A Better Florist – A Review (with exclusive discount code and giveaway!)

A fortnight ago, I received a lovely bouquet of flowers from A Better Florist. I’d been sick with the flu for a couple of days, feeling incredibly miserable and sorry for myself – and it was amazing what a difference it made to receive such a special delivery! It shirked me up to no end.

The bouquet that I received was The Lilah, part of A Better Florist’s signature collection of floral arrangements. I was very impressed by the exotic mixture of cheerful blooms in their simple and modern glass vase, which really brightened up my room as well as my day.

The flowers, which are sourced from Cameron Highland farms, arrived in dewy fresh condition, and with a daily water change, they were able to stay sweet and pretty for a whole week. I would say that the blooms really looked their best in the first four days.

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J and Little E enjoying the flowers

I placed the bouquet on my dining table, and funnily enough, over the next few days, I noticed that J and Little E would quietly go and sit at the table to read or play, instead of lounging in our living room. Little E was even inspired to make a few sketches of the flowers!

If you’re looking for a great last minute gift, A Better Florist does offer same day delivery (at no extra charge) for orders made before 3pm, and they so have a very nice selection of affordable bouquets! They also hold occasional floral arrangement workshops on Saturdays – I’m hoping to bring Little E and the Aged P to one next month. Check out the A Better Florist Facebook page for details on their next floral jamming session or for exclusive discount codes!

Speaking of discount codes, A Better Florist is offering all Owls Well Readers a whopping SGD$10 off their next order! Just quote the code OWLSWELL10 at checkout!

Something Special For Owls Well Readers: The fine folk behind A Better Florist are kindly sponsoring a giveaway of the Spring Breeze floral bouquet in a beautiful mason jar (worth SGD$72)  to one lucky Owls Well Reader!

Thanks A Better Florist!

To take part in this giveaway, please follow the following steps:

  1. Be a fan of Owls Well on Facebook
  2. Share this giveaway on your Facebook page (set to public), tagging @owlswellblog and at least TWO friends
  3. Comment below with your favourite bouquet from A Better Florist. Don’t forget to tell me the name of your Facebook account that you used to share this giveaway and include your email address! (If you would like to send me the email address privately, leave a comment for the other answers, then email me at 4owlswell [at] gmail [dot] com)
  4. (optional: For an extra entry, follow our Instagram account @4owlswell and leave a separate comment below with your Instagram handle.)

(This giveaway is open to anyone with a Singapore mailing address and closes at noon on Tuesday 4th July 2017. Winners will be picked via Random.org – just make sure you complete all 3 easy steps!)

Update: This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been emailed! Thanks for playing!

Maternity and Nursingwear – My Top 6 Favourite Online Retailers

So last week, I talked about some tips for choosing maternity and nursing wear that you won’t hate to wear after one year (as well as some hacks for making non-specialty store clothes work for you).

Winter walking on the Elkmont trail

Nothing covers up a pregnant belly better than a large coat.

Well, here are my Top 5 favourite online stores (both local and abroad) where I got some of my most-loved outfits that I wore throughout my pregnancy and breastfeeding journey, as well as a few buyers tips!

The Owls Well Shopping Guide: Top 6 Best Online Maternity and Nursingwear Retailers

Local Retailers

1. Uniqlo

Uniqlo is a Japanese brand and their clothes are generally affordable, well-designed, and their online store has impeccable customer service. In Singapore, Uniqlo offers free delivery for orders above SGD60.

I love the Uniqlo Airism Bratop range (both the tanks and camisoles). They’re also super-smooth and designed to wick sweat away from the body, which makes them ideal to wear during pregnancy and breastfeeding days. The material stretches well and doesn’t lose its shape even after being used as nursing tanks – wore them underneath everything and just pulled down the neckline for easy access to the milk bar.

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Picture credit: Uniqlo

I also liked their Relaco 3/4 shorts for lounging around the house. These are wide leg, super soft cotton trousers with an elasticated waist which are very stretchy and comfortable. I wore these as pyjama bottoms for the duration of my pregnancy, and they never lost their elasticity!

