POSB Smart Buddy Watch

Media Invite

Nowadays, I felt that I need to catch up with technology. Everyday there is a new app, a new smart watch, a new PayLah, PayNow, InstantPay?!

These days, children have a head start being born in the Internet Age. It is a walk-in-the-park to play games on the Ipad, watch a video on Youtube or even use a smart watch for payment.

Riding on the smart cashless payment trend, POSB launched the POSB Smart Buddy Watch targeted at the primary school levels. I attended the media invite recently to understand more about this initiative and how the watch works.

With this watch, our primary school kids are able to make payment for their recess food and also “steal” a buy at their favourite school bookshops. This wearable also double up as a watch (of course) and a fitness tracker.

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Paying for food at the school canteen. Photo source: POSB

Paired with a mobile app, parents can allocate allowances directly from their personal accounts, track their children’s expenditure and savings. We understood there are also plans in future versions to add additional features such as a location tracker (within the school), biometric feature and a school bus locator where parents can track the real-time location of the bus and be notified when their child boards or alights from the school bus.

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Paired with an app on the parents’ phone. Photo source: POSB

Besides using the watch in schools, students can also use it at participating merchants such as Comfort (taxi), KFC, Pizza Hut, POPULAR, Sheng Siong. There are definitely plans to bring more merchants on-board.

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Xi En paying for items at POPULAR book store.

As Xi En’s school has yet to sign on to the program, we tested the watch at POPULAR and here are what we (or rather I) felt after the trial.

Our take on this program and the POSB SMART BUDDY WATCH:

The size is just nice with sufficient strap holes for small wrists. The strap is of a durable dark plastic material, thus it is dirt and water resistant. It is simple to navigate and comes with clear digital numbers.

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I like the clean-cut and simple design.

The app on my phone shows me exactly how much money I can allocate to him daily and I can also allow him (or not) to sign on using his own ID and password to check his own savings. There are “ savings goals” that he can set and work towards. The fitness tracker is Xi En’s favourite feature as  he was intrigued by the steps and distance covered. If the watch is lost, parents can quickly disable the functions remotely as well.

POSB Smart Buddy

Currently more than 24 schools are on-board and the general feedback had been positive. Parents with kids on the program liked how they can increase (or decrease) allowances with just an app, monitor what their kids purchase in school and encourage them to save. I can imagine that it would have been useful if my son suddenly need a dollar to buy a marker refill. he can just ring me from the general office and I can “send” the money to him almost immediately. It would be interesting to know his food selection in the school canteen as well and if he is telling me the truth! Smile with tongue out

Going digital also means that the school canteen vendors do not need to touch coins/bills while preparing food for the students – now that is a big plus.

On the flip side:

The first thought which came to my mind when the watch was introduced in the news: Hey! Will this prevent my child from learning how to count money? Not being able to touch and feel the coins/bills, will he understand the true value of money or will he think that money grows from watches?! *gasp*!

But one incident changed my viewpoint. I was having coffee with some clients from Beijing. They wanted to foot the bill but dug so deeply into their wallets for some loose change that I was almost embarrassed. They explained that they seldom need to bring their wallets out in China as almost all payments are done via the phone (QR codes mainly). And this was after our PM Lee’s National Day message on wanting Singapore to be a “Smart Nation”. My clients felt that Singapore is backwards in this aspect!

The folks at POSB emphasized that this initiative isn’t meant to be the ONLY mode of payment, but to be one of the available resources for payment. Indeed so. Though there isn’t an absolute need to digitalise everything, we cannot stand sit forever. Teaching the concept of counting money, instilling the value of hard-earned money, educating the younger generation on money sense – all these are still very important morals and lessons. I don’t think the schools intend to fully digitalised teachers! And we parents continue to play a big part of teaching our children about the dollars and coins. Having said that, when it’s Eizac’s turn to enter Primary One, I will still prefer him to learn how to carry a wallet with his pocket money and to be able to count the right change after buying a bowl of noodles during recess. The basics should still precede while the digital enhances the learning in my opinion.

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When it’s your turn, baby. Smile

As for my 8 years old, Xi En continues to track his savings in an exercise book and at the same time, enjoys tapping the POSB Smart Buddy Watch when we do visit one of the participating merchants. A marry of old-and-new I call it. We embrace technology as it comes along, but not forgetting to stay rooted with the basics. Smile

As POSB Smart Buddy Watch is still in the introductory stage, we hope to see more enhanced features such as the GPS tracking locator function which will help busy parents. Schools or parents who wish to find out more about the POSB Smart Buddy programme can visit www.posb.com.sg/smartbuddy or email posbsmartbuddy@dbs.com.

