Friday, March 25, 2016

WTH is World Backup Day?


I have totally no idea what World Backup Day was all about, until recently, after having clicked on some links shared by friends on Facebook. To cut it short, it is simply a day put aside once a year, for you to do a backup of all the files and data that are important to you. This happens on 31 March every year because it seems that there are usually more cyber attacks on 01 April (April Fools Day) than any other days of the year. Hence it was deemed to be a good practice to do a backup prior to that. Oh by the way, it is really just an awareness day, and not a public holiday if you are still wondering.
So why do you backup? For myself, I treasure all the photo moments captured with my family and these are memories that I wish to keep FOREVER. In the past, I only stored all my photos in my laptop, with some in diskettes, and that was my big mistake. I never did a backup, and wrongly assumed that everything would be alright. It turned out that my laptop crashed, and despite the very best efforts by my colleagues in the IT department to try to salvage the situation, a great deal of digital photographs were ultimately deemed unretrievable ever. 
I love taking photos of my kiddos, do you? These are all my backup copies!
Everyone owns a smartphone nowadays, okay, almost everyone. Taking photos, saving contacts and telephone numbers are all made easy. So easy that sometimes we fail to do a backup of all the really important stuff stored in our phones. These could be important contacts or precious photographs taken at the right moments. I know this too well too, as I had my phone stolen last year. I wasn't too concerned then because it was really just an old phone due for upgrading. So I got a new one but when I tried to update the new phone from my iTunes, I realized that it was months since my last backup. Hence I lost a big chunk of photographs of my kiddos and some new contacts as well. It wasn't the money, but it was really painful, knowing that the photographs are lost forever.

There are so many reasons for one to perform regular backups on different platforms, just to save yourself from the heartaches. It hurts real bad I tell you! So what would be the recommended backups methods for you?

  • Make a duplicate of the data on an external drive. Buy a good external harddisk;
  • Store your data on the Internet by utilizing free spaces on OneDrive, Dropbox or even Google Drive;
  • Or you subscribe to a trustworthy service provider to safekeep your data. 

There are pros and cons for all the above, but you should really do ALL of them anyway. Do note that external harddisks can do and do fail too, sometimes more often than expected. Just read the recent news regarding the lawsuit on Seagate. Besides, what would happen if your PC and external devices are all stored in the same location and something happens there, damaging everything in the process?

Maybe you think that the free online solutions would be sufficient. Well, I thought so too initially, as I also use Dropbox regularly, but the reality is, it doesn't allow me to save much photos or media with its very limited free storage space. Thus if you want more, you got to pay as well.

Then of course, there is this option of subscribing to a paid service and here is where I would like to share with my trial experience of using Acronis True Image Cloud with you. I am really a low tech person, and a laggard when it comes to technology. But I am VERY glad I got to try out Acronis True Image Cloud and this is what I liked about it -

  • It was easy to setup, even for someone who is not well-versed in IT like myself. I only needed to download the program at You can go for the free trial first too!
  • After the program is installed, it is basically just a few clicks at the menu for you to start backing up your files, or even mirror your entire PC and there are no limits to your data storage space!
  • Once you started the backing up, the program can be closed and it will continue to run backend. And if you needed to shut the PC down, it will continue from where it left after connection to the Internet is re-established when you turn on the PC again! 
  • Now instead of needing to access my photos from the physical hard disk (which needed its separate power source), I can now access my copy from the cloud, anywhere, as long as I have access to the Internet!
  • I downloaded the app for my iPhone as well and it was just as easy to backup all my contacts, photos, videos, calendar and reminders onto cloud!

We got our copy of Acronis True Image Cloud for one PC and 3 mobile devices.
And I only needed to key in the 64 alphanumeric characters to register the product. 64! And I needed my glasses lol.
The interface is super user-friendly and I had no problems navigation and starting my backup!
And then I moved on to download the app for my iPhone, and starting backing up my contacts and photographs to the cloud as well!
Finding a trustworthy and reliable backup solution provider and performing regular backups of your precious data is akin to buying insurance. Something that you hope you wouldn't require, but when shit hits the fan, you will be so thanking your lucky stars that you paid your dues! So do yourself a favor, go backup whichever way you want and don't follow in my earlier footsteps! Just don't say I never let you in on the easiest way I know, now. Thanks to Acronis of course!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Day Out At ORTO!

