Why You Should Go Overseas for Your Honeymoon

When you’re planning a wedding, you also need to plan for an amazing honeymoon. If you’re with the one you love, then it will probably be amazing wherever you go. You could probably even stay at home and have the best time ever, as long as you’ve booked time off from work!


But in this article I’m going to convince you that you should be going overseas on your honeymoon. That’s right: to a different, more exotic country! Here are some of the reasons you should go for it.


Because it’s the ultimate break from reality


The point of a honeymoon is that you spend the first few days of your marriage in intimacy and seclusion. You’re going to be spending time with each other and nobody else. Of course, this isn’t something that really works in the long-term. In reality, you will have to see friends and family members eventually! So this honeymoon phase represents what should be a break from reality.
What’s more of a break from your usual reality than an overseas holiday? Going somewhere new, with different landscapes and different cultures, is key to suspending reality for a while.


You can visit places famous for romance


If you’re reading this, then the chances are you’re in an English-speaking country. Statistically, this means you’re probably reading this from the United Kingdom or the United States. Now, obviously, there are some amazing places famed for romantic vibes in both of these countries. But does Seattle or London really compare to, say, Paris when it comes to the feel of romance? Sure, some great romantic movies have been made in those places. But they’re not exactly “cities of love”, are they?


There are several territories in places like France, Greece and Fiji that are famous for romantic getaways. It may sound cliché, sure. But there are good reasons that those places are famed as honeymoon destinations!


Not as expensive as you think


When people think about “overseas honeymoons”, a lot of images come to mind. They think of an activity-filled, luxurious adventure. But the fact is that honeymoons tend to be quite relaxed affairs. Honeymooners don’t tend to spend a lot of time at expensive tourist attractions, the way usual holiday-goers do.


With this in mind, you’ll be spending less than you think. Your focus is on where you’re staying; if that’s amazing, then little else will matter. Many resorts are even willing to throw in incentive deals for couples looking for an amazing honeymoon location. Even something as exotic as Zanzibar resorts can be found at great prices.


Makes memories even more special


The memories of your wedding and honeymoon should be special no matter what. They’ll be placed indelibly in your minds forever, for better or worse! And what I’ve noticed as I look back at my life is that I remember the exotic vacations I’ve been on with particular clarity. Why not mix the “wedding days” and the “exotic vacation” together to form the ultimate memory?


You’ll also have the pleasure of having loving memories spread on an international level. So combine your sense of adventure with your romance for your honeymoon!

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Wedding Planning: The First Steps You Need To Take

It’s no secret that planning a wedding can be seriously stressful and completely overwhelming. The problem is that with so much that needs planning, it’s easy to struggle to know where to start. The important thing is to stay calm and in control and have a plan of action to follow. It’s a good idea to get a wedding planning book that details what needs to be done when. As this makes it much easier to keep on top of what you need to focus on first. To help you get to grips with the first steps that you need to take, I’ve put together this handy guide.


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Establish a budget


Before you do anything else, you need to work out what your budget is. This is crucial as it will impact all areas of your wedding planning. Spend some time working out what you have to spend overall. Then split your budget into different sections, such as venue and catering. Once you know how much you have to spend on what, you can get planning.


Write a guest list


The next step is to write a guest list. This is important as if you don’t have an idea of how many people with be attending, you’ll struggle to find a suitable venue. This is because most work on a per person basis. Sit down with your partner and write a list of everyone who you would like to invite. Beforehand, it’s a good idea to discuss whether you want a small intimate wedding with just family and close friends or a larger celebration. This will, most probably, depend on your budget as well as your personal preference.


Choose a venue


Once you have a guest list and a budget, you can then start looking at venues. It’s best not to have a set date in mind, as this can narrow your options. Instead, have a month or time of year in mind, that you’d be happy to tie the knot at. To get an idea of the best venues in the area, do some research. Ask other people who have recently got married where they would suggest, and see if you like any of the suggestions. Take your time looking around, imagine holding your wedding in each place. Think about the dancing - is there room, dining, and areas for the children to run around. That is, if you're inviting kids along.


