All posts by myneolife

My Beach Holiday

Beach holidays with kids are the best. Sand, sunshine, swimming, collecting shells, building sandcastles (I get pretty serious about mine!). An added bonus, the boys always sleep well after a day swimming and running around.

We recently spent a week in Da Nang, Vietnam, and it is without a doubt my new favourite destination. Da Nang is the third largest city in Vietnam, and only a thirty minute drive to the charms of Hoi An. Da Nang itself has some good restaurants and is relatively easy to get around, unlike our trip to Ho Chi Minh City, which with the two boys was a bit of a nightmare.

We stayed at Premier Village Danang– a lovely resort situated perfectly on My An Beach. Our villa came with its own pool, kitchen, living room and two bedrooms. The facilities at the resort were fantastic. The communal pool was huge, right next to the beach with a swim up bar. The beach was stunning, the resort provided buckets, spades and all types of things for building sandcastles. There were floaties, boogie boards and life vests for the less confident swimmers.

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IMG_5887The kids club was just up from the pool, a two storey villa, filled with toys, craft and colouring and Xboxes games and movies for the kids. Xavier would have been happy to spend most of his days there.

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I managed some quiet time at the very nice resort spa (highly recommend an hour long massage!), there was a gym we didn’t try and various other activities (yoga, etc.) for guests.

We had the buffet breakfast and a couple dinners at the resort, and then did a little research and headed out to Da Nang for a few meals.

Fat Fish is a two story Asian/Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Da Nang (10 min drive from the resort). The service were fantastic, a great place to take kids as they have a relaxed atmosphere, high chairs and have a lot of options for fussy little eaters . It was very easy to see why this place is the #1 rated restaurant in Da Nang on Trip Advisor. The boys loved their pizza and I was more than content with my ‘Lazy Pig’, pork cutlet with tagliatelle and roasted tomato sauce. The food wasn’t particularly modern, but it was delicious, simple and unpretentious. We sat upstairs and had a lovely view of the river and sunset.

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IMG_5918We had a relaxed lunch at Waterfront Da Nang Restaurant and Bar. Modern, spacious and with fantastic views of the Han River, we had a lovely lunch at this establishment. Burgers, beer, good coffee, hummus and pita, Vietnamese spring rolls, zucchini and squash pasta. A satisfying, delicious hour spent here.

After a few days on the beach, we took a 45 min bus ride to Hoi An. Hoi An is a major tourist attraction in Vietnam, due to its history (prior to the late 18th century Hoi An was a major trading city in south-east Asia, particularly with Japanese and Chinese merchants) and the stunning, well preserved architecture which is truly a unique combination of foreign and local influences. The old town of Hoi An was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999.

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Unfortunately for us, taking a four year old and an almost two year old with limited (I’m being kind, zero!) attention span around narrow streets, through History, Ceramics and Folklore Museums is virtually impossible. We contented ourselves with having a good look at the Japanese Covered Bridge, emblematic of Hoi An, originally constructed in the 1590s. We had a wander around the streets, taking in the hustle and dogged pestering of the locals selling touristy ceramics, toys and cards from their shophouses. We bought some fruit at Marcel’s insistence from a little old lady, and stumbled upon a truly gorgeous little childrenswear shop, Copenhagen Delights. I bought the boys some lovely, high quality clothes there.

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We stopped by The Cargo Club for a lovely lunch, pastries and ice-cream. I was dying to try Mia Coffee, known as the best place to get a good coffee in Hoi An, but both boys were not cooperating. Back we headed to the resort.

We spent another couple of days at the resort, swimming, running around the beach, building sandcastles, watching movies, relaxing. It was hard to come back to Singapore and leave this magical holiday spot behind. But we will be back.

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My Neo Life

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xo

Shop Small this Christmas

I love Christmas shopping. My planning usually starts months ahead of time thanks to the glorious world of online shopping; creating lists, bookmarking my favourite shops and deliberating on what to buy for each friend and family member. Formally I would always do most of my shopping at the big brand name stores, but over the last few years I am buying more and more from smaller business, supporting those who live and breathe their products or the labels they stock, and I really enjoy knowing that I am buying something that isn’t mass produced, from a fellow mum, young entrepreneur or artist.

