Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Get Well Soon Lego and Build a Bear

When I was a child, we got a special surprise when we were sick, so we'd feel better... My sister always got the best surprises because she managed to get herself hospitalized and brought to the emergency room a number of times. (Typhoid, Seizures, Split chin, stinky ears... you name it, she had it, with the really cool toys to match!) Good thing I sort of convinced her that sharing with her older sister was expected...or else

It comes as no surprise that when Sofia is sick, I have an urge to buy Toys R Us for her, so she'll feel better and get well in a jiffy! Hahaha... But kidding aside, I was really glad I hoarded the new Lego Friends line (and I sent it home so we could claim tax rebate) because it came in handy when I brought Sofia to get a blood test to ensure that she didn't have H-Fever, and when I was bargaining with her to wear the flower girl gown before we left for the church.

The LEGO Friends tagline is "The Beauty in Building". 
Bricks in pink, lavander, turquoise and lime are really beautiful!

Sofia and I were looking intently at the Lego Beauty Shop box while she was getting her blood test. It was over before we knew it with no tears. Lego Rules! It just jacks up the cost of a blood test... and I doubt Medical Insurance covers it.
Butterfly Beauty Shop SG$49.90 (Php1,715)
Photo Credit:
Fif playing with the beauty shop while getting her hair styled
Stephanie's Cool Convertible SG$29.90 (Php1,030)
photo credit:
I threw in the convertible so she'll wear the gown from the house to the church
(and not just when we got there!)
and to ensure she'll walk down the aisle and smile even if she wasn't feeling a 100% well!

Our last bargain was that I would buy her a new Build-a-Bear if she was well enough to fly back to Singapore with me.

Fif got her first Build-A-Bear as a gift from my friends for our housewarming in Singapore
Step 1: go to the Build-A-Bear Workshop, choose your friend, and fluff him up
Step 2: kids are asked to hug the bear to see if it's fluffy enough
Step 3: the kids put in the heart and they become friends for life
(or something cheesy like that) then the bear is sewn up
Step 4: the kids give the bear a pretend bath and a real brushing
Step 5: the kids pick out an outfit for the bear
This is the part that will instantly double your bill.
The clothes and shoes for the bears are MORE EXPENSIVE than kids clothes!!!
Step 6: Each bear is given a name and comes with a birth certificate
Sofia called her bear Bubblegum.
Then each bear comes in this condo looking box

The experience is so much fun for kids, actually for the parents too... if you just totally ignore the part that you need to pay for it, that Sofia loves any excuse to buy another Build-A-Bear.

Sofia got Choco as a Get Well Soon present a year ago.
The sleeping bag came from the Build-A-Bear sale when I was in South Africa.

Build-A-Bear in Singapore never goes on sale so I sort of went crazy when I saw it on sale in South Africa.
I got Sofia the World Cup Soccer Bears so we could play them against each other.
They were around SG$10 each on sale!
I also got Bubblegum a snowboard.
The more I missed my daughter the more I shopped.
The shoes were NOT on sale, and were more expensive than the bears that come complete with Jersey, flag and football!
I also bought extra shirts for the bears because they were on sale for SG$2!
Fif's friends from the Singapore Zoo Leo and Ely are just borrowing.
Fif still occasionally still plays football with them. 

We also saw Build-A-Bear in Brazil, but that was double the price of the store in Singapore, so I convinced Sofia we will buy in Singapore... when we have a good reason to... but this needs to be saved for another occasion, because after school today, on our way to our Build-A-Bear date, we passed Toys Hunt in Great World City, our favorite Lego Store, and they reserved for us the sets that were not available during our last visit.

Sofia quickly traded her feel-better Build-A-Bear for the SpongeBob Bikini Bottom Undersea Party.

On Sale at 33% off
SG$119.90 SG$79.90 (Php2,744)
photo credit:
We both needed a Nespresso (Decaf) Fix before we started because we were both so sleepy.
One of us was insisting that we play with it tonight!
I think fif helped with the characters, then it felt like I did the rest.
Fif was supervising while drinking her milk with coffee.
We I only did one bag out of four, but it already had a lot of cool stuff.
Rotating Merry Go Round with SpongeBob and his driving teacher Mrs. Poppy Puff
Patrick Starfish gets to play DJ with records that you can actually move around
Squidward Tentacles was watching the snack stand
Gary, SpongeBob's pet snail, was looking for someone who wanted to seesaw... 
...he flew right up when Mrs. Puff joined him, while SpongBob watched and laughed.

