A greener home

I started buying products from iHerb back in 2011, when I decided that it was time we cut down on the amount of chemicals that we come into contact with on a daily basis. iHerb was – and still is – a godsend in that area, allowing me to purchase products made from natural ingredients at an affordable price.

At the beginning, I was pretty naive. As long as the manufacturers say that the product is “natural” or “organic”, I was sold. As long as it didn’t contain any sulphates, I assumed that it was good for us. It wasn’t until I discovered ewg that I realised so many of the so-called “good” products may not necessarily be that good for us after all.
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GIVEAWAY! Fun with Fabricate’s Tangram Tee

Guys. Christmas is almost here! I can’t believe that it’s going to be here in less than a week…I’ve been so busy with work and a teeny tiny home renovation (we are redoing our kitchen!) that I haven’t had the chance to sit back and chill. And buy presents, let alone WRAP them. Oh, the horrors.

If you are like me, so fashionably late to this Christmas present-buying game, have no fear. I have something to recommend: the Tangram tee from local online retailer, Fabricate.

Each of the tees that you receive will come with a set of reusable shapes in a handy ziplock bag, allowing you to create over 65,000 patterns on the velcro strips at the front of the shirts. Essentially, it means that you get a new teeshirt every time you wear it, as long as you change up the designs! Add on an optional pack of alphabets and you’ll get to customise your tee’s slogan too.

We’ve been testing our Tangram tee for a few weeks now and I have to say that I really like it. It allows the kiddo (or his mum, mmm) to be creative and I’ve been using it to help him recognise his alphabets as well. The tee is pretty soft and comfortable, and I love the pretty shade of blue that it comes in. Just remember to remove the shapes and alphabets BEFORE you throw it into the washing machine!

The only thing we didn’t like was how the shapes and alphabets bunch up in the ziplock bag. The husband tried grouping the same letters together but he gave up after a while. Heh. But other than this tiny gripe, this teeshirt ticks all the boxes. Perfect as a Christmas present for a little person! I mean, my little man pretty much likes it AND he is such a cutie in the tee. (He’s wearing a size S here.)

GUESS WHAT. We are giving away three of these tees, which comes with a pack of the tangram shapes PLUS a pack of alphabets. All you need to do is to complete the following steps:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s not all! If you key in the code SECRET12, you will get a free set of alphabets with every purchase of a Tangram tee. Yay!

Terms and conditions
Giveaways are open to Singapore residents only. Winners will be contacted using the contact particulars provided when entering this draw (email address as requested) and will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn.

All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (eg. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win. Giveaways are in no way directly linked to Facebook.

Disclaimer: We were given a set of tee and alphabets for purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Strange-smelling toilets no more with GES Plus

It’s been more than a month since we started using GES Plus and what’s the verdict?

Well. It’s pretty cool! The good news is, my loos don’t smell funky no more. Back in the day, I would be brushing my teeth and then this whiff of Epic Disgustingness would reach my nose. Gag. I really thought it was just normal, that it’s sewage going on its way to the Great Sea of Grossness.

Turns out, my pipes were probably harbouring organic waste, which was emitting those foul smells. GES Plus very awesomely eliminates the waste by releasing nice bacteria that eats at the waste – in an environmentally-friendly manner – and hence gets rid of the stench for me.

Once I realised just how important GES Plus is, I started hoarding it. I have been pouring half a capful once every 4 weeks and it’s still working well. No weird smells, which is great because this toilet is heavily used by three members of the family (some more than others, I’ll leave you to guess WHO and WHY).

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If you would like to try out the product, we have a promotion code for you! Simply key in “bubsicles” at checkout to save 5% off the retail price of $79.90. Or check out the fantastic Christmas bundles available right now in their online store.

Disclaimer: I received a bottle of GES Plus for the purpose of the review. All opinions are mine – and strictly, honestly mine! – and no monetary compensation was received.

Review: Say bye bye to smelly drains with GES Plus

I have to say, I am extremely fortunate that I am an ambassador with Our Lifestyle Shop.

You see, every so often, Su Lin from Our Lifestyle Shop would text me and tell me about a new product that they have brought in. And somehow, even though I never thought it was something that I would need, it turned out to fit in nicely with the functions of the household.

For instance, KONK is great because it is an insecticide that is safe for my cats (and my kids). We get ants marching into our balcony, no thanks to the mini forest in the patio next door, and believe me when I say that I have tried ways and means to eliminate this problem without using an insecticide. We have tried paprika. Ant traps. Nothing works. So KONK was a great addition to the household.