Buyers note: Look out for the frequent sales and online exclusive offers – the Airism range frequently goes on sale for at least 20% off!

2. Mummy’s Secret

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Picture Credit: Mummy’s Secret

If you like cutesy and girly Korean and Japanese fashions, and you want to stock up your wardrobe with a few basics that won’t break the bank, Mummy’s Secret is a great little online store with fast and efficient service.

I got some really cheap and cheerful cotton basics from here – leggings, shorts as well as tunic tops and casual dresses which are all a steal between SGD6-25.

Buyer’s Note: Make sure you pay attention to the sizes and the dimensions of the clothes on each page before buying because the sizes do vary. It is also worth opting for courier delivery for a flat fee of SGD$6.

3. Dote

Dote is a homegrown maternity and nursingwear label by a local fashion designer mom and is my go-to online store when I’m looking for something pretty and special.

Some of my favourite tops and dresses are from Dote, and they still come out to play even though I am no longer breastfeeding, just because they are so lovely and flattering to the figure!

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Picture Credit: Dote Studio

What I particularly like about Dote is that all their maternitywear converts into nursingwear so that they can be worn post-pregnancy – and that their nursing access openings are extremely cleverly hidden in a variety of different ways.

Buyer’s Note: The clothes from Dote are a little more pricey but they are beautifully made and wash well, so keep an eye out for their frequent end of season sales and discount codes!

4. Mothers En Vogue

I do believe that Mothers En Vogue is one of the first homegrown maternity labels in Singapore and for a long time, they did corner the market with their range of fashionable maternity officewear.

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Picture Credit: Mothers En Vogue

I find their designs in jersey fabric a little too clingy for my taste in general but I do like their cold weather range. If you need one or two items for travel, the Mothers En Vogue knit sweaters, tunics and long-sleeved tops are great value, especially if you pick the designs that will allow you to breastfeed discreetly. Their shorts and jeans are pretty comfortable too!

Buyer’s Note: Although the cotton jersey fabric used on most of their designs is very soft and comfortable, they do fit snugly to show off your figure and baby bump. If you prefer something less clingy, pick their ‘slouchy’ styles are more airy. The clothes are also quite pricey, but sale section also gets updated very often, so check back often!

Overseas Retailers

5. J Crew

With flat fee shipping from the US for a mere SGD14, you can really get some great bargains from the J Crew sale section, where everything is 75% off or more.

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Picture Credit: J Crew

Their maternity pull-on shorts are super comfortable, wash well, and won’t hurt you with zips and buttons. I have also heard good things about their jeans (although I don’t own any myself).

Buyer’s Note: Don’t bother looking at the regular-priced clothes section unless you are prepared to splurge. The prices will make you gag.

6. Next

If you like trendy and reasonably priced European fashion, Next is where you gotta go for simple, clean designs in beautiful fabrics. They also have a very nice selection of very flattering maternity swimwear and they also stock the popular and stylish maternity brand, Mamalicious.

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Picture Credit: Next Direct

Buyer’s Note: Delivery to Singapore is free for orders about SGD50. Not all the maternity clothes are suitable for breastfeeding, so do check the description carefully.

Check out my top tips for choosing a wardrobe that will see you throughout your pregnancy to your breastfeeding days!

Pretty things from Alfie de Meow

I am a real sucker for pretty things that have just a touch of quirkiness thrown in, which is why I was absolutely over the moon when Elaine from Alfie de Meow got in touch with me to ask if I would like to pick a few favourites from her webstore!

Alfie de Meow, named for the intrepid little calico kitten that Elaine rescued from a drain that was running underneath her family home, is a homegrown jewellery label stocking cat-themed pieces, most of which are handmade by Elaine herself.

Since Alfie (or ‘Chairman Meow’, as Elaine calls her) is the shop’s muse, 10% of all merchandise sales are donated to local independent cat welfare charities such as the Love Kuching Project. This year, Alfie de Meow is supporting CATSI, a non-profit group which helps pay for the veterinary bills of rescued cats via a crowdfunding platform.

