6 Tips On How To Protect Your Family From The Haze (Giveaway Closed)

We escaped the haze this year for the most part, save for a couple of days with high PSI and PM2.5 pollutants especially during August this year.

We’ve stocked up on masks and air purifiers in our home. But I’m thankful we didn’t need to use them much.

Still, although the index has kept within bearable limits, I sometimes feel the haze effects even before I realize that it’s around us. I guess I’m more sensitive by nature – even when I was packing my house for the move, my body reacted with sneezing, sniffing and cough. For weeks I woke up with a congested nose and throat, and with itchiness around the palate area.

The kids get affected at times, especially Josh, the youngest of the lot. Allergens in the air tend to irritate his airways and cause cough and runny nose. I know some friends whose kids’ ezcema gets triggered too.

Do you know the best way to protect your family against the allergens present in haze?

Here are 5 tips:
1) Increase intake of water and fresh fruits and vegetables to help the body flush out toxins and boost immunity
2) Wear a good grade mask and avoid strenuous outdoor activities
3) Purify the air in your home with an air purifier (preferably fitted with Hepa-filter) to remove dust, smoke and allergens when indoors
4) Shower and change clothes to remove allergens from skin and hair
5) Rinse eyes and keep skin moisturised
6) Do our part by buying eco-friendly home and food products

Here are more helpful and informative links to help us combat against the harmful effects of haze:

12 immunity-boosting foods to eat during haze
Hope this clears the air – navigating the confusing world of air purifiers

To help you be prepared for the haze, Xepa-Soul Pattinson, a leading pharmaceutical firm in SE Asia, has designed and assembled an Allergy & Haze Kit. We have 1 Allergy & Haze Kit to give away to one of our readers!


Each kit comes with:
1) an Allergy & Haze handbook
2) 10 Disposable face masks
3) Euderm cream to replenish the skin’s moisture and provide relief to infantile and allergic eczema
4) Rinz eye drops to soothe tired and irritated eyes
5) Tissue pack

The Allergy & Haze handbook provides succinct information on the effects of haze, and I found that it’s quite child-friendly too, with lots of images and colourful illustrations. So you can even use it to explain to your kids to help them understand why the haze is bad for our health, and what we can do to protect ourselves.

Haze and allergy handbook


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway ends on 22 Oct 2016, 11.59pm and is open to readers in Singapore. The winner will be contacted using the email provided when entering the draw and will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. Good luck!

This post / giveaway is sponsored by Xepa-Soul Pattinson. 




5 Values From Wicked The Musical To Teach Your Child

Watching Wicked The Musical is like entering a colourful fantasy world of wizards, witches, enchantment and magic.

It tells the tale of two unlikely friends – the blonde and popular Glinda and the green-skinned outcast, Elphaba.


While you can watch Wicked and be absolutely blown by the cast, the singing, the beautiful live music, and theatrical effects, there are also several meaningful lessons that we can teach our children through the tale.

In the enchanted land of Oz, things are not always what they seem. This brings us to the first value that we can teach our children…

1. Never judge from face value.

The green-faced “Wicked Witch of the West” actually has a heart of gold, while the more popular Glinda the Good Witch tends to go with the flow and pander to the people’s wishes. The Wizard of Oz is supposed to be all-powerful and all-wise, but he turns out to be a fake.

So while it’s ever tempting and easy to judge people and situations from the way they look on the surface, let’s teach our kids to always dig and examine a little deeper.


2. Friendship stands the test of time, and change.

Though Glinda and Elphaba may have started off on the wrong foot, though their personalities are at the opposite extremes, and though they are rivals in love, they build a firm and loyal friendship.

Also when Fiyero, Elphaba’s love interest, gets turned into a scarecrow towards the end of the musical, she continues to stay true to him.


3. Always help the lowly and outcast feel included
The “Dancing Through Life” party scene is perfect for discussion here. When Elphaba shows up to the party in the weird ol’ witch’s hat (gifted by Glinda) and tries to join the dance, she makes a fool of herself. The dancing stops…until conscience-pricked Glinda decides to be kind to her and adopt her awkward dance moves. The result is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the two. Sometimes you never know what you do for another person when you help them feel part of a group.

4. Good deeds may not always be rewarded, but do them anyway.
As the song goes, “no good deed goes unpunished.” However hard Elphaba tried to save the animals from losing their speech and status in society, she kept getting wronged and blamed. So let’s remind our kids that doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily lead to rewards. A lot of the things that we do out of conviction of our hearts will go unseen. But keep doing what is right and honorable anyway.

5. Keep getting up even if you fall, and you might just defy gravity.

Elphaba may have been heartbroken and disappointed by the ones she held dear many times, but she kept going and was relentless in her pursuit of what is good and noble. At the end, her ingenuity rescued her as she managed to fool all Ozzians into thinking that she was already dead, when it fact she had only disappeared through a trapdoor.

What a story to encourage our young ones to keep pressing on inspite of challenges and difficulties. A worthy and beautifully-moving musical spectacular through and through.

