Friday, August 25, 2017

When Lego Meets Lack - DIY Lego Table Hack With Storage!

I've been wanting to build a Lego Table for my kids since forever. I googled and was so inspired when I saw this wonderful idea here and here. But I was procrastinating it for years. 

As of now, my 2 older boys have nowhere to actually play their Lego. They either play it on the dining table, which has limited space, or on the floor which I am certain pieces will get lost or even worst, somebody stepping on Lego pieces. 
And I am pretty certain parents whose kids play Lego knows how painful it is when you step on Lego pieces on your bare feet!

Shern had a Lego-themed birthday when he was 6yo, and now his brother who is turning 5 is also a fan of Lego now. And so I know I needed to get my bum moving to finally do something about it.

I'd actually bought this Ikea's Lack Coffee Table in white when we first moved into this current house. I chose this smaller square Lack table because the larger rectangular Lack table is too big for our place. I think I got it for below RM100.

And so I started this little project of mine.

Things I used:

- Ikea's Lack Coffee Table in white  (78cm x 78cm)
- Lego Grey base plates X 4 pcs (15" x 15" or 38cm x 38cm)  
- Large Transparent Compartmental Boxes X 4 pcs (for Lego Bricks)
- Small Transparent Compartmental Boxes (for Lego Figurines)
- Double Sided Mounting Tape

The things that I used to build this Lego is quite minimal.
I got the Ikea's Lack table from Ikea of course. 
And the Lego Baseplates I got it online from Mighty Utan at 10% discount. This is the most expensive thing for this little project. 
As for the transparent boxes, I got it from Mr. DIY shop. 

Firstly, of course you need to assemble the Ikea's Lack table. I assembled it myself without any problems. All I needed was a screwdriver and a hammer and I got it assembled in about 1/2 hour.

And then take the Lego Baseplates and join them together to make 2 X 2 Baseplates.

TIP: Please don't push the Baseplates together too tightly. For a more accurate spacing, please use some Lego bricks to see where it should go and the Lego bricks will connect properly between the plates.


Once secured with the Lego bricks for correct spacing, flip the Baseplates over. You will see there are tiny gaps in between the Baseplates. Like the photos below. 

I used double sided mounting tape to secure the Baseplates onto the Lack table surface. 

Once done, it looks like this. I like the colour. Nice and clean. ;)

Next up, I filled up the Large Transparent Boxes with their Lego bricks. I sorted them by colour and sizes. But it is up to them on how they like to separate them. They will figure them out as they go.

And for the time being, I used the Small transparent compartmental box to store their Lego figurines. This is a temporary solution. I will be doing another mini project on how to store their Mini Figurine.
Stay tuned. But this works for now.

I have a Lego container which I used to store all their Instruction Booklets, should they like to refer them again. 

All the boxes can fit nicely on the shelf under the table. Nice and neat!

I placed their Ikea Rug and 2 Ikea Mammut stools there their little Lego corner is complete.

Shern & Khye love playing with their Lego now.

With this Lego corner done, their Lego now has more play in it than ever! 
And best of all, all their Lego is now contained within this little corner!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Vern's 2nd SEA TURTLE Themed Birthday Party

Vern @ 2yo - 16 July 2017

This post is soooo long overdue. I was quite overwhelmed with planning all our short holiday trips that I hadn't time to sit down to properly type out this post which was in my draft for so many weeks already.
I better get this post up before Khye's birthday next month. Gulp. 

Vern celebrated his 2nd birthday last month.
As usual, I was very last minute when it came to planning his party theme. Mainly because I could not decide on the theme. I was thinking of some Animal theme, something like a Safari or Old MacDonald Had A Farm or Dear Zoo theme because this little guy of mine loves animals. 

But in the end, I decided on the theme Sea Turtle based on his favourite Sea Turtle soft toy.

A million thanks to my good friend, Josie, who despite her crazy work schedule, managed to come up with a customized jpeg image of the turtle for me just 1 day before the party celebration!
Totally NOT her fault though. It was I who requested for her help at the last minute and she still obliged! I owe her big time!

Anyway, at the very last day, this was what I came up with.
I resized the turtle image and punched them out to be food toppers. Many of them I even fussy-cut them because my circle puncher got stuck!
Did some washi flags as well and even some frilly flags with crepe papers. 

Josie also gave me an idea of wrapping the Kinder Joy Surprise Eggs as "Turtle Eggs".
Wrapped them in foil and stuck a mini turtle on top with the kids' initial so that they can find their own Turtle Surprise Eggs!

This was how the dessert table looked like on the party day.

