Designer Bags for Cheaps Up On My Shop

Hello everyone! Apologies for the radio silence here; I have been busy de-cluttering our home now that the end of year is here and am pretty overwhelmed by the mammoth task! A lovely outcome is that I have been giving away some stuff and selling some others for cheaps, so the hoarder in me feels better on seeing my pre-loved items go to better homes. Over here, I am offering some designer bags (all in excellent condition as they are barely used/never been used) at massively discounted prices. Think Kate Spade diaper bag for S$260 (down from S$600+) and Salvatore Ferragamo bags for S$700-800 (purchased at S$2300-2500) each. Please hop on over here to have a look! If you know someone who might be interested, or if you are keen to get hold of almost-brand-new bags for cheaps, please let me know at beapleasuremonger AT gmail DOT com. Thank you!

The de-cluttering is still work-in-progress, so watch this space!

The Things Faith Says #2: She Doesn’t Share Food

We were having a much-anticipated steak dinner at Chophouse (which turned out to be a real disappointment) in Sydney about two weeks ago and Faith’s main course of fish and chips had arrived sooner than ours.

M and I were famished and started picking off the mountain of fries on her plate (which we were sure she wouldn’t be able to finish), when Faith frowned at me, pouted her lips and exclaimed, “Hmmph!”

We were a little taken aback as she has always been okay with us eating off her plate, and in fact, is quite generous with sharing even her favourite foods. I dropped the fry immediately out of surprise.

Me: Faith, can Mama have a French fry, please?

Faith (in all seriousness that made M and me snort with laughter): This is Faith’s fries. Mama order your fries, okaaaayyyy?

Me: HOKAAAAY. Sorry, dear. Mama will not eat your fries, okay?

Faith promptly nodded and went back to demolishing the mountain of fries. Mama and Papa continued to battle hunger until our cardboard steaks arrived.

201410 Sydney Grounds of Alexandria

How Faith feels about food.201410 Sydney Grounds of Alexandria 2

How Faith feels about sharing food.

P/S: We thought that it was a one-off, because she was back in the spirit of sharing food after that meal, but today, she refused to let me have another piece of kaya toast for breakfast and claimed it for herself, saying, “This is Faith’s bread.” Well, at least I no longer have to finish her leftovers!

I Can’t Say No to Pretty Jewellery

I have a love affair with Pinwheel Jewels, a multi-label designer jewellery online boutique. I really do. You know how my hands are glued to the phone whenever I get some me-time? Well, a lot of those times, I’m stalking Pinwheel Jewels for the latest prettiness to add to my growing collection of accessories. And when I do, I tilt my phone away from the unsuspecting husband, so he doesn’t catch me ogling at yet another pretty thing that he doesn’t quite get.

It’s not hard to understand why I’m infatuated with the store. I’m a woman. I like beautiful things. But I’m unfortunately neither fashion-forward nor willing to spend on racks and racks of good-looking clothes to look put together or remotely interesting. Let’s face it. I have always been fairly unadventurous with my dress sense. But as I get older, and naturally vainer (motherhood may or may not have played a part in upping the ante), I start to pay a teensy bit more attention to my outfits and I find that accessories are the most cost-effective, versatile ways to pull any look together. It wasn’t always the case, of course. When my daughter was younger, she would pull at my earrings, necklaces and her bum would sit right on top of the arm parties I tried to get going on; accessories just didn’t work for either of us. Now that she is a little older, I’m welcoming pretty jewellery back into my life with open arms. I usually have four or five easy-to-wear pieces that I don in rotation; I find that these are enough to keep my outfits interesting and to make me feel a little more chic without burning a giant hole in my pocket, as opposed to spending on tonnes of clothes.

201410 Pinwheel Jewels 8

Gemma necklace by Meredith Hahn

I had already purchased two necklaces from Pinwheel Jewels this year, the Gemma necklace by Meredith Hahn and the Taner Pave Bar necklace by Gorjana, and both pieces have earned me lots of compliments! I particularly love the Gemma necklace for how smooth the pendant feels and how it has a good weight to it. It does not feel cheap at all, unlike the truly inexpensive (think $30!) alternatives that I had previously purchased from other vendors. It looks good on its own, but I am also dreaming up ways to layer it with longer, complementary options, such as the Cori lariat necklace, also by Meredith Hahn. An early birthday present for myself, perhaps? *hint hint*

201410 Pinwheel Jewels 4

201410 Pinwheel Jewels 5

Taner Pave Bar necklace layered with the Aurora large necklace, both by Gorjana

The Taner Pave Bar stole my heart with its simplicity, and yet it stands out with that tiny bit of bling embedded across the length of the pendant. I like wearing this on its own for a daintier look, but there are ways to jazz it up a little. For my recent trip to Sydney, I was hard-pressed to travel light as the weather was slightly cold and we needed to pack boring but easy-to-match layers. Lianne, founder of Pinwheel Jewels, kindly had me pick out two pieces (Aurora large necklace by Gorjana and Skipper necklace in gold by Shlomit Ofir Jewelry Design) to accessorise my otherwise plain outfits, and just look how pretty the Taner Pave looks with the Aurora large necklace!

