Team Sassy rounds up all the tried and tested things we’re loving this August, from low-cost manicures to great sunscreen and a coffeemaker that’ll make you want to skip the cafe and stay home
At Sassy Mama we love to gab with each other about our favorite new finds and hidden gems, from what to binge on Netflix to manicure hacks and meditation apps that are worth spending money on. Here we share with you our favourites and, of course, all opinions are our own. Sometimes we get invited to try out new products and experiences, and sometimes this is just stuff we come across in our daily lives. We are a diverse group of mamas who are shopping, eating, watching, and experiencing fun things with our families, just like you!
So if you’re looking for some quick pick-me-ups and inspiration, mama, read on to see what tried & tested stuff we’re loving this month.
Click here to see our past picks!
Lead image by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash
I’m married to a Frenchman and on our annual trips back to Europe, whenever we booked tickets he would vehemently declare; “We are NOT flying Air France!”, so alternative airlines would always be used. However, this year with a 3- and 2-year-old the usual airlines didn’t appeal because of their timings, and Air France became the de facto best option.
I’m here to tell you that Air France has changed and gotten significantly better! From the friendly staff, to free champagne in Economy (Oui, merci!), and kids’ meals that my children actually ate, plus usual on board assistance when traveling with kids, we were impressed….OK if I’m going to be a little picky, the TVs could be a little bigger, BUT, aside from that we have renewed our relationship with this airline. Bravo Air France, after 12 years you have won us back as customers!
I have a thing about books. And libraries. Going to the Marylebone library in London on my once-a-year trip to the UK as a child growing up in Kenya was always a highlight. Just the smell of a British library (usually slightly musty and erring on the damp side) brings back lovely nostalgic childhood memories. And so I regularly march my two kids off to our local Queenstown library (no funky smells here) and I am delighted that they love theirs as much as I loved mine. My 7-year-old is a voracious reader and I love how you can reserve at a nominal fee of $1.55, popular books like Harry Potter and have them delivered to any library of your choice. National Library Board Singapore has its own website where you can search for books in stock.
There’s a super recipe book section, parenting books, toddler books, travel and business books, you name it. There’s also a small DVD section and Audiobooks to boot plus regular events like storytelling and coding. Plus if you are ever a keen been and get to your library before the doors open, the staff hold this very sweet simple opening ceremony every single morning and line up to greet their avid readers by the door. Love it!
Read more: The Best Kids’ Libraries in Singapore
Image is Tampines Hub Library
I have dry and ultra sensitive skin and I’ve been trying to find a daily physical sunscreen that would not irritate my skin. I’ve tried so many brands before from drugstore brands like Neutrogena to super high end products like Paula’s Choice or NEOSTRATA (Sheer physical protection SPF 50) that were highly recommended by beauty editors and dermatologists, but sadly they didn’t work for me.
I still needed to find something I could use everyday so after reading so many rave reviews for this EltaMD brand I thought I’d give it a try. It’s only been a week but so far it’s been amazing. Despite being a 100% physical sunscreen it disappears into the skin without leaving a white mask and it doesn’t irritate or dry my skin; on the contrary, it has Hyaluronic Acid which hydrates my skin. It’s also a great base to apply makeup afterwards. Last but not least, it is oil-free, and free of any known irritants, such as artificial dyes and fragrances and water-resistant! What more could you ask for?
EltaMD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 is available in Singapore at $64 for 57g
My first child was a delight to take to cafes as a toddler. He LOVED babyccinos, took his time with whatever treat we allowed and, being a clingy child, never left our sight. The second child is completely different, and trips to cafes are now something to be endured not enjoyed as we take turns bolting after her while our coffee cools and her brother drinks her babyccino. So we invested in a coffee machine. And we have NEVER LOOKED BACK! It’s super easy to use, simple to clean, and so good! This thing makes such great coffee that on the rare occasions we go to a cafe we’re usually disappointed. We’ve found that the best beans come from Dutch Colony, so we order 1kg bags of the Dutch Blend online. Saving our sanity, saving on takeaway cups, and saving money on cafe breakfasts!