Set a date


As soon as you know when your chosen venue is available, you can then set a date. This is an important step as once you know what date you’re getting married, you can then book the church or registry office. This is also important for sending out save-the-dates, invitations, and for booking your vendors. When it comes to choosing your save-the-dates and invitations, it’s essential that they match one another. You could make them yourself, you could opt for laser cut wedding invites, or you could go for something different. The most important thing is that your invites and save-the-dates match in some way.  


Pick your bridesmaids and groomsmen


The final step in the initial stage of wedding planning should be picking your bridesmaids and groomsmen. You most probably already have your maid of honour, and best man picked out, so it’s just a case of choosing the rest of the bridal party. Pick the people who you are closest to, don’t worry about upsetting anyone. It’s your big day, and it’s important that you have the people who are most meaningful to you.


If you take the time to break down your planning into smaller, more manageable steps, this will make it easier.

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10 Things To Add To Your Family's Bucket List

If you’re always looking for fun things to do with your family, you’re in the right place! Whether you just want ideas of what you can do this summer, or you want things you’ll be able to enjoy over the long term, these 10 things are great.


Day At The Beach


Every family should have a day at the beach during summer, even if it’s one in your home country. Make the most of the sunshine, take a few deck chairs and relax. It doesn’t need to be a boiling hot day for you to enjoy time with your toes in the sand. You could still splash in the sea if you’re brave enough!


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Picnic In The Park


Having a picnic in the park is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. You can just grab some snacks from the cupboard, or really go all out and make some healthy dishes for the family to enjoy. If you can’t get to the park, having a picnic in the garden is just as good!


Hiking


Hiking as a family will bring you closer together. It’ll get you out of the house, active, and enjoying exercise. You’ll teach your kids healthy habits. There are so many different walking books out there, you’re bound to find one for your area that you can work your way through.


Go On A Road Trip


Road trips are so much fun, especially when you don’t plan where you’re going to end up. Just make sure the vehicle is safe and you take snacks and drinks for the kids. A playlist you can all sing along too will be fun too! RVing Planet has some good tips if you’re thinking of using an RV for this kind of trip.


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Theme Parks


All families need to go to a theme park and get on some scary rides! Some of them can seem terrifying, but there’s no better feeling when you’ve been on one and conquered your fears! There are rides for kids of all ages.


Travel Abroad


Some families don’t get to travel abroad together, and it really is a shame. Exploring another country can teach young kids so much. Try to get a holiday abroad in!


Bike Ride


Biking is another great way to stay active together. It’s a good excuse to get your kids riding their bikes like pros too!


Feed The Ducks


All you need is the money for a loaf of bread. You could even use a stale load from your bread bin. Feeding the ducks is a tradition that should be carried on forever. Kids love it!


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Go To A Market Or Fair


Markets and fairs sell all kinds of interesting things. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, they can be great for looking around and just exploring.


Go On A Night Walk


Night walks are way more interesting than day walks. Try taking your kids just before bed in their pyjamas and they should sleep much better!


Which of these will you try?
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'Hideaways - Creating with Nature' Kid-Friendly Exhibition at Playeum


First things first.

What is Playeum?
Award winning non-profit organization Playeum opened Asia's first Children's Centre for Creativity on 19 September 2015. The first of its kind, the dedicated creative space for children is located in key regional visual arts hub, Gillman Barracks. Embracing a global shift in increasing marketing demands for creativity, a key part of Playeum's wider mission is to establish a culture of meaningful and impactful joy. 
Led by Executive Director Anna Salaman and Co-Founders Sumitra Pasupathy and Jennifer Loh, the Childre's Centre for Creativity most closely aligns with the Reggio Emilia Approach - an innovative pedadogy in early childhood education, and aims to lead a revolutionary change in mindset where children are viewed as highly competent and creative.

Playeum offers an immersive environment for children to:

EXPLORE,

OBSERVE,


CONSTRUCT,


REFLECT,

INNOVATE,

and ENGAGE
with nature and natural materials through hands-on exhibits and interactive artists' installations.

Its inaugural exhibition titled "The Art of Speed" was a huge success. It attracted over 17,500 children and adults during its six and a half month duration.