Pretty things + local mumpreneur + social responsibility = three times win!

Alfie de Meow carries a lovely selection of vintage and handmade jewellery as well as other handmade items such as cat collars (from a collaboration with Gooodcatcollars), trinket holders and camera straps. I had a really hard time choosing my favourites – there were just so many lovely things!

I have been on the lookout for a good and sturdy camera strap, so I was very pleased when Elaine sent me wonderfully comfortable camera strap with a cute design of black cats dancing to music. I love it so much! The strap itself is thick, soft and flexible, and is reinforced on both ends with leather. It’s very well-made and best of all, it sits well and doesn’t leave marks on my neck.

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Vintage and Handmade Pretties

I also chose a couple of brooches from the store to add to my collection of pins. The first is a sweet, handmade wooden brooch, the Cat Stare wooden brooch in vintage chevron from the Adopt-a-cat collection (you can see it in the picture above). The laser-cut wooden brooch is satiny smooth to the touch and the lovely handpainted chevrons in gold, black and white go really well with all my outfits.

The second pin I fell in love with is the Calico Kookie Cat, a handmade pin from eco-friendly bioresin, from the Curiokitty collection that you can see in the picture below. I like the way that the colours mix together in the eco-friendly bioresin which is all cast by Elaine in her workshop. The sweet little gold-tone ribbon detail adds a subtle sparkle. I have a soft spot for calico cats because they remind me of the Aged P, who used to keep one which was named “Meow-mee”. We still refer to all calico cats as Meow-mees in our family!

Elaine also has a marvellous selection of vintage pins in store as part of the Sophisticat collection, and she threw in a vintage gold-tone brooch of a cat teasing a bird as a special surprise for me. Thanks, Elaine!

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In memory of Meow-mi and Poppy

I also picked out the quirky looking Catch That Fish! necklace featuring a cheeky little cat tormenting a goldfish which reminded me of the Outlaw’s black cat, Poppy, who used to catch frogs from the garden pond and leave them on the doorstep as tributes.

As you can see, Little E really liked the necklace too, and since it is made out of hardy and indestructible acrylic, I’ve been letting her wear it when we go out and it makes her feel really special! I think it would be cool to get matching mother-daughter jewellery!

All jewellery from Alfie de Meow comes in a very nice little cotton drawstring bag, great for gift-giving, but also protects each piece and helps them retain their lustre and shine.

All the jewellery in store is very affordable – everything is under SGD$50 – and would make great stocking stuffers during the upcoming holiday season. Elaine also holds two-day workshops where one can learn how to cast and create jewellery from bioresin, which would be a fun holiday activity for teens!

Something Special for Owls Well Readers: From now until the 20th November 2015, Alfie de Meow is generously offering a 15% storewide discount for Owls Well Readers! Just enter the coupon code ‘OWLSWELL’ at checkout for the discount to be applied to your order! Woohoo! 

Online Shopping with Itsy Bitsy Me (And a giveaway!)

J and Little E are growing up so fast! In fact, I just got round to decluttering their wardrobes last week and cleared out all the clothes that they have outgrown. Which left their cupboards looking woefully bare. This can only mean one thing…

It’s time for some retail therapy! Yay!

I was really excited when Mei, the Mumpreneur behind the online kids clothes store, Itsy Bitsy Me, got in touch with me. I have been stalking Itsy Bitsy Me since Little E was born, way back in 2008 and it always seems to stock the most beautiful things.

What I find particularly impressive about Itsy Bitsy Me is Mei’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of her store as well as seeking out eco-friendly and socially responsible brands. Most of the clothes are made from sustainable materials such as organic or bamboo cotton, or printed with non-toxic water-based dyes which are environmentally friendly.

