Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winter Sights in Hokkaido, Japan

The family and I have just returned from a trip to Hokkaido, Japan. It was our first time stepping on Japan soil and also the first time the children and I experienced real snow.

We all had mixed feelings about the winter we were experiencing. The children were no doubt very happy to be jumping into the soft snow formed on the ground and having snowball fights. It was exceptionally beautiful and magical to look at, especially when you are having a hot cup of coffee indoors and watching the snow fall onto the ground. It was surreal. However, whenever we had to take a short hike at the park, or even along the roadside, it was hardly any fun as our eyes were mostly peeled on the ground. That's because the road can be slippery and we had to watch our footing. Wearing layers of clothings also hindered a lot of movement and this was not something we enjoyed.

Because of the inconvenience, I got pretty lazy to take out my camera to take photos. It would mean I have to take off my gloves each time I wanted to snap a photo and I wore the gloves back when I was done at each shoot because I didn't want to get bitten by frost! So I am thankful for my trusty iphone, that I had used to take photos throughout most of the trip. It has not disappointed me!

Here are some beautiful winter sights that caught my eye in Hokkaido. I hope you will enjoy viewing them, as much as we enjoyed being there.

Lake Toya, Hokkaido.

Ninja Village, Hokkaido

Ninja Village, Hokkaido

Taken with Olympus Pen.

Sapporo. Taken with Olympus Pen.

Otaru, Hokkaido

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Jewelry Crafting Journey 2014 And Paying It Forward

2014 has been an extraordinary year for my jewelry crafting journey. With comparison to my past years' work, this has been a good year where I have been *truly blessed with a steady flow of custom orders and made some new friends. So much so, I hardly found any time to create pieces that I want to put up for ready sale on my blog.

Bracelet is the fad in my store this year. More so, with the introduction of the European charm bracelet style. I've also  never worked with so much suede and leather before - these are alternative materials to the silver plated chains that some maybe sensitive to. It has definitely been so much joy putting together different elements together and then topping it off with customers' positive feedback always take the cake. These are some of the things that fulfill me and the reason why I carry on doing what I love!

Also favored in my store for 2014, were the requests for meaningful personalized gifts to loved ones and for children's birthday goodie bags - as seen in some of the photos I gathered below.

Here's a quick glance at a fraction of the creations made in 2014.

Paying It Forward

If it is the closest thing in God's heart to help the less fortunate, then I would like it to be in mine too.

*This has been in my heart for a while. In return for the blessings I have received from custom orders this year, I too want to be a blessing and make a difference, especially to the under privileged children. No matter the amount, I believe every cent counts and will help lighten some load. Sometimes, the things we take for granted in our daily lives are the very things that can be obstacles for the underprivileged.

After looking through the list of potential beneficiaries, I've made a choice to give a portion of my earnings to - Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home. I hope it will bring some smiles, cheer and love in their home.

A screen shot of the receipt to Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home. You can also play a part and make a difference. Visit SG Gives for the most convenient way to make a donation online to a charity of your choice.
 To all my customers - thank you for supporting my handmade craft. In return, you have helped to contribute to the children's home. This donation is made possible by you! I hope to continue paying it forward with your support, especially at this time of year.

 I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. - Acts 20:35

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pick A Musical Instrument and Play A Song in 4 Lessons? Cool!

The year end school term break is less than a week away. In fact, the holiday has already begun for secondary school students. If you are not so in touch with the secondary school term break, it starts 3 weeks earlier than those in primary school. It.Is.A.Very.Long.Break.

Have you planned how you would occupy your mini mes during this term break? There are many holiday courses that are out there now and if your child has yet to embark on a music journey (or wants to try out a new musical instrument), you may like to consider signing them up for a music course with The Eighth Note Music School.

I was introduced to The Eighth Note Music School a couple of months' back and was immediately drawn to their holiday music lessons for my children. As my children do not have any form of music background, I was pretty excited to find out that this music school gives crash courses in playing a choice instrument. Better yet, learn to play a song that they like in 4 lessons? I was sold.

