Category Archives: Newborn

Korea Travel Series Part 11: Day 8 – Namdaemun Shopping (babies & kids clothing), Insadong (custom name stamps), even more shopping @ Lotte Outlets (Seoul Station), Octopus & Beef for supper

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 8 – 8th September 2016 
Our original plan was to visit the various palaces (all within walking distances to each other), but it rained and we figured out that the palace grounds will be MUDDY. So we just went wherever we felt like today.

Breakfast + Shopping: Namdaemun Market
Want cheap and yummy breakfast? Check out Namdaemun market!

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There are street stalls!

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Our fave drink: Shikhye! It’s a fermented rice drink. Super nice!

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To find the really secret and affordable yummy food, walk slowly and peep into every alley! They are hidden in the alleys!

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Vege Bibimbap! Yummy! And large portion. Their rice is mixed with barley.

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And strangely, we thought we ordered just a bowl of rice but it came with noodle soup and bibimmyeon (noodle version of bibimbap)! Complementary! So for 7,000 won, it was a super filling meal!

And after eating, you can just jump into shopping! How perfect!

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When you see a crowd, GO KAYPO! This shop was selling very nice leather shoes for 10,000 won a pair. That explains the crowd!

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Many different buildings. Pricing varies by stalls. BARGAIN BARGAIN BARGAIN. No need to know Korean, just use calculator or phone to press prices back and forth!

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Every stall has something different. Similarly, every building has something different!

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Another building! It seems endless!

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Our fave PJ & home clothes store is in this building. Nice panties and undies for the kids too!

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Another of our fave!

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This is more like a mini department store. Many cheap stuff outside and inside.

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And my fave are these stalls along the street. 2,000 won for anything you can dig. We’ve gotten really nice dresses for Meimei here! Not to mention, Mickey Mouse pants for the boys and also Paul Frank skinnies for the boys!

Namdaemun market is just a short walk from Myeongdong Station. Or if you are already on the train, just stop at Hoehyeon station instead.

There are other buildings catered to other products (ladies wear, bags, watches, etc etc). But as parents, we were only focused on buying stuff for our kids. We seldom shop for ourselves anymore.

Once we finished our shopping, we walked back to our apartment to drop off the shopping before we headed out to Insadong. Insadong is near Gyeongbukgong. You can try to arrange Gyeongbukgong and Insadong on the same day.

Insadong: Traditional arts & souvenir shopping

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My first stop at Insadong is always to make these lovely stone stamps. The kids each have 2, one in their English names and one in their Chinese names. So this round, I got them as gifts for 2 beautiful newborns. There are many of such shops available along Insadong, we don’t have a fixed place we frequent but we noticed some places give nice book marks like this, and some don’t. So if you want it, do ask (show them this pic) before you commit.

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The stamp takes around 15 to 20min each, so we took a break at a cafe nearby. It was raining anyway, so hiding here for the time being. Enjoying Berries Sorbet while playing games on Ahjussi’s mobile phone.

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When the rain cleared we collected the stamps and went out walking. Looked for lunch and there are many nice restaurants hidden in the alleys. Some are high end really pricey ones while some are more affordable. Menus are usually displayed outside, so take your pick and browse.

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Ssamziegil is a building with many small stores dedicated to unique craft and merchandises.

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The “Poop Bread” always attracts my attention. But the filling is red bean which I wasn’t very keen in that day. They should have choc filling, I think that will sell well with the tourists!

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Nice big artistic space inside. Loads of photo opportunities! There’s a ‘love cafe’ at the rooftop. Ahjussi and I have written sweet nonsense there before and it is so fun to head back and find it every time we visit.

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Very cute displays. The boys got the hang of posing for photos this trip!

Baby Oppa enjoying the hopstotch in the building.

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Maracon ice cream along the way.

And after the nice stroll at Insadong, we headed over to Seoul Station for another round of hardcore shopping!

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Seoul Station: Lotte OUTLETS (loads of stuff to see & buy) & Lotte Mart (our fave). For those following Kdram “Shopping King Louis”, these are the very same steps Bok Sil found Louis (homeless beggar at that time)!

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Left building: Lotte Outlets. Extreme Right: Lotte Mall.

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My fave Choc Bana snack! Chocolate + Crunchy Bites of Dried Banana! HEAVEN!!!!!! I snagged 20 packets of this! *PROUD MOMENT*

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While shopping, if you want to visit the electronics mart, you will need to park your trolley as no trolleys are allowed into the electronics mart. They have large lockers for the trolleys! So cool!

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And with kids in tow, of course, we needed the diaper change room, right? Meimei gave us a mega leaky poonami while we were here. Check this out! They provide wet wipes and guess which brand it is? Of course the top brand in Korea: Organic Story!

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And after shopping and too lazy to carry your stuff back? You can arrange air shipping back to Singapore right here (just beside the cashiers). WARNING: The shipping prices here are a lot more expensive compared to shipping at the post office. Example: One of our 4kg boxes only cost around 25,000 won to be shipped at the post office.

If you like branded stuff, Lotte Outlets will be a good place to shop. If you prefer quality yet affordable, Lotte Mall is the right place for you! Toys, clothes, household items, etc. It is a huge hypermart with everything! We ended up with a lot of toys and clothes for the kids. And food!

We were too tired to head anywhere else for dinner, so we settled dinner at their food court then went back early to pack our now ridiculous amount of shopping (e-mart + Namdaemun + Lotte Mart = CRAZY AMOUNT OF STUFF). Plus we were going to change apartment again soon, so it is best to be as organized as we can!

And FYI: You CANNOT push the trolley to the taxi stand here, unlike what we did at e-mart. So pack your shopping well and be prepared to carry them to the taxi stand (back down that flight of steps).

*** ADD ON ***

Totally forgot about our sneak out for supper! LOL!
Big Boy can be trusted to stay in the apartment on his own and he didn’t want to come along anyway (busy watching his shows on the iPad). So we went out with a sleeping Meimei and an excited Baby Oppa!

 

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Premium sliced beef! 

