Read away!

I wrote earlier that I really hope my little Sophia develops a love of reading and I am truly amazed how fast she really picked up on books.

I’m really glad I bought all 3 of the Scholastic First Little Readers series. Each box contains 25 mini books with eye-catching drawings and one simple line on each page. We started with set A but she has since discovered sets B and C in her daily rummage around the house and has been reading them all day and night. Hours of fun are spent buried in these books. We read to her, she reads to us, she reads to herself or she even just enjoys arranging the books in rows or keeping them into the box and taking them out of the box.

I’m just so glad I didn’t wait till the school taught her to read before introducing her to the joys of reading and I am really challenged to let her have a go at everything without thinking in my mind that she’s too young to manage. Children surprise us all the time!

Linking up with:

A cow says moo


The daddy complained about my blog being too wordy so here’s a picture for you! Its a bad example since the book is upside down but its just to illustrate that Sophia is now interested in books of all kinds, regardless of whether she can handle it.

That was a parents’ guide so probably not something she can understand but she can now read the first few books of the Scholastic First Little Readers set A. They’re really simple, the first book was just “Hello, sun. Hello, sand. Hello, sea. Hello, sand. Hello, shell. Hello, crab. Well, hello whale.” She probably memorised the story rather than knew how to read the words but that’s just the next step of the natural progression I’m sure.

I can’t wait for her to be truly able to immerse herself in the joy of reading. I’m finally convinced she knows all her alphabets sometime last month, 2 months later than Sophia in Tiger Mum but will do. At church she amuses herself by looking at the church bulletin distributed and pointing at the alphabets, reading them aloud. Soon she’ll actually be reading the bulletins to me!

Online shopping

As a working mum, I have very little time to shop for baby products so much of my shopping is done online. Thought I’ll share my favourite sites here with everyone.

For organic prepared baby food and supplements:

iHerb – They’re now having free international shipping for orders between $60 and $80 and weighing below 4 pounds. Make use of it!

Also, there is a $10 discount for orders of $40 or more if you enter coupon code GEM423.

I mainly get Plum Organics and Happy Bellies pouches of baby food for travel and outings, and Earth’s Best snacks for baby to nibble on. I also get either animal parade or child’s life multivitamin and either nordic naturals baby DHA or Jarrows Formulas Max DHA, both to add into Sophia’s breakfast just as a safetynet in case she does not get enough of these nutrients from food.

For myself I rotate between a few brands of prenatal multivitamins when I was breastfeeding and also DHA supplements. I also get Suncoat nail polish which is water based and hence I feel safer knowing that I am not dipping toxic nails into baby’s food when I grate up fruits for Sophia.

For organic fresh produce: – I mostly buy the fish and berries from here and throw in other stuff like fresh greens to make up the minimum order. I’m quite clueless as to what the names of the fishes I can find in our markets are in proper english so when I do my research as to what kinds of fish are high in omega 3 and low in mercury, the only name I can recognise is Salmon, which unfortunately Sophia doesn’t particularly fancy. So I resort to online purchasing and The Organic Grocer is one of the few places that carry frozen seafood. I don’t think the seafood is necessarily organic but I don’t really mind because when it comes to seafood, wild caught is better than farmed but I doubt wild caught fish can be certified organic since there’s no evidence as to what the fish ate and what it came into contact with. The other thing is of course berries and the organic grocer seems to have a fairly stable supply of fresh berries whereas when I head to the supermarket its always luck of the draw as to whether I can even find non-organic ones. And we all know berries are part of the dirty dozen so organic is good. I also stock a bag of frozen organic strawberries for when I run out of fresh fruits for Sophia. Its also the cheapest source of “clean” chicken I found so far but they’re only hormone and antibodies free, not “organic”. So I suppose sakura chicken from the supermarket would be similar.

For clothes:

Old Navy – They are having their stock up sale at the moment, lots of useful basics at very cheap prices and they are even having a 10% discount, no exclusions, on top of that. Good deal. But even without the sale I would go crazy at this website because there are just so many good quality, not OTT pieces at reasonable prices.

For floormats:

Smallsmallworld – Parklon and LG floormats in colourful designs. Excellent quality. LG is supposed to be better. I have a Parklon and its functioning well, I can’t tell what the difference is other than in price.


Amazon – Amazon needs no introduction of course. I use it for books and toys mainly.

General baby merchandise:

Baby Online – You can probably find most baby stuff you need between Baby Online and Mums & Babes. If I’m not wrong babyonline now has a brick and motar store at I12 which you can check out if you are the kind that needs to touch and feel

Mums & Babes – Another general merchandise place that stocks up a variety of quality products rather than cheap junk.

This post covers the basic essentials. Perhaps someday I’ll do another feature of the sites I go to when I want to give myself / baby a treat with stylish/quirky products. The above sites stock quality stuff, don’t get me wrong, but they are mostly down to earth, useful, long lasting products rather than oh-my-god-this-is -so-cute-I-need-to-get-it stuff.

Moo Baa La La La

Moo Baa La La La


Sandra Boynton is a genius at writing children’s books I think. I started out with some of her books that I (and Sophia) didn’t like too much like Snuggle Puppy but we both fell in love after I bought Moo Baa La La La. Sophia liked it so much and many months back, it was one of the early things we realized she recognizes. Whenever we say “A cow says moo” randomly, she’ll look in the direction of this book, wherever it is. Of course, now she demonstrates understanding of a lot more things and it is no longer as fascinating to us but the way this book can capture her attention so much more easily than other books is amazing.