Team Sassy rounds up all the tried & tested things we’re loving this month, including must-have beauty products, guilt-free and healthy eats, and our fave new shows
Team Sassy gets invited to try many products and services and attends media previews and tastings to keep on top of everything new and noteworthy in Singapore. Here we share with you our favourites and, of course, all opinions are our own. 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, swipe through to see what tried & tested stuff we’re loving this month.
Click here to see our past picks!
Lead photo via Getty Images
After my 4-week UFIT Clean & Lean challenge I’ve been trying to eat much more mindfully. While I love to cook, I’m grateful that my helper is around to assist me with dinners when the kids just don’t go to bed on time. I recently discovered Nutritious ‘N’ Delicious workshops run by Karin Reiter. My helper attended two workshops, Kids Healthy breakfast, snack and lunchbox ideas, and Healthy Paleo-style dinners for families. She came back full of ideas and recipes that are healthy for my kids and for us adults, too. It’s reasonably priced at $100 per session, and you get a recipe book with many more suggestions. Everyone in our house is benefiting from these sessions! Karin also runs workshops to help with gut health, hormonal balance and even master classes on fermentation. (Pssst! We also love her demystifying supermarket tours!) I’d recommend them to anyone who is keen to upgrade their knowledge about managing a healthy home and cooking healthy delicious recipes.
I recently came across the Singapore company Oh My Goodness!, which features delicious gluten-free, dairy-free cakes and breads. Their signature, Golly, is a moist dark chocolate cake ($39) made primarily of almonds, cocoa, honey, eggs and olive oil. It tastes amazing! There’s absolutely no refined sugar and it’s so light that I had to double check the ingredients to make sure there was no wheat! Other goodies include a raspberry lemon vegan cake, breakfast cookies and soon gluten-free vegan pizza bases. Oh My Goodness! Also exclusively employs ex-offenders and persons with intellectual disabilities in the operations team. Also available at RedMart, honestbee and Sasha’s Fine Foods.
If you are someone who attracts mossies like there’s no tomorrow – will you come and sit beside me? Because mosquitos eat me alive and normally, harsh DEET seems to be the only thing that works to keep them away. Until recently when I’ve had quite good luck with a DEET-free, 100% natural organic spray called Incognito. It’s been clinically tested to provide 100% protection against Zika, dengue and malaria carrying mosquitoes (only for 4 hours so you need to top up), which is highly impressive for a natural spray, making it perfect for pregnant mamas and babies over 6 months, too! I usually stock up in UK on this as my kids use it every day but I’ve just seen it sold on Shoppee here.
If you love cooking Asian food at home but also love eating wholesome healthy food you’ll already know how hard it is finding ready-made sauces that aren’t full of MSG, refined sugar and E-numbers. I make my own sauces often but I’ll always cheat with curry paste and for lunch, I often need a dressing to go with a quick cooked vegetable salad. Mekhala curry pastes ($5.90), sauces and dressings ($8.40) are just the thing for healthy home cooks as they are all made with organic ingredients, are vegan, gluten-free and made without preservatives, colours, flavours or refined sugar. Sauces include Shallot Kaffir Lime Dressing and Organic Roasted Sesame Garlic Sauce but my hot favourite at the moment is the Coriander Ginger dip/dressing — delicious on broccoli salad or with Vietnamese summer rolls. The company was set up by a Singaporean mama — we always love supporting mompreneurs! Available online, on Amazon Prime or in Fairprice Finest.
I bought a Clean Attempt makeup remover towel last year to try to be more environmentally friendly. I didn’t know whether it would work but it seemed like a great idea to not have to use disposable cotton pads and makeup remover every day. So I gave it a go and have loved it ever since. All you have to do is wet the towel with hot water (ideally in the shower), and wash your face. It even removes eye makeup! It does take a little longer for the eyes, but I’ll gladly spend an extra minute wiping my eyes rather than creating more waste.
Image via TheCleanAttempt.com
After reading Juliana’s article on toys for open-ended play we purchased the PlayMags on sale from Barefoot Toys. I bought the 100 piece set, which came with a bonus 50 piece set (this is sold out now but the individual sets are still on sale.) My husband was skeptical because even on sale they are not a cheap toy, but both the 6-year-old and the 2-year-old have played with them every day since they arrived. This morning my little one played by herself while I worked in another room and my helper worked in the kitchen and we could hear her singing to herself while she created with the tiles – so sweet! ANYTHING that gets my kids playing by themselves is a win in my book!
I’m a TV junkie, so my picks this month all relate to things to watch.
Beate touched on the Netflix show Ask the Storybots in her recent roundup of educational TV shows, but oh my goodness I could write a novel about our recent obsession with it in our house. According to this super extensive history of the show, it was started by the same people who created the viral videos and oh-so-catchy earworm songs on JibJab.com. Not surprisingly, they wrote up literally hundreds of catchy songs when they created the Storybots, which started as a YouTube channel (500 million views and counting) and evolved into the popular Netflix show. Not only is each episode highly educational – addressing topics like Where does rain come from?, Why is the sky blue?, How do people catch colds? and How to computers work? – but they are also hiiiiilarious (as are the songs). As much as Maggie loves the episodes, she only get so much screen time, but I’m happy to indulge her obsession by playing the massive Storybots Spotify Playlist whenever we’re in the car. I’ve honestly learned quite a bit about dinosaurs (especially the Apatosaurus!) and their individual letter songs are outstanding. At 18 months Tad is too young for the show, but he loves the silly robot-voiced nursery songs as well.
Another show I’ve really enjoyed after the kids go to bed is Shrill, which debuted last week on Hulu. Starring the hilarious Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live, Shrill is a clever comedy based on a memoir of the same name by the author Lindy West, and follows a woman named Annie who is overweight (with no desire to change her physical appearance, but a strong urge to undergo a psychological makeover). In six swift episodes, Annie examines relationships with fat-shaming co-workers, a loser boyfriend, and even her own mother. She also has some side adventures with her roommate (the insanely talented Lolly Adefope, perhaps the show’s MVP and certainly its voice of reason). The show is unabashedly feminist and body-positive, and is totally bingeable over the course of a few days.
I’m in love with my Haakaa pump ($29-$34). It’s a super brilliant invention for breastfeeding moms. If you’re breastfeeding and you don’t know about this already, it’s time to go out and get one! It’s made of silicone and uses suction to attach to your breast. When you’re feeding on one side and the other side leaks because of your let-down, the Haakaa pump collects all of this, which would otherwise just get absorbed into your breast pads, what a waste! I use them during pumping (when I pump one side) and have collected up to 50ml just by letting it hang right there. So motivating after pumping some out to be able to pour all these “drippings” in to add to it!
Another product I love is Sephora’s Luminizing Booster with Vitamin C. I was shopping around in Sephora with my bestie looking for a serum. She swore by one from Mario Badescu with vitamin C in it. But I said Nah, don’t want to spend $90 on a serum! So I went to look at the house brand section. Lo & behold, Sephora had their own – for just $22. I swear my skin looked super radiant two days after I started using it. Not gonna stop now!
Speaking of skincare, I now can’t live without my Body Shop Drops of Youth™ Youth Liquid Peel ($35). I used to have the occasional acne break-out but that has stopped as soon as I started using this product. The first time you use it, you’re actually really going to break out. Then keep using it and before long, goodbye break-outs! Believe me when I say I’ve searched for YEARS for a solution for my acne. I hope The Body Shop never stops making this product!
Haakaa pump available at Motherswork, Mothercare, and Pupsik Studio