Nov 27, 2015

Healthy Snacking, The Laughing Cow Way!

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Stroll down the aisle of the cheese section of any supermarket and I'm pretty sure you have seen the portrait of certain cows laughing amid the rows of cheese products.

One of the world’s leading brands, The Laughing Cow is a family-owned cheese maker head-quartered in Paris, France and has in fact, accompanied children through each growing stage since 1973.

The Laughing Cow Cheese Slices should be familiar to all, since it comes in the usual square shapes but boasting that extra creamy texture that makes it the perfect ingredient for sandwiches - as my monkies will attest to!

But the one thing that they absolutely love is The Laughing Cow 8 Portions Cheese Spread which come in seven different flavours. The Creamy, Light, Ham and Strawberry flavours are available in individual packaging while the other three flavours - Paprika, Herbs and Mushrooms - are sold in one Selection Pack.

The monkies love spreading the cheese on bread, crackers or just simply eating it as a snack. I believe being deliciously smooth, delightfully tasty and creamy has something to do with it. As for me, I am just thankful that the cheese comes in a portion-controlled wedges - so that the monkies do not grumble that I finish up the cheese! Oops.

Fortunately though, they have since found a new love.

The Laughing Cow Belcube Cheese Spread are individually-wrapped mini cubes of tantalisingly soft and creamy cheese that come in a variety of flavours. The cubes of cheese are so cute that someone cannot wait to lay her hands on them!

And eventually popped one into the mouth, she did.

The cheese cubes come in four different packaging: Blue (Original plain flavour), Green (plain, tomato, ham flavours), Yellow (plain, cheddar, smoked cheese flavours) and Purple (plain, onion & ham flavours). Ham seems to the the favoured flavour among the monkies.

But no matter which flavour, I love how the cubes are a great bite-sized snack for everyone to enjoy. They are lovely straight from the fridge when the kids fancy a quick snack that will not spoil their appetite, popping into lunchboxes or even tossed into salads.

For cheese on the go, look no further than The Laughing Cow Cheez Dippers.

A cleverly convenient combo of delicious cheese spread with crunchy mini-breadsticks that are ready to dip, these snack-sized portions are perfect solutions to solving the monkies' instant hunger pangs between meals when we are out.

With so many varied The Laughing Cow cheese products to choose from, each product can be enjoyed in many different ways to boost the tastiness and fun in every bite. Which makes it the ideal snack for the festive parties coming up, as compared to the usual sweets and chips.

Want a greater incentive to purchase The Laughing Cow cheese products this festive season? Receive a free Happy Bowl when you purchase any of two The Laughing Cow products!

This Happy Bowl is made of high-quality, durable plastic bowl from non-toxic materials and microwave friendly. There are 3 colours - red, yellow and green - in all to collect.

Promotion period is until 31 December 2015 and you can redeem the Happy Bowl at participating supermarket customer service counter. While stocks last, of course.

The above photo was taken last week and suffice to say, our cheese supply did not last for long. The monkies have already asked if we can buy more so I can definitely see myself collecting the other colours of the Happy Bowl range then.

That, and The Laughing Cow cheese becoming a fridge staple in the household.

For more information on The Laughing Cow’s family of products, visit the official website at

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Nov 26, 2015

Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay: What to Expect for Families

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Singapore’s biggest yuletide fair, Christmas Wonderland, returns to Gardens by the Bay! The fair will showcase more Italian Luminarie light sculptures, an expanded event ground, a European-style Festive Market, traditional rides and games, and a comprehensive repertoire of new attractions and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Spanning over almost twice the size compared to last year's edition, visitors can embark on an experiential journey through four main areas – the magnificent Luminarie light sculptures which begin at the Golden Garden and extend throughout the festival site; the Ice Palace and Festive Market at the Supertree Grove; The Fairground near The Meadow; and the Christmas Toyland floral display in the Flower Dome.