 

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So we ordered for 2 of us (1 pot + fried rice) and the bill was 28,000 won.

 

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From Myeongdong Station, go to Exit 4. You will see a small road between Paris Baguette & MacDonalds. Walk straight in (you will see an art school building that looks like a boat) and the restaurant is just beside it!

 

Sorry to make you hungry! Blogging about this also made me hungry~~

This is our MUST GO place every trip and we didn’t manage to plan it in this round as the food served are mostly spicy, but we were thrilled to manage to eat it still!

Next up: Day 9 – On The Grill (Lunch), Han River Cruise, Yeouido River Park, Paddle Boating, Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market (SUPERB!)

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

Korea Travel Series Part 10: Day 7 – Tosokchon Samgyetang (토속촌 삼계탕), Dragon Hill Spa (AGAIN), E-Mart @ Yongsan Station, Sinpo Woori Mandu (신보우리만두)

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 7 – 7th September 2016 
We loved our trip to the jjimjilbang so much just a few days before and since it was originally planned for today, we decided to head out early so that we can have a full day at the jjimjilbang for R&R!

First location: Late Breakfast!

We initially wanted to take a train and walk, but the kids woke up late, so we decided to cab over from Myeongdong (our apartment). It cost us 7,000 won (the old driver got slightly lost).

This is a popular restaurant for both locals and tourists, so be prepared for table sharing and a bit of a crowd.

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The place isn’t along the main road. You will need to look out for this traditional looking house while walking in.

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Prominent signage you can’t miss!

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Traditional seating on the floor. You will need to remove your shoes, so wear presentable socks. There’s no baby chair, so we opted to sit in the corner where she can play on her own without disturbing others.

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Even their napkins are souvenir worthy!

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Menu

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In the menu, they have a ‘quick guide’ on how to enjoy your meal!

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We ordered the regular Ginseng Chicken Soup and Ginseng Black Chicken Soup. They were superb. The portion is just right for 1 person per bowl.

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Look at that thick ginseng hidden inside with glutinous rice!

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Take your order chit and head to the cashier counter for payment after your meal.

Address: 5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 자하문로5길 5 (체부동)
They are open every day from 10am to 10pm.
Check their website for map: http://tosokchon.com/sub/sub0301.php?lug=en&mcnt=301

 

Was this place worth the hype? YES!
We’ve heard that queues can run up to 1-2 hours during peak meal times, so we decided that having it at 10am was a good idea because we got seats immediately and even got a good spot for the kids to enjoy resting while we feasted.

And after breakfast, we took a cab over to Dragon Hill Spa @ Yongsan. Basically, we explored the place in greater detail which I’ve shared in an earlier post, so I’ll skip them. You can read about it again here if you missed it: Korea Travel Series Part 7: Day 4 – Abalone Porridge, Dragon Hill Spa Jjimjilbang [Nudity Alert!], Hanilkwan (Traditional Korean Food)

But I’ll share about the massage I managed to get! Learning from our first visit, this round, I managed to persuade Ahjussi to take all 3 kids with him. Then I went off on my own to enjoy my shower, scrubbed myself super squeaky clean (I thought – wait till I share about my real scrubbing session later on!), and went for a nice oil massage & nap!

So we agreed that I will have 2 hours to myself while he handled 3 kids on his own, then I will join them in the common area and Ahjussi can go off for his massage and nap.

So again, strip totally naked (I got used to it already). I was worried that you will need an appointment for a massage so I asked the Ahjumma at the massage centre first. She didn’t have any appointments that afternoon (perks of heading over on a weekday), so she told me to shower then come back.

This time, I was ‘armed’. I bought shampoo packet, conditioner packet, a scrub and a shower gel packet. I found a nice spot at the shower area, sat down and started taking a slow, warm and enjoyable shower. For mummies, this is pure heaven. No one yelling for your attention, no worries about someone being up to some trouble while you are in the shower. Mummies, you really must try this and deserve to have a shower in peace!

Once I was done cleaning myself, it was time to head into the warm baths waiting for me. There are instructions on recommended durations for each bath, so just follow the instructions and it was fun alternating the warm and cold baths.

Finally, I had enough fun. My body was nicely warmed up by the bath and my muscles didn’t feel as sore as before. I dried myself and went to get my clothing (provided). The massage Ahjumma helped me place my clothes and towel aside and I lay down on the massage bed. She started off with simple stretching and kneading of the muscles. Then came the oil. Strangely, the massage was a lot nicer compared to what I had in Singapore. I think the warm soak before the massage did the trick. Very soon, I drifted off into dreamland.

My massage lasted for slightly more than an hour. Full body massage including legs, hands, scalp and face. It cost me 60,000 won. Worth it!

As my body was really relaxed, I slipped into the next room which happens to be the ladies’ nap room. Took a nap before I went to join the kiddos!

Ahjussi also managed to get a massage. I guess massage for guys at the common area is cheaper as it costs 40,000 won for 1 hour of massage. Ahjussi enjoyed his massage too. Came back to the common area and napped the afternoon away.

The jjimjilbang is really a great experience. And a wonderful place for a mid-trip recharge. For those travelling without kids, you can even consider this place as a cheap accommodation! You can lock your luggage at the lockers easily available at the train station, then simply bring a small backpack for your overnight stay!

And since we were at Yongsan, how can we miss out on our fave shopping spot right at Yongsan Station?

Dinner & Shopping: I Park Mall & E-Mart

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After a whole afternoon of ‘nua-ing’, we decided not to be fussy and simply filled up our tummies with whatever we can find. So we stepped into the first restaurant we saw.

This place is well known for their mandu (dumplings). And yes, they were good!
Big Boy had pork tonkatsu (with sweet curry) which he loves. Ahjussi and I shared spicy stir fried octopus with rice and the mandus. Baby Oppa had seafood-katsu. Total bill: 28,000 won. Not expensive!