That's basically the preview we got, since we had no more energy to build more of Bikini Bottom.

Here are the other Lego Friends sets that I bought from ToysHunt:

Olivia's House SG$139.90 (Php4,806)
I was dying to buy this the last time but it was out of stock.
photo credit:
Park Cafe SG$59.90 (Php 2,060)
This one ran out of stock before while I was deciding on which ones to buy.
I shouldn't have bothered thinking so hard since I decided to buy nearly everything.

photo credit:
I had them wrap it so Fif has a fairly good idea that I got her birthday present,
but she doesn't know what she's getting yet.
Heartlake Vet SG$79.90 (Php2,744)
This is the only one left in my Lego stash in Manila

Lego Friends also has really cool small stuff, which I've bought and given Fif as a surprise for when I had to go to a work dinner, or when I had continuous late night calls.

Emma's Splash Pool and Stephanie's Outdoor Bakery
Emma's Splash Pool SG$10.90 (Php375)
Stephanie's Outdoor Bakery SG$10.90 (Php375)

I always buy our Lego from ToysHunt in Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade
#03-26, Great World City
Singapore 237994
Tel: (65) 6333 6936
visit their website
Members get a 10% discount, and don't forget to ask for a tax rebate form if you are taking it out of Singapore

OK, so I admit, as much as the toys make Sofia feel better... it also works for me too :) 
I love Retail Therapy... and it helps lessen the stress of having a sick kid... because it makes you feel that at least you are doing something to make it better. Just Saying.

Plus, I also have this feeling that these are going to be collectors editions one day... and it will make me rich in my old age! (oh, I'm sort of forgetting Sofia owns them) Yaya better make sure we don't lose any of the pieces. Good Luck to her. Hahaha.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Charles and Keith Outlet Store


When I lived in Manila, one of the reasons I go to Singapore is to buy Charles and Keith shoes, aside from visiting my really good friend Tim of course! Charles and Keith is a local Singapore company so the shoes are much cheaper here compared to Manila or any other country I've been too.

It came as a super bonus when I found out that Charles and Keith not only had an Outlet Store, it was very accessible too, and it's right across IKEA, one of our favorite places here. 

Whenever we have shopaholic visitors, who are looking for good bargains (which is not that easy to find in Singapore unless it's sale season), I always recommend to them to visit Anchorpoint Shopping Mall on Alexandra Road first. It's one of the first outlet malls in Singapore with the sale outlets of Charles and Keith, Pedro, G2000, Cotton-On, Cotton-On Kids, Billabong, Giordano and Fox among others.

Anchorpoint Mall on Alexandra Road

My favorite stores are always Charles and Keith, Cotton-On and Cotton-On Kids as I always manage to buy something for myself, my sister and Sofia. During the last visit of my family, I think we managed to buy at least 10 pairs, among all of us (my sister, my cousin and my aunt) each time we went. For die hard shopaholics, this mall normally merits a second visit, to go back for the things that they forgot they needed to buy to, or for the things that they decided they JUST had to have. Hahaha.

Charles and Keith Shop Window
Cotton On Outlet
Cotton On Kids Outlet

Here's my Charles and Keith haul from their visit, which I also mentioned here:

The Charles and Keith Outlet Store normally offers a bigger discount than the regular stores. For Chinese New Year, the regular boutiques were offering discounts up to 50% off, while the outlet store had discounts up to 70% off. The stock they sell in the outlet store are from the past collections, so if you want the new collection, you won't find it there. Even the sale stock at the regular boutique is not often available in the Outlet store so it's still worth a visit to go to the regular stores if you're looking for something in particular from the current season.