During our email conversation, Mei told me that when she first started out bringing children’s products into Singapore, she was shocked to learn of the unethical manufacturing practices that exist today, which not only have a negative impact on the environment but also exploit vulnerable groups. To her horror, she realised that the clothes our children wear are made from the sweat and tears of other children working under terrible conditions. Since then, she has taken great care to source only for sweatshop-free brands in her store that are committed to fair-trade practices and focus on worker’s welfare throughout their manufacturing process.

A graphic designer by trade, Mei describes herself as a very visual person, which is why the lovingly curated collection sold at Itsy Bitsy Me features unusual, innovative uses of colours and prints, with cleverly designed, eye-catching details seldom seen elsewhere. All the clothes carried instore are produced in very limited quantities based on the orders of each brand’s official retailers. This not only ensures each design’s exclusivity, but also prevents wastage of materials through overstocks.

Needless to say, I am so thankful for the opportunity to pick a few new togs for J and Little E from Itsy Bitsy Me’s gorgeous selection of kidswear! Here’s what we chose in the end:

itsy-bitsy-me-mustard-pie-separates

On Little EElizabeth top in cream lace (SGD$29.34) and Kensington Skirt in Turquoise (SGD$25.96)

I just love Little E in this cream lace top and multilayered skirt from Mustard Pie! They are just so much fun. The minute she put the skirt on, she just started swishing and dancing around. The material of the cotton top is thick and soft, and will definitely hold its shape even after many washes, whilst the skirt, with it’s unique colour scheme is not only striking but is lined with comfortable cotton-jersey. I really like the ruffles at the back of the lace top, which is a pretty touch.

Mei was thoughtful enough to throw in a matching headband as well, just for ‘the fun of it’, which Little E absolutely loves. Thanks, Mei!

J in Mini Shatsu

On J: CEO Tee (SGD$31.20) and Herringbone Pants (SGD$33.60)

For J, I picked out this supercool tee and 3/4 trousers from Mini-Shatsu. J really liked the tee, with it’s tie appliqué, pocket and vest (which really buttons up in front!), and I think the cargo-style trousers give him a cute Hobbit look! I appreciate the fact that the trousers are lined with cotton-terry which wicks away sweat from active little legs.

I actually find it quite difficult to buy trousers for J from online stores, because he has such a slim, tall frame that he can only wear trousers that come with a specific type of belted, adjustable elastic waistband and most online web stores fail to fully describe their clothes. Not so with Itsy Bitsy Me – Mei takes the trouble to write loads of very helpful descriptive detail including advice on the cut and fit of the clothes, so I was absolutely confident in what I was buying! In fact, the quality of the clothes really exceeded my expectations.

I couldn’t resist picking out a new dress for Little E, also from the Mustard Pie collection on Itsy Bitsy Me. It was the combination of pink and grey as well as the unusual mix of fabrics and patterns that attracted me to this deceptively simple dress. I think the detachable rosette belt might double up as a cute headband as well! Once Little E put it on, she was so reluctant to take it off that I let her wear it for the rest of the day – and she stayed cool and fresh in it, despite running around in it all over the place!

I also chose this Stella Industries Starlet dress for Little E which I am saving for a very special occasion later this year. It is so gorgeous in real life – a deep midnight blue with silvery sparkles all over it – and reminds me of the night sky. The reason why I don’t have a picture of Little E in it is because I’ve hidden it away for now (otherwise she will be begging to wear it ALL THE TIME).

I normally avoid “ballerina princess”-type dresses because they tend to be polyester-lined and the tons of fluffy tulle can become rather hot and scratchy to wear, especially in Singapore weather. However, this dress features a seamless, super-soft 100% cotton-jersey lining and will be utterly comfortable. Plus at the bargain price of a mere SGD$42.50, it’s a real steal!

(By the way, you will notice that all the clothes I chose are from the Itsy Bitsy Me sale section! This is because I find it very difficult to pass up an awesome bargain. Heehee.)