And then B-Sanitised was here at the point in time when Aidan contracted HFMD. The spray allowed us to disinfect all his toys and any surface he touched easily, and we were able to use it to nuke his room.

So when Su Lin called again and said she had a new product for me, I was all ears. This time, she delivered GES Plus, a biological drain maintenance plus odour treatment. And when she explained how it worked to me, I was like, OH I SEE.

Thing is, I would get occasional whiffs of, err, smelly gross odours when I am in the bathroom. I thought it was NORMAL, like just stuff passing through the pipes. When I told Su Lin, she laughed and said, THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Oops.

That’s where GES Plus comes in handy. All we needed to do was to pour half a capful of the solution into the drain and leave overnight, once a week. The product, which received a Green Product Certification from the USA Environmental Protection Agency, would work its magic to eliminate grease and rancid drainage. It’s chemical-free and 100% biodegradable.

Wow.

Anyway, I’ll be testing it out for a couple of weeks to see how it goes. Check back here for more updates! Let’s see if it completely kills the horrible smells that my drains emit. Yucks.

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Review + Giveaway: Yamatoya Sukusuku EN

When Aidan was born, one of the big ticket items that we got was a high chair. Never mind that he was floppy and not sitting up yet, let alone devouring solids. I wanted a particular high chair and I wanted it NAO, to the extent of shipping it in from Amazon.

We loved our handy red high chair, it was perfect for our needs. For the first 18 months or so, anyway.

Once the boy mastered the use of cutlery, we faced a problem. We wanted him to sit at the table with us during mealtimes but the chair did not allow it. And then the toddler twos hit and he went on a high chair strike, pitching a (loud) hissy fit whenever we attempted to strap him in.

In the end, his doting aunts saved the day. They bought him a wooden high chair that allowed him to sit right up at the table with us. He loved being able to climb in and out of the chair by himself, and so the red chair was handed down to Zac.

The littlest turned 15 months recently and we faced the same dilemma – it was time to seat Zac at the dining table with us. We couldn’t get a booster because our dining chairs had sloping seats. That meant we probably had to purchase another high chair.

Luckily, the good people at Baby Beannie came to my rescue. They were launching the new Yamatoya Sukusuku EN high chair in Singapore, they said, would I like to try it?

Well, YES YES YES!

For starters, this chair is so good looking! I mean, duh, that’s the most important criteria, right? We recently changed out some of our furniture and the sleek white all-wooden chair fitted perfectly with our new dining table.

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Looks (and jokes) aside, we love that it’s so functional – it can withstand Zac’s acrobatic stunts. We once found him on the dining table when he was put into Aidan’s current high chair – he had somehow climbed out of it! The Sukusuku EN’s T-guard in front of the seat was secure enough to hold him in. It’s also easy to clean – just a simple wipe-down using a wet cloth. Despite its stability, the chair is also light enough for me to move it around.

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It’s also highly versatile and can grow with the child. For instance, we can remove the front T-guard when Zac is older. The tray is also removable, while the footrest can be adjusted to suit changing heights. The chair can hold up to 60kg in weight which means I can use it until the boys are packed off to the army (assuming they do not, err, inherit their father’s fat large frame). And then after that it becomes mine, hah!

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The Sukusuku EN is also extremely well-made. We put it next to Aidan’s current chair for comparison and the Sukusuku EN definitely nails it. You can see that a lot of thought has been put into designing the smooth curves of the chair. The wood used is sustainable and environmentally-friendly, and the lacquer that they use is non-toxic. Oh, and did I mention that it now comes in eight yummy colours?

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The only hiccup we had with the chair was in installing it. The chair came with a Japanese manual that absolutely confounded me so I left it to the man’s devices. He was just as flabbergasted as I was and took a while to assemble the chair. I reached out to the Baby Beannie reps, who have assured me that the English manual will be included in future sets. Phew.

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We’ve been using the chair for almost two weeks now and I daresay that I don’t have any complaints about it at all. It’s that wonderful and I am really pleased!

To check out the Sukusuku EN in person, Baby Beannie will be exhibiting at the Baby Market fair held at Singapore Expo from October 9 to 11. During the fair, there will be a 10% discount on all Yamatoya products.

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GIVEAWAY
I really liked the Yamatoya Sukusuku EN and I asked the distributors, Baby Beannie, if they could let one of our readers have it too. They very kindly said YES!

So here you go: one lucky reader will get to win a Sukusuku EN in the colour of your choice (worth $288). It comes with a seat cushion (that we did not use because we practise baby-led weaning and it’s MESSY) and delivery within Singapore. Simply follow the steps below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on 3 October, 11:59pm and is open only to Singapore residents. Winners will be contacted using the contact particulars provided when entering this draw and will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (eg. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win.