In addition, visitors can experience 'snow' in Singapore during Blizzard Time at the Spalliera, the largest Luminarie light sculpture, or have Fun With Bubbles at The Fairground!

If you only have time for one Christmas event this festive season, this is THE one to head to. But a word of caution, do expect a huge crowd to descend onto Gardens by the Bay. My advice is to probably go later in the night if the kids are night owls... since the lights are on until midnight.

And if you are heading down, here are the visual treats, festive play, and merry indulgence that you can expect from Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay:

27 Nov 2015 - 3 Jan 2016 | 7pm to midnight daily
Various Locations with main Luminarie at Supertree Grove | FREE

The Italian Luminaries are magnificent sculptures of light handmade by skilled craftsmen using white wood from the south of Italy. This year’s lights will feature an all-new architectural design reminiscent of the medieval period.

The structures already look so stunning in the daytime so imagine the magic when the light bulbs are lit come night fall.

For the most spectacular Luminarie of all, head to the Spalliera in the middle of Supertree Grove.

Towering over 20m, it is the largest Luminarie and will surround the Cassa Armonica, an 8m-wide beautifully illuminated gazebo. A special line-up of carollers will perform at the Cassa Armonica from Tuesdays to Sundays.

Blizzard Time @ Spalliera
Timings: 8pm, 9pm & 10pm daily
Revel in the wonder of ‘snow’ in the tropics with the Nightly Blizzard Time within the Spalliera, happening at least three times every night.

Ice Palace
27 Nov - 27 Dec 2015 | 4pm to 11pm daily (*Open at 10.30am on 29 Nov only)
Supertree Grove | Charges apply

The Ice Palace makes its debut at the festival this year. Visitors can make snow angels at the Snow Playground or experience ice skating in the tropics.

Snow Playground
9 sessions will be held daily. Each session lasts 30 minutes and can accommodate 25 persons. Time slots are to be booked on site.
Cost: $12 per child/adult, for each 30-min session (inclusive of boots) | Gloves and socks are available at an additional $2 per pair

Ice Skating Rink
9 sessions will be held daily. Each session lasts 30 minutes and can accommodate 100 persons. Time slots are to be booked on site. Skating aids are available upon request for non-skaters.
Cost: $14 per child/adult, for each 30-min session (inclusive of skates) | Gloves and socks are available at an additional $2 per pair.

Garden Rhapsody - Christmas Edition
21 Nov 2015 - 3 Jan 2016 | 7.45pm & 8.45pm daily (additional 9.30pm show on Fridays, Saturdays, and eve of public holidays)
Supertree Grove | FREE

Take in the sight of the majestic Supertrees in all their splendour as they come to life in a special Christmas edition of the “Garden Rhapsody” light and sound show. Enjoy familiar Christmas tunes as you soak in the festive ambience of the Supertree Grove.

The Fairground
27 Nov to 27 Dec 2015, 4pm to 11pm daily (Open at 10.30am on 29 Nov only)
Beside The Meadow | FREE to enter but charges apply for rides & games

Another new festival feature, The Fairground will delight visitors with its array of traditional carnival rides and game stalls never seen before in Singapore. Located near The Meadow, enjoy carnival rides including a vintage style carousel, or pit your skills at the carnival game stalls and win attractive prizes. All the attractions run on a token system and tokens can be purchased across the festival site at various key locations. One FREE highlight is the 'Fun With Bubbles' segment (Timings: 7pm, 8.05pm & 9.10pm daily) where kids will be able to revel in the play of bubbles!