Since I now live here, I tell myself I no longer need to hoard Charles and Keith shoes. I used to buy 10 pairs a trip because we only visited Singapore once or twice a year from the regular boutique, normally my criteria was anything I fell in love with, or anything I liked that was on sale. I have higher standards now, I only buy my Charles and Keith on sale, except I when I need shoes to match a particular dress for a certain occasion like a wedding, that's like a free pass.

Since I know I am going home soon, I have started hoarding again. I have imeldific tendencies, I know! I even plan to shop from the current collection (since it will still be cheaper than Manila prices) just before I move home for good.

Here are the shoes I bought last time, and their sale prices, guaranteed to make the shoe lovers drool.

Cream Patent Pumps with Grey Suede Trim and Silver Mary Jane strap
from the Charles and Keith Signature Collection
 From SG$75.00 Now SG$14.90
Dark Brown Satin Pointed Pumps with animal print ankle strap
From SG$43.90 Now SG$12.90
Brown Strappy Sandals with Gold Studs
I tried it on because of the price, I bought it because it was so comfy!
From SG$41.90 Now SG$14.90
Pink Beige and Black High Heeled Sandals
I have this is the Cream and Gold version
From SG$41.90 Now SG14.90

This is the most expensive least on sale pair that I bought. I really wanted to buy a wedge pair. And since I can brought this to Sri Lanka, I was willing to cough up the cash for this one (hahaha, as if it would break the bank!), while all the other heels I bought were in preparation for a job I do not have yet!
Faux Snake Skin with Grey Strap Wedges
From SG$41.90 Now SG$25.90

My sister and my cousin also bought loads of shoes from Charles and Keith and clothes from Cotton-On.
We were all very happy shoppers.

The Charles and Keith Outlet Store is at
370 Alexandra Road
#01-30/31 Anchorpoint
Tel: (+65) 64726937

Happy Shopping! :) Or better yet, drop me a line if you're going, so if I'm in town, I'll join you. 

My friend Anna's husband Hans,
after their first visit to Anchorpoint Mall.
I think there was a second and a third visit too!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Toast Box Dinner


We had dinner at Toast Box for the first day of Chinese New Year, for lack of other options. OK, fine. Though a lot of the restaurants were closed, we had some other options, but since we refused to stand in a long line, we had to eat in Toast Box by default. Well, Tim was also super hungry and he said that Toast Box is one of his favorite places, so Toast Box it is.

The ambiance of their branch at The Shoppes in Marina Bay Sands is actually very nice. I mentioned it in my post here.

Since not a lot of restaurants were open, the queue was very long everywhere. It was the same at Toast Box but we just got lucky in finding a table. They were actually running out of food. When we were ordering, the only real food they had was Laksa and Chicken Curry. It's a good thing Tim's favorites were the Laksa and Kaya Toast Meal which they still had in stock.

Tim wanted Kaya Butter Toast and Soft Boiled Eggs to go with his Laksa.
Sofia wanted to share so he could not contaminate the eggs with Soy Sauce until she said  she was done.
I ordered the Kaya Toast Set Meal so I could drink the Kopi
The Kaya Toast Set Meal (SG$5.00) comes with 2 slices kaya butter toast, 2 soft boiled eggs and Kopi or Teh 

The best Kaya Butter Toast for me is Toast Box or Ya Kun Kaya Toast. My criteria is simple. The butter has to be as thick or thicker than the bread.
The Toast Box Kaya Butter Toast is served with softer bread.
The Ya Kun Kaya Butter Toast version has crunchier bread.

For real food, we ordered the only items that they still had available:
The Toast Box Laksa has short noodles, that look very similar to bean sprouts.
It won't trouble you with Laksa splatters on your shirt, or in the eye
(which I know from experience can be really painful!)

I think we were served the last 2 orders of Chicken Curry, because I overheard someone saying that only Laksa was available. Hahaha. Surprisingly, the curry sauce was really good. It just gets a bit spicy if you try to avoid eating rice like I do.
The Chicken Curry has 4 pieces of middle winglets and potatoes.
The Chicken Curry Meal (SG$7.20) comes with rice and Barley Juice.

I still think of Toast Box as one of my favorite Kopi and Kaya Toast places, but when you need real food, it's not a bad choice. Toast Box is available almost every where in Singapore. For a complete list of their branches, you can check their website.