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Tried & Tested: What We’re Loving Right Now, from Brunch to Skincare to Books

tried & tested products for february 2019
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Team Sassy rounds up all the tried & tested things we’re loving this month, including our fave new Netflix shows, sleek skincare & cool kids’ books

If you’re looking for some quick pick-me-ups and inspiration, mama, read on to see what we’re loving this month. These tried & tested products from Team Sassy Mama run the gamut from great reads to delicious eats and fun things to do with out-of-town guests.

Click here to see our January picks!

Andrea: Kicho Korean Sun Cream
Sunscreen is a definite must in everyone’s skincare routine, especially living here in Singapore! Finding the right sunscreen with all its full benefits of protection that more importantly doesn’t give that horrible white cast is actually not that difficult nowadays, but there is a huge range out there (with prices to match). I discovered the Korean skincare brand Kicho through the Beauty YouTuber Gothamista. She’s reviewed a number of  facial sunscreens so I decided to hunt this one down and give it a go.

Kicho means “basic,” (기초) in Korean, and refers to their stripped-down, natural approach to skincare. The sunscreen comes in a very chic, modern, minimalist tube with a pump and is SPF 50+ PA+++. It is a chemical sunscreen; I’m not sensitive to chemical sunscreens, but if you are then this might be a no-go for you. The other ingredients are mostly different plant extracts — 50 to be exact, including soybean seed extract, oregano extract, willow bark extract, ginkgo extract, camellia leaf extract, and broccoli sprout extract. All these extracts aim to keep your skin very well moisturized. The natural extracts give the cream a fresh, grassy, slight musky smell. I’m not a huge fan of the smell, but it disappears pretty quickly.

The texture is a light gel cream that smooths over your skin without giving any shiny or white cast look. It’s actually perfect for a make-up base.

You can get Kicho Ultra Moisturizing Sun Cream on iherb with delivery to Singapore. Currently on offer for S$33.01

Read more: Best Natural Skincare Products that are Free of Nasties

Andrea: EPIC! Digital Library for Kids
Our school gave us the login for this great digital library for kids under the age of 12, allowing them to gain access to 35,000 books, segmented by age. Epic! is personalised for your child based on their reading level as well as their interests. Books can then be viewed instantly through their Epic! app, which can be downloaded onto any device.

Many selections are by well-known authors and the collection includes Spanish/English, Chinese/English, and French/English bilingual books. Kids can search books by subject, genre, as well as age, and some are audio or read-to-me versions where kids can follow along with highlighted words. There is also a handy Reading Stats page so that parents can track time spent reading, number of pages flipped, and books read. Kids can also earn badges and rewards based on certain milestones.

If your school has not signed up, Parents can try a one month FREE trial before subscribing (US$7.99 monthly). They do run a few promotions throughout the year. Currently you can get 6 months for US$38 or 12 months for US$66.

www.getepic.com

Carlijn: Family Five app
This month I downloaded a very useful ‘family life’ app called Family Five which suggests myriad creative ideas / activities / topics to do, experience and chat about as well as challenging situation suggestions to create meaningful connections with your kids, therefore enhancing family time! I especially like the conversation topic suggestions (under “chat”) such as “What would you do if you were invisible?” to get more of a response from my kids than the usual and mundane “good” in answer to “How was your day?”

As a mother to two young children I am conscious of how often I use my phone in front of my kids. So when I do use my phone in their presence I attempt to limit it to Spotify so that we can listen to music together, or the Photo app so we can swoon over their baby pictures, or Facetime / Whatsapp video so we can call family and friends elsewhere. And this is precisely why I like Family Five because it’s an enjoyable way for the whole family to create meaningful connections and new memories, and who doesn’t want that?! Oh yes, it’s also free ☺