The simple blue and green banner I printed out off the internet.
For those interested, this is where I got them.

And this was the very gorgeously awesome one-of-a-kind Sea Turtle Birthday Cake I  decorated for Vern. A big shout out and thank you to Cheryl from The After Meal for the cute fondant turtle and the awesome cake which I ordered plain from her. 

This was how I arranged the Turtle Eggs - into this little holes in this crate they went. ;)

And I printed out a photo of Vern going outing with his Turtle on his car seat with him.

The food toppers on these delicious food.

And now a photo of the birthday boy. 
He was a little shocked to see so many people in the house, and everyone was fussing over him.

Our little family of 5.

One of Vern and his Pho-pho and Kong-kong (before he left for his appointment)

Everyone in green. :)

With Ah-Kong and Ah-Ma

With 3-Pek Kong and family.

Pho-pho side of the family - The CHEONGs (missing Jia Li who came later)

With our good friends, Rebecca & kids, Seok Luan and her daughter Michelle, and Elly & family. 

With my dearest friend, Josie & family. Without her, this party wouldn't be such a success!

It was then time to sing the birthday song. 
Usually Vern would joined in the singing. But on that day he was just in too much awe that he just kept on looking at the cake and the many people around him. 

Cake-cutting session. Koko also helped to cut the cake. 

Here is a short video clip on the singing of the birthday song.

Some random photos.

Thank you everyone for the birthday pressies. 
Lotsa food and toys. So this makes the birthday boy very happy haha.

Let me end this post with the Facebook dedication I made for my little baby, so that I can read back in years to come and reminisce about my littlest boy turning two.

"Dearest littlest man in the house,
You are not so little anymore. In a few blinks of an eye, my baby turns 2.
Starting today, you are officially creeping into Terrible Two stage. But i will stand firm and strong, because I know Terrible Three is worse than Terrible Two, and I need the strength to last for 2 years! 😅

Saying that, you fool all the aunties & uncles with your adorable, cheeky, scrunched up smiles. You are forever generous with your smiles and your "byes" with a wave.
You are also generous with your hugs, insisting to hug and kiss everyone before you leave Pho-pho's house every evening.
Among my 3 boys, you are the fastest learner. You can talk & communicate reasonably well by age 2, although your favourite words are "mai" and "come, come"!
I am so blessed to have you as my 3rd baby and although suffocating at times, I know I am blessed when you insists that only mummy must do everything for u! 😅
Only mummy can wear your shoes for u, only mummy can bring you your water, and only mummy can hold your hands.
I am also priviledged to be able to breastfeed you up til now. Your voice and face when you say "nen-nen" is really lovely and I love how you say "ooooohhhhhh" when you asked for "nen-nen (other) side!"
Yes, you love switching sides as i guess left boob has nasi lemak flavour while right boob has laksa flavour! Lol
As you grow, all I wish is for you to grow up happy and healthy.
And I hope we can be the best mum & dad to you!
Happy 2nd birthday little guy!
Love you lots,
Mummy & Daddy"

***Please click below to view their previous birthday party posts:

*Shern -
1st TRUCK themed Birthday Party
2nd Red and Blue TRAIN themed Birthday Party
3rd COLOURFUL themed Birthday Party
4th PIRATE themed Birthday Party - Part 1Part 2
5th TRAIN themed Birthday Party - Part 1Part 2
6th LEGO Themed Birthday Party
7th HOTWHEELS Themed Birthday Party
8th DONUT Themed Birthday Party

Fullmon OWL themed Party
1st SUNSHINE themed Birthday Party
2nd MICKEY themed Birthday Party
3rd ALPHABET themed Birthday Party
4th Somewhere Over The RAINBOW themed Birthday Party

1st KOALA themed Birthday Party

Photo Credits: Those nice, bright photos were all taken by Alex Yeap. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Melaka With Kids: What We Did In Melaka!

Melaka Trip - August 2017

Ever since I found out that there is a direct flight from Penang to Melaka via Malindo Air, I immediately booked air tickets as I have not been to Melaka since I was a little girl myself. 
Our family of 5, together with my mum just came back from short trip to Melaka this week itself.

Melaka is quite fun for kids, although the weather is hot and humid just like in anywhere else in Malaysia. Just remember to wear your hats & sunnies, keep hydrated and bring along portable fans for the kids if possible.
Or just be like us, go out early in the morning and then go back to hotel to rest after lunch. At about 4-5pm, venture out again until night time. :)

This is a condensed version of what we did during our trip to Melaka. Have fun and be inspired. 

