Team Sassy rounds up all the tried and tested things we’re loving this January, including fun kids’ activities, a stellar plant-based cookbook, a couple kitchen godsends, and a cool fashion upcycling service
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 addictive podcasts and fun things to do with kids. 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 and tested stuff we’re loving this month.
Click here to see our past picks!
Kate: Fun Longkang Fishing for Kids
If you’re looking for a fun, low-cost, low-crowds outdoor activity to do with the kids, both my of mine (ages 5 and 2) recently had a ball going longkang fishing at ORTO, a recreation complex in Yishun. In fact we went over the recent long CNY weekend and had the place to ourselves! For 12 bucks, kids get a small net and a little tank; they then wade through [extremely clean] shallow pools stocked with teeny fish like guppies in an attempt to catch them, and can take home whatever they catch (or humanely release them back into the water). It requires concentration and a bit of hand-eye coordination, but my 2-year-old caught eight in about five minutes! You can check out a couple videos on our Instagram Stories for more. And if your kids want something a little more heart-pumping (or air-conditioned), Katapult Trampoline Park is nearby in the same complex. Be sure to bring a swimsuit, since the water can be about half a meter deep, and there’s lots of crouching and splashing.
Orto, 81 Lorong Chencharu #01-01, Singapore 769198, www.orto.sg
Make-Your-Own Baby Board Books
I’ve always loved making photobooks, and after writing our roundup this past Christmas and getting some more recommendations from my colleagues, I actually ended up ordering photobooks from three different places! The one that’s been the biggest hit has been the baby board book from Artifact Uprising that I gave to my 2-year-old son. No one loves looking at pictures and photos more than toddlers, but with most photobooks you end up worrying that those enthusiastic little hands will tear the page. The Artifact Uprising board books are super sturdy, though, and the print quality is fantastic. Every night at bedtime Tad loves going through to proudly recall each of his classmates and teachers, and someday I think the book will make a wonderful memento of his first year at preschool.
Marisa: Singapore Slingers Basketball Game
We recently went to a Singapore Slingers basketball game at OCBC Arena and it was a ton of fun for the whole family. You can consider VIP and Season passes to sit courtside, but general seats range from just $5.50-$16 and visibility is very good so there really are no bad seats in the house. The atmosphere is great with lots of cheering and peppy music, and the level of play is pretty decent with international rosters that include American former college players. You can take photos with the Merlion mascot and get autographs and photos with the players after the game. There are still around eight more home games to choose from on the Slingers’ 2020 schedule — look for the Sunday afternoons for the most kid-friendly options.
Beate: Wholesome, Hearty Plant-Based Recipes from the Midlife Kitchen
Forget about Dry January; now January seems like a popular time to go vegan (thanks to The Game Changers on Netflix), and while I am not on that bandwagon myself, I have kept up with our family’s mission to eat more plant-based meals and severely cut down on meat.
With that in mind I have been loving the cookbook The Midlife Kitchen by Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice (who actually lives in Singapore now). It’s full of health-boosting recipes (not all vegetarian but a good lot of them focus on vegetable recipes like the Ubud Spice Salad and Swish Rösti with sweet and normal potatoes). Every Sunday I now make a big batch of sugar-free Midlife Grown-up Granola (made with no oil, just whisked egg whites) that sees us through breakfast for the whole week. The book’s lovely pics of food will have you drooling and raring to start cooking.
Also recommended: VEG by Jamie Oliver
Jessica: Upcycled Clothes from StyleTribute
I recently purchased some ‘new’ clothes from styletribute.com, an online consignment store for pre-loved designer goods. I’d been trying hard to reduce my carbon footprint by not purchasing new clothes from high street stores but desperately needed a wardrobe refresh, so styletribute seemed like a good fit (no pun intended).
I couldn’t have been happier with the process – you can search by size, designer, occasion or price, and delivery is just $5 for purchases under $600. I selected about 10 things and had them delivered to my door. I tried them on in the comfort of my own home (no pressure, no sweaty fluorescent lit changing rooms), and returned most of it because I’d gotten my sizing wrong. No biggie! I ordered a new round of clothes to try, coordinated the delivery of those with the collection of the items I was returning, and ended up with a great haul – a BA&SH dress for $100, brand new(!) Rag & Bone booties for less than half the RRP, J. Crew ballet flats for $60, and seemingly unworn designer denim cheaper than Uniqlo!
You can also go to the warehouse in Pasir Panjang and chat with their consultants if you prefer. They’ll make recommendations based on your online wishlist and have it waiting for you when you get there!
Abi: An eco-friendly, effective water filter
We have always used a water filter in Singapore as hubby and I are a little fussy with water taste, plus both of us get eczema and the cleaner our water, the better our skin! We’ve gone through a couple of options and finally after 4 years I now feel settled.
To give some background; we’ve tried using water pitchers, but we found them slow and fiddly having to always top up and changing the filters every 2months was frustrating and the price adds up.
We then switched to a water delivery service, but this was getting expensive, almost $2000 a year on water at home(!), plus I wasn’t sure about the policy on recycling the plastic 5L containers and wanted to reduce plastic use in our house.
If you are interested in a system that will remove everything bad, while leaving you with pure great tasting water, it filters bacteria to a 99.9% level and removes heavy metals without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. You can just top up with water from the tap, the filters last up to 2-3 years, and every component in the Berkey is replaceable, so in theory it should last a lifetime.
Prices start from $200.
The Thermomix TM6 is the kitchen gadget I didn’t know I needed until I had it
With a retail price of $2,000+, the Thermomix TM6 had a lot to prove….but honestly it had me at hello the first time I used it.
It’s hard to explain how easy it makes your life; as a mum of two young kids I’ve lost count of the meals I’ve stopped and started, burned or overcooked, having been called away from cooking to stop the misbehaving, or pick up a clingy toddler.
The TM6 has an amazing amount of features, so you can whisk, caramelise, chop, steam, sauté, blend, knead, emulsify, grind and grate, all at the touch of a button. It can also sous-vide and ferment – which I still have to test. The guided cooking functions mean that even a complete kitchen novice (read: my husband!) can follow the step-by-step instructions and produce some pretty impressive basic dishes such as pizza dough or banana bread.
If you’ve ever battled to get your kids to eat their veggies, the Thermomix is a great partner in crime when it comes to sneaking vegetables into meals. There is even a complete cookbook dedicated to kids’ meals.
Almost everyone I’ve met who has one says “They are amazing” or “It will change your life.” Those who don’t say “What is so good about it?” and that’s hard to explain until you see it in action.
Thermomix Singapore, www.thermomix.com.sg
Nadia: A Face Oil That Gives Me Radiant Morning Skin
As media, we often receive samples from our clients to try out. Last year I received Sothys Elixir Relipidant Essentiel face oil and never got round to trying it till now. This was the first time I was using any kind of face oil at all, as I’ve always thought putting oil on your skin was a big no-no! But I just have to rave about this product because when I use in instead of a night cream, the next morning, my skin looks so bright! And this is the skin of a mama who still gets up once or twice every night for the baby! With the price tag of $159, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to buy another bottle as soon as this one runs out, but I would definitely recommend it to those who don’t mind spending that kinda money on your skincare!