Download Family Five for free in the App Store

Carlijn: mifoldONE
Aside from travelling abroad, there are plenty of occasions right here in Singapore where my 3- and 6-year-old-ride in taxis, Grabs, Gojeks, or the school bus and therefore need a handy, portable, preferably small booster seat to keep them safe. My go-to car safety hero Taxi Baby  has partnered with international booster seat brand mifold to launch a custom and affordable (only SGD49!) mifoldONE portable booster seat in Singapore! Suitable for kids aged 4 all the way up to 12, the Mifold snugly straps a regular seat belt against your little one’s upper thigh bone and away from his stomach to keep him safe should the unthinkable happen. I LOVE that it is small enough to fit inside my handbag, my husband’s work bag and even my kids’ little backpacks – so no excuses!

Sassy Mamas can get a special price of $49 with the discount code “Lucky49

Available at sg.taxibaby.com

Jessica: Danger Dan Books

We have recently discovered the Danger Dan series, chapter books aimed at kids from around age 8, but our-6-year-old is loving them — we’re currently getting through one a week! Danny is an ordinary 11-year-old Singaporean boy who gets transported through time by 14-year-old-Melody, a girl from the future he nicknames Gadget Girl due to her array of very cool futuristic devices. Melody recruits Danny to travel back in time with her to fix events in Singapore’s history that have mysteriously gone wrong. The third book, Danger Dan Spooks the Peculiar Peranakan Pirate, about Raffles and Sultan Hussein, has been our favourite so far – so much so that my son is actually interested to go and find out more about Raffles and ‘the fake Sultan’ (as Danny calls him) at the ACM Raffles exhibition.

Danny fancies himself a bit of a superhero (he daydreams that he is comic book hero Danger Dan to escape daily life with his annoying older sisters), which is perfect as my son loves superheroes and comics. I really like the gender balance in the books – Melody and Danny are both brave and adventurous but while they both have fears and annoying qualities and flaws, these are not relevant to their gender, just their age and personality. We’ve learnt bits and pieces about Singapore’s history, but it’s also really fun reading a book that’s set right here where we live. Highly recommend reading these books with kids ages 6 and up!

www.facebook.com/DangerDanBooks

Read more: Favourite children’s books by local authors

there's a new brunch menu at coastes on sentosa

Kate: New Brunch Menu at Coastes on Sentosa
Like many families in Singapore, we loooove Coastes on Sentosa – they serve breakfast all day (well, til 3pm, which is still pretty good), it’s right on the beach, there’s parking nearby, and they’re dog-friendly (ticks all of my brunch boxes, really!). But, I was never super crazy about the food menu, which I always found a little limited (particularly for sweet breakfast lovers). Happily, they’ve now introduced a new all-day brunch menu chock full of classics like pancakes, French toast and waffles, along with some yummy new additions like pulled pork tacos, bacon and kale frittata, and Rosti with Smoked Salmon and Poached Eggs. It’s truly a menu that now has something to satisfy every taste (another key requirement when dining with the kiddos!); they even have some nice salads if you’re being good. On top of all that, they’ve also introduced a new weekend free-flow menu where you can get unlimited Cava sparkling wine for $45++ per person.

Coastes, 50 Siloso Beach Walk, #01-05 Sentosa, Singapore 099000, email [email protected]www.coastes.com

Read moreUltimate Guide to the Best Brunch in Singapore

Kate: Trendy Boxing
I’m always a little skeptical when someone tells us a new workout is “all the rage in Hollywood”, but the new Duxton fitness studio Crubox (sister gym to spinning spot Crucycle downstairs) really did originate in Los Angeles. It’s basically the vibes of SoulCycle – loud music, dark lighting, instructors intermittently yelling motivating language at you – transferred to a tricked out boxing studio with bags, gloves and all. Just for fun they throw in various “body shredding” exercises (jumping jacks, push-ups, planks, etc.) to keep you on your toes, so to speak.