1. Stay In A Heritage Hotel

We stayed 1 night at the Courtyard @ Heeren, located at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (formerly known as Heeren Street). It was just the next road to Jonker street, so it was the best location ever; happening yet quiet enough.
The hotel itself is beautiful, if you appreciate the beauty of traditional things like me.

I think the experience of staying here is very different (from the other hotel we shifted to the following day) and I really recommend staying at the heart of the Unesco Heritage town for at least a night or two. Everything is just a throw stone away and you will feel the liveliness of the city.

3. Walk Along the Busy Streets of Melaka Town

Like I mentioned, we armed ourselves with hats and sunnies and portable fans and we braved the weekend crowd to walk along the streets of Melaka town.
It was fun seeing how similar it was to Georgetown in Penang and yet so different (same same but different!).

4. Walk Along Jonker Night Market

Make sure the kids take a short nap in the afternoon before conquering this Jonker Night Market. It's quite a long stretch for kids to walk, so if your kids are small, bring along a stroller or be prepared to piggy back them.
We went early at about 7pm when the sun was still up until the night turns dark.

We went there in search for dinner. However, there were many duplicate food stalls though to my disappointment. But then we also scored some really nice food such as this really delicious Japanese Yakitori. We had the most awesome grilled squid and scallop yakitori with mentai at only RM10 for 3 sticks.

And also these grilled oysters, prepared fresh for you on the spot. You could see the people shucking the oysters in front of you, the grilled them for you with your desired toppings. We took the garlic and cheese toppings and they tasted really good.

Kids loved the grilled sausages on sticks and the long french fries.
But what they loved most was that they scored some souvenirs there, a rubber sling shot gun, a handmade crossbow, some handmade sparkling key chains and also a rainbow bracelet each.
Even Vern scored himself a Pooh bear drum winding toy.
Needless to say, many things were bought by Pho-pho. So, please bring along the grandma for maximum pampering session of the kids. haha.

When the kids couldn't walk anymore, pho-pho offered to bring them back to the hotel (which was just at the next road), while hubby & I went out again to try more food and to tar-pau back more food for mum!

5. Be A Chef at Lil Monster Kitchen @ Mamee Jonker House

My kids' highlight of the whole Melaka trip is this, especially for Khye.
They had a hand in making their favourite Mamee Monster Snack, from mixing the dough, to flattening the dough and churning them into strips of noodles through the machine, to flavouring it, etc.

Donned with a chef hat and an apron, they also customized their own Mamee Monster Snack packaging. I think we spent like almost 1 1/2 hrs there.
(There are 2 workshops there; creating your own Mamee Monster Snack, or the Mamee Cup Noodle)

This is my kid's favourite activity in Melaka, especially Khye who announced that he wants to be Malaysia Masterchef!
Kids super stoked with their Mamee Monster Snack creation and of course into the tummy they go!

6. Stroll along the Melaka River

It is also very nice and pleasant to walk along the river banks of the Melaka River. The pathway is good and the 'lil breeze makes it a nice stroll.

We stopped to watch a street performer singing some really nice songs there. He could sing in many languages and songs of many countries. And the thing that captured our attention was the little monkey in front of him.
The moment he strummed his guitar, the monkey danced, and when it stopped, the monkey stopped dancing. We saw no wires or so whatever. So unless the monkey works on wifi, I don't know how he did it! Haha.

We stopped to listen to him sing for quite awhile, with Vern clapping his hands and saying "more more more". And yes, he earned quite many bucks from us but I think he deserved it!

The beautiful Melaka River behind.

7. Get Your Kids (Or Even Yours) Caricature Drawn 

While we walked along the River Walk, we saw a caricature artist. The price was reasonable at only RM10 for a black-and-white portrait. So we got him to draw the caricature portraits of the kids.
Needless to say, they were ecstatic at having their portrait drawn by a professional for the first time!


Kids with their caricature portaits. 

Now, I need to get some frames to frame them up so that I can hang them in the house.
Please let me know where I can get frames at a decent price? They are of drawing block size.

8. Cruise Along the Melaka River

It was such a bargain and really worth it. At only RM10.60/adult and RM5.30/child for Malaysians on weekdays, we cruised the Melaka River for 40 mins.

This is the boat/ferry we sat in.

During the breezy ride, we saw many bridges, beautiful heritage houses, cafes and restaurants lining the river walk area, and lotsa good graffiti/street art on the buildings which add to the atmosphere of the place.

My kids of course loved to be on a boat ride. Another highlight of theirs. 
This should be on every tourists' list.

9. Food Hunting in Melaka

A trip to Melaka is never complete if we don't eat the famous food there, like their Nyonya Cendul, their famous Melaka laksa, Nyonya Food, and Gula Melaka-everything.

