Team Sassy Mama rounds up all the things we have tried, tested and loved in May, from TV shows and must-have cooking appliances to kids’ books, eco-friendly products and more!
If there’s one thing we can’t resist, it’s a value-for-money find that is kid- and parent-friendly. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for products, apps, services and experiences that will improve your quality of life. This month, we’ve shortlisted plenty of great picks that are easy to use, convenient and wallet-friendly. Keep scrolling for all the deets!
Want more solid recommendations? Click here to see our past picks!
Marisa: Big Shot on Disney+
This has been a great family-friendly show on Disney+ to watch with our two boys aged 9 and 11 years old. It’s about a college men’s basketball coach who gets kicked out for bad behaviour and the only job he can find is coaching at an elite private girl’s school. He has to learn how to adjust his coaching style and manage his temper. Common Sense Media recommends the show for 10+, but I think the overall messaging is all very positive, so I think children as young as 8+ would enjoy it.
Kristen: Stackers jewellery organiser
My jewellery/watch collection keeps growing, shrinking and changing in style, so I found these Stackers jewellery boxes that will help keep it all organised. They have individual trays in a variety of configurations, so you can pick what piece you want and stack as high as you want. The lid is sold separately, so literally, the sky is the limit. I ordered a piece from their online store in Singapore and it arrived the same day!
Syazana: Oasis zero waste solid shampoo bar, Jomingo natural deodorants & the Dinostaury I Love My Mother Earth Trilogy
If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly way to shampoo and haven’t found the right shampoo bar, Oasis Skin’s line of Solid Shampoo (from $15) is worth trying. I got to try the clarifying Ash Solid Shampoo, handmade with detoxifying Activated Charcoal, Neem and Vetiver oil. Although it does require more work than if you simply pumped shampoo from a bottle into your hand (I’d imagine this would work more quickly on short hair), this shampoo bar lathers surprisingly well and leaves my scalp feeling super clean and refreshed after every wash! The natural granules in it make it a great scalp exfoliator, plus you can’t deny the cute canelé shape. They even make 2-in-1 shampoo-conditioner cubes that are shaped like traditional Malay kueh!
I made the switch to using natural deodorants instead of antiperspirants a few years ago when I realised I had a lot of underarm discolouration due to clogged pores. There was a bit of an adjustment period – many call this the ‘armpit detox’ phase – and getting used to sweating in that area again. But I came to accept that sweating is completely normal, and my underarm discolouration is now gone after cutting out antiperspirants. That said, most of the natural deodorants I tried before this were either too ‘oily’, didn’t do a good job of masking body odour or left behind residue even after showering. That changed when I tried local deodorant brand Jomingo (from $22), and I think I’ve found my new holy grail! It feels like there’s nothing on my skin and does an amazing job of neutralising my body odour, so there’s absolutely no smell all day. I even got my husband to switch to their deodorants so we’re both happy Jomingo converts! Their deodorant sticks are natural and vegan, made with USDA-certified organic and COSMOS approved ingredients, and packaged in eco-friendly, recyclable FSC-certified paper.
Another great find for us is the Dinostaury I Love My Mother Earth Trilogy ($40 for a set of 3 books). When we first received this, I didn’t think my one-year-old would be interested in stories about Mother Earth and eco-friendliness. But the fab illustrations, loveable characters and rhyming stories got us all hooked and each book is on constant rotation in our house! The whole trilogy follows a friendly dinosaur family that’s always looking for great ways to reduce waste and encourage recycling. I love that they incorporate fun facts on pollution and climate change, and eco-friendly tips and activities at the end of each book. It’s great for instilling eco values in kids of all ages!
Beate: Brow lamination by Browhaus
It’s all in the brows, right? Good brows can frame your face, lift your expression and generally make you look a million dollars if done right (that’s the dream anyway). I was excited to try the relatively new treatment Brow Lamination at Browhaus. Unlike brow embroidery and microblading, Brow lamination is a non-invasive and temporary eyebrow perm (lasts around four weeks) that restructures the direction of your brow hairs. You need a fair amount of brow to start with but this treatment just aligns all your brows by perming them upward, giving the illusion of a brow lift. It takes an hour and is completely painless, and you walk out with much more defined brows. I am pretty happy with the results! Brow lamination is $120 or $160 for brow lamination plus a colour tint and tweezing. I thought the tweezing was necessary to shape well, but the colour only lasts a few days so I would have been happy without it. They’ve got an excellent promo on to get this treatment for $48, so run, ladies, run!
Emilie: Ninja Foodi MultiCooker
Since the pandemic, my husband and I have been spending an increasing amount of time in the kitchen, trying out new recipes and dishes. Lately, we’ve been thinking of getting either an air-fryer or a pressure cooker. With limited storage space, we can’t have both, which is why the Ninja Foodi MultiCooker is perfect! This multi-purpose kitchen tool has a total of eight settings, ranging from air frying and baking to roasting, sauteéing, grilling, slow cooking, pressure cooking and a keep-warm function. With it, I made three different recipes – fries, roast chicken and ragu. I used store-bought frozen fries, straight from the packet into the air-fryer; 20 minutes later, we had tasty, crispy fries without needing any additional oil! The chicken required us to use the pressure cooker first before air-frying it for crisp skin. It turned out alright, but our big win was the beef ragu. We used the pressure cooker function again, and not only did the beef ragu take a fraction of the time it would have normally taken, but it was also delicious. Fuss-free and easy to use, it’s a wonderful kitchen tool if you love to experiment with different kinds of cuisine and want a neat, clean kitchen. It’s easy to wash, which, in my book, is a big plus. While it does take up a considerable amount of space and is heavy, it’s definitely better than having to buy separate kitchen appliances.
Hazel: Lumenate Psychedelic Meditation App
Insomnia has been my best friend for a while now – and before you ask, yes, I’ve tried counting sheep; no, it doesn’t work – so I spend most of my nights wide awake and most of my days utterly exhausted. A friend recommended the Lumenate app two months ago, and she received plenty of side-eye when she said it required meditation. But hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, so I decided to give it a go. There are meditation sessions for different needs (contentment, sleep, tackling emotional blocks, achieving goals and open explorations), and you’ll need to use Lumenate in a completely dark room with earphones or headphones on. Why? Because instead of a basic guided meditation, Lumenate also uses stroboscopic lights. The app claims that these flashing lights will help alter your brain’s rhythms and state of consciousness, which will help soothe and calm you. While the theory isn’t fully proven – Lumenate has a working relationship with a team at Sussex University, which studied this in 2018 – I found myself sleeping better after a week of trying. Lumenate is part of my nightly routine now – yay, 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep! There are free and paid subscriptions ($9.49 per month or $57.99 per year), and the app is available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.