Don't be mistaken, I am all for sending children to learn music the classical way - which The Eighth Note also provides. However, I feel my children would be better off pursuing and sticking to an interest they want to learn instead of being coerced into it - especially when it's for leisure. I've seen many drop out halfway (namely myself) because they are not able to cope with extra demands and I don't wish to ply on more exams on them! Having too much on their plate may just have a backlash effect and the joy of playing a musical instrument may be marred. Therefore these short music courses offered at The Eighth Note are very ideal for them especially when they are at the age where pop/rock songs are the rage.

Brandon decided to sign himself up for the 'Digital Music Course', whereas Megan signed herself up for a crash course on electronic keyboard, after going through 2 separate trials on the guitar and the keyboard. I must commend the school for exercising a lot of patience to Megan as she was torn between deciding the 2 instruments. She finally decided on the keyboard because we already own a full size one at home and would be ideal for her since Brandon could play the guitar. Then they can come up with their own band! #justsaying

I couldn't be prouder when she could play "A Thousand Years" after 1 lesson.

Please pardon the background noise as I recorded this at the school before her 2nd session started.
The Digital Music Course that Brandon signed up for is a new course offered at the school. He was introduced by the teacher to 'Garage Band' app that can be downloaded into the ipad for a small price. Though it is an app that anyone can download and play around with, it does take some knowledge to come up with their own music. Listening intently, understanding and knowing how to layer each function is a fundamental step to composing a successful tune. After a lesson, Brandon decided to try his hands on the blues!

What I Like About The Eighth Note Music School

It is not exactly an ordinary music school, in my opinion. When I first stepped into their Parkway Centre branch, I could sense a lot of love and passion in the air from the teachers manning the place. They were genuinely warm, patient, young, motivated and dynamic - which suited the style that the school put across to me. All these traits were affirmed when I sat in to observe their lessons.

I also appreciate it very much that the school offer trials before your child decides which instrument he or she is comfortable with learning, before signing up for a course. This is important so that the teachers can also help to identify if the instrument picked is suitable and for them to gauge the pace of learning for each individual.

The other plus point for me is their flexible timing, as I've observed that the teachers are able to schedule time slots to suit your availability, since the lessons are mostly catered one-to-one. Lessons are conducted per 4 lessons and if you have to miss a class, the make up lesson is not chargeable. 

Last but not least, the most important factor would be their pool of multi-talented teachers - as they are the ones who connect with our children, they must also be the ones our children like and can look up to as positive role models. Why do I say multi-talented? Because the ones we connected with can play and teach multiple musical instruments! I'm so glad that the teachers we've met so far at Parkway Centre are nothing but a cheerful and enthusiastic lot.

"Thank you Hafiz and Alicia, and everyone we've met at the Parkway Centre branch! You've been so accommodating and welcoming to us! Brandon and Megan are certainly enjoying their lessons with you so far because of your stress-free teachings and positive vibes."

As of now, my children are still pursuing their last few lessons with The Eighth Note. Megan is learning to play different kinds of chord styles with the existing song that she learned. Brandon will soon be tasked with an advanced project in creating music and perhaps a ring tone!

What You May Not Know About The Eighth Note Music School

Established in 2004, The Eighth Note also conducts external music programmes to various schools in Singapore. They have won accolades, awards and accreditation with the National Arts Council and at Singapore Youth Festivals.

Keen to sign your children up for a music course at The Eighth Note this holiday? Connect with them today!

The Eighth Note is located at :

Main Branch
19 Lorong Kilat #01-04
Singapore 598120
Tel: +65 6465 1418
Email: hi@theeighthnote.com.sg

Parkway Centre Branch 
 Parkway Centre #02-02
Singapore 449408
Tel: 63480628
Mobile: 9230 2778
Email: jac@theeighthnote.com.sg
Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Disclaimer : The Accidental Mom Blogger was invited to review the holiday courses offered at The Eighth Note for my children. No monetary compensation was made and all opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.


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