Right now, Itsy Bitsy Me is running a special New Year’s Promotion from now until the 19th February 2015 with 20% off regular priced apparel (with the discount code MC20) and an extra 10% off the purchase of any 2 items instore (including the sale section – with the discount code FB10). So, if you are looking for some very special party outfits for Chinese New Year for a special little person, you should definitely check it out,

A bonus for Owls Well Readers: Itsy Bitsy Me is very kindly sponsoring a giveaway of one SGD$10 shopping voucher for TWO lucky Owls Well Readers!

To take part in this giveaway:

  1. Be a fan of the Owls Well Facebook page
  2. Like and share this Facebook Photo and tag a friend – make sure your post is public!
  3. Visit Itsy Bitsy Me and leave a comment below telling me your favourite outfit from the store, as well the name of your Facebook account that you used to like and share the page. Don’t forget to include your email address! (If you would like to send me the email address privately, leave a comment for the other answers, then email me at 4owlswell [at] gmail [dot] com)

(Giveaway is open worldwide and will end on 22nd January 2015. Winners will be picked via Random.org – just make sure you complete all 3 easy steps!)

Good Luck!

P.S. Check out this post about shopping at Itsy Bitsy Me over at Life’s Tiny Miracles – and do join in the giveaway there too!

(update: This giveaway is now closed and the winners have been contacted via email – thanks for playing!)

Bee my Honey Bear: A Clothing Review

I have a very sweet tooth and one of the mainstays in my pantry is a jar of raw honey, not the pasteurized stuff, but raw honey straight from the comb and barely sieved to remove bits of wax.  There’s just something about the thick golden-yellow liquid that is so appealing.  It’s versatile for flavouring both sweets and meats, it has a number of health benefits and it’s delicious.

Little Odd Forest prints, one of our favourite online designers, has recently released an adorable earring collection inspired by honey, the creatures that make it and the creatures that eat it.  Naturally, I ordered the entire honey-inspired collection for my personal wardrobe.  They arrived in a timely manner in the most adorable envelope ever.

The postal bird bringeth the presents!

The postal bird bringeth the presents!

But the envelope wasn’t where the surprises ended.  Little Odd Forest included a small netting bag for the collection, handy for keeping the collection together and but also useful for other things (like laundry).  Inside, I found 6 pairs of the most adorable earrings, packed neatly in little boxes.

Aren't they just the cutest?

Aren’t they just the cutest?

Bee nose dive on a disembodied ear

Bee nose dive on a disembodied ear

If you’re wondering where the bee earrings were, I couldn’t help myself and had popped them on almost immediately after opening the packages.  They’ve been a real hit at the workplace.

The earrings are made out of laser cut plastic and stainless steel.  I’m really impressed with the adorableness of the designs!

You can get Little Odd Forest bags at Sandy Designs at Shop 483, King St in Sydney’s Newtown.  I’ve been given to understand that their bags are both adorable and fairly durable (as my sister carries one practically everywhere).

If you’re looking for the earrings specifically, you can buy them at Little Odd Forest’s website, which ships internationally.

Online Shopping with Paley & Love (plus a giveaway and discount code!)

When I was growing up, I had a large collection of Barbies that were either given to me as presents or handed down from my older cousins, but I never really understood how to play with them. My friends who came over on play dates had much more fun with them than I did, and I would watch them uncomprehendingly as they dressed the dolls up and fussed with their hair. I was much more interested in pulling off the dolls’ heads to see what was inside. [1]

Now, however, I have TWO LIVING DOLLS of my own and I love dressing the both of them up! Every piece that I purchase for J and Little E has to be extra-special in one way or another – mostly because I look for heirloom quality clothes that will last more than one generation.

However, I hardly ever shop at the local brick-and-mortar stores in Singapore because I don’t really have the time or the inclination to drag the kids round the malls, or the budget to afford some of the really classy clothes in the shop windows. Additionally, I want my children to stand out and not be wearing the same clothes as everyone else.

This is why I tend to buy most of the children’s clothes overseas (usually from the UK) during sale season or from online retailers who carry a carefully curated selection.