Address:
I’Park Mall, Level 4, Store #24
서울특별시 용산구 한강로 3가 용산민자역사 아이파크쇼핑몰 동관4층 24호
And within the same building is our fave hypermart! E-Mart!
It has many many items under their own house brands (NO BRAND, JAJU, DAIZ, etc). Cheap and good quality!
This auntie here chiongs for their lelong stuff. We’ve gotten set of 3 ORGANIC COTTON undies for the boys at just 2,000 won! This is the reason we go home with the crazy amount of shopping.

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During our trip, we heard that there was a Zika outbreak in SG and insect repellents were sold out in Singapore. Being typical kiasu Singaporean, we headed to the right section straightaway. AND SWIPED THESE OFF THE SHELVES.

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Hahaha… The Ahjummas there were very helpful when I explained about Zika in Singapore and they helped us to get more stock from their storeroom. *YEAH*

 

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And of course, from our previous trips, Meimei was fallen madly in love with organic baby rice crackers. Nothing similar in Singapore, so guess what these crazy parents have to resort to? We’ve previously begged suppliers to purchase and send them to us when we ran out of stock. So when we saw the supermarket well stocked up, we couldn’t resist. Total: 20 cartons x 6 packs. Meimei can easily finish 1 pack a day if we don’t control her.

We also bought many other stuff. Do note that they have a strict policy of charging for plastic/paper bags. Bring your own bags. Or use their recycled carton boxes to pack your shopping back. We always use their cartons and try to find sturdy ones we can use to check in our shopping if needed. Masking tapes & ribbons are all provided at their packing stations.

Scarily, we managed to lug all our shopping back to the apartment. Of course, we took a taxi back! Squeezed cartons into the boot and with us in front.

Next up: Day 8 – Namdaemun Shopping (babies & kids clothing), Insadong (custom name stamps), even more shopping @ Lotte Outlets (Seoul Station), Octopus & Beef for supper

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

 

Korea Travel Series Part 8: Day 5 – Fabric Shopping @ Dongdaemun, Jinokhwa Halmae Wonjo Dakhanmari, Ihwa Mural Village, Hakrim Cafe (You Who Came from the Stars), Original Chicago Pizza & Pub

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 5 – 5th September 2016 
Fabric shopping day! My fave!
(NO STROLLER DAY)

We’ve been to Dongdaemun many times and the products there don’t catch my eyes at all. Either too pricey or they are cheap Taobao stuff sold at crazy tourist prices. It is a really large area with dedicated sections/buildings for different items.

We’ve previously been to the Toy Street (I’ll blog about that after this series) and the boys loved the toys we got from there. Pricing is not very cheap, but you can find a large variety of toys there. If you are looking for the local cartoon characters like Pororo, Dibo, and Lava, there are loads of products here. Nearest train station is Dongmyo Station.

As we knew exactly what we wanted from Dongdaemun this trip, we were very focused and only went straight for the fabrics.

By the time we all woke up, it was time for early lunch. So we just had yogurt for breakfast and headed out.

First stop: Jinokhwa Halmae Wonjo Dakhanmari

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Dongdaemun Station Exit 9. Walk straight then turn left at IBK Bank. There are a lot of small food street stalls along this street. Turn right and you will see this street ith a lot of eateries. Walk straight until you see this signage. Be careful. There are many ‘imitations’ that designed their signage to look 95% similar! We almost walked into the wrong one.

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The map is clearer. 🙂

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Make sure it is the right Ah Ma hor!


Jinokhwa Halmae Wonjo Dakhanmari

(Jin Ok-hwa Original Chicken Restaurant/ 陳玉華奶奶一只雞)
18, Jong-ro 40ga-gil , Jongno-gu

They only serve 1 dish here: Chicken soup!

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You can order add-ons to your chicken soup. We added noodles and it was superb!

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So, meet Chicken. Apparently, it is a young tender chicken. Usually, they will recommend 1 chicken for every 2 diners. For us, we were worried if we took 2 chickens, we can’t finish because the boys don’t eat much. So we took 1 only and highly regretted our choice. LOL!

Kimchi & water is self-service. The staff here can speak Chinese without any problems.

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Tender chicken, very yummy soup. All gone. This is a dish I want to try to recreate at home. The boys simply loved it too much.

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On our way in, when I almost walked into the wrong restaurant, this nice Ahjumma yelled out to us and pointed the right one to us! Super nice Ahjumma! Her stall is just outside the restaurant above so if you are in the mood for grilled fish, find her!

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On our way out, Big Boy spotted these and wanted to try them. Ooooh! They were good! There was small doughnut balls which Baby Oppa enjoyed a lot too.

 

Next: Fabric Shopping!
The whole entire building with 4 blocks is dedicated to fabrics, notions and crafts! My type of heaven!

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How to get there? This was the building immediately on the left once you take exit #9 of Dongdaemun Station. The same building as the IBK Bank shown above on the way to the chicken place.

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How to shop here? There are 2 types of stalls. Most of them have fabric swatches only. You will need to place your order and come back another day. Most of them require minimum 2 yards per design. Pricing is very reasonable and quality is great. Variety is mindboggling! Some stalls do have ready stock available like this one pictured here. Again, minimum 2 yards per design, but the prices are so cheap you’ll probably end up like me. We bought more than 20kg of fabrics. LOL! Ahjussi helped to drag them back (we took a taxi, 5,000 won). Then for the rest which I ordered, he came back the next day to collect them for me. Do take note that the place is only open Mon to Fri around 10am to 5pm. No luck on weekends at all, I tried it on the previous trip and almost didn’t manage to collect my fabrics. Show them on your phone calendar the date and time you intend to pick up. If they say OK, then good. If no, they will strongly protest and shake their hands (and wave their hands). Body language works here, don’t worry!

 

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This trip’s fabrics… Super cuddly double-sided minky! Double & triple gauze & cottons!

 

 

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So we took a taxi back to Myeongdong to dump the fabrics before we continue heading out. This is the cafe at Myeongdong Station Exit #1. I stayed here with the boys and Meimei while Ahjussi did the drop-off. Was thirsty so I went in to get a drink and surprisingly, their Kiwi Ade (5,000 won) was super delicious! Sweet yet tangy mashed kiwi mixed with soda. OMG! Super nice and I recreated it once I got back to Singapore. Loving it still!

