Bedtimes are times of grace

Vera moved into her own room recently, getting ready for the new stage of life that is primary school. She’s turning out to be quite the bookworm – new books bought or borrowed excite her, and reading is her new love, apart from art and craft.


It’s been more difficult for me to tuck all the kids in at bedtime, as they usually sleep around the same time. So when I’m putting Josh to bed, either the hubs tucks Vera and JJ in, or he’s with JJ, and Vera goes to sleep on her own.

After Josh is down, I’ll peep into her room, and if she’s still awake, I’ll go in to say a bedtime prayer with her, and spend a few minutes together.

The other night, I went into her room to say goodnight. We thanked God for the fun day, and prayed for Josh who’s been getting a bit irritable at mealtimes as he exerts his independence over choice and amount of food. (Limitless is best, by the way, and lots and lots of meat. According to his books.)

Afterwards, we started laughing, marvelling at how Josh was talking more, but still very much in babyish. Like how he would say “oper” for open, “ber” for bread, “gah” for his water-gun, and other funny terms that he’s been throwing out. It was a brief funny moment, where we took turns mimicking Josh talking, but it was also a precious one.

Then I remembered I shouted that day, when Josh pushed all the buttons.

So I asked Vera, “Do you think mummy is fierce?”

She said, “No,” and then added, “…only when you shout.”

Okay. I took that as my cue for an apology. I said sorry for shouting, explaining that it was because of Joshie throwing tantrums at lunch-time, but then realised the reason doesn’t the action. So I stopped and said:

“I’ll try harder. Pray for mama too?”

She nodded, okay.

Bedtimes are times for grace to show up.

Even when the day has been particularly hard or dreary, even when we’ve made mistakes throughout the day, even when we’ve shouted, bedtimes are for

making up,

saying sorry,

hugging, laughing, tickling, praying, and kissing foreheads.

At bedtime, truth and fears show up too. Like the time Vera voiced out her fear about a nightmare she had the previous night.

Bedtime is a chance for us to start over. When we mess up, we have a chance to make things right. It’s also a chance to connect and listen to our children – to their fears and anxieties.

Do you cherish bedtime moments too?

PS. I found this article really helpful in helping us recover from those moments of yelling. Let me know if you like it too!

Food styling with Bosch X Bloesem

I picked up quite a few food styling and photography tips from the lovely Bloesem duo Zara and Meikwee over the weekend.


Tip #1: Add texture and props to your food. For instance, crumbly bread and sprigs of fresh leaves.

Tip #2: Go towards the light. Move around to find the best angle.


Tip #3: Always give your subject some breathing space. Props should enhance, not dominate the visual.


Tip #4: Buy different coloured boards from Artfriend that can serve as backgrounds.

Tip #5: Play with contrasts and patterns.

PS. You can get your hands on that Jurianne Matter tea towel here.

Tip #6: Have an idea of the style and mood you want to achieve, from rustic to minimalist, but remember less is more.


Tip #7: Enhance images with photo editing apps like VSCOcam and Snapseed.

This food styling class is designed for food bloggers, foodie instagrammers or enthusiastic cooks who enjoy taking photographs of their food. It covers mobile photography basics and dives deep into the art of food styling. Featuring bakes by veteran Chef John See, you’ll also get to pick up baking tips as well!

I found the session inspiring, with very practical and useful tips for those who are new to styling. :)

You can find details on future classes here.

Keppel Centre for Art Education, Where Art and Play Combines

Come end November, there’ll be loads of art and play activities for children at the Keppel Centre for Art Education at the National Gallery.

The Centre is located on the ground level of the Gallery’s City Hall wing and occupies a total floor area of 910 square metres. It comprises four distinct art spaces and the theme for 2015 and 2016 is Homes: Present and Future.

Art Corridor

Voyage – an interactive intallation at the Art Corridor of the Centre encourages hands-on and tactile play, and children can observe the way different colours combine and react with another. To be honest, the kids just couldn’t keep their hands off the small colourful acrylic circles that they have to negotiate along the various grooves and routes of this 3D maze.

In conjunction with the theme of ‘Home’, this installation, done by artist Twardzik Ching Chor Leng, was inspired by the ‘blue map’ of Singapore – a map of water channels running across the island.

Keppel Centre for Art Education

Art Playscape

Next stop, enter the Art Playscape on all fours, through a tunnel.

Keppel Centre for Art Education

Featuring a magical forest of sorts inspired by the flora, fauna and motifs of Southeast Asian art, young kids can run loose here, exploring a split level tree house and labyrinth panels.


There are also activity sheets for children to get to know about the various mythical characters in the forest.

If you find the style of the drawings familiar, it’s because it’s done by Sandra Lee, creator of The Enchanted Forest and The Enchanted Garden City installation spaces at the Singapore Art Museum.


Project Gallery

Created by Tan Wee Lit, Faculty Head of SOTA, the Project Gallery features a flying house/bus and row boat with arms sticking out suspended in mid-air, making a statement on how the concept of ‘home’ has evolved as a result of social and environmental changes.

Art Centre

The Gallery is filled with paper and cardboard activities that are pretty manageable and friendly for young children. Which isn’t much of a surprise, as the entire gallery space had been planned out by art educators working in partnership with each chosen artist.

JJ was pretty engrossed colouring here and got a little upset when we had to move on to the next activity. So parents, do note to allow your children the freedom to dwell a bit longer at their favourite activity or in each different room.


Children’s Museum

In this rather cool space, young visitors get to catch a glimpse of a real artist’s studio and his creative process – based on Milenko Prvacki’s own experience.

Kids will get the opportunity to:

  • handle and utilise objects, art tools and materials from the artist’s studio to appreciate the art-making process and techniques
  • discover the symbols and metaphors in the artworks through writing and sharing of narratives and stories
  • develop vocabulary and interpretive skills through role play

art_centre5 art_centre6

There’s a special display within the Children’s Museum too. A re-imaging of Singapore’s cityscape made entirely with clay and plasticine by 13-year-old Xandyr Quek. Pretty amazing huh!


Vera and JJ had a great time touring the Centre, and before we left, they made me promise to bring them back!


The Keppel Centre for Art Education will be the first of its kind in the region to provide young visitors the opportunity to access original artwork, handle art tools, select artworks, write labels and conduct exhibition tours for their peers through experiential learning and role-play.

The Centre opens on 24 November, and families can look forward to workshops, tours and family weekends! To be updated on the Centre’s family programmes, subscribe to their mailing list at