Like myself, May (one of the two homegrown mum-preneurs behind the new online children’s clothing store, Paley & Love) is also very particular about the clothes she buys for her kids, looking for high quality materials and cool designs, but she also does not want to spend a bomb on clothes that will soon be outgrown. Between working long hours in the office and trying to be there for her two boys, the only time that May had a chance to do any shopping was from blogshops during the morning commute. This is why she decided to start her own online retail store, carrying only stylish yet affordable children’s clothes that she would be proud to dress her kids in!

I was really excited when May contacted me and gave me the opportunity to choose some gorgeous togs for J and Little E from Paley & Love! The shop updates once a fortnight, so there were so many lovely pieces to choose from. Here’s what we ended up with:

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On J: Dark Blue with White Polka Dots Long/Roll Up shirt (SGD$29.90). On Little E: Tri-colour Shift Dress (SGD$32.90).

J really likes his polka dot shirt, which I think will also be a great piece for Little E in the future! I really like the contrasting pocket and the mandarin collar. The sleeves can also be worn long which is great for J because he often gets cold in air-conditioned places. This shirt really does wash well and it is very easy to iron!

frozen-style-norweigan-inspired-dress

Box-pleats and embroidery!

Little E’s Tri-colour shift dress is really gorgeous – the style of the dress with bolts of colour hidden within the pleats as well as the embroidery along the hem, reminded me of the rosemaling and pleating of the Norweigan style garments in Disney’s Frozen. It’s very versatile too – I think it would look cute with a long sleeved teeshirt underneath and tights!

I would recommend that this dress be pre-washed separately as the colour does bleed a little bit on the first few washes.

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Silver Plane Tee (SGD$19.90)

J chose this cool tee-shirt by himself! The silver foil plane is very shiny and stands up well to repeated washes. The tee-shirt itself is a very soft cotton, which is light and thin – very nice for our summer weather. I personally prefer a thicker cotton which I feel will hold its shape, but my son really likes the airiness of this tee-shirt.

Little E also chose a dress for herself – the Calliart Ink dress that you can see in the picture below.

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Calliart Ink dress (SGD$32.90)

This is a very pretty cream coloured dress, with a lovely print of flowers and butterflies all over it. I especially like the tie at the back which can be adjusted to give a more customised fit or loosened so that the dress can be worn pinafore-style.

Paley & Love ships both locally and internationally, and there is free local shipping for orders above SGD $80! May’s fussiness when it comes to clothes is definitely in your favour, as she scrutinises every piece that enters and leaves her hands, making sure that there are no stains or marks on them. This means that your order is sure to reach you in great condition.

Bonus for Owls Well Readers: Paley & Love has offered an exclusive discount code for all Owls Well Readers! Just enter the code PaleyMA at checkout to enjoy 10% off anything in store. (Promotion code is valid until 30th April 2014)

Paley & Love is also generously sponsoring a giveaway of $20 worth of shopping vouchers for FIVE Owls Well Readers! Hurrah!

To take part in the Giveaway just:

  1. Be a fan of the Owls Well Facebook page
  2. Be a fan of the Paley & Love Facebook page
  3. Like and share this Facebook photo and tag a friend – make sure your post is public!
  4. Leave a comment below telling me what you look for in choosing clothes for your kids and the name of your Facebook account that you used to like the page. Don’t forget to include your email address! (If you would like to send me the email address privately, leave a comment for the other answers, then email me at 4owlswell [at] gmail [dot] com)

(Giveaway is open worldwide and will end on 30th April. Winners will be picked via Random.org – just make sure you complete all 4 easy steps!)

Good luck!

 (edit: The winners have been emailed! Thanks for playing!)


1. Conclusion: Barbie is an airhead.

A Groovy Gift Guide – 20 gifts (mostly) under $20, and an exclusive discount code!)

Are you getting excited about the upcoming holiday season? It’s 2 weeks until Christmas! I always feel that Christmas is such a great excuse for gift giving but I despise battling the crowds at the shopping malls -which is why online shopping is the place for me.