 

Afternoon stroll: Ihwa Mural Village (이화 벽화마을)
Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울 종로구 이화동

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The first time I came here in Oct 2014, we took a cab over so I wasn’t very sure how to get here by public transport. This round, we used Google Map to navigate our way as I saw that it was near Hyehwa Station (just 4 stops away from Myeongdong). I will still suggest for you to take a cab over as it is really quite a crazy walk from the station.

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The walk towards Ihwa Mural Village was quite fun. We found weird stuff like this. LOL!

Finally, we got to the start of the village and this is what we had to do first.

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Climb like SIAO! No strollers here, please! That Meimei had it the easy way out while I carried her all the way!

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Spread your wings & fly away!

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I had to squat to get the angle right because he is too short for the wings! LOL!

Many many nice photos we took!

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And we got the cutest photo here! Taken with their fave cartoon, Lava!

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Beautiful view after all that crazy climbing!

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Sun was setting!

 

 

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And this Baby Oppa played with the selfie stick with my phone on it. Look at his cheeky face!

 

After all that walking for hours, we desperately needed to rest our legs!

Pit Stop: Hakrim Cafe (Filming location of My Love from the Stars/You who Came from the Stars)
학림다방
119 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

This isn’t our first time at this cafe but we still love it.

 

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Hyehwa Station Exit 3, u-turn and go up these small stairs. The cafe is on the 2nd level.

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Super got feel!

We were lucky the exact same spot that Do Manager sat in was not taken and here we are! Scenes from the drama just flood my mind every time we come here. Where’s my Do Manager? *dreams*

 

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The cheesecake here with jam is highly recommended!

 

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Dinner destination

 

 

While walking around the neighbourhood after our cafe rest time, we found a street with loads of food options. The word PIZZA caught Big Boy’s eyes and we couldn’t escape.

 

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Sorry, we don’t have an exact address for this because SOMEONE threw the receipt away. Oh wow. What’s new? Anyway, this was another awesome pizza that got Big Boy’s attention totally. Layers and layers of cheese! Look at how happy he is trying to bite the strings of cheese off the pizza! There are real deep fried chicken fillets on top of the pizza. I also ordered pasta for Baby Oppa, weird combo of tomato & cream seafood pasta, but I was sold when I tried it. I ended up only having a slice of the pizza and I finished the pasta with Baby Oppa. Their grapefruit-ade was nice too! A Large chunk of grapefruit floating in there! Price wise I recall it was a little on the higher end side. But worth it to see Big Boy enjoying his meal!

We walked around for some shopping and found some soft toys for the kids. Meimei loves Iron Man and we got her a mini one which she hugs to sleep every night now. She calls it ‘friend friend’.

We took the train back to Myeongdong, showered and crashed. All that walking was really crazy!

 

Next up: Day 5 – Hongdae, Thanks Nature Cafe (Sheep Cafe), Raccoon Cafe, Eel Restaurant (풍천장어구이), Paris Baguette, Myeongdong Street Food & Shopping

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

[Review] Breastmilk Keepsakes ~ Keepsake by Ryo

It’s almost a year into my breastfeeding journey with Meimei!

Ahjussi and I have made a joint decision to stop breastfeeding when she turns 1, so I was pretty sad (yet happy to get my boobs back to myself). So I thought, what else can be done to help us preserve our memories of this breastfeeding journey? I’ve already gotten breastfeeding shots done… And next will be breastmilk keepsakes!

I was doing my research on different makers and even contemplated making it myself. It is a very TEDIOUS process! First you have to treat the breastmilk, then you need to wait. Then you need to make a mold. Then you need to wait again. Then you need to pour the resin and add the inclusions (scary process because if it is wrong, REDO!). Then you wait again… Tedious it is!

Every maker has their own methods of preserving the breastmilk and outcomes can be different depending on their method & materials used. The type of resin used also plays a part (whether you get rubber beads or glass-like beads). Professionals need a good buffing machine to get great quality, so DIY was out for me.

So during my research, I came across Keepsake by Ryo. To be frank, what drew me to her site was the ease of use & the fact that having a site to issue order numbers, keeping track of orders and updating customers will be a breeze. I also run a small hand made store and before I used the online store to track orders, I did them manually and it was really tedious and time consuming. Ryo’s system is definitely in place to handle large volumes of orders without messing up.

And the BEAUTIFUL hardware she has. Some sellers use ready available brass lockets or hardware easily available on TaoBao. I don’t feel so comfortable with those and prefer silver or gold options. Ryo has those options available!

General flow to place an order with Ryo:
(1) Place your order online at her online store. Read carefully, select your options carefully and take note of what inclusions you need to send in for each item.
(2) Make your payment and print out the order confirmation email.
(3) Prepare your inclusions. For breastmilk, you will need 20ml per item. Ryo has given packing instructions on her website as well as in the order email. Remember to pack well and LABEL CLEARLY!


(4) Send out your inclusions and wait for their acknowledgement. I love that they will inform via their online system once they received my inclusions so I won’t be left dangling! This also means that the inclusions are properly labelled and chances of using the wrong breastmilk or baby hair is zero!

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Email confirmation that my inclusions were received!

(5) Be patient and wait for Ryo to update that your order has been sent! A shipping confirmation will be sent with your tracking number and all you need to do is keep checking your mail box! Ryo sends out orders via SmartPac which is convenient for mass packing of orders and dropping off at the post office without hogging the entire queue. SmartPac does have tracking by SingPost and the postman will usually leave it in the mailbox for you (they seldom send SmartPac to your doorstep now).
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I need not say too much about the quality. The pictures speak for themselves!

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There were in my SmartPac. Balance of Meimei’s hair was sent back and a beautiful box!

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Super lovely and professional box! I think this will make a great present! Husbands! Are you reading this? Make one as a surprise for your wife to thank her for giving up her boobies for your baby!

