Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Our New Family Members

Meet Chub and Wrapper (I don't know.. Clay named him), our new family members. I was talking to hubby last night about them and called them "those 2 monkeys", and he thought that I meant Abby and Clay! He said that it's like having another 2 children!

When we had Hammy, Abby was still too young, and then Clay came along so it was difficult for us to look after them all. When Hammy passed away, we decided not to get another fluffy pet as we couldn't commit. 

Now that the kids are both older and we are slowly settling down in the new house, we thought that it is about time to get another fluffy pet. Instead of popping into a chain store, we found these 2 adorable Campbell Dwarf Hamsters from a local pet shop. They looked just like my first ever hamster! These 2 are brothers and were bred by the shop keepers themselves, so they seem to be more tamed than Hammy ever was, although I read somewhere that dwarf hamsters have to be handled all the time or they will become untamed again.

The shop keeper told us that they can't be separated and must be sold as a pair. We had no problem with that, in fact we love to see that they can keep each other company. Just hope that they will get along when they've grown up as well (they are currently 3 months old) as our previous ones did fight and we had to separate them.

After we've set up their cage and monitored them for a while, we soon noticed that one is friendlier than the other. Abby quickly called the friendly one hers and named him Chub! Hopefully we can get them both tamed enough to be used to being around us. I must say though that exciting little children are quite frightening for them, and a nibble on our fingers make us wary too. I guess it will take time to get used to each other!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home, Interior Design, Home improvement
We lost Internet for a good couple of weeks when we first moved last November. It was a nightmare for me as there was work to be done and I couldn't do them without visiting the local cafe. During that time I busy myself with the unpacking, and actually managed to spend some quality time with the kids. When Abby said: "I'm so happy that there is no Internet because mummy finally get to spend time with us!", it hit me quite hard, and I had a good look back at the past few years.

Since Clay was born and Abby started pre-school, I started using my spare time to blog. Blogging itself doesn't take up much time really, and you can do it whenever you are free or when you feel like it. But when you start writing reviews and gift guides, you'll mentally set a deadline for yourself to finish the pictures taking, reviewing (this can vary from an instant taste testing to using a good amount of time to try out the product), more pictures taking, photo editing and finally typing the post out.    During the months when it's slightly more quiet (ie non seasonal periods), it's fairly easy to keep it up, and it's fun too. But each year we have Valentine's Day, Easter, Summer/ Back to School, Halloween, Christmas, and as I write gift guides, although still fun, there were times when I had to work (enjoyable work obviously) past midnights through the week while trying to look after the kids and keep up the (minimal) housework.

It was when Abby voiced out her thoughts that I realised it was taking over our family life. Children don't stay as children forever. Soon they will be teenagers when they stop talking to you and start hiding in their bedrooms, and before you know it, they will be in University (for their future's sake, hopefully they will) and leaving home. I want to spend more time with them before all that happens.   I also want to spend more time doing up our new beautiful home. It is quite high maintenance, but when you love it so much, you really don't mind.

Yesterday I spent most of my day decorating Abby's bedroom. As the kids are still young, we decided to let them sleep in the same room for now, and use Clay's room as a play room. Although the kids have been coming back to us at night (too used to co-sleeping), they do love their room and their smiles when they first saw the room were priceless. 

All that has made me re-think of the way I blog. I will still keep my baby (blog) up, but with a different variety of posts in between. I'm not quite sure what my main posts will be, and I rather not set a category for it as it is meant to be about our life (ie family lifestyle). What I can tell you now though, is that I had cancelled this year's Valentine's Day gift guide and giveaway as I've spent a lot of time this month doing up our house. It will also be the first time we are holding Abby's birthday party at home (fingers crossed), so that is my priority at the moment.

No matter how this blog will turn out like, I still hope that you'll enjoy reading it, and still enjoy entering the occasional giveaways I'm hoping to continue hosting, to give back something to my dearest readers.

Have a lovely day wherever you are!
Angela x

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

John Adams Family Games

Although I planned our first big Christmas family gathering, with so many people around and a new house, some of the things fell off the to do (lots of singing, go out shopping and play games) and to eat (mainly those that contains fibre!) list, and some unplanned ones came up (bathroom leak, norovirus and head lice).

One thing I was really disappointed about was that we didn't manage to play the John Adams family games I was sent before Christmas. We did have a go at the games ourselves and knew instantly that we would have had so much fun during Christmas if we did!

I especially like the Split Seconds game, which is really colourful, and you get to write on the panels with the included white board pens, which reminded me of TV game shows where the contestants have to write their answer on a board and reveal it when time is up! In Split Seconds, you release the panel after you've written your answer and it will slap back to the middle of the game unit, making a slapping sound that made me jump!

The game is meant for children (and adults) above 8 years old as questions can be tricky for younger children, but even I couldn't answer some of the questions, eg something about Spongebob Squarepants! I also find that you should have at least 3 players to enjoy the game fully, where one of them play as the game host. 2 players is playable but only one person will be answering the question in the limited time and I think it's less fun than competing with someone else to be the first to release the answer.

Although Think Words! is also a game for 8 years and above, Abby and Clay really really like the game unit, and that is before I put in batteries! The electronic game unit make a 10 second ticking sound and a Ding sound when time is up, which makes me jump every time! The ticking sound is also unnerving, making the game even more exciting. One thing we noticed was how the cards are stored underneath the game unit, which we think is very clever! The game is very easy to play so you can almost jump straight into it after a quick read. The subjects aren't too difficult either, for example Hobbies, Things in the Countryside, so Abby can play too. But I guess it's harder for them to play with a 10 seconds time limit. It's very easy to improvise to make it suitable for younger children though.

Rummikub took us slightly longer to figure out as there are many ways in manipulating the game. As Abby is a bit slower in thinking, we took away the 1 minute per turn limit so she could work her mastermind freely. It's definitely better to play with a faster pace though, and I do like a good strategy game!

We love our video games, but we do enjoy a good board game and spend some quality time together with family too.

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