Monday, July 21, 2014

NoQ Store: Best-Priced Books at Your Fingertips!

Once upon a time, I was a bookworm. I loved going to book shops to get comics and popular fiction books and could spend hours reading those in my room. However, with the arrival of digital era, sadly I don't really read books that much any more.

Since Naomi entered my life though, I've rekindled my old flame with book shops again. In fact, one of my favourite spots in the malls now is book shop. I fancy buying parenting magazine for myself and getting lots and lots of kiddie books for my little one. I enjoy reading to my little girl and make books available everywhere in our house, even in our car, for Naomi's 'healthy' entertainment. Just google the benefits of reading books to toddlers and you will know why I am addicted to getting story books, first words books or even activity books such as colouring or sticker books for my kid.


Little lady boss flipping through her first words books.

Recently, I was introduced to NoQ Store, an online book store with a database of more than 14 million titles, spanning across genres like Children's, Educational, Parenting, Fiction, Cookbooks, Magazines and many more. With this, book lovers and literature aficionados, I have good news for you. Rain or shine, you can now purchase your books at the best, marked down prices, without the hassles of driving to the book shop and queueing there.


NoQ Store Website.

As there were like tons of interesting books titles to choose from NoQ Store, I actually spent quite a long time in front of my laptop browsing for the books that I really wanted to order for Naomi. At one point of time, I was thinking of getting a colouring book for Naomi because these days she is madly in love with colouring books. I searched and searched for colouring books in the website but could not find any. Then, I decided to ask NoQ Helpdesk via its chat box at the bottom right corner of the website. While I thought that nobody would reply my 'urgent' question of where and how to find a certain book category, I was surprised to learn that in just less than 5 seconds after typing my question in the chat box, I was given the solution to find the book category already!

Me asking for help to find a book category. 

After I confirmed the books that I wanted to order from NoQ Store, all I had to do was waiting for the books to arrive at my doorsteps. As it takes time for NoQ Store to source our books at the best price from overseas and ensure quality control, our books will be delivered within 7-14 days after order is placed.

Not long ago, I've finally received my books from NoQ Store and they all came in a good shape and within the promised time frame! I couldn't be happier to present these books to Naomi for her reading collections.

Hello, new books!

Here's Naomi enjoying her new high-quality reads from NoQ Store.

 Naomi and her Touch and Feel baby book.

 Where's the fish?

So busy with her new books.

**SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE**

NoQ Store is offering an exclusive 15% discount on all purchases for my blog readers. All you have to do is key in WANDERING under the 'Voucher and Promotion Code' at checkout. This discount code is valid until 31 November 2014 so hurry up; with just few clicks away, get your favourite books now while promotion lasts!

Happy shopping and reading, guys!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Making DIY Play Dough for Kids

I have been meaning to introduce play dough to my 22 m/o girl for quite a while but my husband always thought that Naomi is too young for this activity plus the box of our play dough set in Naomi's drawer says that this toy is suitable for kids age 3 and above.

When I saw some Moms posting their DIY play dough that they created for their kids younger than Naomi in their Instagram accounts, I was intrigued to do the same. Hence, this weekend I thought of introducing DIY play dough, which is non-toxic and more economical, to Naomi to see if she really can have fun with this sensory play material. On top of that, I wanted to make sure that my daughter would not consume anything hazardous (from her play dough) as she still has the tendency to put random things she finds into her mouth.

My first DIY play dough for Naomi.

I based my play-dough recipe from this source but along the way, I made some adjustments with the amount of the flour when kneading the play dough until I reached the non-sticky play dough consistency that I desired. Moreover, my methods in creating the play dough were slightly different from the original recipe because I wanted to save the ingredients and check the final results first. Instead of adding one food colouring to the boiling water and then pouring it into the whole dry ingredients which would yield to one colour play dough; I made the white play dough first, split that into several parts and kneaded/mixed each part with few different food colouring. This way I could create play dough with different colours by using one recipe.

Naomi and her play dough: Why so serious?

Easy DIY Play Dough

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • Some extra flour for kneading
  • 2 tbs Vegetable oil
  • Some salt (I omitted this)
  • 2 tbs Cream of tar-tar
  • Up to 1.5 cups of boiling water (adding in increments until the mixture feels just right)
  • Food colouring, as desired

Tutorials:
  1. Mix flour, oil and cream of tar-tar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the boiling water to the dry ingredients. Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky combined dough.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool down. Split the white dough into several parts depending on the number of food colouring available or coloured play doughs you want to create.
  4. Put a part of the white dough and few drops of food colouring in a dry working surface that is dusted with some flour. Knead the dough vigorously for few minutes until the stickiness has gone. You might need to add a touch more flour to the play dough to reach the right consistency you want. Using different colours of food colouring you have, do the same to the rest of the play dough.

As today was my very first time in creating DIY play dough for Naomi, I halved the ingredients of the above recipe. When "serving" this play dough to Naomi, I provided her with my plastic cookie cutters as well so she, or rather we, could create better shapes with the play dough. I also let Naomi explore this colourful play dough with her plastic cooking utensil toys to pepper extra fun.

Naomi was telling me some stories about her play dough in baby language.

Naomi was so serious when she moulded the play dough with her Dad earlier this afternoon. She babbled a lot too when playing with her plastic cooking utensil toys and play dough shapes that her Dad created. With this, I guess I can conclude that she must have had a good time playing with her play dough.

Daddy and Mommy's play dough creations for Naomi.

Playing with play dough is indeed so much fun. At the same time, it develops kids' hand skills and helps kids express their creativity. I personally think that play dough is a great toy for parents to introduce to their children as an effort to move their kids away from digital devices or TV.

P/S. Some tips: (1) I would strongly encourage adults to supervise their toddlers when playing with play dough as it may present choking hazard to kids who consistently put things into their mouths. (2) It's also best to cover your table or floor with some old news papers when playing play dough so you won't have to deal with play dough stuck on your table top or all over the floor later on. (3) For hygiene purpose, remember to wash your and your kids' hands after playing with play dough.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Flaunt Your Bump: 26 Weeks Along

My second trisemester flew by just like that and luckily it's a smooth sailing (except the usual back pain, haemorrhoid, sciatica and very pregnant bladder). In a few weeks' time, I will officially enter the last trisemester of this pregnancy and in around 3 months' time, I'd be checking into the labour room (again!).

After about two months of silence and laziness in terms of baby bump's picture taking, this morning I finally put on some make up prior to going to the hospital for my monthly antenatal visit. Just before we left our house, I asked my husband to snap some pictures of me and my obvious bump as my second pregnancy mementos.

When pregnant, I love to look pregnant, show off my pregnancy curves and flaunt my bump. This is how I look now.

26 weeks pregnant.

I have apparently gained 6kg (only!) thus far which means I put on merely 0.5kg in the past month. When I was pregnant with Naomi, I gained like 10kg already by the time I touched the 25th week. Good thing is that baby boy's current weight is still within the normal range so my gynae said nothing to worry about with my not-so-much weight gain. Well, talk about being pregnant and having to take care a very active toddler full time, among other things. You just have no time to pig out. Even if you do, you get plenty of opportunities during the day to burn those calories.