201410 Pinwheel Jewels 6

201410 Pinwheel Jewels 7

I also loved pairing the Aurora large necklace with a pre-layered piece that I had purchased from another store. The possibilities are endless!

201410 Pinwheel Jewels 1

201410 Pinwheel Jewels 2

Skipper necklace in gold by Shlomit Ofir Jewelry Design

Travelling with a kid inevitably means that we often started the day late in Sydney and rushed to leave the hotel. On those days, I was thankful to have the pre-layered Skipper necklace with me and instead of brainstorming ways to layer my accessories, I simply pop the Skipper on and  chic is me! An absolutely fabulous piece to add to your stash, if you ask me.

PROMOTION FOR MY READERS:

Now, here’s a sweet deal for you (and for me…I might just buy myself a couple of birthday gifts…). Get 10% off a minimum purchase of $100 with the coupon code PLEASURE10 (not valid with other coupon codes) from now until 30 November (ends 2359h)! The end of the year is coming, and everyone needs some pampering, so I’d say reward yourself with a piece (or two) of prettiness. For those of you who are getting married, the bridal collection is TO DIE FOR. I wish I had these options when I got married!

*I was gifted the Aurora large necklace and Skipper necklace in gold. No additional monetary compensation has been received and I do not stand to gain any commission arising from sales using the discount code given to my readers. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products/services. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored service/items, should I find the products/services unsuitable.

You can now shop online at Pinwheel Jewels! Like Pinwheel Jewels on Facebook for more updates!

The Things Faith Says #1: On Loving Us

I should have done this a long time ago, when Faith started having properly hilarious and startling conversations with us. Well, better late than never, so here goes (and I sure hope to keep this up with my busy bee schedule!)

Papa: Faith, do you love Papa?

Faith: YES!

Papa: Do you love Mama?

Faith: YES!

Papa: Who do you love more?

Mama (softly chiding Papa): What a question to ask her!!

Faith: FAITH!

Mama: *dumbfounded*

Papa: GOOD ANSWER.

Faith: You love Faith?

Papa and Mama (in unison): OF COURSE!

Mama: Papa and Mama love you very, very much, dear.

Faith (gives an approving nod): Thank you for everything. Amen.

There and then, we burst out laughing, and sat wondering where the time has gone and if our little girl is growing up too quickly.

faith

Look Who’s Got New Wheels?

Parents endeavour to give their children the very best, and I am no exception. As a mother to baby Faith, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks.

In the series ‘I Have My Eye On‘, I share my favourite finds for my little girl.

201409 Combi Mega Ride review 3[SPONSORED POST*] My family and I have a love affair with Combi strollers. My brother bought two for my niece to suit their different needs, and I, having had the opportunity to steal my niece’s strollers for test rides, invested in one for F too. F has unfortunately outgrown the one that we have, no thanks to her unusually long legs for her height, and I was just about to run to the store to get a new one when Combi Singapore asked me if I would like to review their latest stroller, the Mega Ride (which just snagged an award from Mother & Baby magazine). Perfect timing!

I had a good look at its specs before committing to this review, because I really needed a stroller that fits F’s proportions nicely, one that will grow with her for another two years (at the very least), and I was very pleased to know that the Mega Ride Stroller seemed to pass the measurements test with flying colours.  So, I said yes!

201409 Combi Mega Ride review 2

When it first arrived, I thought the stroller looked larger than the one I had and to be honest, I was a little worried about its size. The last thing I wanted was to lug yet another heavyweight around the island. Surprisingly, it is extremely lightweight at only 6.8kg, perfect for days out when I am all alone and have to hoist the stroller in and out of the boot whilst grabbing onto F with my other hand. True to the quality that defines Combi strollers, its light weight does not detract from its stability. The Mega Ride feels good on the hand,  and F rides safely and stably in it.

The Mega Ride stroller stands on its own when folded up, and is super easy to unfold, with its very smooth catch-and-release lock and one-touch release button. I have been taking F out alone in this stroller, and I had no trouble carrying a diaper bag, holding onto F (who often tries to wriggle out of my grasp) with one hand, and using my free hand to unfold or keep the stroller.