[Media Invite]

I used to stay in Telok Blangah Rise and my free time when young, was always spent in the secondary jungles of Mount Faber catching tarantulas and snakes, just for the heck of it. Yes, you heard it right, there are actually Singapore tarantulas around. Sometimes, I would also go into the big canals along Bukit Purmei to catch those huge mollies, freshwater crabs and the occasional fish that swam all the way in from the sea. I was the coolest thing to do, besides video games. Those were the days.

Now, I am only desperately trying to wean the kiddos off their electronic devices and the television set. Maybe when they are slightly older, I will encourage them to take a dive into the nearest canal. Somehow parents in the olden days were more trusting of their kids, I knew mine did, they never stopped me from doing what I did. Hmm, or was I lucky that I survived passed adulthood? Anyway, speaking of catching fish from drains, we were invited to ORTO recently to try just that!

This is my first visit to ORTO, but not the kiddos and they were wondering why take photo in the hot sun! They were showing off to me that they had been here 2 times already!

Longkang Fishing

ORTO is just located 15mins walk away from Khatib MRT in case you do not know, and it was formerly know as The Bottle Tree Park. There are still lots of bottles to be found there, as the place is a very conducive drinking hole in the evenings. Nowadays, we call it longkang fishing, although I wonder why it is fishing and not fish-catching or something. The moment the kiddos saw the man-made stream or longkang, they can't wait to get themselves wet!

Be prepared for the kiddos to get wet!
Each kiddo will be given a small tank and a small net.
Look for fishes hiding in the crevices, much like how we did it last time in the canals.
Happy kiddos with their catches! If you intend to keep the fishes alive in the small tanks, I will suggest just keeping 2-4 at most.
  • Fishes (red platies) are being released at regular intervals, so do not fret if you can't find any swimming around (yet). The fishes stand no chance against the fast reflexes of the kiddos.
  • Look for the crevices between the rocks for any leftovers from previous release sessions.
  • If you intend to let your kiddos keep the fishes caught, I would suggest just 2-3 fishes for the small tank provided. Any more, and they will probably die from a lack of oxygen sooner than you think. 
  • If you intend to use these as live feeders for your other predatory fishes back at home, then I congratulate you on finding the right place, kiddos have unlimited catching time here for just $12, unlike other places where there are usually time limits.


And since we were there, how can we miss trying out the prawning there? It is after all, one of the more popular activities within the park. There were many families and couples prawning as well as we dipped our lines. I envisaged prawning happily with the Steffi, Leroy and Stacci, with each of us holding on to our own rods and having a friendly competition. But what truly happened was that I had to place the bait for each and everyone of them (since they are still young) before working on my own rod, only to have one of them call out to me that his/her bait was taken and that I had to re-bait for him/her. This would repeat and I ended up being unable to even try prawning! Despite all these, we managed to hookup close almost 20 prawns during our short session, with many contributed by the kiddos, even with their complete ignorance on how to properly "strike" when the prawn is attacking their baits!

With this type of pricing, of course we should go for the 3-hr sessions! 
Trying to teach the kiddos about patience, and I ended up honing my own. Really cannot tahan having to help them bait up almost non stop! 
But the rewards would be these happy smiles and tasty prawns.
I was amazed with Leroy, on how he managed to hook up this little baby!
Worms was most effectively during our visit but chicken liver with added flavoring works too.
  • Use worms as bait for the best results. We tried both the liver and worms, the worm baits caused the greatest feeding frenzy, and I was basically re-baiting for the kiddos nonstop.
  • Do not strike indiscriminately. Hold the line upright once you feel any tugging of the float, and strike straight up only after 3-5 seconds. Do not strike (tarik) it sideways. 
  • Don't be lazy. Move your bait around the pond to look for prawns if they are not looking for your bait! Try the corners too! 
  • Make sure that your bait reaches the bottom of the pond, otherwise you are NOT going to get any bites at all.

Katapult, Trampoline Park

It was my first time to Katapult, the trampoline park but the kiddo's third visit to the place. So it was actually them who showed me around the place and advised my on the safety guidelines when using the facilities! The trampolines gave my old bones a very good workout, to the effect that my muscles are still aching days after that short couple of minutes jump! Loving basketball when I was younger, the ability of being able to jump and dunk came too late! We also noticed that there were special function rooms for jumping parties as well. Hmm.... perhaps I should organize one for the kiddos one fine day!