Disclaimer: I was given a set of Yamatoya SukuSuku EN for the purpose of a review. All opinions are mine.

BONUS
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The boys turned the box that the Sukusuku EN came in into a spaceship!

Review: QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags

Being out and about with 3 kids aged 4 and under means that we’ve under the continuous onslaught of dirty diapers for… just about the past 4 years. This never-ending poop factory translates into us needing a constant stream of plastic bags to contain and dispose of the done deeds.

For this gallant purpose, the common protective plastic wraps that magazines and brochures arrive in through the post come in handy. I bag each clean diaper individually before storing it into the baby bag and later use the same bag to contain the used diaper before disposing of it in the bin. The slim bag means less extra plastic rustling messily in the (already messy) diaper bag; it’s easy to spot the diaper when wrapped in clear plastic (so that you don’t hurriedly grab what you think is a clean diaper, only to realise that the bag contained the toddler’s half-eaten sandwich) and the adhesive opening seals in the used diaper neatly. Plus, it feels good to reuse all that plastic that comes through the mail.

Unfortunately, not all plastic wraps are made equal. Sometimes they’re too big for that tiny newborn diaper. Some come without the adhesive strip, leaving you no way of sealing in offensive smells. Some have such a sticky strip that the process of unwrapping the publication inevitably ruins the whole bag. So while our method of disposing of smelly diapers works okaaaaaaay, it has – in the words of my favourite drinks uncle at Maxwell Food Centre regarding his competitor’s teh-si – “no standard”.

Then, I came to know about QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags. Toting around the pack of 125 bags means that we’d always have a ready supply of standard disposal bags that are sized for nappies; come with handles so that the bag can be tied closed and smells sealed in; and best of all, fragranced with the pleasant scent of baby powder.

Quickgrab

I tend to dismiss the need to fragrance certain items. One such item is, er, panty liners. It’s quite a cringe-worthy thought to smell floral or forest-fresh down there. With the nappy disposal bags, I also thought “Fragrance for what? Use already quickly throw away, can already right?”

Well, motherhood presents you all sorts of opportunities to eat your words.

But first, it never fails to present you with the chance to change (yet another) diaper when you’re out with the baby and at your busiest. (Everybody say “Hooray!”) One Sunday, I was changing Candace out of her wet diaper in the living room of the girls’ music teachers’ home while the 2 older kids were having their lesson. Just as I bagged the use diaper in a QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bag, class ended – bringing with it an exodus of toddlers and parents. As the room filled with people, I scooped up the screaming infant, distractedly stuffed the bagged diaper into the baby bag and hustled all 3 kids out of the house.

Fast forward to the next Sunday. I was packing the baby bag in preparation for music class when my hand touched a mysterious spongy item at the bottom of the bag. I yanked it out and found myself staring at the familiar dark green of a QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bag – containing A WEEK-OLD WET DIAPER.

THE HORROR.

I quickly (and most reluctantly) sniffed the inside of the baby bag for nasty smells. Amazingly, there weren’t any. No stale pee odour. Not a whiff. I heaved a sigh of relief and continued packing the bag (nope, didn’t bother to air it).

That said, I’m not sure if the scent is sufficiently powder-ful to neutralise the unbearable odour of Number Twos for an entire week… and I’m not about to experiment. Not intentionally, at least.

QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags are now a regular item to have in our baby bag and in the car. I suggested to the supplier to package the bags in smaller quantities, say 30 or 40 bags. I find the 125-bag pack, while compact, rather hefty to tote around given that it would take forever to use up all hundred over bags since we only go out with the kids on the weekend.

Also, look closely for the perforated line that says “Tear Here” on the front of the bag. When used correctly, the individual bags, true to their QuickGrab claim, slide out easily with a gentle tug. The opening wasn’t obvious to me and I hastily ripped open the top of the bag, and had to fumble with a mess of bags. Okay, okay, maybe it was just me being unobservant. But you know lah, even if mothers had 8 eyes, all eyes would still be on their kids and their antics, and dotted lines can be easily overlooked!

If you’re unsure about using new bags (versus reusing old plastic bags) to dispose of poop in, be comforted that QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags are biodegradable.

QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags retail at $4.50 for a 125-bag pack and can be purchased from any of the retailers listed here.

If you have little humans that produce big bad smells, do give these nappy disposal bags a go. 

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary pack of QuickGrab Fragranced Nappy Disposal Bags with no obligation to write a review. The fact that I like them enough to want to write about them is assurance that all opinions reflected here are my own 🙂