I’m very excited to share with you all…our brand new sponsor, The Groovy Giraffe.

The Groovy Giraffe is an online bookstore set up by a local husband and wife team. When their son was born this year, they were astonished by the exorbitant prices of children’s books sold in our local brick-and-mortar shops, which is why they founded an online bookstore with the goal of helping readers save money on good books.

I just bought two books from them recently and they were delivered to me in only three working days in beautiful condition, so I think this is a great place if you’re looking for some last minute gifts. There’s a very wide range selection of titles, and the prices on their website are UNBELIEVEABLE. I’ll never pay the recommended retail price for any of my books every again!

The books on The Groovy Giraffe are all brand new titles from publishers and suppliers who need to liquidate their overstocks – so all the savings are passed onto customers like myself, and whats more, they offer free local delivery for purchases over SGD$60!

If you are looking for some ideas for gifts this December, here are my suggestions for all the people in your life, young and old! Happy Shopping!

For the preschoolers and tiny tots:

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  1. Baby Touch Car – SGD$7.00 (RRP:$9.48) I love the ‘Baby Touch’ series of touch-and-feel books for tiny little ones. They usually have very thick, sturdy boards with a great range of textures which are able to hold up to rough use.
  2. Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr Seuss – SGD$7.90 (RRP$20.00) Dr Seuss is a wonderful author and most kids would be familiar with ‘The Cat in the Hat’ and ‘Horton Hears a Who’, which were both made into really great films. I personally like this set of short poems by Dr Seuss which are not only hilarious, but also great for emerging readers.
  3. Wipe Clean Early Learning Fun Farm by Roger Priddy – SGD$6.90 (RRP$9.25) This range of activity books are really popular with my kids because of their bright, glossy illustrations and pages that can be wiped clean and reused time and again. This is great to take on long plane journeys or to 3 hour long wedding banquets because the books are jam-packed with tons of fun activities that will keep a small child meaningfully (and quietly) occupied for hours.
  4. Laura’s Star (Book and CD set) by Klaus Baumgart – SGD$10.60 (RRP$15.18) This is a beautiful storybook is one of J’s favourites and is about a lonely little girl who finds a fallen star and who realises that her new friend needs help returning to where it belongs. Laura’s solution to the star’s dilemma is lovely and shows how true friendship is unselfish. The watercolour illustrations in this story are gorgeous too.
  5. The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers – SGD$10.90 (RRP$16.90) Oliver Jeffers is one of our favourite author-illustrators and we love his heartwarming, quirky stories about friendship and awesome graphics. This particular story is another of J’s favourites because it takes the form of an exciting intergalactic adventure!

For Confident Readers and Bigger Kids:

collectors-books-tweens-teens-young-adults

  1. Thomas the Tank Engine 65th Anniversary Edition by The Rev.  W. Awdry – SGD$14.90 (RRP$37.28)  This is a collection of the original, unabridged stories of Thomas the Tank Engine, with full colour reproductions of the original illustrations by C. Reginald Dalby. It also includes a little bit behind the creation of the famous Railway series and would be a great gift for Thomas fans! I am seriously coveting this hard cover collector’s edition for J and Little E’s library!
  2. Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo – SGD$6.90 (RRP$9.73) Kensuke’s Kingdom is the first Michael Morpurgo book that I have ever read and is a poignant story about a shipwrecked little boy who meets a mysterious Japanese soldier. It’s no wonder that this book has won so many prizes. (You can also get all the 16 book box set which is a real bargain at SGD$84.90)
  3. The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin – SGD $8.90 (RRP$10.95) If you’re a fan of critically acclaimed writer George R.R. Martin and the HBO series Game Of Thrones, then there is no better way to introduce your young reader to the world of fantasy than with this novella written specially for the young adult!
  4. Global Birding: Travelling the World in Search of Birds by Les Beletsky – SGD$19.90 (RRP$63.08) This National Geographic encyclopaedia is a real steal! With gorgeous glossy photographs and illustrations, this practical reference book would such make a wonderful gift (and it’d look great on the coffee table too!).
  5. Blubber by Judy Blume – SGD$4.90 ($8.43) Judy Blume is a great author for tweens and deals with difficult issues with great sensitivity and insight without tipping over the edge into perversion. This particular classic novel deals with bullying in school.

