BIRTHDAY PARTY AT TIMEZONE VIVOCITY

Xi En turned 9 years old in July and we had initially decided to go with a simple family dinner with him choosing his own present. There are a few things he is obsessed about. Namely: Ipad/Iphone games (read: digital games); hands-on S.T.E.M activities and ermm.. books. Haha; yes – he is quite the bookworm – which I am glad he is!

And so, when Timezone proposed a birthday party at their flagship outlet with a party room at Vivocity, how can I say no? Giving in to the birthday boy’s wishes, we decided to bend the rules a little to allow UMLIMITED arcade games for 3 WHOLE HOURS!!!

We are often torn between exposing the kids early to arcade/digital games and yet nowadays the digital world is hot on their heels. You just can’t keep the frog in the well forever. And so, unleased they went on the special day!

GAME ON!

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Timezone has a flagship store at Vivocity Level 2 which house a party room; nicely decorated. There is a little corner which you can set up a backdrop complete with a dessert table if you prefer. However I decided there was no further need to add on the colorful party room. Our guests were predominately BOYS from my 2 sons’ schools. I knew the attractions would not be the party room! Winking smile

Nonetheless, the Timezone Party Room is well equipped with a projector, a mini fridge to keep your drinks cool, tables and chairs, drawing materials for the younger ones and also boast of a gorgeous Sentosa Island view.

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Party room at Timezone Vivocity

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Lovely Sentosa Island View from the little balcony which can be accessed through a glass door at the party room.

We were hosted by experienced Timezone staffs, Kenneth, Huda and her team mates. They really know their stuff; from giving proper instructions to the party goers to even watching out for the younger ones in the crowd and gathering them back for dinner and cake cutting. All these I understood are accumulated from experiences. Timezone party room is so popular with parents (and kids of course) that they are fully booked on most weekends! Do note that the turnaround time for each party can be really short. We arrived 15 mins ahead of our time slot and the previous party was still ongoing. We felt bad chasing them out so we could prepare for our guests.

When I first previewed the place, I knew I can keep things simple as the children won’t be confined in the party room. We went for a non-hot warmers catering and got some food and the birthday cake pre-ordered from food stalls located in Vivocity! That’s really helpful as I only need to walk downstairs to pick up the birthday cake without worrying if there is a fridge big enough to keep it chilled.

Now, the highlight of the party.

Is not the birthday.

Nor the birthday boy.

Is the ARCADE GAMES!!

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PLAY MODE ON!

We had 2 age groups in the invite list; the 9 years olds and the 5 years olds from both boys’ schools. We decided that Eizac get to invite a few friends along as he seldom have fancy birthday parties due to his birthday falling smack within CNY period on most years.

The older group practically ran out of the party room searching for their favourite games and trying out new ones. Initially, I was worried if the 5 years old were too young to enjoy the games but they really do start young these days! Eizac was weaving in and out of the crowd with his friends; launching at any games his card could take him. haha.

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A group photo before they went loose!

As part of the party package, each child was issued a lanyard with a smart game card which can be used to tap on the various machines. Each card includes unlimited yellow card readers games, any 32 games (other coloured games) and 5 attraction games (rainbow coloured). If you have “surprised guests” such as the sibling who tagged along, they can easily purchase a value fun pass with 1hr or 2 hr playtime packages.



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Xi En’s first choice for the day is this Mini Rider 2 with VR experience. He loves VR.


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Eizac was glued to this unlimited yellow card reader game almost throughout the entire time!



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The birthday boy was very happy to pose for photos on his birthday. Open-mouthed smile



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Air hockey – Eizac was challenging his friend in this game. This has to be my perennial favourite. I am just old-fashioned.
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One of the crowd’s favourite – the bumper cars! Eizac proved to be quite the dangerous driver; frustrating his friend by trapping him in corners! What a host! Confused smile

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There is even a mini bowling alley which was perpetually occupied especially with families! 

The thing I liked about such parties is, there is no need to provide further entertainment! The children was fully engaged in the games that they would skip dinner if they were allowed to! But we reined them back for a quick meal, drinks, sang the birthday song, cut the cake, took some photographs before they dashed back to the game hall to finish up their last bits of the game credits and fully maximise the unlimited yellow readers games! Some of the parents joined their children at the last 30 mins or so and it became unclear who enjoyed arcade games more! haha.

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Our “extended family” shot with some adorable little ones who joined in the photo. Open-mouthed smile

The party ended with goodie bags for every party child and a final trip to the gift shop to exchange the tickets accumulated through the play time. You do need loads of tickets to exchange for the big items but I found it helpful that there were little trinkets and snacks which were redeemable with smaller quantity of tickets. At least the party goers got a little treat even if they weren’t able to accumulate a lot of tickets.

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Both my boys and their friends thoroughly enjoyed themselves for that evening. It was a hold-no-bars and unlimited 3 hours of play time. Eizac declared that he MUST HAVE another Timezone party! If you fancy a party which can engage your little guests fully, Timezone Vivocity Birthday Party Package could be your preferred choice. Open-mouthed smile Do check out Timezone updates on their Facebook, Instagram and Youtube Channel for promotional details.

Thank you Timezone Vivocity for giving us such a memorable and fun birthday party! We will be back as the boys did not have enough! Open-mouthed smile

Party at Timezone
Timezone Birthday Party Package

And to my dearest Xi En, wishing you a Happy 9th Birthday! You are growing up way faster than my heart could take it and we are thankful every single day for your journey. We pray that you will always walk with God and treasure the blessings He has given to you! Red heart We love you!

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N.B: The party is made possible with a Timezone collaboration; thank you for all the fun and smiles!

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 and https://www.ourbeautifulplanet.org/best-cycling-watch/ for other types of watches. 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

Cake photo 1

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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