Vintage Carousel
Classic iconic British funfair ride built in Europe
Cost: $10 per ride

Helter Skelter
Classic iconic British funfair attraction and at 14m in height, it is tallest slide in Singapore. Yes, even beating the T3 Slide at Changi Airport.
Cost: $8 per ride

Trackless Train
Running for 8 minutes per cycle, the train is powered by batteries.
Cost: $6 per ride

Swinging Chairs
Visitors will be able to enjoy the cool rush of air while taking in the panoramic sights of the fair grounds in this classic iconic British funfair ride.
Cost: $8 per ride

Game stalls
7 carnival game stalls, including Extreme Basketball, Can Smash and Roll-a-ball.
Cost: From $4 per game

27 Nov- 27 Dec 2015 | 4pm to midnight daily 
(The Spiegeltent will be closed for a private event on 27 Nov, and may be closed on certain nights for corporate bookings)
Supertree Grove
Starters from $9-$10 | Mains from $12-$14 | Desserts from $6-$8 | Kids meal at $8 | Weekend Brunch Menu at $35 with one main course and 10 Buffet selections

The Spiegeltent is an ornate century-old travelling ‘mirror tent’ from the Netherlands. Originally built in the late 19th and early 20th century, only a handful of them remain in existence. These spectacular pavilions are sumptuous fairground attractions.

At Supertree Grove, the Spiegeltent will be home to Harry's Restaurant which will serve up a specially curated festive menu items such as Harry’s Merry Wings, Cajun Spice-rubbed Turkey, Smoked Duck Breast with Marmalade Glaze, Rudolph’s Gingerbread and Raspberry Sundae as well as weekend brunch experience by Harry’s.

Festive Market
27 Nov - 27 Dec 2015 | 4pm to 11pm daily (Opens at 10.30am on 29 Nov only)
Supertree Grove

A crowd favourite in 2014, the European-style Festive Market, similar to Christmas markets in United Kingdom and Germany, returns to the Supertree Grove. 19 traditional huts were specially brought in from the United Kingdom. With renowned food and beverage operators comprising of Brewerkz, Saybons, Bakerzin, Chef on Wheels, and Peach Garden, visitors can indulge in a wide range of international cuisine and wines.

Santa’s Cottage @ Festive Market 
Here’s a chance for little ones to meet Santa Claus and have a memorable phototaking moment with Santa! Visit Santa at his Cottage from Thursdays to Sundays, 5pm to 10pm. Charges apply for photo-taking sessions.

Christmas Toyland Floral Display
21 Nov 2015 - 5 Jan 2016 | 9am to 9pm daily
Flower Dome | Admission charges apply

Toys reign supreme amidst yuletide floral favourites like the poinsettia, Christmas rose, winter heather and holly. Towering over the enchanting floral display is the centerpiece of Christmas Toyland – a 11m-tall Christmas Pyramid decked with toys. The multi-tiered traditional German wooden carousel will transform into a ‘live’ stage, hosting a series of festive performances for the very first time in the Flower Field!

My tip? Go during the night time for that maximum 'WOW' factor.

Want MORE reasons to visit Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay?

Visitors to Christmas Wonderland will stand a chance to win a trip for two to Hong Kong. To qualify for the draw, visitors will need to obtain at least three stamps on the Christmas Wonderland Passport, which will be given out at Christmas Wonderland information booths within the Supertree Grove. The stamps can be collected by experiencing various attractions within the fair. Other prizes include a staycation for two at The Club Hotel, and S$200 worth of dining credits at Harry‟s. Terms and conditions apply.

Useful Information

Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay
27 Nov 2015 - 3 Jan 2016
7pm - Midnight daily
FREE Admission

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Nov 24, 2015

With Treats Like These, You Will Want to Eat Healthily!

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It's a typical family moment: The weekend rolls by after a hectic week and everyone in the family looks forward to heading to a favourite eatery for a family meal together - no cooking required, no dishes to be done, just a welcome opportunity to get out of the house and share a meal.

But sometimes, family restaurants are a minefield of high-fat, high-calorie options. Because how many of us actually pay attention to the calories we parents, or the kids, consume? Given that we are eating out on a more regular basis, the quest for healthy meals is even more important.

Of course, getting the whole family to eat well when dining out requires some education, planning, and patience. Fortunately, it is now a tad e​​asier to get wholesome meals outside - thanks to the Healthier Dining Programme (HDP).