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Lovely warranty/care card and jewellery cloth.

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A look at the bead! I FELL IN LOVE!

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Closer look 🙂

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Another angle

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Warranty for the charm!

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Details inside the care card.

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Close up against black cloth for better contrast. The hair looks really close to the surface but don’t worry. It is well embedded inside and you will not feel the hair on the surface at all. 

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Another angle for close up.

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Love the hair twirled around the bead! 

I’m extremely impressed with the packing! And the warranty/care card that is included too. Not to forget, the jewellery cloth to polish your keepsake to keep it in pristine condition!

 

Do note that such products are HANDMADE. Do not expect machine made quality.
What does it mean to be handmade? 
Ryo has to do most of the work with the aid of some tools/machines. It is NOT an automated process like in factories.
– Slight imperfections may be present. What type of imperfections? Maybe a slightly lopsided charm (WHO CAN DRAW A PERFECT CIRCLE FREE HAND HUH?). But from my charm received, the finishing is great (shiny and smooth)! It is not rubbery or feels fake.
If you are not satisfied with your item, communicate with Ryo! Her team responds very quickly and I’m sure she will take your feedback seriously.

What is the wait time like?
I ordered & paid on 28 Mar 2016. I sent out my inclusions the next day and received the acknowledgement email on 4 April 2016.
I received the tracking email on 20 May 2016 and received the package on 24 May 2016.
So mine took around 7 weeks.
Typically as stated on Ryo’s site, 2 to 14 weeks. Exact timing varies due to different factors, we all have kids and know that emergencies can crop up at any time. I’m sure Ryo works on orders and sends them out as quickly as she can since a lot of time is saved due to her awesome website which helps to keep track on orders.

Keepsake by Ryo’s Details:
Online Store: http://www.keepsakebyryo.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/keepsakebyryo
Do spend some time to look at their Quality Control & Assurance album on their Facebook Page!

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 & Owner of TLO.com.sg
Audrey Wong Profile

Disclaimer: I made the purchase at Ryo’s website and then PM her to inform that I will be doing a review. She graciously paid me back for my purchase, so technically, this is a sponsored post. But I am a genuine customer who placed another order and I’m waiting for them to arrive. And I will be placing more orders soon before I totally turn DRY!

If you would like to see the actual charm I have, feel free to drop by my showroom to see & touch because I believe seeing is believing! 🙂
Drop me a msg at www.fb.com/thelittleonesinmylife to make an appt with me OK?

*** All photos are taken with my Samsung Note 5. I am not a professional photographer. I just try to make a nice background, then point and shoot. *** 

[Review] Breast Milk Soap Making Workshop with SoapLah

Many of us have formed friendships with ladies with similar EDD during our pregnancy through forums or Facebook groups. And many times, we are wondering what meaningful activities can we have at our gatherings…

We were invited by SoapLah to try out a breast milk making workshop and we got our hands working!

SoapLah is a simple set up. They are dedicated to bringing affordable natural skincare to everyone. Their place isn’t some fancy set up, but the trainers were friendly and we had a great time.

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Their simple set up, a room inside this Bright Sea Air-Con Engineering.

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Cozy room and informative presentation

There’s a lot of terminology to learn in soap making but I shall not spoil the fun. SoapLah has beautiful PowerPoint presentations to teach you what you need to know!

The place is a little small so the max at each workshop is 6 pax. They are not able to bring the workshop to you due to regulations as soap making is required to be in an industrial area with certain criteria to meet. But, it is totally worth heading over. Carpark is not an issue (can park on same level) and the bus stop is pretty nearby if you are not driving.

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Very hardworking students!

Soap making requires some detailed calculation. If you are too lazy to work your brains (so rare to get time off from the kids right), you can use their standard formula. However, the fun of making your own soap is being able to customise to your likes and needs.

 

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Large variety of quality ingredients provided

I was impressed the moment they opened up their secret cabinet. The variety of oils we can use was crazy! So much variety that we started getting dizzy because we couldn’t decide!

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Measuring the individual ingredients was an art too. We had to be ultra careful in order not to waste our breast milk!

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For Safety: All Geared Up!

As we were working with lye (a necessary ingredient in soap making but once the soap has cured, it is totally of no effect to us when we use the soap), we had to gear up for safety.
Goggles – Checked
Masks – Checked
Aprons – Checked
Gloves – Checked

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SoapLah uses a slightly different method from another workshop I attended. To speed things up and ensure a smooth mixture, they use liquid lye with crystals instead of crystals only. As liquid lye will interact faster with the frozen breast milk and heat it up due to the chemical reaction, we had to place the mixture in ice and monitor the temperature very carefully. It was thrilling and nerve wrecking for us, but the trainers were superb and very helpful.

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While we beat the mixture to get a smooth consistency, we were having loads of fun chatting!

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We each chose our own preferred essential oils and powders to add to our breast milk soap. This is the fun of soap making! Different oils and powders have different purposes. I made this with Ahjussi in mind so I wanted something anti bacterial for him as his workplace is quite dirty. A nice shower with my breast milk soap makes him come alive again and he loves it!

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All the different colours due to different oils and powders added! And the trainers told us that the colours may change again after curing! The final product is really a mystery!

Curing takes quite a while because they need to ensure that the lye has totally saponificated (very scientific term). That will mean that the pH level is no longer alkaline. SoapLah is a trusted team, they checked and ensured the soaps were safe before packaging and informing us to collect them.

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And they were right about the colour of the final product! There were 3 greenish ones in the mold but only 2 really obvious greenish ones in the final product we collected!

And also, as every one’s breast milk differs, even using the same oils and portions, the soap can turn out different due to individual’s breast milk. Some are thicker (whiter), some are more creamy yellow, some are more translucent.

This is the beauty of breast milk soap!

 

If you are not breastfeeding anymore but you want to try making soaps which are NATURAL and good for your skin, do contact SoapLah!

You can shop at their online store www.soaplah.com and take your time to browse through the selection available! They’ve also listed their workshops, so do sign up! If you are forming your own private group, do drop them an email and they will get back to you.