Celebrations with Floral Garage

We had an early Chinese New Year reunion dinner cum Eizac’s 4th birthday celebration. With Eizac being born near CNY period 4 years ago, he is normally not given a proper birthday celebration as it is festive season. Either the shops were closed or we were too busy doing CNY visitations.

But this year, he is turning 4 years old and like any other pre-schoolers, he is “suddenly” aware of birthdays or rather presents, cakes and parties associated with birthdays! Open-mouthed smile

We are not big on hosting parties but decided to do a small one with the extended families in conjunction with CNY reunion dinner.

There were no other children/friends invited and my kids are the oldest (or youngest?!) in the extended family. Thus we need no entertainment, dessert tables and the likes. Yea! Because I am not good at those. Smile with tongue out

But we couldn’t just have an empty function room hey?

Floral Garage – a local floral shop – came to our rescue! The company was set up in 2015 by 2 guys who wanted to make flowers gifting an affordable option to consumers. They have gone into party decorations and supplies as well.

And the kind folks there decided to help me out with the supply of party decorations for the event as I was quite haphazard in what I wanted since it was a dual-celebration.

We ended up with a combination of both and here’s sharing how the place looked like after decorations. Have to apologise for the lack of quality photos as the older boy came down with stomach flu just the night before the event. Our hands were full with bringing him to the doctor, nursing him and getting ready for the function too. That’s why it’s advisable to either outsource venue decorations or buy ready-to-install decorations for such unforeseeable situations. Open-mouthed smile

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Eizac’s Happy Birthday Banner with big gold balloons letters.
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Another look with the cheeky birthday boy.

Initially I wanted lots of balloons to create a party atmosphere. Balloons are known to generate squeals from children and add on to the party mood.

There are balloon packages from Floral Garage such as those on this link. However, our event was on a Sunday which happened to be the day that Floral Garage is closed. As such, we couldn’t have the usual latex balloons as the helium will only be good for 6-8 hours. Eventually, we opt for some foil balloons which were delivered on Sat. Some managed to stay full till the event timing.

A note on the big balloon letters – they don’t float due to the size but they last for many days! I gave the festive letters to Eizac’s school a few days after the event so they can reuse them as decorations for the school’s CNY party. Very useful! Open-mouthed smile

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On the other side of the wall, we have the same gold balloon letters but in “HAPPY CNY”. Star and heart shaped foil balloons for the children.

To create a “fuller” backdrop, you can opt to get glittery backdrops from Floral Garage. Something like this: (Image from Floral Garage)

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With 2 of the major walls done, I decided to work with the other materials provided. A search online rendered these pretty photos for the ceiling:

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Unfortunately, I do not have enough bandwidth to do such an elaborate decoration. So we D.I.Y with the crepe streamers and balloons provided by Floral Garage and ended with a decent enough look.

Ok, it’s not as nice as those PinInterest photos. But good enough for the short time we have.

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D.I.Y decorations on the ceiling with crepe streamers and balloons.
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Happy Chinese New Year from another angle.

Floral Garage also sent a lovely CNY flower arrangement, which we displayed near the buffet line and thereafter “re-used” it at home. The flowers are very lasting and we still have them in the house till date!

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We ordered a birthday cake from Bengawan Solo simply because it has the series of Paw Patrol cartoon characters. These are Eizac’s favourite cartoon for the season.

And he has to choose a Paw Patrol or rather “Air Patroller” as a birthday present too. Smile

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We ended the evening with a “Loi Hei”; toss up for a good Rooster Year ahead!

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The family’s usual “formation” when it comes to Loi Hei. So that the ingredients can still be eaten after the enthusiastic toss up.
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The entire extended clan from my mother’s side. It is always good to follow traditions. Smile
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Any parents will know it’s not easy to take a family photo with young children. We managed one here with the help of our helpful relatives. Open-mouthed smile

And Thank You to Floral Garage for the kind sponsorship of the decorations for the event. Though there was a minor slip-up due to miscommunication between their operations and marketing team, credit has to be given to the marketing team for prompt service recovery. Most people look to florists and party suppliers for significant events, so prompt, accurate deliveries and reliably good products are always a must in this trade. Floral Garage is still relatively new in the floral and party business, but they are worth a try if you want an affordable bunch of flowers or a fuss free party supplies package.