Here are the pricing for the different sessions.
You can watch your older kiddos in air-con comfort (at level 2) as they explore the trampoline park on their own!
Look at his face! Jumping rocks!
Lots of space for every kiddo!
The kiddos love climbing up and down the trampolines too.
Up and down and up and down we go!
Stacci taking a rest after all the jumping!
Have a few bounce here before landing onto an air-cushion safely! Great fun!
Work your motor skills and balance here as well!
Another smaller enclosed section where enthusiasts can try out some stunts.
For the ones who wanna try out stunts from a height, otherwise, one can just jump around too.
Because the jumping never stops!

The price factor always come to mind when I visit any food establishments within special places like theme parks or this ORTO village. Consumers like myself would often have the preconceived notion that the food and drinks must be more expensive here. That is often true to a certain degree, as consumers are often held "captive" in such places. I ordered two cans of drinks at $1.60 each from the restaurant when the kiddos got thirsty in the afternoon, I felt it was rather reasonable with the plastic cup of ice included. I had a glance at the vending machines there as well, and was surprised to find that the cans were more expensive at $2 per pop!

We finally have a rest after a whole afternoon of fun and got a cabana with a great view to boot too!
Was being introduced to the $8.90 SGMY Signature Nasi Lemak. 
Loved the Nasi Lemak! The ikan bilis was crispy and the chili was awesome!
Stacci loved her Soursop drink ($2.90) but her complaint was that the container too small!
This plate of Fried Hokkien Noodles ($6.90) was sweet and much to all the kiddos' liking! They commented that the noodles looked like worms but still slurped everything down!
The Chicken Confit ($13.90) wasn't as nice as expected with its price, and was a little too dry.
Braised Pork Belly ($6.90) is great as a side dish for sharing. The pork belly was really thick but not tough! 
Another side dish to order would be the Prawn Paste Chicken Wings ($6.90). Crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside!
It was a truly enjoyable outdoor dining experience at the cabana overlooking the fishing pond. The food prices were definitely reasonable and comparable to any of the restuarants in the shopping centres. And most importantly, the food quality was great for its pricing! Surprisingly the kiddos had no complaints dining here as it was breezy. Without a doubt, ORTO is definitely a place I would revisit and recommend to friends and family, especially if we wanna bring the kiddos out for a fun day out!

Definitely wasn't exaggerating when I said we played from morning till night!
Useful Information 


Monday, March 14, 2016

Disney on Ice presents Magical Ice Festival

[Media Invite]

The last time we went Disney On Ice was already 2 years back, when the kiddos were so much kiddo-er. We were seated somewhere at the middle on at the side of the stage and had a birdseye view of the entire set. We were able to see all the characters and not miss anything from our vantage point. The show was of course awesome and the kiddos enjoyed pointing out their favorite characters to me and asking me a gazillion questions!

Great to be back after two years, and now the kiddos are also older and I needn't have to explain THAT much!
This time for the Magical Ice Festival, we were seated right in front of the stage, at the centre and it is then, we finally experienced the "magic"! Being able to clearly see the performers' facial expressions and feel the emotions portrayed surely beats being seated far away and feeling somewhat detached. The kiddos sure felt the same, as they moved with the groove and danced along with those in hooves. It was havoc when the familiar songs played, and they screamed sang along at the top of their lungs!

And who wouldn't know of the little mermaid, except that my kiddos asked if her name was "Ariel", "Arial" or "Aerial"?
So lovely isn't she? With or without legs.
A total of 4 classical stories were condensed into mini-plays for the musical. One gets to relive the underwater experience and the well-known story of Ariel in The Little Mermaid as Sebastian narrates and sings. I must say that Ariel is sure much more skillful with her new legs than many of us as she impressed us with her aerial prowess too! Beautiful costumes, especially that of Ursula! 

Maximus was sure the crowd puller! The kiddos all went WOW!
The lighted flying lanterns part was a beautiful scene!
Rapunzel and Flynn getting up close with the fans with their ride (which they didn't get to ride).
Next up we had Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled who mesmerized the audience with their moves but it was really Maximus who stole the show. Who would have thought that horses could skate? And a really huge but funny (and grumpy-looking) horse no less! The kiddos loved the horse, and I was thinking at the back of my mind that perhaps they should try to get Flynn to ride on "it" next time. The floating lanterns were another highlight not too be missed.

The sets were really beautiful and a sight to behold. 
The performers are all decked in costumes that were faithfully replicated and it was a treat to watch them in their choreographed dance moves to the classic songs! 
The classic Beauty and The Beast was once again brought to live by the talented performers. Even though the kiddos knew the storyline by hard now, they were fully transfixed to the characters just a few rows in front of them. The costumes and set were all so detailed and the clever use of lighting and pyrotechnics were truly an experience to behold. And at the end of it all, we were all looking forward to a happy ending between the lovers. I definitely heard a lot of "aww" from the audiences!