 

Thank you to SoapLah once again for giving us a chance to do this review and we loved it very much!

Benefits of breast milk soap:
(1) Natural ingredients
(2) Good for everyone’s skin
(3) Naturally moisturising
(4) Customise to your needs and liking

Benefits of attending a workshop to make your own soap:
(1) You can see for yourself what goes into your soap!
(2) Learn more about your skincare!
(3) Customise your soap for your needs and liking!
SoapLah’s Contact
Email: soaplah@gmail.com
Location: 5 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2A (Tech II) [Detailed address will be given when you sign up for workshops]

If you wish for them to make your breast milk instead soap instead of attending the workshop… Prices start at $54 per 10 pieces of 90g (around 900g of soap).

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 and made a crazy amount of breast milk soaps with various vendors

[Sharing] Infectious Diseases and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

Last year, Baby Oppa (he decided to change his name as he claims that he is no longer a Monster but his Meimei’s Baby Oppa) caught Chicken Pox! There was an outbreak at his previous childcare centre, we kept him home the moment we found out about it as at that time, Meimei was barely a few months old and chicken pox can have devastating consequences for infants! Chicken pox is common, but it doesn’t mean we should be spreading it around!

It all started during breakfast, I noticed Baby Oppa was a little warmish during breakfast. I took his temperature with 3 different thermometers but he was not having a fever, he just felt warm to touch. As I was taking his temperature at his armpit (using the old school type for accuracy), I noticed a very small blister on his upper arm. It could have been overlooked as a small pimple or just an infected hair pore. But because his school had a chicken pox outbreak, alarm bells rang in my head.

Straightaway, I picked him up, placed him outside the house and instructed my maid:
Keep Meimei in my room (the only place Baby Oppa didn’t go to since he woke up). Use Dettol to wipe EVERYTHING he has touched. Wash his bedsheets & blankets in HOT WATER. Open up all the windows for ventilation & natural sunlight to come in. Sun his mattress & pillows. Switch on all air purifiers to HIGH.

I wrapped him up in a towel to minimize contact and sent him straight to the clinic at my mum’s place. After that, I sent him straight to my mum’s place to be separated away from Meimei. We couldn’t afford to let her catch it! I read online that babies can get some immunity from mummy if they are breastfeeding, so I was glad I was breastfeeding Meimei.

Many asked us why we didn’t vaccinate him. Actually, we intended to. But he was allergic to egg whites and his MMR(V) was delayed. Subsequently, we cleanly forgot about it!
And of course, my maid wasn’t vaccinated and didn’t have chicken pox before, so she was sent to the clinic near my place to be jabbed immediately too!

The doctor confirmed it was chicken pox. At that time, there were less than 5 small pimple-like spots. But his temperature was slowly rising. My parents quickly came back from work to attend to the sick Baby Oppa. My mum took leave and worked from home.

Within a few days, the peak of the chicken pox came despite oral medication from the doctor (supposedly to make the episode less serious). The medication was freaking expensive at $150 per bottle! And he needed 2 bottles of it? I almost fainted at the price!

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As commonly known, chicken pox will require a quarantine period of around 2 weeks. To be on the safe side, we kept him at my mum’s place for 3 weeks. No outdoors at all. Poor boy was bored stiff and tortured his Ah Ma till the end with his nonsense!

 

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Ah Ma spammed calamine lotion on him! Spent his days sleeping or playing the iPad as he was feeling lethargic and kept at home.

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Crying because he was in extreme discomfort. But as he got better, his mood improved too.

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The only thing he could eat without complaining – Bread!

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Plain food for Baby Oppa

Chicken Pox causes lethargy and due to blisters forming in the throat and mouth too, he had poor appetite.
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Check out the cold jelly my mum made for him! Preventing dehydration is most important!

Some have laughed at our ‘kiasu-ness’: Sterilising everything at home, keeping Baby Oppa away for so long, etc.
But hey! It’s bad enough that one of my kiddo has it, why would I want to spread it to my other kids?

 

How does chickenpox spread?
According to USA’s Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): “Chickenpox spreads easily through the air when a person who has chickenpox coughs or sneezes. It can also spread by touching an infected person’s blisters. Chickenpox can be spread 1 to 2 days before the infected person gets a rash until all the blisters have formed scabs.

 

You can also read more about Chicken Pox HERE.

 

What does this mean? It means PEOPLE WITH CHICKEN POX SHOULD STAY HOME! Yes! Until they’ve recovered and been seen by a doctor to confirm that all the blisters have formed scabs and they are no longer infectious.
(This logic applies to HFMD also!)

 

This is commonly referred to as SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our nation disease-free. It starts with ALL OF US. Keep yourself or your child at home if they are sick. Especially if they are running a fever as fever is usually the start of many infectious diseases!
Sadly many selfish people don’t understand this logic and prefer to spread diseases like chicken pox and HFMD around.

 

Only head out to the clinic and call the clinic in advance to get advise on their procedures. I called the clinic on our way over and they specially set aside an isolated area for Baby Oppa. Upon arrival, we got to see the doctor first too. The faster we were out of the clinic, the better it is for all the other sick patients who may catch chicken pox from him. I myself can’t live with the guilt if we spread it to someone and cause discomfort and harm to them!

 

And please do not tell others to stay at home if they are afraid to catch something. There are children with health problems and catching a ‘common’ chicken pox can mean death. There are elderly who have lower immune system who may catch HFMD too!

 

If you have young children in which HFMD is common, always do the following checks before you bring your children out:
(1) Take their temperature
(2) Check their palms and feet for spots or blisters
(3) Check their mouth/throat for ulcers

 

If you or your child is not well, stay home and rest. Drink plenty of water and see a doctor for medication.

 

When out, always wash your hands often. Or sanitize often. Same for the kids and everyone in the family.
Wipe down all high chairs/tables your kids will come in contact with. I normally use hand sanitizer and wet wipes to wipe the high chair and tables.
Recently we were told by a friend that they spotted a family with HFMD (they announced their HFMD status on Facebook) dining out at a popular shopping mall and we really freaked out. My husband now uses alcohol swabs to wipe everything when we head out! 

