-colleagues.  Lauren’s school work and piano exam results were good too! There is really nothing much that I would ask for.  Ok, If I can be greedy to ask for 1 more thing; that would be to have a miracle for my mum’s illness. Mum is doing good now with her battle with breast cancer and I pray for her to be strong and be long live.

To hope that 2017 to be better,  I need to make some changes to my life.  As what Albert Einstein said, Insainity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Thus, I have to set new resolutions for 2017 to hope that 2017 would be a bang.  Here are my list:

  1. Patience– Kel requested this to be on the top of the list. I have to admit I am super impatient. So I have to keep this in mind; Patience is not about the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting – “never say or do things that you do not mean it as that may cause hurt to others unintentionally”.
  2. To spend more time with Mum– Mum is battling with stage 4 breast cancer. Although she is optimistic about the situation, I know she is shakened deep down inside her.  So 2017, I will want to have a meal with her at least once a week.  To try my best to put her medical appointments ahead of anything else.  To not have so much expectations on her, I tend to have high expectations for my mum and this has caused some friction between us everytime we argue.
  3. To work out at least twice weekly– I used to work out daily during my cabin crew days.  I would made time to work out even if I had a function.  Then after having Lauren, it became workout once in a while.  Lately I started to be more diligent but definitely there is room for improvement.
  4. To be more mindful of time– Because I am so impressed with the Japanese’s way of being punctual, this has became one of my resolutions for 2017 too.  I think I will start with setting my watch 15 min faster.
  5. To write more– I started this blog last year after quitting my job because I thought I was going to be a SAHM and I wanted to keep myself busy. I ended up joining another company and was busier than before.  My blog posts also dropped  because of this. In 2017 I hope to set aside time to write more often.

I shall not be too adventurous to set too many resolutions. Let me keep to these 5 for now.  To everyone reading this, Happy New Year and let’s have a whopping good 2017!

Happy 2017

Happy New Year from CLAK

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Pokemon Go Fever and its effect on me

Walking around shopping centres and parks now, you would probably be greeted with people of all ages with their eyes fixated and fingers swiping on their phone screens. If you happened to peek into what they were looking at, 85% of the time, you would see Pokemon on their screen.

I was hesitant to download the game because I knew I would be glued to it.  One fine day while waiting for Lauren to be dismissed from her class. I downloaded the game and it has gotten a lot of my attention ever since; I couldn’t explain why the game is so addictive. Probably because you could show others how you managed to get hold of some truly rare pokemons.  Within 2 hours of downloading, I captured 12 different species.  Now 4 weeks into the game, I caught more than 1200 pokemons and have a cool 124 different pokemons. I convinced Kel to play too. Telling him that it is the latest frenzy now – “just get a feel of it and it could be a ice breaker”. Personally I feel Pokemon Go got its pros and cons.

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Lauren and her Pikachu

 

Pros:

  • It makes couples who play together grow closer. Kel and I will discuss what pokemons we had and any new species caught that day and where we caught it.  We gave each other silly ideas of how to catch pokemons and often laughed over it.  It has turned into a common interest of ours now.
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Kel and I catching some pokemons before our dinner date

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Kel catching the Europe exclusive Mr Mime for me

  • Its makes my relationship with Lauren much more interesting and engaging. I often told others that I was very guilty of not giving Lauren enough love. Indeed I gave her a lot of my time but she did not get my patience. More often than not, my time with her were homework time, time practicing piano and time spent on the road when sending her to her enrichment classes. Our conversations were also often about how school was, did she practice piano, etc. Ever since we played Pokemon Go (Lauren plays on my phone or Kel’s phone), I could feel us being closer and more connected “like a friend”. Not the authoritative Mummy asking about school work but fun Mummy asking Lauren to come and see what Mummy had caught for the day. To make her piano practicing fun, I told her that her beautiful music made catching pokemons easier, the music were lures to the Pokemons. Voila.. Lauren played much better with that idea.

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  • Ice breaker to business contacts. I have a difficult customer and guess what? Talking about Pokemons became a door opener for me. Nowadays everytime I see my customers talking about pokemons, I will quickly jumped into the conversation. From strangers, we would become like long lost friends.
  • I become a Geo expert. Tell me anywhere on the Singapore map and I could almost instantly point out where it is; all these were from the help of Pokémon and Go Radar.

Cons:

  • Dangerous. Ok, I need to admit that when I was very into the game, I would walk and play at the same time.  There were a couple of times when I accidentally knocked into someone. I had also heard about some people even played while driving; I think that is truly dangerous. In other countries, many robberies took place at pokestops which were situated at very secluded areas.
  • Disconnected with your surrounding.  Many times people were so engrossed in what is happening in the virtual world that they forgotten that their loved ones who were right next to them. I had constantly reminded myself to involve those around me.

There are supposed to have more Cons than Pros but because we are all so into the game now. Let’s just focus on the Pros. Just remember to do everything in moderations. 🙂

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CLAK in Hong Kong

June holiday would not be complete without a overseas holiday for the girls.  Hong Kong was a last-min decision between Kel and I; I had taken too many leave from work for the past few months and Kel’s work schedule in June looked crazy.  A short getaway to Hong Kong seemed like the best option for us.

This was also the 1st time we were bringing Alexis on our own.  The last time we went Bangkok with the girls, Alexis was only 6 months old and we had Aunty Siti with us. This time round was a dry run for us to experience the Feisty Alexis for 4 days before the real deal of 16 days at Tokyo and Hokkaido with the girls in December.

Singapore Airline

In love with the giveaways by Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airline

Watching Zootopia!

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Thank you SIA for making my flight a breeze.