The HDP aims to improve the overall diet quality of Singaporeans by encouraging F&B companies to include healthier food options in their menu. This means that lower-calorie meals and food that use healthier ingredients, such as wholegrains and healthier cooking oils, will be more readily available for everyone.

And HDP's campaign Eatfortreats has partnered a number of restaurants - you view the full list of participating outlets here - to serve up healthier dish options but still equally yummy food! One of the FB company to show its support for the programme is Fish & Co., which has 11 main courses under its 'Under 500 calories' menu.

Other than the lower-than-usual calorie count, the first thing that struck me when I first saw the menu was how affordable the main courses actually are. You know how there is always the notion when healthy eating equates to higher prices? The prices of the 'Under 500' main courses at Fish & Co. ranged between $7.95 and $12.95 - pretty economical especially for my family of five!

But how did the dishes fare when it came to the all-important taste test?

The wifey loves her Aglio Olio so the Shrimp and Clam Aglio Olio (404kcal) was a no-brainer, which even came with a free upgrade to wholegrain spaghetti for that added healthier choice. And surprisingly, it tasted just as good!

Ditto for the Seafood Spaghetti (471kcal) that Ayd had. Wholesome pasta served with mineral-rich seafood in a hearty tomato pesto sauce - who says healthy eating is bland and boring?

Always a fan of salmon, Ale gunned for the Baked salmon with Citrus Crust served with Mushroom Cream Sauce (437kcal) while Ash wolfed down the Grilled Salmon Cajun (443kcal).

The salmon was decent but what blew the monkies' minds (and tastebuds) away was the grilled pumpkins that came as sides. Admittedly, Ash and Ale were expecting French Fries as the usual side dishes so you can imagine their slight disgust when they first caught sight of the pumpkins. I led by example and popped one in my mouth. Believe me when I say I never knew that pumpkin could be this flavourful! Well, it turned out that every single piece of pumpkin on our plates vanished in the end.

Besides fighting with the monkies over the last piece of pumpkin, I had the Premium Snow Cod with Black Pepper Sauce (284kcal) which in my opinion, was the weakest link of our meal. The cod was rather tough and the saving grace was perhaps the coleslaw that came with it.

But all in, I guess our meal at Fish & Co. showed the monkies that healthier options when dining out are always available... and more importantly, the meals can taste just as appetizing.

Lesser calories consumed is always great, but what if I told you that you could win over $2 million in prizes just by choosing healthier dining options in the “Eat For Treats” campaign too???

All you have to do is to order at least one healthier dish which has been labelled with the Healthier Choice Identifier ( < 500kcal and/or wholegrain dish) from a participating Healthier Dining Partner outlet between now toand 31 January 2016 and you will receive an “Eat For Treats” peel card on the spot.

Peel the flap open and may just win a prize! What prizes, you ask? Prizes include $5,000, $50 and $20 worth of supermarket vouchers! There are also the Participating Outlet sponsored prizes in the form of rebate, discount vouchers or complimentary dishes/drinks/sides.

And we were pretty lucky to score a $5 Return voucher to Fish & Co.!

Want to win more prizes? Then keep your eyes peeled for these roving 'Dinner Dates' at various MRT stations and shopping malls in the coming three weekends!

The 'Dinner Dates' will be carrying a tray which opens up to reveal more information about the 'Eat For Treats' campaign. If you have young kids, this is also a good opportunity to educate them about the 'Healthier Choice' Identifier!

All you have to do is walk up to them and politely request for a photo to be taken together with them. Don't worry, they are a friendly bunch of people. :)

Upload the photo as a comment on this Facebook post on the spot and be rewarded with an Angry Bird Inflatable Water Bottle instantly!

So be sure to keep a lookout for your ‘date’ at the following locations during the next three weekends:
So make each meal a healthy one for the family, and start living healthier today... and if it comes with the bonus of winning great prizes by doing so, who's to argue with that?

For more information and details, visit HERE.

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