201409 Combi Mega Ride review 5It comes with a really large storage basket underneath the seat, which doesn’t bunch up in awkward shapes and hinder the unfolding and keeping of the stroller. I can put my gigantic diaper bag in it and still pop in two to three bags of groceries. Definitely more spacious than what I’m used to, and that’s a plus! I no longer need to use this function now that F is 2 years old, but the handle can be easily swivelled around such that the stroller becomes front-facing; this is perfect for younger babies who might prefer their caregivers in sight, and for parents who would like to keep an eye on the young ones. Again, the direction is very easily changed with the catch-and-release locks on the lower sides of the handle bar.

PA114282

What I love most about the Mega Ride is how incredibly smooth the ride feels. It is an absolute dream to push around with its mega wheels which are designed to cushion the shock from rougher terrains; it almost feels like the stroller glides on clouds or something, no kidding! I can only imagine how comfy one must feel sitting in it….lucky F! The front wheels are also superbly engineered to tackle sharp turns very smoothly. I have been travelling in and out of very busy malls and lifts, and often have to do sharp U-turns to get in and out of tight corners. I had no problem whatsoever swivelling the stroller around, and I could do so without lifting the stroller or hurting anyone in the vicinity. I have also had to hold heavy doors open with one hand while pushing the stroller through with another, and the front wheels make it so easy for me to change the direction of the stroller with my free hand just to get it through the door. All I had to do was to release the swivel lock on the front wheels to get access to this awesome function and if one prefers the stroller to travel in a fixed direction, you only need to lock it back up on the wheels. How convenient!
201409 Combi Mega Ride review 4I also love that the Mega Ride grows with the child. The designers have thought it through and added additional holes to thread the harness straps through, such that the straps still sit comfortably on a child’s shoulders as he or she grows taller. F is still on the lowest configuration, so yay, more room to grow into this stroller to get extra mileage out of it! 
P9134270One of my pet peeves of strollers is that they aren’t roomy or long enough for F, who has long legs for her height. On normal strollers, the back of her knees would fall off the edge of the seat at an awkward angle, and yet her legs are not long enough for her feet to get a grip on the footrest. I can only imagine how uncomfortable that may be for her, and I am happy to report that we don’t have this problem with the Mega Ride. Because of its extra-long seat, the back of her knees are still comfortably resting just before the edge of the seat, and by the time she grows taller, her feet will be resting properly on the footrest, so we won’t have the problems of her legs feeling the strain of inadequate support AND dangling in the air!

P9134271

The seat on the Mega Ride also reclines to an almost horizontal level, making it perfect for children to have a quick snooze in the stroller. The seat is very roomy and as it is extra-long, it is almost like the business class of seats for sleeping children! F is very happy to go on it most of the time, and particularly enjoys sitting in it like a boss, whilst pulling the sun-shade down to play peekaboo with us. My husband and I love that the ride feels so smooth over all sorts of terrains and even in tight situations, and that it is so easy to handle, yet lightweight and stable. No prizes for guessing our favourite stroller of the moment!

*I was gifted one Combi Mega Ride Stroller (in Prestige Black) to review. No monetary gift was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored items, should I find the products unsuitable.

Check out the wide range of Combi baby products on the Combi Singapore Facebook Page.

A Reason to Love Shopping (and Saving!) for the Kid

As a mother, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks for my daughter; ‘I Have My Eye On‘ is a collection of these finds.

Growing up is a tough act but parenting is hard work too; I believe that mummies and daddies need some lovin’! Whilst I am not busting my budget on the little one, I like to sniff out things that make our new routines a little easier, or sometimes, just a little prettier.

In this series ‘We Need Some Lovin’‘, I share some of my favourite things for us big people.

[SPONSORED POST*] I have a confession to make. I’M AN ONLINE SHOPPING ADDICT. I don’t like prowling through physical stores all that much, I mean, why do that when I can pop my favourite things in the cart whilst still wearing my pyjamas? Of course, this addiction was so not going away with the birth of Faith.  If anything, motherhood simply accorded me the license to shop without getting quizzical looks from the husband (‘It’s for the baby, honey……’). I don’t shop without a conscience though; if you must know, I am quite the bargain-hunter. After all, M is the sole breadwinner and works really hard to provide for us, and we do what we can to stretch our dollar without severely compromising on our lifestyle.

Enter Agape Babies, one of the first online stores that I fell in love with before I even became a mother. I was pregnant with Faith when I made my very first purchase from Agape Babies. Back then, I had done lots of research on the kind of breast pumps that may help with our breastfeeding journey, and badly wanted the Medela Freestyle, which retails close to (an insane) S$1000 in stores island-wide. I was not working then, and there was NO way I would plonk a grand on a breast pump even if I were, no matter how good the pump may be. I was a little disappointed that I would have to get something else when my cousin-in-law told me about Agape Babies and its incredible prices for Medela breastpumps. I promptly carted the Freestyle at a neat S$530, almost 50% off the retail price! And there was no looking back. Soon, I was shopping for all sorts of things on the site, including our favourite California Baby products (also generously discounted, as compared to other stores) for Faith, who suffers from eczema.

logo_banner (1)

The crazy number of brands that Agape Babies carry!