I’ve compiled a list below of my favourites in affordable home wares, kids clothing, toys and art for my readers.

For Kids

Cissy Wears

Still one of my favourite for online kids shopping. CW stocks an extensive range of cool kids clothing, toys, gorgeous books, stocking stuffers and now even has a lovely range of gifts for adults.

Dudes n Dolls

Really cool and well-priced rompers, harems pants, dresses and leggings in neutral colours.

Eco Toys

The best place to buy sustainable, non toxic and fantastic quality kids toys. Some of the boy favourite toys (and Xavier’s amazing Wishbone Bike) have come from here. I’ve also found that Eco Toys offers the best price compared to other smaller shops with similar products. They gift wrap too.

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Lil’ Creatures

My friend Carly is the creative genius behind Lil’ Creatures, without a doubt the cutest in kids and babies costumes. Think reindeers, koalas, bunny’s and wombats . A unique gift idea for any little one.

Mini Willa

The cutest affordable prints for kiddos. I have the ‘Rabman’ (“Is it a rabbit, or a man? No it’s a Super Rabman”) print for Xavier for Christmas – Scandinavian chic at its best. They also have a small clothing line and a few other items that ship worldwide, but the prints are where it’s at.

Rookie and Co

Buy a personalised snapback for a little boy (or girl) that fits comfortably and looks cool and they’ll love you (only hats my two will wear). One of my go to gift ideas.

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For Adults

Established for Design

EFD is a fantastic little online shop (there is a retail store in Malvern East Victoria too), showcasing the best in emerging, independent and local designers. A lovely range of art, jewellery and home wares, with heaps of options under $100.

Kip and Co

My favourite in bright, colourful and unique bedding. Also have a lovely range of towels, tableware, PJ’s and fantastic large comfy beanbags (I’ve just bought one for the boys).

Maissone

This gorgeous home wares shop in Singapore, Tiong Bahru, which conveniently (and dangerously!) has a lovely online shop too. Michelle stocks beautiful Thread Design linens, jewellery, planters, clocks and has a great selection of copper (the new must have) living accessories.

Norsu Interiors

Melbourne based home wares boutique specialising in Nordic and European designs. They recently opened their Art Lab, selling affordable, good quality prints.

Sketch.inc

If you’re looking for something truly original and unique, check out Sketch.inc. Becky Kemp hand paints kokeshi dolls in her studio in London. Karl, Frida, Anna Wintour, Amelia Earhart are a small selection of the dolls you can buy or you can order custom painted kokeshi’s (send a picture and she will paint for you) for something extra special. She also sells lovely prints, brooches and stationery.

Studio NL

A small family run business, Studio NL (formally Naked Lunge), sells lovely haberdashery, home wares, beautiful little cloth dolls and small selection of accessories. Lots of stocking filler ideas.

 

Happy Shopping Friends!

My Neo Life

AN

xo

My Stoke BBQ

As any good Australian, I love a barbeque. Juicy steak, sausages and lamb sizzling away, surrounded by friends, the woody, salty smell of the meat. So with keen interest and high expectations I recently attended an intimate barbeque to launch a newcomer to the thriving BBQ scene in Singapore – Stoke. Stoke are all about organic and sustainable products; artisanal meats, iberico pork, organic salt-bush lamb, grass fed rib-eye.

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I had a great chat with Co-owner Ruth, who is passionate about her company and the quality of her product. You can order their barbeque parcels online and have them delivered to your door. There are a ton of sides you can order (saffron couscous, green salads, creamy potatoes, tiramisu for dessert), you can email them for a tailor made menu and I really loved the fact that you can also book their resident chef Phil to cook the barbeque for you.

So for your next pool party, family gathering or birthday celebration check out Stoke.

My Neo Life

AN

xo

 

My SG50 Singapore Fashion Runway

As a lover and follower of fashion I was lucky enough to score an invite to the second instalment of the SG50 Singapore Fashion Runway last weekend. An hour long showcase celebrating the best in local independent fashion labels and a platform for emerging designers to experience the runway, this was the must see event for those looking to experience fashion, Singapore style.