If you need some ideas for the special occasions, do check out their details below:

Floral Garage: https://floralgaragesg.com

For party supplies:  https://floralgaragesg.com/party-supplies-singapore

And for the upcoming Valentine’s Day: https://valentines.floralgaragesg.com

I do especially like the artisan freestyle bouquets of flowers available on their website – “Rustic” goes well with me. Open-mouthed smile

And I have some happy fresh news for readers here. Here’s a 15% LIFETIME DISCOUNT Code which you can use when you order from Floral Garage.

Hope it will come in as using savings when you get a bouquet to brighten someone’s day. Smile

Enter this code when checking out: evelynXFG15

Next up, with Valentine’s Day in just 2 weeks time, Floral Garage is kindly sponsoring a giveaway of a “Freestyle Bouquet” for one winner! You can have it delivered to your loved one or for yourself just simply because you need some fresh flowers in the house?! Smile

Floral Garage Giveaway

To enter the random draw, these are the criteria:

1) Visit Floral Garage Facebook Page. “Likes” are appreciated but not compulsory.

2) Visit Evespiration Facebook Page. “Likes” are appreciated but not compulsory.

3) Share this post on Facebook or Repost/Regram on Instagram; please remember to tag me – “Evespiration” and ensure your post setting is public. You will be contacted via your FB/IG account when you win.

T&C of this giveaway:

This giveaway ends on 8th Feb 2017. The winner will be randomly selected from announced on this blog post on 9th Feb 2017.

Winners will be contacted via the FB/IG account used to enter the giveaway. Winner will be given 48 hours to respond; failing which a new winner will be selected.

By entering this giveaway, you agree to release your email address to the sponsor for verification, contact and marketing purposes.
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook/Instagram.

Updated on 10th Feb 2017:

Giveaway has ended! Thank you for the participation everyone! 🙂 

And the winner goes to Elizabeth De Cruz! Congratulations! You will be contacted on your Facebook ID and hope the flowers will make your day extra special! 🙂 


Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Rooster Year; May the new year brings new beginnings and create happy memories! Smile 

And of course to my CNY baby, A Happy Blessed Birthday! Eizac, you are super loved and cherished!

Happy Birthday Eizac

City Square Mall presents Nick JR!

Media-invite

We had been “malls-hopping” this holiday season! The best time of the year for shopping at the malls is Christmas season!

The shopping malls are decked with their Christmas best and there are galore of free shows, characters Meet and Greet and goodies to redeem with minimum spends.

City Square Mall is no stranger to bringing in well known characters, catering specially to the kids!

This school holiday, City Square Mall brought in my boys’ favourite cartoon characters: Dora & Boots, Paw Patrol, Blaze the Monster Machines (at the outdoor playground area) and Bubble Guppies!

No prizes for guessing what is their favourite cartoon channel! NICK JR! Open-mouthed smile

They can shout “Abre” in Spanish, name every single Paw Patrollers, identify that Blaze had a recent makeover in transformation and chant “Outside outside, everybody outside!” with the Bubble Guppies!

If you don’t know what I am talking about, no worries – I didn’t know better as well when we subscribed to Nick Jr.. Open-mouthed smile

And if you have a big fan of Nick Jr. characters at home, don’t miss out this “all stars” live show and Meet & Greet sessions at City Square Mall. You can redeem a Meet & Greet pass with $50 spend in the mall.

For a minimum spend of $40 at the mall, you can also redeem a Wonderland Pass to participate at the various stations at the City Green Outdoor Park’s playland. These are very simple games such as bubble blowing at the Bubble Guppies station, a mini playground at Blaze, photo taking at Paw Patrol, catching falling balls at Team Umizoomi and dress-up at Shimmer and Shine.

And a quick note that the playground at the outdoor area had been revamped. It is even better than before with an old-school “turnstile” merry-go-round.

One BIG IMPORTANT TIP: Go on weekdays if you can. We were there on a Sunday afternoon and it was really crowded; with a long queue at the redemption counters and a crowd almost everywhere. Evenings might be better if you want to play outdoors too – to avoid the heat (if any).

There is a daily snowfall playtime at the Outdoor Park if you are there at 8pm and 9pm as well. So evenings are ideal. Smile

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If you don’t want your photos to be blocked (like mine); either be early and chope a seat in the middle. Or head upstairs to level 2 and 3 to sit at those common areas – it will be better views than at the sides. We were lazy to move. Smile with tongue out
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Xi En loved to take photos with mascots any time. Smile Eizac isn’t in the picture because he is scared of mascots who are larger than the cartoons he know so well! hahaha

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For more information, do check out City Square Mall’s website at this link.

Enjoy Nick Jr little fans! Smile

Merriest Christmas!