vendredi, avril 22, 2016

Easter weekend

For this Easter, the boys were three times lucky. They went egg hunting at the neighbour's place on Saturday, at the grandparents' place on Sunday and at my friend's place on Monday.
Here, they were hunting eggs with 5 other friends. I am glad that 3 mothers whose kids are in the same class as A1 have become my close friends. We tend to organise activities togather for our kids. 
The kids each received a 250gram of Kinder Surprise. That was huge.

On Sunday, it was at the grandparents' place for eggs hunting. They were becoming expert.
As usual, the loot was shared equally among the four cousins. I bought a cake for the dessert as it was so pretty with the Easter theme.

On Monday, we had a singaporean ladies gathering. The bunch of French-Singapore kids had fun looking for chocolate eggs. A1 being the expert found a huge Kinder Surprise. I had a good time catching up with the ladies. It was not easy to find a date where most of us could make it.

With so much Kinder chocolate, I actually made a cake out of one of them. The boys liked it. It had almost been a month since Easter. We still have a basket of chocolate. Time to make another Kinder chocolate cake soon.

jeudi, avril 21, 2016

The Captain America birthday party

We celebrated A1's birthday on Saturday with his friends. There was a total of eight children. 
A1 chose the theme Captain America and we made a pinata togather out of cupboard.
We home made the invitation cards too. I cut and he pasted as he could not cut the circles well. I also made Captain America masks for the kids from felt. It was not difficult and as usual, I found template from internet.

Here was A1 posing for me while waiting for his friends to arrive.
As the weather was cloudy and windy, we had the party in the house. Seb organised the games. He took a big floor puzzle and hid the 24 pieces upstairs. The kids went in pairs to look for the puzzles and pieced them togather. They had a good time working togather as a team.

We then put the kids all in the guest room except one. He/She had to hide A1's favourite soft toy and the others had to look for it. Each kid took turn hiding it. When the kids came out of the room to look for the toy, they were running and shouting in excitement. 
We played other games like passing a ball in a circle with a kid outside the circle randomly shouting 'Patate'. The kid with the ball would be out of the game. This continued until all but one kid was left.
There was also a game on bursting the balloons by sitting on it. This created lots of laughter too.

When the grey clouds passed by, we quickly went to the garden to break the pinata. Everyone took turns and shared the goodies in the pinata.

At the table, the kids put on their masks and sang birthday songs in different languages. French, English, Chinese and Portuguese. I baked a chocolate tart and decorated it to make it look like the Captain America shield. There were strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and mashmallows. In the middle was a star shaped goat cheese. None of the kids wanted the cheese so I took it off and put it back in the fridge.

For once, A1 did not receive Lego or Playmobil. He had a 350 pieces puzzles and we completed it in 2 evenings. He also had a Frisbee ball, a few books, 2 board games, a transformer toy and an art and craft activity.
My boy was happy with his party. So were his friends as feedbacked by the mothers. This sunday, we would celebrate his birthday with the grandparents.

samedi, avril 16, 2016

Kapla fun

In A1's room, there are often Kapla planks lying around. A1 loves playing with his Kapla and always asked for more so that he can build bigger things. Since he received his first 200 planks, we had added another 200 coloured planks on his birthday and on Christmas. 
These are two examples of his work. Sometimes he combines other toys in his creations.
Below is a city with a small entrance guarded by a Playmobil motorist in front of a Playmobil laptop. There wasa zoo, the Eiffel Tower made of Duplo bricks, a train station and a big parking. The two containers were toilets.  

 This is another of his creation. He held up a plank as he wanted to show how a Kapla plank looked like.
His creation could only last a few days because every monday morning, the boys have to tidy up their rooms before going to school. The cleaning lady comes on monday and would expect the floor to be cleared of toys so she can do her job. 
When I do housework, I would just navigate around his creations. It is often a challenge just to walk in his room. 

If you need ideas on toys, go for Kapla. It is worth it.

jeudi, avril 14, 2016

Florence, Italy

Last October, Denise and I went to Florence for a long weekend. We girls had great fun visiting and shopping in Florence.

As the flight was really early, I slept over at Denise's the night before and we took a cab to the airport at 5.15am. Once we reached Florence, a guide brought our group on a 2 hours walking tour around the center. She told us the history of the city and recommended us the museums and attractions worth seeing. She even pointed out where we could make reservations to cut the long queue for museums.
Once we were on our own, we decided to reserve tickets to visit the Uffizi Gallery first. It is one of the world's top art musuem and constantly has a long queue. The booking office was hidden along a building wall along the main street. I had paid attention when the guide told us about that office. The rest of the tour did not manage to find that office when we met them the next morning at the breakfast room.

Uffizi Gallery was remarkable. It was very crowded too. The Renaissance masterpieces were amazing.

On the second day, we visited Florence's cathedrale, the Duomo.We walked up the 463 steps to the top of the cupola. We went there early and managed to avoid the crowd. The view of Florence was beautiful. 

We then stopped for a sandwich lunch nearby the Duomo. The owner and his two staff spent time explaining to every customer the choice of local ham and cheese available. We were able to sample them before deciding which ham and cheese to have with the bread and vegetables. It was slow food at its best. We ordered wine to go with our sandwiches. This place was a tourist attraction by itself. You can read the reviews from Tripadvisor here.

In the evening, we walked up the bell tower, the Campanile which was just beside the Duomo. It was another 414 steps up. We had a different view as we could see the cathedrale. Denise and I were happily taking photos when the bells rang in the tower. It was really really loud. There was an old bell displayed and it was huge.

 Without the kids, we walked a lot and that was the best way to visit Florence. There was no need for public transport. Except for a morning when we took a bus to visit The Mall factory outlet. Girls being girls. We had to do some shopping therapy.

Below is the Rape of the Sabine women at the open museum, Loggia dei Lanzi. There were other impressive statues at this open square. It was really crowded.

We spent our next two days visiting the Central market, the Palazzo Vecchio Museum and Tower, and the Pitti Palace and its garden. We walked along the old bridge, Ponte Vecchio a few times. There were mainly jewellery shops which were beyond my budget. Can see, cannot buy. We ate good food and also lots of Grom ice cream. The sorbets were really delicious. 

Denise is interested in photography and I picked up a few tips from her. We had fun snapping away. We paired up well. I was the google map and she was the Tripadvisor. It was a really nice trip; away from the boys, visiting a new city and doing girly stuff.

vendredi, avril 08, 2016

A2's Paw Patrol Party

While preparing for A1's 7th birthday party, I realised that I had not posted about A2's last birthday party. So here is a post for memory's sake.

Last year, A2 asked for Paw Patrol's theme for his birthday party. From internet, I got free templates to print out paper containers for the sweets. I made dog balloons and put them in a box for adoption. At the gate, I put up a sign board saying "beware of nice dogs" in French.
For activities and games, they were the usual stuff like "Pin a badge" on Marshall, throwing water balloons to help Marshall put out the fire and making balloon dog heads. The boys played with cars and balloon swords while a few kids made necklaces out of beads. 

 The boys run around in the garden playing rugby.
 Food wise, I made dog bone biscuits with the names of the kids and a cake decorated with M&Ms. 
A2 was pampered by his friends. He had presents ranging from Paw Patrol figurines to Playmobil and Lego toys. The only disappointment was not having a pinata. I promised him I would make one the next time. I was not motivated to make it.

When the party was over, A2 gave his friends each a doggie bag with goodies and sweets. That wrapped up the party for my 5 year old.

In two weeks time, I shall write about A1's birthday party. It has to do with Captain Amercia. Yes, there will be a pinata. It is under construction.