And it really snowed during the performance, to the amazement of most, especially the kiddos and driving everyone crazy!

And here are the super famous Frozen sisters on ice!
And its a no-brainer which act was the finale for the entire performance! It had to be the famous sisters Elsa and Anna from Frozen! I was quite interested to find out for myself, on how a skating musical can replicate the awesomeness of the animated movie and I did. When the first character Kristoff went on stage, I thought his face suited perfectly to the character. Hence I was also just a little disappointed when Elsa and Anna come on but the kiddos were never bothered la! It was a wonderful feeling to be able to move to the beat and sing along with the kiddos. There was no questions about it, this is the BOMB and they enjoyed everything about the performance. It is after all, Frozen, and the very first time it is on Disney On Ice. 

Some tips to share
  • Go early and browse the merchandise if you can. Staying behind after the show to get them would be overwhelming for those with multiple kiddos in tow. It will be very crowded AFTER the show.
  • The experience of seeing everything within your line of sight from afar is good, but to get slightly better seats and be able to see the performers close is awesome!
  • Cotton candies, popcorns and drinks are available right in front of the rink during intermission, so get ready to open up your wallets.
  • Go on, be a child and see along with your kiddos, you will enjoy it and grab that booster seat too!

Let me warn you, lots of cutey stuff are available before, during (intermission) and after the shows!

Useful Information

Date: 11 March 2016 to 20 March 2016
Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium
Official Website:
Booking Website:

Friday, March 11, 2016

BABYZEN YOYO - A Stroller Like None Other

[Sponsored Review]

Those who know me, knew I often raved about how incredibly lasting our first stroller was and that it was my mother-in-law who bought it as a secondhand one from a garang guni man for a mere $10 in anticipation of the arrival of our first princess, Steffi. The stroller had since been used by all the 4 kiddos in our family, but is already slowly "breaking apart" by now. There is a lifespan to every piece of equipment, this one included. It sure wasn't the trendiest or the most road-worthy stroller then, but given its low price, I can't really complain either!

My trusty old stroller that is breaking apart. Can be left outside without fear of it being stolen.
It was weeks, and then months of procrastination, as my trusty $10 stroller slowly disintegrated. The wheels started to get wobbly, little tears appeared on the canvas and the backer board slid out. It was still usable, but was getting so much harder to push. A friend whom I spoke to casually about my predicament, let me in on a brand named BABYZEN. The brand was rather foreign to me, but as he went on to describe about the stroller from one dad to another, I can sense that there is indeed something very special about the stroller just from the look of his eyes and the conviction in his voice. He ended with, "Steven, you really need to try it yourself!" and it definitely piqued my interest as I wondered to myself, how different can a stroller be? Boy was I wrong, as I was blown away after viewing the first video on BABYZEN YOYO I clicked on. I knew instantly that this would just be perfect for our family!  

At $699, the BABYZEN YOYO 6+ is not exactly cheap but yet I am also sure many parents would not bat an eye at this price point, given its practicality. I am always trying to sniff out for better deals when it comes to big ticket items (actually for everything lah) and I tried the same with this. Unfortunately the stroller is price-controlled and it is always the same pricing wherever you go. There is no under-cutting amongst the retailers, only perhaps the special purchase-with-purchase deals for accessories or maybe member discounts with the individual departmental stores. Hence I went one step further and contacted the local distributor and lo and behold, we ended up with a review set!

The packages that arrived, included additional accessories such as the mosquito net, parasol and cup holder.
Louie must be thinking that it was some toy meant for him!
Louie's new stroller arrived (in pieces) just before the start of Chinese New Year, and came in auspicious red no less! There were a total of 6 different boxes for the body frame, seat base, color pack and accessories such as the mosquito net, cup-holder and parasol. I always find it satisfying to fix up something from scratch. Fixing up the BABYZEN YOYO was a piece of cake, requiring no additional tools at all. I did had to refer to diagrams in the instruction booklet when it came to some of the "harder" parts but I am pretty sure the accompanying instruction manual would suffice for anyone! The kiddos hovered around while I was assembling the stroller. The older kiddos observed enthusiastically as it started to take shape, but little Louie couldn't even wait, and climbed onto the frame when I took my eyes of him while fixing up the canopy, much to everyone's laughter!