This event all came to fruition through the drive and passion of local fashion darling, Eileen Yap, owner and designer of label Noel Caleb. Eileen brought together 125 models (a number of which were children), 20 local labels and a number of fledging designers for this one of a kind event. Eileen’s objective through this event and the future SG50 Singapore Fashion Runway events is to highlight Singaporean culture and heritage and to start a meaningful dialogue to determine Singapore’s fashion identity.

It was a beautiful night on klapsons Hotel rooftop. The area was packed, the audience an eclectic mix of local fashionista’s, photographers, and a couple little girls out for a special night with their Dads. A throwback to fashion from the past, mummy and child fashion, sportswear, menswear, corporate dress and evening gowns, the night was a diverse mix of fashion, style and fabrics.

The standout of the night for me was a gorgeous full length grey satin evening dress, designed by Raye Padit, surprisingly part of the ‘Aspiring Designers’ showcase. Definitely a name to watch out for in the future. 1214 Alley showcased some boldly printed shift dresses, flattering, easy to wear, perfect for the modern corporate woman. Noel Caleb kicked off the runway with some fun and flirty 60’s inspired wear.

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I’ve also fallen in love with a local kids swimwear label – Frolik. Lovely bright prints, cute boardies, swimmers and rashies for boys and girls.

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As an Aussie expat living in Singapore, it was such a fantastic event and opportunity for me to become educated on Singapore fashion, designers and the fashion community here. The next instalment of SG50 Singapore Fashion Runway showcasing sportswear will continue on 18th-19th September at Singapore Expo Hall. All the details are here.

Happy SG50 Fellow Fashionistas!

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My Neo Life

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xo

 

 

My Open Farm Community

Its official. I have a new favourite restaurant. Lunch, brunch, dinner, coffee, family friendly. This place has it all. Open Farm Community is a gorgeous restaurant (with adjoining ‘farmacy’/shop), bringing the ‘grow your own food’ movement to the masses. The sizeable grounds are used to grow the fresh herbs/veges you see on your plate. The Farmacy sells produce, Common Man coffee (my favourite ‘coffee boyfriend’ has moved there from Tiong Bahru Bakery) and delicious drinks and other lovely stuff. You can register to participate in the community gardening sessions, and the last weekend of the month the Open Farmers Market is on, featuring fresh local produce for sale. Oh, and did I mention the table tennis, lawn bowls and large sandpit for the kiddos to play in? Without a doubt this is the nicest, most child friendly restaurant in Singapore.

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We have been there a few times now for dinner. Order the charred lamb rump with mint, peas, bacon, lettuce, whipped potatoes and deliciousness. Or the rigatoni with mushrooms, stilton and balsamic reduction. The warm broccoli salad is fresh, crunchy and generous in its size. Lemon tart with basil ice-cream or cheese platter for dessert (served with fresh honeycomb, tiny sweet OFC grown tomatoes and chutney). Yum.

There is a healthy, fresh and varied kids menu. Fish pie, lasagne, pasta, Caesar salad. My only comment would be the kids meals are expensive (from $18.00). We order for the boys to share, or they have a bit of our dinner (both loved the lamb) and the wait staff were very accommodating in providing plain pasta for the boys to go with their lamb (generous serve for $10.00).

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We took some friends to OFC for dinner Saturday night. Our booking was for 8pm, however our table wasn’t quite ready (word of mouth has spread, this place is a must book now). The manager was very apologetic, and very nicely sat us outside on a lovely lounge and provided us with two bottles of complimentary prosecco to tie us over while we waited for our table. A classy move. Service in Singapore is not something I can usually rave about but I will in this instance. We will be there again!

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Open Farm Community

130E Minden Road

Open Mon-Fri Lunch and Dinner from 12pm

Weekends 11am onwards.

The Farmacy is open daily from 9am

 

My Neo Life

 AN

xo

boys

My Top 10 Toys to take on the Plane with Kids

It’s that time of year in Singapore. The international schools are on their summer break, its hot and humid (even more so than usual, that is!), and most of the playgroups and sports classes are on hiatus. Many of my expat friends have disappeared to Europe, US or Australia to see their families or take a long family holiday.