For Grownups (or those who are kids at heart)

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  1. The Life of Birds by Quentin Blake SGD$18.90 (RRP$40.00) Looking at Quentin Blake’s illustrations always brings me back to my childhood so when I saw this book on sale, I just had to nab a copy for myself! In this book, Quentin Blake lets his imagination roam free in a series of evocative watercolours depicting his observations of birds (and human nature).
  2. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins SGD$26.90 (RRP$45.54) Ok, I realise that this box set costs a little over $20 but it’s totally worth it! The Hunger Games Trilogy is a brilliant series about a dystopian future where children are forced into a gladiator-style reality TV programme. Very exciting and a great way to introduce a young adult to the wonderful world of Science Fiction.
  3. Scientific Process Goes “Boink” A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson SGD$8.90 (RRP$16.24) Bill Watterson’s wit, imagination and dedication to quality really shines through in this fun collection of comic strips! Cheeky Calvin and his best tiger friend Hobbes have made me laugh and cry in equal measures.
  4. Plush-O-Rama: Curious Creatures for Immature Adults SGD$19.90 (RRP$28.48) This is a brilliant DIY Kit that comes with all the materials to make two of the projects in the accompanying ‘Plush-O-Rama’ book which helps crafters create their own oddball handmade plushies. What a great gift for a crafty lady!
  5. Jamie’s America: Easy Twists on Great American Classic, and More SGD$14.90 (RRp$46.88) Jamie Oliver is one of my favourite celebrity chefs and I like the way that he tries to empower and educate people through his recipes. I couldn’t resist getting a copy for myself!

For the Early Parent and the Fun Family:young-parent-family-friendly-book-activity

  1. Feeding Made Easy –  From Weaning to School:The Ultimate Guide to Contented Family Mealtimes by Gina Ford SGD$16.90 (RRP:$37.34) Ok, I don’t agree with everything that the lovely Gina Ford says about raising children, but her guide to when and how to introduce different foods, tastes and textures is absolutely spot on. I found her recipes and ideas very helpful (and delicious!) This book is a must-have for any new parent (or anyone struggling with fussy eaters).
  2. Baby Journal (The Dirty Wow Wow Baby Journal) SGD$11.90 (RRP:$22.44) I love Baby Journals as gifts for the expectant parent – they make such great keepsakes! This book is not only full of lovely photographs (from Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz’s Dirty Wow Wow and Other Love Stories), but has plenty of room to record all those special moments and milestones that mums and dads will not want to forget.
  3. Cupcakes SGD$14.90 (RRP:$37.44) This is a great box set of 48 cupcake recipes and comes with a whole host of tools (mixing spoon, paper cases, piping bag and nozzles, egg separator and measuring spoons) so it’s a real bargain! What better way to encourage parent-child bonding than over some delicious cupcakes?
  4. Elmo Dominos in a Tube SGD$16.90 (RRP:$37.20) Fans of Elmo and the Muppets from Sesame Street will be sure to love this brilliant cannister of dominos! It’s small enough to take along for visits to the grandparents place too. This will make a fun family present!
  5. Geronimo Stilton Cookbook: Fun recipes for Parents and Kids to Cook Together SGD$9.90 (RRP$14.50) This is a supercute recipe book with loads of easy, delicious dishes for families to spend time together in the kitchen – and it’s a great way to show kids that they can express their creativity through food as well.

A Bonus for all Owls Well Readers: Use the coupon code ‘Owlswell’ to get 5% off your order on everything in store forever (except the already heavily discounted ‘Bargains’ section which contain books that are cheap-as-free).

(All prices printed are correct at the time of this post. We are proud to be part of The Groovy Giraffe’s affiliate programme. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Owls Well possible!)