 

When all of us do our part, we can help make our public areas safer for all. And most importantly, can you live with the guilt of causing discomfort and inconvenience to other children and their families? I know I can’t so we chose to do strict quarantine. Even my mum refused to go to office as there are staff with young children in her office, just in case she brought the virus along with her. She arranged to work from home for 3 weeks. She was bored stiff. She called me daily with complaints about how naughty Baby Oppa was. She would send me pictures via WhatsApp throughout the day too. Thank you mummy for helping us every time we need help! 🙂

 

Be a Responsible Adult. Do the Right Thing.

 

Mummy Audrey
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Mummy Audrey is a mother of 3 and runs TLO.com.sg

[Sharing] Nursing in Public – Yay or Nay?

In the past 2 weeks, we headed to the Singapore Zoo twice. We were searching for family friendly places to spend quality time with the kids and the zoo just popped up naturally.

During both outings to the zoo, Meimei had to latch as we were there for more than 6 hours each visit. Well, there are nice nursing facilities at the zoo, but I can’t possibly run all the way there each time she needed to nurse, right?

So, who cares? Just NURSE IN PUBLIC!

Meimei is my 3rd child. I’ll be frank, my breasts are ‘public property’ every time I’m still breastfeeding the kids. My priority as a nursing mother is to nourish my kids. And of course, the endless stream of visitors during confinement helped thicken my skin. Those aunties and cousins who shoved their faces at my boobs to take a closer look at baby toughened me up. And not forgetting the endless stream of nurses, cleaners and visitors or random strangers who entered the wrong room at the hospital who happily yank open the curtains when I was half naked, trying to get my newborn to latch. *poof to privacy*

Anyway, back to the zoo. I was happily latching while my elder boys went off to check out the snakes at the Snake House. It was cool in the share, nice bench and most importantly, Meimei was hungry. We went ‘bare minimum’ with our zoo trip and guess what we forgot to pack? The nursing cover!

With the girl yelling ‘neh neh neh’ non-stop, demanding for a latch, I couldn’t care anymore. Sat down. Lift up. Pull down. Latch.

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While I sat there latching, many tourists and locals walked past. Young children, their parents and grandparents, teenagers who were with their friends, etc. They saw, they looked, they continued with what they were doing. There was no fuss, no rude stares, no horrified looks.

It was really the best place to latch a baby.

And in my head, I was geared up. Ready to defend nursing in public (NIP). Anyone who dares tell me to cover up or go elsewhere to latch, I will tell them this:

“Please tell all the mammals in the zoo
to cover up
when they are latching,
then come back and talk to me.”

Alright alright… I know it sounds rude but hey! If I need to feed my child, I need to feed my child! Bring your own sexual fantasy elsewhere! My breasts have a function, they make milk and I feed my baby milk. That is all. I am not a sex object! This is how mammals have been designed and you don’t see a male monkey getting a hard on just by looking at a mummy monkey latch her baby monkey right? So get your head straight and keep your pants on.

Anyway, I was really happy that day. I latched her again as I sat on a mat near the waterplay area. Again, no one bothered me at all. Except a naughty monkey who came over to steal food twice.

And so… I gathered some mummies to share their views and experiences on nursing in public.

I’m so happy with the responses! There are so many ways we can nurse in public, depending on our comfort levels! Individualize your NIP experience!

The Modest Approach

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Mummy LM: NIP is a breeze 🙂

Covering up according to your comfort level is most important.

 

The No-One-Will-Know Approach

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Mummy Regina: To be able to advocate breastfeeding in public and let more people have more awareness about breastfeeding is what mummies should dare to stand up for – Nursing in Public.

I love this. If you don’t mention it, no one will notice!

The Proud-Mummy Approach – (MY PERSONAL FAVE)

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Mummy Fadilah: Excuse me for sending so many pictures. I am just too proud that I am capable of BFing on the go and not giving any s**t of the stares/glares I get from ppls around me. I am also proud of my husband Zaly Bikerboyz for stand up for me and supporting me through out my BFing journey with both our kids.The 1st picture is of me at Jurong Polyclinic. Accompany my mother for the medical check up as she is diabetic and require regular check ups. The clinic was very crowded and lil bumbum (Luqman Bahri) being very fussy. He was also at the phase that he does not like go be under the covers. The nursing room was on the 2nd floor but my mother was seeing the doctor on the 1st floor. Could not sit to nurse as lil bumbum was very fussy. Some aunties smile and gave encouraging words but there are some cheeky fellows that keep staring. Of course I cover as modestly as I can.

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Mummy Fadilah: 2nd picture was us at my brothers work open house. He is a Marine Firefight. They were giving talk about fire safety and giving tours of the fire station and their fire boat. That is us getting ready to get on board the fire boat. No nursing room there. But lil bumbum was not affected at all. He is nicely snugged inside the carrier and feeding away. I didn’t really care what everyone else was thinking as long as my lil bumbum is fed and happy.

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Mummy Fadilah: Now the most recent one is of us at Pahlawan beach. This was after the My Little Pony Run. Lil Bumbum must be super thirsty waiting for Mama and sister to finish the run. The moment we settle ourselves at the beach, lil bumbum wants to be nurse. There were a lot of ppl that day due to the MLP event and furthermore its a Sunday. I forgot to bring my nursing cover on that day but I still manage to keep myself modestly covered with my hijab and baby towel. There are ppl that look at what i was doing and smile but there are cheeky eyes also. Thankfully Mr Husband was in front to stand guard…..
I will continue nurse my babies as long as they want. Where ever they want.To date my lil ones are 4 years old and 19 mths.

I really applaud Mummy Fadilah and her husband! She is so happy with her hubby’s support and I guess the key formula to successful breastfeeding is good support!