You can buy the Breville Dynamic Duo Espresso Machine for SG$2088 at various Singapore department stores (Tangs, Robinsons, Best Denki, Harvey Norman, etc.) but we bought ours online from Myer in Australia where it was significantly cheaper, even with shipping. The stainless steel version is currently on sale for SG$1589 including taxes and shipping. Just note that if you do buy from Australia, you’ll need to get an adaptor for the plug – but luckily the voltage is the same so no need for a converter!
I’m a pretty huge TV nerd and am always on the lookout for new stuff to stream. Some of my recent faves have included Fleabag Season 2 (on Amazon) and Succession Season 2 (currently airing on HBO), and the rebooted Veronica Mars on Hulu, but my top recommendation would be GLOW Season 3, which recently dropped on Netflix.
Inspired by “The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” – a real program that aired in the mid-1980s – the show’s 1985-86 setting allows it to address modern topics like sexual harassment, racial diversity and work-life balance through an utterly unique lens. It is the most aggressively feminist show I’ve ever seen, and I am so here for it. The sprawling cast features over a dozen women of all shapes, sizes and colors, and manages to deftly balance humor with serious topics like miscarriage, abortion and the challenges faced by working mothers (which was a particular focus of season 3). And yet every episode also features multiple laugh-out loud moments (credit where it’s due to the show’s two male leads, Marc Maron and Chris Lowell, for so much of the comic relief) and jaw-dropping period fashion. Don’t be put off by the surface subject matter – this is not really a show about wrestling (though it will give you a new appreciation for how hard wrestlers work!).
Photo by Erica Parise/Netflix
Do you ever just lie in bed wanting to fall asleep but somehow can’t as your mind runs through a laundry list of things you need to do? That’s me.
I had heard of the Calm App for some time – it’s the #1 app for meditation and sleep – but was skeptical. A few months back I finally tried it out. The app has a number of offerings including daily meditations, sleep stories, masterclasses, breathing exercise, relaxing music and more! My favorite is the sleep stories – grown-up bedtime stories read in soothing voices (one by actor Matthew McConaughey – yes please!). The best part, it actually works. I never find out what happens at the end of the stories because I am fast asleep. I also love their daily calm meditations – and, no, I wasn’t into meditation before. The daily meditations usually last 10 minutes and are a perfect way to take a break from the day and just reset. I am hooked!
Read more: Guide to Yoga & Meditation in Singapore (apps included!)
Your kids will like it, too. There is a whole section on “Calm Kids” that offers sleep stories tailored to little ones, like “The Velveteen Rabbit” or “Beauty and the Beast.” It also has guided meditations for kids as young as 3 and lullabies. Instead of getting dragged into an endless cycle of “Just one more story Mommy!” turn this app on and let it lull them to sleep for you.
The free version of the app gets you limited access to stories and meditations but within a week I wanted more and took the plunge and paid for a subscription. Its 60 USD a year; it’s not cheap but it’s definitely worth it. You can find it at for both Apple and Google Android.
Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash
I was shopping at Guardian with my little 8-year-old diva when she pointed out KISS New York Press and Go Manicure Nails to me. The last time I tried press-on nails, I was 14 and they were terrible. Thinking they must have evolved by now, I got a pack for each of us and I have to say, I’m impressed! These were SO easy to put on, I was done with all my nails while waiting for my husband to wash the dishes before starting our Netflix & Chill night. All cut & filed, too! I’m on Day 3 now and there are no signs of them peeling off. Removing them seems to be pretty straightforward; my only complaint is that most of their designs are a little too fancy and probably more targeted to 15-year-olds. But there still are 3-4 options that look simple enough for me. Great for when you have that nice dinner or weekend planned, want great looking nails with ZERO effort! Get them at Guardian (between $15-$17) or online via Redmart!
I’m always on the lookout for natural body products and recently came across Richu Beauty. I love how this feels on my skin – the usual “soapy feeling” (bubbles caused by chemicals) is not there at all and my skin is left feeling like I’ve just gotten a nice full body treatment, just like after an essential oil massage! The scent is so fragrant yet not artificial. The best way to use this is to lather it all over, leave it on for a minute while you brush your teeth or wash your face, then shower off – so that the skin absorbs all the essential oils in the product. Available at www.richubeauty.com/shop.
Image via Facebook