SG50 Birthday wishes for Singapore

As Singapore turns 50, I can’t help but feel thankful, for this beautiful garden city, this thriving nation, this safe country, my home.

At birthdays, we always make a wish before blowing out the candles. So I thought I would pen down some wishes for my country as she marks her golden jubilee year.

1) May our homes be a safe haven for children to return to after a long day or even after experiencing a setback. May parents’ expectations and hopes be tempered with a sense of realism that is based on an understanding of who our children really are. And may our children grow and thrive with a deep sense of unconditional love and acceptance.

2) May we stay hungry and curious. Let us never think that we have arrived. Let us never stop dreaming of what things could be, and be willing to put our hands to the plough to achieve them.

3) As technology continues to advance and improve our lives, may we also grow to become a hands-free nation. May we practise leaving our phones in our pockets, and lifting up our eyes to observe the people around us. You never know when someone might be in need of help, and two free hands are better than one.

4) May we learn to complain less, and be grateful more. May we also offer feedback that is constructive, in place of criticism that can be so destructive on the human spirit.

5) May we stop comparing ourselves with the Joneses, and always feel like a failure inside. Instead, let’s view ourselves with humility but also awe, because we are all uniquely and purposefully made by a Creator. (While we’re at it, let’s also stop comparing our children’s grades.)

6) Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, and worries and responsibilities, may we also take time to slow down, to count our blessings, and to draw close to nature, friends, and family. To draw strength for the long road ahead.

What are your wishes and dreams for Singapore?

dreams

Who says wearing a mask needs to be boring?

Masks don’t just come in handy for keeping viruses at bay…They’re also fun to draw on and design too!

I’m not talking about real masks of course, just these paper ones that we received from Xepa-Soul Pattinson for the purpose of a face mask design competition.

mask4

Vera decided to decorate hers with stars and bubbles.

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Javier was just having fun colouring his mask with random colours and strokes, when suddenly Vera exclaimed, “It looks like a feather!”. She was right, so we drew a line in the middle, and drew another feather beside it. He then embellished the mask with pink flowers. It turned out looking quite light and pretty – quite an odd result for my boy, haha.

mask1

But he had fun posing with the mask, in his favourite Captain America shirt. And the axe, erm, we were searching for a hammer (a la Troy) but we couldn’t find one, so the axe it shall be.

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I have the POWER! Let’s fight those germs! :)

This opportunity to get crafty with the kids also helped me to reinforce to them that wearing face masks when we’re ill can help prevent the spread of coughs and colds. (I can still recall the difficulty I had getting them to don masks during the haze period last year!) If only masks were all pretty and colourful, it might help to change their little minds, don’t you think?

To participate in the face mask design competition, just follow these steps:

  1. Like and share the competition post found on Allergy Cough and Cold Facebook page.
  2. Follow the link available on the competition post on Facebook to download the competition photo.
  3. Design the mask together with your child and cut out the artwork.
  4. Send a picture of the mask, pictures of your child wearing the mask along with the completed entry form to participation@gmail.com by 31st August 2015.

The best entry wins the grand prize of Acer Iconia 8 inch HD LED Tablet. There are also 20 free art classes to be won, sponsored by Art Speaks Studio. The contest is open to children residing in Singapore aged between 6 to 12. Check it out now!

*This post was sponsored by Xepa-Soul Pattinson.

Teachers’ Day gift ideas: Seed art mini canvases

We’ve been playing around with seeds lately as Vera is in the thick of learning about seeds and planting.

When I found these mini canvases from Spotlight (these are about 3×3 inches, and cost 2 for $4.95), I thought it’d be fun to let the kids have a go at making their own seed art mini canvases. Perfect for a simple teachers’ day gift!

seed artmini canvases!

Because the canvases are small, the kids could finish the piece in one sitting. Javier made a heart shape on his first attempt, while Vera decided to go free-flow with hers and came up with this swirly shape that resembles waves.

The main shape was made using soy beans that we had lying around in the fridge. She used saga seeds and pumpkin seeds as accents, and filled up the remaining space with red beans.

seeds art

The beauty of seed art is that you can use any seeds you like, or have lying around in the pantry. I used this muffin tray to sort out the different seeds. (This was the before pic, that is, before Josh came and messed everything up…)

seeds1

For the next piece, they decided to make stars. I thought they actually look quite pretty unfinished.

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Vera dolled hers up with gold sequins, and 2 pink jewel stickers she happened to have.

seed art 3

JJ decided to paint his with gold instead. Here are the finished canvases sitting pretty on the stands. (The stands actually come in the set of 2 mini canvases that we bought.)

seed art 5

If you’re collecting your own seeds from fruits (like oranges, apples, etc) and vegetables (like pumpkin), just remember to clean and dry them thoroughly before use!

Now, we still have time to make a gift tag to go along with the canvases. Hmm, maybe one that says “Thank you for helping us GROW!” ;)

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