Louie sure loves his new stroller!
Having used the stroller extensively over the CNY period till now,  I am glad to share my personal take on the stroller with you -
  • Lightweight: The stroller was really light. Carrying the folded stroller around over the shoulders, or up and down the stairs is no problem at all.
  • Easily Foldable: If I said it was super easy to fold it up by pressing two buttons at the side to fold the handle down, pulling back a cache at the bottom and lifting it up, opening it was even EASIER! You just need to unlock and "throw" out the stroller.

  • Right Sized: Besides weight, the size matters too! I can confidently bring it on board our public buses and trains. It even fits in the space in front of your legs when seated on buses.
  • Great Manoeuvrability: I found it really easy to push on most surfaces and even through grass patches. I know, because I deliberately tried!
  • Safety and Comfort: The 5-point harness definitely offers better safety as compared to the T-strap. Louie also climbs on board the stroller readily on his own, so it must have been pretty comfortable for him too! 
We have no problem pushing BABYZEN anywhere, even into the train carriage.  Definitely felt safe after applying the parking brake.
The boot of a normal taxi would be big enough to accommodate 10-15 BABYZEN YOYO. No joke!
Buy or Don't Buy?

I had ever blogged about the difficulties of managing stroller (along with kiddos) on public buses here. But with BABYZEN YOYO, it was simply a breeze. Now I needn't have worry about having to fold the stroller immediately after having spotted my bus 100 meters away. I just need to pick up Louie and fold the BABYZEN YOYO up (almost instantaneously) when the bus finally comes to a stop in front of us. I wouldn't really recommend this to everyone, but sometimes I would even carry the stroller up or down the stairs even with Louie strapped on given its light weight!

There are many places on public buses that a folded BABYZEN YOYO can fit into.
Fits nicely between two facing seats too!

My experience with pushing the stroller around had been excellent so far. I am only short of trying multiple kids on the stroller which I do sometimes for my old stroller and see if it could take the combined weight. On second thoughts, I don't think that is a good idea as it is really meant for SINGLE kiddo up to 15kg max. It was also truly a smooth ride for Louie with its 4-wheel suspension system, even over different terrains.

Little Louie had been left out of many family outings because the thought of having to carry him around (when he is tired), or having to lug a heavy stroller along while having to keep an eye on his 3 older siblings already killed half the fun before any trips. Now that we have BABYZEN YOYO in the house, it is nothing short of life-changing for both Louie, who is already benefitting from the numerous excursions since and for us parents as well, who got to enjoy even more bonding time with him.

Now that we have got the new stroller, Louie got to go out with us on many more trips!
Barring the price point (even though I know many would not mind splurging a little on their child), I would STRONGLY recommend this lightweight BABYZEN YOYO stroller. You have got to trust me on this, the stroller is truly amazing, not entirely exactly for your child, but for YOU as well! Your child just need to rest in it, but YOU are the one pushing and carrying the load!

Useful Information

So if you have decided to try the stroller out before buying, you can find it available at the following outlets. Or better still, check out the online retailers right below and get it delivered!

First Few Years (Website:
  • 290 Orchard Road, #05-40/41 Paragon Shopping Centre 238859, Tel: +65 6836 3693
  • 23 Serangoon Central 22/23 Nex Mall 556083, Tel: +65 6363 7777
  • 350 Orchard Road, #03-00 Shaw House Shaw House 238868, Tel: +65 6733 1111
  • 80 Marine Parade Road Parkway Parade 449269, Tel: +65 6345 5555
Mothercare (Website:
  •  1 Maritime Square, #03-05/06/07 Harbour Front Centre 099253, Tel: +65 6513 3243
  • 6 Raffles Boulevard, #03-161/162 Marina Square 039594, Tel: +65 6513 3225
  • 80 Marine Parade Rd, #02-34B Parkway Parade 449269, Tel: +65 6513 3216
  • 290 Orchard Road, #05-24/29 Paragon Shopping Centre 238859, Tel: +65 6513 3240
Motherworks (Website:
  • 1 Kim Seng Promenade, #02-16 Great World City 237994, Tel: +65 6738 5886
  • 163 Tanglin Road, #03-11C Tanglin Mall 247933, Tel: +65 6738 2161
  • 2 Bayfront Avenue, #B1-58 Marina Bay Sands, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands 018972, Tel: +65 6688 7234
  • 112 East Coast Road, #03-33 112 Katong 428802, Tel: +65 6443 1898
Online Retailers