Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Miley's Incy Wincy Birthday Party

Miley's 2nd birthday party was a blast! Similar to her first party, we kept it small and invited only some of our friends with kids plus a few others who really loved to come. 
e-invite designed by daddy for the party
Brainstorming for the party theme started almost a month ahead. And because we were also traveling to New Zealand for holiday in between from the 10th to 21st Oct, we made sure that we had everything planned out before we left. Shopping for decoration stuff had to be done early too avoid everything Halloween related being sold out nearer the date.

So why a "Halloween X Nursery Rhymes" theme? "Halloween" cos Miley's actual birthday falls on 1st Nov, a day after Halloween and it would be cool if the kids could dress up. "Nursery Rhymes" to "soften" the scariness of the theme. Coincidentally, spiders which are commonly used as one of the mascots of the festival also has a nursery rhyme named after it! Most importantly, Miley loves that song!

The house was transformed for the night
A paper marche Humpty Dumpty hand made by mummy
Spiders created by daddy and mummy
Miley helped with the decorations too!
So the plan was, all decorations Halloween themed with touches of nursery rhymes. Besides playing nursery rhymes as background music, we also prepared a spread of nursery rhymes inspired treats for the kids and some with a twist of gore.

Sweet treats with table cards designed by daddy

Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars
Honey stars cereal

Pop! Goes the Weasel
Pop corns

Three Blind Mice Cheese Cubes
Kraft cheese cubes

Sand Witches
Sandwiches with ham and cheese

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of eyeballs
A pail of chocolate eye balls

Rain Rain Go Away
Colorful jellies decorated with little umbrellas

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
Hard boiled eggs

Muffin Man
Muffins baked by daddy

Not forgetting the cake! An Incy Wincy Spider cream cake! The most painful part of the preparation had to be the cake. It would have been so much easier if it was a fondant cake but persistent daddy insisted that it should be cream cos although fondant cakes are pretty to look at, nobody really likes eating them. And after many round of back and forth of email exchanges with several bakeries, we found one that could do it, almost. To cut the long story short, the end product that was presented to our guest was after "touch ups" by my very talented wifey. :)

Guests started arriving at 5pm sharp and very naturally gathered themselves at the little play corner that we had setup specially for the kiddos.

Having fun at the kiddy corner
The adult corner (invaded by kids too)
Getting ready to sing the birthday song!

Terrible two spidey girl with with one of our guest and her little tiger boy.
Phew.... finally over!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Spongebob Squarepants at Changi

Last weekend we were at the Changi Airport again, this time not traveling anywhere but to see the world’s tallest SpongeBob SquarePants’ Giant Pineapple House structure located at the center of T3. Miley was clueless about the yellow character but my wife was a fan since I knew her so she was quite excited.

Besides being the largest, it also releases these amazing smoke bubbles that we have never seen anywhere before. We were pretty impressed to see the smoke escape when popped!

Beside the pineapple house is Santa's Office. Santa wasn't in that day so we we took his seat! :)

Miley pretending to write a postcard to Santa. She can't actually write yet but for those kids that can, I think if you include your return address, you may get a respond! :D

Right beside Check-in row11 is this giant bouncy playground, apparently the biggest in Singapore! And it is really bouncy. I went up with Miley and was dizzy not long after... :/

That's us inside the playground trying to stay still for the camera.... :)

The slide was actually very scary even for an adult like me cos it was very steep and curve was sharp. Miley was on my lap and almost cried when we landed. Not for the faint hearted. :o

But she was happy on the other side of the playground where there were lots of colorful "ball balls"! Worth checking out!

More information about the activities at www.changiairport.com/ChangiXmas2013

Sunday, 17 November 2013

New Zealand Tour - Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Stay

New Zealand - One of our bucket-list destinations! An extremely beautiful country that both me and wifey look forward to. Most people would self-drive in NZ but we went with a group tour package because my wife can't drive and I had not drove for ages!

ASA Holidays was the only travel operator that included a farm stay which we had wanted to experience so the choice is obvious. The 12 days package, inclusive of one night in Sydney, international flights on Qantas, domestic flights on Jetstar and accommodation in 4 star hotels, cost almost $4K per adult including taxes. For Miley, she was 3 weeks to 2 years old then, so her fare was less then $1K including taxes. It's considered an expensive trip according to our tour guide, as most people would rather go to Europe at this price. However unlike the Europe tour package which tend to cover many places over a short span of time, our NZ trip was in fact quite relaxing and we had ample time for each location.

One of the key highlight of the itinerary was visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set where 'The Lord of the Rings' movie was filmed. My wife was an avid fan of the movie and you could image how excited she was. This was the only site where we each held on to a camera!

The set took 9 months to build but only appeared 8 seconds in the movie!
Miley looks like she lives there. Perfect for her height!
Looks like she's heading out for some action....
Working really hard, earning a living....
An inviting cozy corner in the hobbit cafe.
Hobbit Soo and her 'giant' daddy.
We'd head over for drinks at the Green Dragon Inn...
To smoke pipes....
And sip ginger beer...
Being random (maybe drunk), little Hobbit Soo sings "Three Blind Mice" with a stick in her hand on her way home...

The next highlight of the trip was the Farm Stay where we got to experience genuine Kiwi hospitality and spent a night with a local family at the farmhouse. The tour group was split up for a day and each family was picked up by their respective farm hosts. We stayed with an old couple who owned a huge farm and had 3 rooms to spare hence we bunked in with another couple and our tour guide.

Miley was excited the moment she stepped into the house cos they had a cat! She kept tailing the cat throughout the house...
We were served tea and home baked cookies by the hostess.
They even had baby chair and cutlery cos their grand children will come by every now and then.
After tea, the host brought us out to tour their farm while the hostess prepared for dinner. We rode on a tractor around their farm, which was quite an experience, and stopped in between to see their horses, cows and a black pet pig named Maizey.

First stop at the horse stables....
Then on a tractor around the farm!
Definitely stepped on some cow dung....
Do we smell or does the cow?
Meet Maizey, their pet pig, who eats everything from leftover dinner to banana skin...
And they have a huge beautiful garden with lots of space to run around....
And beautiful violet flowers... love
A lemon tree...
Even a flower that matches her outfit!
Dinner was sumptuous. Choice of beef or lamb, self-grown potatoes and carrots, home-made blueberry pie with ice-cream for dessert and lots of other dishes which I can't quite remember. Didn't take too many photos in the house cos I felt like I was intruding their privacy if I did.

My initial impression of a farm stay was staying in a wooden house with probably dim lighting and maybe not so modern toilets. I was totally wrong cos our room was like a suite with an ensuite bathroom!

Our room could comfortably accommodate a family of four
That's the opposite view with the bathroom door in the background. Can you spot Miley?
Our host and hostess before we say goodbye... 
Another picture of Miley "tailing" the cat!
More pictures of other gorgeous sites of New Zealand in my next post.... :)
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