We are well-versed on the art of travelling with kids. More is better. Bringing out toys or snacks one at a time is a must. Keeping as much of the kids routine intact on the plane as possible (dinner, PJ’s on, brush teeth, story, milk, sleep). Xavier at 3.5 is easy, happy with an iPad, a movie, a snack. I still bring toys etc to occupy him, but on the most part he is a dream. Marcel at 1.5 is hard work. Stubborn, confident, distracted and wilful. Hence my need for oversupply of options to keep his active little mind engaged.

For those struggling to think of ideas of what to bring on a plane with their little ones, here are my top 10 Toys/Activities to take on a plane.

Playdough – It’s amazing how long I can get out of a couple small tubs of playdough and a few cutters and rollers!

Books – I always bring 2 lift the flap books for Marcel and one of Xavier’s favourite (longer read) books.

Stickers – They will end up everywhere, but will keep the kiddos entertained. Ideally one with a sticker book.

Mini Puzzle – The best we have found are small (9 piece ) puzzles you can colour in, great craft and activity for 3 +

Activity Books – Xavier loves activity books (word finds, mazes, colouring). Marcel will have a scribble of a wipe clean book, or a felt/magnet book works well.

A bag of small toys – I usually pack a lunch bag with a variety of small toys – takes ages for them to sift through.

Duplo or Lego – a small zip lock bag of Duplo for under 3, Lego for 3+ works a treat. You will likely spend a good deal of time hunting under the seats for all the pieces, but it will definitely give you a few happy moments with the kids!

Etch A Sketch – Just a small one. Marcel loves scribbling and pulling the lever to wipe the screen clean.

Finger Puppets – Easy to carry and interactive. Trying to get the puppets on their chubby little fingers is half the fun.

Giftwrap a New Toy – Gift wrap a new toy for the plane (matchbox car, dinosaur, something small). Only bring it out when all other avenues are exhausted. Unwrapping is half the fun.

FullSizeRenderHopefully this list will provide some respite!

Happy travelling.

My Neo Life

AN

xo

My Family Fun – Where to go in Singapore

Weekends are family time in our house. Gone are my sleep ins, long lunches, spontaneous shopping expeditions with girlfriends and the odd (who am I kidding, regular) afternoon nap. These have been happily (in the most part!), replaced with running around parks, bike rides, animal watching and discovering our newish home with my three favourite boys in tow.

Singapore is one of those places that is built for families. Water parks, playgrounds, indoor play centres, museums, libraries are liberally dotted all over island. A lot of the activities we list among our favourites are free or reasonably priced.

Here are my favourite places to take kids in Singapore:

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is our number one place to take the boys. Walking distance to Marina Bay Sands, The Gardens are a stunning example of the beauty of nature coupled with awe-inspiring architecture. If it’s too hot or raining a visit to the Flower Dome or Cloud Mountain make for the perfect respite. The Far-East Children’s Garden is free, suitable for all ages and has a fantastic water park. There are yummy restaurants and cafes catering for every palate, and a good outdoor hawker centre. During school holidays they always have free craft activities for the kiddos and there are safe areas to ride bikes and fly kites. Something for everyone.

The Gardens are open 7 days from 9am. The Children’s Garden closes on Mondays! (I found that out the hard way..)

Tickets for the Flower Dome or Cloud Mountain start from $8.00 for children (those under 3 are free).

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Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens are another weekly favourite for us. Gorgeous open spaces, stunning lush parkland, a great place in a built up city to escape and let the kiddos run and explore.

The Jacob Ballas Childrens Garden has a small waterpark, playground, maze, treehouse, herb gardens, the boys love it. We also take their bikes, pay $1 and grab some fish food from the dispensers near the Tanglin Gate entrance and ride down to the lake to feed the (hideous) cat fish and other fishies there. A fun and low key way to spend an afternoon.

The Botanic Gardens are open daily from 5am, Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden from 8am (closed on Mondays). Admission is free.

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Singapore Zoo

If you’re willing to brave the heat or have the kids stay up late for the Night Safari, the Singapore Zoo is fantastic. You can have breakfast with the orangutans, watch the elephants paint (no, really!), step into the Fragile Forest biodome or take the tram on the Night Safari and observe the animals roaming freely, literally within touching distance.