The It-Is-The-Same-As-Eating-In-Public Approach

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Mummy AuntJess: My thoughts on NIP is the same as my thoughts on eating in public. Haha

YES!!! Baby is simply ‘eating’. Nothing special. Don’t need to stare ok?

The I-Don’t-Care Approach

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NIP is so convenient for mummies who are always on the go. I love how light my diaper bag is as I only need to pack diapers, wet wipes & small towels when I’m out with my baby. Now I nurse without covers, do it anywhere & not bothered with the stares.

Love this attitude! Don’t bother with the stares! Just latch on and feed on!

 

The Forgot-Nursing-Cover-So-Just-Latch Approach

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Mummy Shareen: Picture above is me NIP my newborn, who is also my 2nd child. With my first child, I was more conscious with NIP and would religiously put on a nursing cover or find a nursing room.
But with my 2nd boy, the need to NIP came quite unexpectedly and I forgot to bring out my nursing cover. He was wrapped up in my K’tan and fussing. So I had no choice but to make do.
Later that night, same thing happened as we were out grocery shopping after gynae appointment. Forgot the nursing cover again and had to nurse him on the go in the supermarket while wrapped up in my K’tan.

I’ve no issues with NIP but I would do it so I don’t unnecessarily expose myself. I don’t see the need to draw attention to myself or my child while nursing.

We always start off somewhere… right? Incidental NIP due to circumstances are the best way to start!

 

The Forever-Looking-Gorgeous Approach

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Mummy Alicia: I nurse in Mrt station, fast food restaurant, church, in the park on the bench. So far no unpleasant incidents, except this one (photo). I was nusing at Burger King Woodlands. One hand carry baby, the other hand use hanky to cover the rest of the boobs. Then there is this pervert uncle, purposely sit directly opposite my table (I’m alone) and keep staring at me. Then I took out my phone to take selfie and pretend to take photo of my surrounding. He walk out immediately.

Ah… That pervert uncle.
Good tip from Mummy Alicia on how to fend them off!
TAKE THEIR PHOTO!!!

And I’m officially jealous. Why Mummy Alicia still so pretty! I look totally ‘auntie-fied’.

The Baby-Is-My-Joey Approach

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Mummy Yvaine: Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful experience I had being a mother. It increases the bonding I have with my child more than anything else. A wonderful memory that belongs to us solely.
NIP is the most natural thing to do. My child is hungry, he has the right to be fed anywhere he deem fit, just like everyone else; regardless child or adult.
Most of the time I nip while babywearing. Babywearing enhance me with freedom to nurse discreetly yet continue doing my own stuff; shopping, eating, etc.
Enjoying breastfeeding while it last.

I personally can’t do wraps but I love baby wearing Meimei in her carrier and yes! It is easy to feed while on the go with aid of carrier or wraps!

Reach out to wrapping friends for help if you are keen to learn!

The Partying-Can’t-Stop-Me Approach

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Mummy Crystal: I enjoy nursing my kids (currently still breastfeeding my one year old). Maybe it is the convenience. Maybe it is the rush of oxytocin. Maybe it is the simple joy of holding my baby close as she gazes at me…

Who says we gotta stop partying after we have a baby?
Although it’s a ‘different’ type of partying… Life is all about fun!

The beauty of nursing is that it doesn’t stop our activities. Especially now that we have many carrier options to breastfeed: HANDS FREE STYLE!

The Less-Things-To-Bring Approach

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Mummy Rizal: I love doing Nursing In Public as it is free and easy. My bags are lighter. No need formula milk, hot water n milk bottles. And I love doing Nursing In Public in my carrier. Plus no need nursing covers.

 

I agree! I don’t even have a special diaper bag for Meimei. If I’m heading out alone with her, her stuff goes into my handbag! All I need is her small wetbag of diapers, wipes & spare clothes. And another small ziploc bag for her snack & water bottle. Easy peasy!

The Watch-A-Game Approach

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Mummy June: Initially I’m very worried about being exposed and attract attention, however, after our first attempt to NIP, I have never thought it can actually be so easy. It’s been months since I start to NIP, didn’t attract stares or rude remarks so far.
Was an Express Pump mum for my #1 and didn’t know the joy of nursing. Now with my #2, we successfully work our way towards nursing with the great help I get from FB support group, Breastfeeding Mum & of cos, my hubby and the elders in my family are supportive in breastfeeding.

 

Stylish nursing colour! Who says being a mum means ‘auntie’ clothes & ‘auntie’ looks? Mummy June is so pretty!

And again, who says nursing should stop your activities?

The Who-Says-I-Need-A-Baby-With-Me Approach

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Mummy Sharon: I hate hate hate pumping in toilets or diaper change areas so I pump in public. Of course, it also depends on the situation but there’s nothing to be ashamed about.
I’ve pumped in public in planes, restaurants, in car in front of non immediate family members. I’m fortunate no one ever criticized

Location of the photo  – SQ business class from London to Singapore. Male cabin crew helped me with washing and storing bottles. No one looked or criticized.

Lastly… Who says nursing in public is limited to mummies who latch?

As long as you are producing milk, you are a nursing mother! Some don’t latch due to varying reasons, it’s alright! To be honest, I find pumping a chore (stuck to the pump, must wash so many things) and salute Exclusive Pumping mothers!

Note on SQ: I’ve flown SQ with Meimei and I have to say, I’m so proud of SQ. Male crew were understanding on breastfeeding. No disapproving looks or any weird vibes from them. They even offered to send our meals at staggered timing so one of us could attend to Meimei while the other eats. Super awesome. All parents have to fly SQ with their kids!

 

While we encourage and want to promote breastfeeding, let’s not forget to be considerate towards others who do not breastfeed for various reasons.
I’ve met some mummies recently who shared with me on medical issues that were really serious to cause them to stop breastfeeding. It’s not easy for them emotionally to lose the opportunity to nurse their baby. Yet they have to face pressure and judgmental comments from other parents for not breastfeeding their child.

Let’s encourage, not judge. And let’s fight for our rights to nurse anywhere, anytime.

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 & Owner of TLO.com.sg
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