"Hideaways - Creating with Nature", Playeum's second exhibition which was launched last month, features installations which provide interdisciplinary and engaging experience, serving as an important reminder of the world's ecosystem.

Here are G's favourites from the exhibit:

1) KNOCK, KNOCK! WHO LIVES THERE? by Isabelle Desjeux
On a special surveillance screen, K and G was able to view real specimens of spiders, ants, flies and other insects and was inspired to draw.
The hubby who's work involves a lot of drawing got too serious drawing with the kids and they amazed with with their finished masterpiece.

2) MAKE-BELIEVE HIDEAWAY by Madhvi Subrahmanian
Informed by the artists's love of creating secret dens as a child, this installation invites children to experience playing with clay and build imaginary habitats inspired by nature. The children's miniature clay creations are placed within a larger habitat, resulting into a collective make-believe hideaway.

3) WELCOME TO MY WORLD by People's Atelier
Imagine yourself being an insect and constructing your own shelter. Presenting insect on a giant scale, kids get to explore the sights and sounds through the eyes and ears of an insect. If there is one thing that G loves doing at home, it's pretend play so it isn't surprising how he enjoyed this so much.

4) SOUNDS OF THE EARTH: NATURE'S ENSEMBLE by Shogun Creatives
This is where G had the most fun. My musically inclined boy had a blast making his own guitar and "playing" music instruments made from natural materials like bamboo and coconut shells. We had to make two trips at the music "tunnel" because he couldn't get enough of it.

5) CREATURE CAVE by Bartholomew Ting
This installation is catered for infants and toddlers. It features animal sound pads and a range of textures and lights. The little ones are rest assured to revel in exploring the multi-sensory cave using their whole bodies, eyes, and ears.

DARK SPACE by Richard Kearns
Enjoy Kinetic art work and exciting hands-on activities in this changing space. G is not a fan of dark spaces hence he just peep and gave this a miss.
'Hideaway - Creating with Nature' invites children to play with nature, and thereby answers extensive global research on the importance of children interacting with and appreciating the natural world. Obvious health benefits such as preventing obesity and ensuring a child's successful physical development, communing with nature and playing outdoors heightens children's awareness and appreciation of plants and other animals, leading to a greater respect and care for the natural world. 
As a parent, I strongly believe in the importance of teaching our kids to love nature. If you have been following me on Instagram, you should know how much effort I put into getting my kids engaged in nature. You can see my posts here and here where I asked G to collect anything "interesting" in his eyes during our walk in the park and we built a bird's nest out of it after.


In need of a digital gadget therapy? Bring your kids at Playeum for a good dose of fun and nature love!
PLAYEUM - Block 47, Malan Road
Gillman Barracks
#01-21 to #01-23
Singapore 109444
TICKETING: Child ages 1 to 12: $20
Accompanying adult: FREE
Additional adult: $10
For schools and groups: $12/student
Playeum is an independent charity which champions children through play and creativity.
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Awesome Things To See & Do In Darwin This Summer


If you’re thinking of traveling to Darwin this summer, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s plenty to see and do here. Located a few miles from Kakadu National Park, Darwin is Australia’s only tropical city. It’s far from the concrete jungles of Sydney and Canberra. It’s more rural, thanks to its close proximity to one of the country’s largest national parks.

Be it beautiful beaches and scenic countryside or modern bars and restaurants you want to explore, Darwin is the perfect place. This tropical city has it all; shopping, entertainment, an impressive array of world foods, national parks, and more. Whether you’re visiting with your little ones in tow or are planning a break with your buddies, there’s plenty to see and do here.

The great thing about taking a trip to Darwin is that you set the pace for how you see and do things. You can choose a relaxed break or a trip that’s more fast-paced. From sunbathing on the beautiful white sand beaches to scuba diving, there’s plenty of choice of what to see and do.

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Watch the sunset

Darwin is famous for its iconic red sunsets, so while you’re here, you have to take the time to enjoy one. You can do this with a BBQ on the beach, dinner in one of the beachfront restaurants, or by taking a boat ride in the bay. While in this part of Australia seeing the sunset is a must. Imagine enjoying a delicious picnic and a glass of bubbly, while watching the fiery sunset that Darwin is renowned for.