I’d like to think I’m in pretty good shape but I was wiped after a 50-minute class, and I could barely use my arms the next day. It is AMAZING if you’re feeling frustrated and need to take your aggression out on something – I could totally see myself working a class into my fitness routine once or twice a month. I particularly liked the teacher’s energy and the diverse class of men, women, young and old, and am intrigued by “theme classes” like Hip-Hop Wednesdays and 90s’ Remix Night. Click here for the full schedule; prices start from $49 for 2 classes for a first-timer (that’s a really good deal!), then go up to $40 for a single class, $190 for 5 classes, and $360 for 10 classes. You can also combine 5 boxing clsases with 5 Crucycle classes for $380 (must purchse in-studio).

CruBox, 68 Duxton Road, #04-01, Singapore 089527, Tel: (+65) 6509 0804, www.cruboxing.com.sg

Gabanyoku Hot Stone Therapy

Kate: Hot Stone Therapy

Ever have one of those days when you could just really use a nap? I was invited to Ganbanyoku Hot Stone Therapy at Far East Plaza and that’s exactly what I got: a really hot, and really sweaty, nap. But in the best possible way! Ganbanyoku, which means “rock bathing” in Japanese, employs natural magma stones to penetrate the skin and encourage the release of toxins via perspiration. It’s not hot stone massage, though. Essentially you lie on a heated surface with stones below – it’s like a giant stovetop brought to life. Along the way acupressure points are stimulated upon contact with the heated surface, which can alleviate joint, muscular and nerve pain and actually feels quite invigorating by the time your 60-minute session is over. Throughout the session you can drink water and towel off as needed; afterwards you’re actually encouraged not to shower because it’s not a typical kind of perspiration (despite the fact that I was totally drenched, I didn’t smell at all!). It’s a really nice way to relax while also stimulating the body, and I will definitely be back again.

Use promo code SassyGanbanyoku to get a special rate of $58 for two people (reg. $64), and get an extra bonus session (two total) when you purchase a 10-session package for $320. Offer valid through 31 March 2019.

Gabanyoku Hot Stone Therapy, 14 Scotts Road, #02-29 Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213, Tel: (+65) 6208 9357 / WhatsApp: (+65) 8787 5089, www.ganbanyoku.co

Marisa: Big Bus Tours

This was a great option for my visiting mother-in-law this month. We ran her around the city non-stop with the kids over the weekend (Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa, ArtScience, etc) but for a more chilled out option while the kids were at school and my husband and I had meetings, this easy hop on/hop off bus tour was just what she needed. It was a great way to orient herself with the city, check out all the neighborhoods, and get off her feet for a bit. You can jump off at any point of interest and get right back on from the same spot, or stay on for a full 45-to-60-minute leisure ride. They provide headphones for a running commentary in almost every language. We dropped her off and picked her up again at Suntec City, where they have a ticketing booth and clear signage about the bus routes and departure times. She tried two separate routes in one day and really enjoyed herself! A great option for out-of-towners that they can confidently go out on their own.

www.bigbustours.com/en/singapore/singapore-bus-tours

Read more: Singapore itineraries for foodies, culture vultures and nature lovers

Samantha: 3125 for earrings
As someone who is constantly on the lookout for interesting earrings to add to my collection, I was thrilled when I came across 3125’s booth at a recent fair. They carry both their own designs as well as a couple of other brands, often collaborating with individual artists. What I love about them is the wide variety of designs and styles they carry! There is nearly something for everyone. While I have only purchased earrings from them, they do carry rings and necklaces as well. Their products are also pretty affordable and make perfect gifts.

https://threeonetwofive.com

Samantha: New Netflix Show The Umbrella Academy 
Just released on the 15th of February, The Umbrella Academy has quickly risen to one of my favourite series on Netflix. An interesting take on the superhero genre, The Umbrella Academy is a series centring around a dysfunctional family of superheroes that comes together after the mysterious death of their father to solve the threat of the apocalypse. With great action scenes, interesting characters and a really good sound track I had to stop myself from binge watching the entire series in one seating.

Read more: 55 Shows to Watch, Stream or Download

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