The boys love (really love) the zoo. Xavier adores animals, and when you can see lions, tigers, polar bears, giraffes, monkeys, stinky warthogs and crocodiles within the space of a morning he is literally in heaven. But it can be a hot and tiring expedition! One we enjoy, but usually when friends are in town or for a special occasion.

The Singapore Zoo is open 7 days from 8.30 am. Get there early!

The Night Safari is open 7 days from 7.30pm.

Tickets for both are 10% cheaper (up to 30% if you use a local credit card) if you buy online in advance (and you don’t need to bring a print out, just your phone). Prices start from $18.90 for children (those under 3 are free).

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Tanjong Beach

Located on Sentosa Island, Tanjong Beach is a lovely little stretch of beach, perfect for young ones to have a play and a quick dip. There is a yummy restaurant (Tanjong Beach Club), we normally grab brunch and head down for a swim and sandcastle building expedition. There are beach volley ball courts, dogs are welcome and there is plenty of space for a kick of a football or a bike ride.

Open all year round. Admission is free.

The Tanjong Beach Club is open from 11am during the week (Closes Mondays) and 10am on weekends .

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Pony Ride at Horse City

What kid doesn’t love a pony ride?! Horse City, on Turf Club Road is our favourite spot. On weekends $10.00 will get you a ride on Jameel, the resident pony. Feed the donkeys, ponies and have a cuddle with a rabbit, a perfect spot for an animal obsessed kiddo. Horse City is just down the road from The Grandstand, a great shopping complex full of gourmet butchers, bakeries, delis, one of my favourite coffee places in Singa and loads of shops and indoor play centres. A great area with something for the whole family.

Pony rides start from 10am on weekends, $10.00 per ride. $2.00 buys you some carrots to feed the animals.

Asian Civilisations Museum

We finally had a look at the ACM a month ago, and were pleasantly surprised with what we found. The Museum is FREE and there is currently a wonderful exhibition on the top floor ‘Once Upon a Time in Asia: The Animal Race’ for children, on now until 16 August. There are fun interactive displays inspired by objects in ACM’s collection, you can make your own art to take home, there are storytellers recounting Asian tales and the kids can learn about the Chinese zodiac and more about their animal sign (Xave wasn’t too pleased to hear he was a rabbit, year of the dragon was much more appealing to a 3 year old boy!)

ACM opens daily from 10am, 7 days. Admission is free.

S.E.A. Aquarium

One of my favourite place to take the boys on my own is the S.E.A Aquarium at Sentosa. All indoors (i.e. Air Conditioned!), easy to get around with a pram and one place where both the boys are mesmerised. The variety of sea creatures is incredible. The tanks and enclosures are pristine, there are over 800 species and 100,000 sea creatures to view. It is simply spectacular. We love heading to the largest viewing area the ‘Open Ocean”, sitting down right in front with a snack and just taking in the grace and splendour of some truly magical creatures, while mesmerizing Harry Potter-esque music plays through the speakers.

The Aquarium opens daily from 10am. I would recommend going first thing, it gets very busy in the afternoons.

Admission starts from $22.00. Children under 4 are free!

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And there you have it, a guide to our favourite activities and places to visit in Singapore.

Enjoy!

My Neo Life

AN

xo

My Singapore Fashion Week

This is the first year I was able to experience Fashion Week in Singapore. Last year, recently relocated and still adjusting to life here, with a new baby and a 2 year old, going out at night and attending glamorous (or any!) events was extremely low on my exhausted list of priorities (which mainly consisted of try to get some sleep, drink coffee, repeat). This year I was lucky enough to attend two of the headline fashion shows for SG FW 2015. Diane von Furstenberg and, my favourite Australian designer Dion Lee.

Oh, and I should add, I didn’t merely attend DVF’s show. I somehow managed to obtain a front row seat, sitting amongst the fabulous Singapore Glitterati. There were DJ’s, models, fashion designers (Thakoon!) fashion bloggers, TV stars, socialites… and me.

DVF is without a doubt a fashion icon, an inspiration for aspiring designers and above all else an astute business woman. It is over 40 years since her first wrap dress made her famous, and is still worn by women all over the world. Fitting, then, that her show opened with a 2015 black and white take on her original iconic design. The show itself saw beautiful lace gowns, fabrics in deep reds, blacks, whites, appliqued flowers and polka dots adding some interesting touches. An electric blue power suit for the modern woman, flirty feminine cocktail dresses; this was a show I expected from DVF.