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Alexis squeezing into the basinet to catch some sleep

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Kid’s Meal

 

The flight experience was better than expected, probably I was expecting scary moments but Alexis did well. The bulk head seats helped a lot by allowing Alexis some space to walkabout.  We took it easy on the 1st day, some walking and dining nearby the hotel. Dining was bad due to the fact that Hong Kong’s eateries were not really that child friendly.  There wasn’t child seat and I had to carry Alexis on my lap. Alexis was throwing everything on the table onto the floor and I couldn’t really finish my food because she was screaming to get off my lap. In the end, I went out without eating much.  Lauren was a sweetheart, knowing Mummy wasn’t in her best mood. She was constantly trying to get Alexis’ attention so that to give me some “me” time.. Lauren also helped me a lot to ensure that Alexis was safe when I was attending to some other stuffs.

Hong Kong Airport

Taken by my sweetheart Lauren.

Hong Kong Airport

Queuing for Taxi

Hong Kong Holiday

 

We went for the Star Ferry ride on day 2.  A nice way to view the beautiful harbour of Hong Kong.  Walking around Tsim Sha Tsui, window shopping (because it was impossible to shop with Alexis) and dining at Cha Chang Ting.  We walked to the famous Australia Diary Co and had some eggs and sandwiches before heading back to the hotel to rest.  Part of the plan was to go the The Peak via the tram.  Unfortunately , the queue for the tram up to the peak was way too long, We were told it could take more than 1 hour to queue. The unbearable summer weather also made it impossible for us to queue an hour with a screaming Alexis strapped in an ergobaby.  We ended up taking a taxi up to the peak and had dinner at Wildfire. It was part of Father’s Day celebration but I seriously thought Kel did not find any part of that day a celebration.  LOL.

Hong Kong Holiday

Day 2, here we go!

Star Ferry

Wan Chai Pier

Star Ferry Hong Kong

Beautiful harbour view

Star Ferry Hong Kong

It’s also my 1st time taking the Star Ferry

Star Ferry Hong Kong

Have to credit Kel for this amazing shot

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Trying my luck to go shopping with Ms Feisty

Australia Diary Co

Finally here after walking a good 35min! Australia Diary Co

Parklane Hotel Hong Kong

Not really resting in hotel when you have these 2 super energetics jumping around

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Hong Kong’s beautiful skyline view from The Peak

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Happy Father’s Day!

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Dinner at Wildfire The Peak

 

 

We braced ourselves for Day 3, Disneyland. Summer in Hong Kong was no joke. The sun was scorching hot and most of the rides were outdoor.  The heat made our trip to Disneyland the most unpleasant theme park experience ever.  Honestly I preferred our previous trips to the Universal Studio Singapore. The quality of rides and the pricing of the tickets were much more competitive. The fact that there were no express pass offered in Disneyland (there was a Fast Pass but it was not like our USS’ express pass) also lowered the satisfaction level we had.

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Disney MTR to Disneyland Hong Kong

Hong Kong Disneyland

So bright that Lauren couldn’t even open her eyes.

Hong Kong Disneyland

She was not very cooperative

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Family photo!!

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Queuing for their rides

Hong Kong Disneyland Toy story

CLAKs with Buzz and Jessie!

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I love you Ms Feisty

Hong Kong Disneyland

Going back all tanned and sweaty.

 

After day 3, I was very determined that Hong Kong is only possible for year end holiday. Hong Kong in June will never happen again.  The shopaholic Papa and Mummy attempted some shopping after our lunch at Lei Garden. Unfortunately we realized it was not possible with Alexis screaming to get off the Ergo carrier. The moment I let her down, she was scrambling all over the place.  That was the mere 5 mins of walking experience Alexis had on Day 4.

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Things we liked this holiday:

  1. Hotel- We stayed at Parklane Hong Kong. Conveniently located right next to Causeway Bay MTR station.  Tons of eateries at your door steps. Sogo and Times Square are just a stone’s throw away.
  2. Food- It’s not wrong to name Hong Kong a food paradise. We were never disappointed with any of the eateries.  We especially like the Mun Fai Chiu Chow noodle at Causeway Bay  (22-24 Jardine’s Bazaar Causeway Bay) and the Eggs at Australia Diary Co (47 Parkes Strret, Jordan).  The girls were in love with the food too which took 1 obstacle off the list.
  3. The Peak- The last time I was there was during my Pak Tor time with Kel. Its like a walk down memory lane but this time round with our 2 gems along with us.
  4. Family Support- Because it’s our official 1st CLAK holiday, I am super grateful and appreciative of Kel and Lauren. They helped in every possible ways.  Great Teamwork! Psst.. Kel was the one washing the bottles and packing the diaperbag daily.

 

Things we learnt from this trip and hope to improve or avoid in future:

  1. Never attempt Hong Kong in Summer with kids and no help. Hong Kong’s summer is hotter than Singapore, IMO.  Sweaty and frustration were the main descriptions for this holiday.  Things might be better if we were in a cooler weather.
  2. Eat at a restaurant rather than a eatery if you have young children. Restaurants have higher chance of child seat and a table to yourself thus you are probably not as embarrassed when your child starts throwing tantrum.
  3. Use an ergo carrier rather than a stroller when you are exploring Hong Kong. Streets are not that stroller friendly. We only used the stroller to Disneyland, the remaining of the time we conquered the island with Ergobaby.
  4. Taking a taxi up The Peak might be an easier option as the queue for Tram can take more than an hour.
  5. Get your Disneyland Tickets online here. I realized there were some promotion but we were not offered that when we bought the ticket on site.

 

 

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