I love their Gula Melaka ondeh-ondeh. This one was really good, especially when I had it warm.
Shern also loved the Gula Melaka popsicle.
We wanted to try their Satay Celup but then hubby & I were down with tummy problem on the last day so we didn't manage to go.

We however, went to 2 Nyonya restaurants.
Restoran Nyonya Makko's food was pretty decent. My favourite from there is their Sambal Prawn Petai, Sotong dish and their Nyonya Cendul was one of the best I tried in Melaka (and I tried a few!).

Any's Heritage Nyonya Cuisine is the other Nyonya restaurant we tried and it was sooooo good we went back twice!
I loved almost everything they served there. Their fried chicken was the bomb. My kids (and adults too!) super loved this! My favourite has got to be their Prawn Lemak Nenas curry. Super super nice and a must order!

(Hope I have time to do a separate post on the food we ate in Melaka!)

10. Cafe Hopping Nearby Jonker

Along Jonker street itself, there are many really nice and quirky cafes serving really good food.
We managed to visit three of the cafes during our short trip there.

We loved The Daily Fix Cafe @ Jonker Street which served really nice and fluffy pancakes with Gula Melaka, and also very nice Smoked Duck Aglio Olio Pasta. The Carbonara Pasta was really delicious too.
This cafe has an ambiguous store front. The store front sells Nyonya souvenirs and you would have to walk past the shop to see the hidden gem of the Daily Fix cafe.
Behind the cafe, it reveals this quirky cafe.

And the other cafe we visited was the Calanthe Art Cafe @ Jalan Hang Kasturi with its rustic and creative shopfront. The interior was just as quirky and their Calanthe Nyonya Laksa was really delicious.

The Geographer's Cafe, I visited with my mum late at night only for a drink and to listen to their live band. (see #16)

11. Pose with the Strongest Man in Melaka

We found this along Jonker street and we had fun posing with this strongest man in Melaka. Here is one of Shern who is flexing his muscles just like him!

12. Conquering A'Famosa and St Paul's Hill

We woke the kids up early to visit this historical place before the sun was up. But then we ended up leaving the hotel only at 9-ish am.
They were fascinated when we told them how the Portuguese built this fort overlooking the river to protect Melaka from the enemies.

The kids enjoyed seeing the canons and made it like a game while climbing up the hill and playing at the many windows of the facade.

At the foot of St. Paul's Hill, there were some transport on displaty. We saw a train, a jet plane, a fure truck and also a traditional bullock cart.
My kids being transports fans, we couldn't help but stopped awhile for them to admire these beauties.

Walked a little towards town and we came to the Red Dutch Building / Stadhyust. Nothing much here that interest the kids except to take a few photos of this iconic Melaka attraction.

13. Visit the Maritime Museum

This was in our plan, but then when we reached here, it was a little too late as it closed at 5.30pm. So we just posed for a photo in front of this giant ship.
This one's just next to the Melaka River Cruise.

14. Visit the Submarine Museum 

We took Uber all the way (~20 mins ride) to Klebang to visit the Submarine Museum because my kids are fans of all kinds of transport. And submarine is not something you get to see quite often.
It was a pity that it was a rainy day and so it was more difficult to walk around. But nevertheless, the kids had fun.

But it was quite a small place and not much were on display except for the submarine and 2 jet planes. You get to go inside the submarine but it was not an elaborate museum. But it was still fun though.

But at only RM5/adult and RM2/child, I can't really complain.
But I would say that unless you or your kids are a submarine buff, you may skip this place.

15. Try-On/Buy a Baju Kebaya
Trying on a Baju Kebaya was in my itinerary because I know there is a much wider selection of it in Melaka. This shop is just next to our hotel at Heeren Street. I think it is called Sixty 3 Heritage. The sales person was really friendly and mum & I spent some time here admiring the beautiful kebayas.

Love that this shop is also situated in a heritage building, which adds to the charm. 

16. Go For A Drink At A Nearby Cafe With Live Band

While hubby was on sleep duty with the kids, my mum & I went out to grab a drink at the nearby happening cafe called Geographer's Cafe.

It was nice drinking beers and just hanging out with my mum while listening to a lady belting out oldies and current hit songs.
Loved that she even sang some Indonesian songs that I haven't heard for a lonnnngg time like "Madu dan Racun" and "Si Jantung Hati"..

That's the condensed version of what we did in Melaka for 5 days and 4 nights!
Hope you all enjoyed this post and have fun planning your own Melaka trip with your family!