Fast forward to the following night – a very different crowd of people at Dion Lee. A younger, edgier set were out to see the best (in my humble opinion), most original designer to come out of Australia in the last decade. I first heard of Dion Lee back in 2009, flicking through a Vogue where they ran his profile. In 2012 and at 24 years of age, he made his mark on the world stage as the International Woolmark prize winner for the Australian region. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, showing at Australia, London, New York and now Singapore fashion weeks.

The show itself was impeccable. Edgy suits tailored to perfection. Gorgeous jewel toned dresses, buttery leather skirts, delicate satin netting, this collection was sublime in its artistry. If only I had the remote chance of an occasion to wear white satin trousers or an emerald green satin evening gown!

And now that fashion week is over, I am back to the reality of Mumma life with my two monkeys. Feeding the fish at the Botanic Gardens. Eating all the croissants we can find. Putting the heels and hot pink lipstick away for the much more appropriate black Cons and grey t-shirt. Until next year, that is.

My Neo Life

AN

xo

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Dressing My Neo Boys

Before my glorious kiddos were a part of my life, I readily acknowledged that I would love to have girls. For completely superficial reasons. You can do cute things with their hair. They can wear a million more styles. You can accessorise their outfits. They can wear tutus. Dressing boys didn’t seem as if it could be interesting. However, after I became the mother of one and then two boys I have found this does not necessarily need to be the case.

What I discovered is that boys’ clothes are awesome. And there are a number of funky, cool and creative labels out there that cater for my Wild Ones.

When dressing boys (or girls for that matter), my one rule is, if they don’t feel comfortable, never make them wear it. I follow a lot of my favourite boys labels on Instagram (find me @myneolife!), and there are heaps of little dudes wearing bandanas, belts, necklaces, sunglasses. Xavier is just not into it. He likes his snapback hats. He likes wearing shirts with the sleeves rolled up “like Daddy”. He loves shoes. And he enjoys picking out his outfit with me in the morning. And both of us are happy with that.

Marcel, at 15 months, is obviously oblivious to anything fashion. He is an aficionado at eating close to his body weight at each meal and prefers any food item likely to stain his clothes! I learnt to dress him in dark colours or strip him down for meals. I love him in rompers and mismatched prints. And leggings look divine on his chubby little legs.

Singapore life has taken away my ability to buy sweaters, hoodies, cardigans, beanies. All the winter staples I used to love dressing Xavier in. But, the upside of living in virtually one season all year round, is I can spend a little more on T-shirts, good quality shorts etc as they are worn to death.

So, while I will always get a thrill when I see the next Vogue cover, I can also get excited about printed boys t-shirts. Drop Crotch skinny jeans. Tiny sneakers. Snapbacks.

My Favourite Boys Designers

Bandit Kids – Retro, skater kid style. Their drop crotch sweatpants have been Xavier’s absolute favourite.

Duke of London –  Crazy animal prints. Hammer pants and nappy covers are their most popular. Beach boy style.

He and Her the Label – Buttery soft fabrics, versatile leggings, shorts and onesies. Exceptional quality, interesting prints and colours.

Hugo loves Tiki – Unisex brand, inspired by the European lifestyle. Lovely printed t-shirts, leggings, pullovers.

Jnr Cooper – Owned and designed by an Aussie Mum of 3 boys. Versatile, street wear style clothes for boys. Their JZ chinos are the BEST.

Mini Rodini – Swedish children’s wear company. They embrace prints. Mainly of animals. Xavier’s favourite! Also have a great basics range.

Nununu – Contemporary kids clothing, for lovers of the monochrome look.

Popupshop – Organic basic wear, with very cool digital prints. Think tiger pants, panda sweatshirts.

Rookie and Co. – Snapback hats, made to fit ages 2-4 perfectly. You can customise or choose from their signature designs. Xavier’s ‘X’ hat is his firm favourite. Great gift idea.

Whistle and Flute – Canadian family owned and operated business. Their signature t-shirt is the Kawaii Cloud. The. Cutest. Ever.