Wicked The Musical is running till 20 November at the Grand Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets, ranging from $55 to $230, can be purchased from Sistic.

Images from Base Entertainment Asia. All opinions and stories are my own.











Island of Legends – A Singapore Book Review and Giveaway

Island of Legends cover

Island of Legends is a really cool history-mystery-activity book. Third in local author Don Bosco’s book series Lion City Adventures, Island of Legends comprises 3 literary genres rolled into one: history (told through 8 legends); mystery (as the Lion City Adventuring Club members are once again sent on an adventure to solve the mystery of a treasure box); and activity book.

Vera really enjoyed the book. She said she learnt about Sang Nila Utama and how Singapore got its name. She also learnt that Radin Mas Primary School was named after a brave and beautiful princess! One of the first things she did after finishing the book was to draw a cute cartoon lion  – following the instructions and steps shown in the book!


What I like about the book is that it provides some puzzle or craft activity pages after each story. Like this turtle origami activity…


And this picture puzzle. It caters to all age groups – from emerging readers like JJ to independent readers like Vera.

Island of Legends puzzle page

This is the book to go to if your child is keen to read more about colourful folklore of Singapore’s past. The other 6 legends covered in the book are the legend of Pu Luo Cheng, a strong man called Badang, the angry swordfish, the magical turtle of Kusu island, the legend of pirate island, and enemies from the North.

Each legend is weaved into the chapters of the book, and is part of a bigger mystery that the Lion City Adventuring Club had to solve. I like that the author included history notes at the end of each legend – which presents simple facts and information about each of them.

History notes within the book Island of Legends

What I really appreciate about Don’s books is that he always packs in elements of surprise and mystery, and that always helps to intrigue and draw the attention of young readers. He shares a bit about his creative process and writing here:

Children love books where the message behind the story is something fun and reassuring. Like, be brave. Be curious. Be helpful. Be happy. Believe in your own wacky ideas.

So get together with other brave, curious, helpful and happy people, and see what sort of adventures you can have together. That’s how children learn best, by piecing together interesting bits of information and using all this to work out their own answers.

They like being detectives. They get a great sense of accomplishment when they can play an active part in figuring something out. That’s the simple pleasure of the Lion City Adventures series. And at the very end, the final page, through all the fun, everyone will have somehow learnt something good.

 ~~~~~ BOOK GIVEAWAY!~~~~~

I have one copy of Island of Legends up for grabs. To win, just follow the steps below:

  1. Check out Don Bosco’s Super Cool Books FB page for updates.
  2. Comment on this Facebook post: a) state why you’d like to win, and your email, b) Tag a friend for bonus entries.

Contest ends 11 October, 2359hrs. Open to SG residents only. The winner will be announced on this blog post, and on Facebook on 12 October. Good luck!

Island of Legends is available at all major bookstores. It retails at $15.80 (before GST).

**Thanks, Don and Marshall Cavendish, for giving us a copy of Island of Legends for this review!






Cultivating the habit of saying “thank you” in my marriage

We celebrated the hubby’s birthday this week. It was nice spending time together, shopping, having coffee, and rounding it off with a yummy sashimi dinner. Especially after the busy period of moving and settling into our new home.

We’ve gotten into a habit of not buying each other gifts but instead would let the other choose their own gifts. I guess you could call it the lazy way out but I’ve realised that he also likes the process of browsing and choosing something.

So I decided to just write down a list of things to thank him for. I pulled out a simple card from my stash, and starting writing…

I thanked him for being a wonderful listener. I thanked him for tolerating my nonsense. For being understanding (and not judging) even when I feel upset or down. The list went on, and I found it was quite easy to fill the entire card with ‘thank yous’! Almost like turning on a gratitude engine…it just kept flowing.

I realise that after writing down the things that he does that makes me feel valued and loved, I started to see him even more positively. A sense of gratitude welled up, and I also thanked God for him.

As fallible and as flawed as he may be (and I, too) I saw that I had a lot to be grateful for.

Gratitude changed my perspective. I think it also helped him to recognise the things he does that really mean a lot to me.

Simple things like listening to me when I’m feeling down or lost.

Simple things like laughing with me, or making me see the funny side of a situation.

Small things like caring for the kids, and playing with them.

(Never underestimate these small things, guys. They can mean a lot to your tired spouse.)

Although I wrote the card for him, I actually felt quite good after writing it, as if expressing it somehow made me pay more attention to the good, and feel happy as a result.

I think I need to put up a little note on my workstation, to remind myself to say “thank you” to him every day. (And not wait till his next birthday!!)

And maybe also sneak little surprises / notes into his work-bag from time to time.

Never underestimate the power of these humble words “thank you”. They can enhance your marriage relationship, and even counter existing negativity…Most of all, I think it keeps our hearts soft towards each other, and trains us to focus on the good aspects and encourages the other to do the same.

What’s your favourite way of expressing thanks to your partner?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

Make saying thank you a habit in your marriage






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