I have been shopping at Agape Babies for more than two years now, and I have always enjoyed the experience. It is easy to cart the items I want and shipping is quick. From the small(er) store that it was two years ago, Agape Babies has now grown to carry a huge range of products, with over 100 brands and 2000 products. Agape Babies continues to specialise in California Baby products, and they now carry diapers and milk formula of brands such as Huggies, Mamypoko, GOO.N, Friso, Similac, Gain IQ, Pediasure and more! The items are very attractively priced, and it helps that the store currently offers free courier delivery with a minimum of $80 spent and a free Disney stationery set given with every purchase of S120. I’d say it’s a pretty good way to shop for the essentials and not have to lug the items back home on your own! There is more reason to love shopping at Agape Babies now, too, as it has recently partnered with The Sunshine Kids, a kids fashion company to build a multi-store. This means that customers can shop between both stores and check out in just one shopping cart! Talk about saving time with the check-out process! How many times have we struggled to cart the items we need, only to have our kids thwart our efforts and demand for our attention NOW, just as we are short of paying for the items? With more stores & products to be added soon, Agape Babies aims to grow into a one-stop shop for all parents to create a super-easy and convenient shopping experience. This online shopping addict here can hardly wait!

Just to share some of the California Baby products that we recently purchased (this time with shopping credits gifted) from Agape Babies.

P9244281The California Baby Try It Kit (retails $49.70 but costs only $32.70 on Agape Babies) is one of my absolute favourites! Yes, I first bought it to try the different products out on Faith, who is prone to eczema flare-ups, and they work so well to keep her clean/well-moisturised/mozzie-bite-free whilst caring for her sensitive skin! They come in the perfect size for travel, and I have brought these items to quite a few countries on our holidays with Faith. I still have some leftovers from the first kit that I bought when she was only 3 months old, so a little really goes a long way, especially when it comes to the bath products and the bug repellant! I’d highly recommend this set, although there are other starter packs that may better suit your child’s needs, depending on whether you want to focus on suncare, treat sensitive skin, etc.

P9244280The California Baby Calming Hair Conditioner (retails S$28.90 but costs only $16.90 on Agape Babies) is a new product for us. Faith’s hair is getting longer now and I thought to give this conditioner a shot at keeping her locks luscious and smooth. The scent is incredibly lovely and (yes) calming! I’m tempted to steal this from her and use it on my hair!

(Can you tell we looooove California Baby already?! Especially when they are so heavily discounted on Agape Babies…)

PROMOTION FOR MY READERS:

Agape Babies is offering 5% off all purchases (except breast pumps, diapers, milk and sale items) for the readers of The Pleasure Monger. Simply enter the promotional code thepleasuremonger (valid for 4 weeks from 25 September 2014 to 23 October 2014) when you check out. Happy shopping!

*I was gifted shopping credits from Agape Babies to purchase the two sets of California Baby products photographed and paid remaining sum out of my own pocket. No additional monetary compensation has been received and I do not stand to gain any commission arising from sales using the discount code given to my readers. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products/services. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored service/items, should I find the products/services unsuitable.

You can now shop online at Agape Babies! Like Agape Babies on Facebook and sign up for the newsletter for updates on promotions, contests and giveaways!

Married Life Blooper #4: When One Gets All Smart-Ass on the Other

*This conversation is best illustrated as we spoke it, in English, Mandarin and Singlish. I thought of doing a translation for international readers, but it’s not half as funny in Queen’s English! Sorry, guys!

We were taking an evening stroll through the ‘hood, when we came across a house where the owner had grown a thick canopy of climbers over a quaint sitting area in the garden.

M (referring to the canopy): Look at that!

Me: Why would anyone do that?! What if the 鸟生鸡蛋,or worse 送他一粒炸弹 while he is sitting underneath the canopy?

M: Please lah, 鸟 doesn’t 生鸡蛋.

Me (shooting M the eh-you-fail-your-science-ah look): 鸟 of course 生鸡蛋, it does not give birth to live young, OKKKAAAAYY?

M: 鸟生鸟蛋, lah, PLEASEEEEEEE! (proceeds to shoot me the you-then-fail-your-science look)

Me: … (turns lobster red and smacks M repeatedly on his arm, as I do when I realise I am completely and horribly wrong!)