See the city’s most impressive sights

The great thing about this city is that there are plenty of excursions and tours to choose from. However, one of the best of these is a city sightseeing tour of all the best sights and attractions. These Darwin day tours give you the chance to see the city from a new perspective and get a better understanding of the history and heritage behind it. If you want to get a real feel for this tropical city, a taking a tour is a must.

Go crocodile watching

Not an activity for the faint-hearted, but an incredibly fun one. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing a crocodile in the wild, now’s your chance. Just a short drive from the city is Adelaide River, which is a thriving saltwater crocodile habitat. You can take a boat ride down the river and watch these impressive beasts jumping in and out of the water. Or, if you’re a little more adventurous, you can opt to swim with the crocs. You’ll be in a safety cage, of course!

See the native indigenous art

The city is home to some fantastic galleries boasting a range of historical and cultural art. If you’re going to immerse yourself in any, however, make sure it’s the native indigenous art. In galleries across the city, you’ll find paintings, sculptures, weavings, and much more - some are even for sale. So if you’re an art lover, you may be able to add to your collection.

Explore the national parks

Last but not least, you can explore the national parks. Darwin is located a few miles from Kakadu National Park and Litchfield National Park. These parks have a selection of beautiful bush walks, waterfalls, swimming holes, and woodland areas to explore. For a day out with a little difference to it, a trip to one of these national parks is ideal.

So there you have it, all the best things to see and do in this tropical city.

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Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe: A Gem of Thai Cuisine

"Why did I only discover this Gem of a Thai Cafe now?" 

That's what crossed my mind right after our flavourful makan session at Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe last night. I cannot exactly recall when did my penchant for Thai cuisine started but I really like love Thai food a lot specifically Tom Yum Soup and Mango Sticky Rice. I love it so much that when my craving strikes, I go to Thai restaurants in the mall to satisfy my taste buds.

Speaking of well-known and heavily commercialized Thai restaurants in the mall, never did it occur to me that the most authentic Thai food in Singapore is found in the heart of an HDB area in Aljunied. The moment I learned that Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe is located right across a wet market, I decided not to scale up my expectations too high.

Little did I know that I was in for a complete surprise, and one very pleasant and unforgettable surprise at that! I was expecting to be served with the usual Tom Yum Soup, Pad Thai and Pineapple Rice but instead, we were introduced to some of the most authentic North-Eastern Thai cuisine combined with a little bit of Teochew touch.

Here's the list of food we tried from their extensive menu:

1) APPETIZER
This appetizer is called Larb Moo Tok. It is spicy minced pork with roasted crush rice shaped into little balls and fried to perfection. Christina, our lovely host for the night, explained to us that these meat balls are best eaten with raw vegetables to get the authentic North-Eastern Thai cuisine flavour. Its level of spiciness is perfect to whet your appetite but if you are not so much into spicy food, you have to get your glass of drinks ready for a gulp.

2) HEARTY SOUP
How authentic can a Fish Maw Crab Meat Abalone Soup get, you ask me? I say what you see is what you get! This hearty soup, as you can see from the photos above is served in a coconut shell and it comes with coconut flesh for that authentic Thai cuisine taste. I could have finished the entire bowl soup in the coconut shell if I wasn't expecting to try more dishes.


3) SIDES
This Deep Fried Kang Kong with special Thai sauce is utterly addicting! It's like chips that when when you start to pop in your mouth, you can't stop. The only difference is, you know that it is a vegetable so you can actually indulge and eat more, if not the entire serving! I might just try cooking this at home.

Hommok or Thai Style Otak is a crowd-favourite. It is so rich and flavourful that if you only don't need to count your calorie intake, you can easily polish what's inside the entire coconut shell.

Out of determination in serving good food that will last an impression to his patrons, Ron, the passionate owner decided to use only Japanese squid for their squid dishes. This BBQ squid is naturally sweet and savoury. It does make a difference when you choose a high quality squid. It came with squid roe which my taste bud didn't like much.