Zuttion – Bali cool, distressed t-shirts, sweaters and awesome printed shorts.

The Best Online Boutiques Most of the brands above sell straight to the customer via their website, and almost all offer international shipping, however I also buy from the following online boutiques:

Cissy Wears – UK based, stock a variety of European brands and most of those listed above. Also retailer of MarMar Copenhagen, Danish brand that make the best leopard print leggings for kids.

Hipkin – Aussie based, always have great sales. I usually wait until the end of the Aussie summer and stock up on sale items for Singapore year round!

Mini x Style -US based, all the best brands and a few I love the look of (soft gallery, sons and daughters, grey label). If your little one is into accessories they have a great range of sunglasses, caps, hats, the works.    

Happy Shopping!

My Neo Life

AN

xo

My Date Night. Where to go.

I love date night. Dressing up in a (reasonably) chic outfit. Enjoying time with my husband without our gorgeous (but exhausting!) boys in tow. Having a proper adult conversation without interruption. Since moving to Singapore in 2013, we have found some gorgeous little spots for dinner. Below are my five favourite restaurants.

Artichoke Café

161 Middle Road

www.artichoke.com.sg

Middle Eastern inspired sharing menu, full of beautiful slow cooked meats, amazing dips (the beetroot tzatziki is delicious), fresh produce. Artichoke is our go-to spot for a casual dinner, just the two of us, or with friends. The food is always served quickly, and they add new dishes to the menu regularly. Our new favourite is the flap steak, charred eggplant & kashkaval cheese pudding with burnt cabbage tabbouleh. Yum.

Cocotte

No. 2 Dickson Road

www.restaurantcocotte.com

French inspired cuisine. Cocotte have an organic farm project in the Cameroon Highlands, and source a large amount of their vegetables and herbs from there, leading to fresh, seasonal and just darn good food. Their roasted meats, particularly the Cote De Boeuf (Tasmanian prime beef ribs) are the best I’ve had in Singapore.

The menu is brimming with choice; steamed mussels, slow cooked pork collar, roasted sea bass, lamb spare ribs. The asparagus salad is a must order.

Oh and the best part: valet parking! For those who drive in Singapore, finding a park when you head out at night can be an absolute nightmare. Venture to Cocotte, and you only need to drive right up to the entrance and drop off your keys.

 

Kilo Kitchen

66 Kampong Bugis

#02-01

www.kilokitchen.com

Tucked away in what appears to be a old storage warehouse, by the Kallang Basin, is Kilo. The food could be best described as modern Japanese/Italian fusion, with a raw menu offering (think ceviches, sushi, tuna tartare), beautiful salads and a fantastic mains selection worthy of a restaurant with Kilo’s reputation.

The desserts are delicious, service is good, and they have a bar on the eighth floor of the same building for pre or post dinner drinks. Just book well in advance as Kilo is very popular! There is a (much smaller) sister restaurant, Kilo at Pact, in the Orchard Central Complex for a more casual setting.

My Little Spanish Place

619 Bukit Timah Road

www.mylittlespanishplace.com.sg

A less trendy offering then perhaps Kilo or Cocotte, but I love MLSP for its unpretentious, good, Spanish food. The cured meats, jamon and cheese selections with quince are yummy. Everything on the tapas menu is delicious (I’ve tried it all!), and their paella’s are worth the 45 minute wait. They always have good quality wines by the glass, unlike many places we frequent here where there is one wine to choose from. Oh, and you have to save space for dessert, the Churros con Chocolate are divine and the reason I keep going back.

The Boiler

18 Howard Road

#01-06, Novelty Bizcentre

www.theboiler.com.sg

For something completely different, we love to go to The Boiler, a Louisiana seafood restaurant. The seafood is boiled in a bag (hence the name), there are literally no plates or cutlery (you can get a plastic fork on request), and you need to wear the complimentary plastic bib! But the seafood is sublime, the place is bustling and the beers are cold. I highly recommend the Boiler Bombdiggity Bag (Crab, mussels, prawns, clams, sausage) with the works, make sure to order some cajun fries and coleslaw on the side. Its worth the messy fingers and calories!

So there you have it. My five favourite restaurants in Singapore. Happy eating friends.

My Neo Life

AN

xo