The BBQ-loving Filipino in me enjoyed this BBQ Pork Belly ($18) tremendously. Cooked over traditional charcoal method, it came out smelling so good and it tasted juicy and it's smoky, just the way I like my BBQ. If you are not controlling your carb intake, this would go so well with a steaming hot rice. Otherwise, you can savour it on its own like I did.

4) MAINS
This Deep Fried Sea Bass with Mango Salad is another crowd-pleaser. The fish meat tasted fresh, not so oily and when dipped with the Mango Salad is just perfect. I was salivating whilst typing that! Haha!

That's the huge Thai Walking Cat Fish with Spicy Lemon Soup on the photo. It looks a little blurry due to the hot steam coming form the blazing charcoal underneath but don't be deceived by it's appearance.
Here's a clearer photo taken from my iPhone. This fish dish is cooked under constant charcoal heat and it comes with generous bowl of Spicy Lemon Soup which you can either slurp on its own or use to bathe your fish meat to give it that authentic Thai flavour.

When Christina mentioned that Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe's Lala (Clams) Bee Hoon comes with more clams than bee hoon, she wasn't bluffing us. Apparently, Ron wanted the bee hoon to soak in the flavourful clam soup hence he always add generous amount of clams in every serving. This was comfort food to me.

Last but one of my ultimate favourite, was this Thai Style Curry Crab (seasonal price). My family is a huge fan of chilli crab and we don't mind buying one priced at $38 in our neighbourhood hawker centre every time we crave for it. I might just go back with my family to have this as my husband and my teenager love both curry and crab. After having a taste of this, I am sure they will think twice before deciding between chilli crab and curry crab the next time they crave for a crab dish.

We were so full by the end of our makan session that we have no more space for dessert but do note that Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe also serves Mango Sticky Rice, Thai Red Ruby, Lemon Grass Jelly and Tapioca in coconut milk.

Apart from all the food mentioned above, there are a lot more authentic Thai dishes on their menu (more than 50 to be exact!). The passion for Thai cuisine of the owner, Mr Ron Poh is very evident in all the dishes he came up with. We had the privilege to chat with him after our hearty meal and he mentioned that he frequently flies to Thailand to observe and study their food and culture.

Last night was one of the most authentic, tummy-filling, casual, hearty, and laughter-filled food tasting I've had in a long time. I have been declining food tasting invites because as time passes by, more and more young food bloggers are sprouting and I feel old mingling with them. LOL. All thanks to Little Miss Honey for bringing me along, I ended up having so much fun with her, Farrah, Reg and Alvin.


It was a great bonus that the owner is also a passionate gardener. The al-fresco dining area is surrounded by lush greenery and bathtubs with fishes and plants. The nature lover in me is delighted! Thank you so much Christina and Ron of Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe for the generous spread and graciously hosting us! We will definitely come back for more!
Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe
Blk 115 Aljunied Avenue 2, #01-35
Contact nos.: 6747 8558
Opening Hours: 11am to 12am daily
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Mother's Day Celebration 2016

Nothing is more precious than knowing that you are loved by your very own children no matter how imperfect you are.


Every Mother's Day, the kids and the hubby spoil me with flowers and handmade cards which to me are priceless and I wouldn't trade it with anything valuable thing in the world that comes with a price tag.


Hubby warned me in advance that our trip to Johor, Malaysia during the May Day long weekend is already our Mother's Day celebration for this year so I shouldn't expect too much.


The epicurean in me still went ahead to book a lunch buffet at Salt Water Cafe, Changi Village Hotel. I can't let a special occasion pass without doing something special you see! I even paid the buffet myself! Haha!


I am all about making memories so when I booked the buffet, I asked the staff if we can have a swim at the hotel's creek pool after. We had a staycation there before and the kids loved it. We had a blast reminiscing our fond memories at the hotel and creating new ones.

By the end of the day, my heart was full. Watching the kids having a grand time is my kind of Mother's Day scene.

I can't thank God enough for giving me the opportunity to "mother" these two precious children. It is one of the privileges I am most grateful about.


It was a simple yet unforgettable Mother's Day. To God be the Glory. I ask nothing more but good health and safe environment for my children and our little family.
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