Category Archives: Parenting Tips

More Fun and Frugal Birthday Cakes

It turns out the most popular post on Pilgrim Parent at the moment is
Birthday Cakes for the Fun-Loving and Frugal

So here are more cakes, created since that last post. All are made from Betty Crocker cake mix, and the icings are either butter or whipped cream based.

Porthos’ 6th birthday cake – an aircraft carrier with Lego figures and models made by Porthos himself.

Milo powder and nuggets simulate soil and rocks in this military-inspired, sugar-saturated creation for Athos’ 7th birthday.

Aramis’ 3rd birthday cake is a train featuring chocolate-chip cookie wheels, windows made of Loacker biscuits, and Kit Kat tracks.

Athos is begining to outgrow cutesy cakes so we had some difficulty brainstorming for his 8th birthday. Since he likes Lego so much, we decided on a Lego block cake. I’m a little embarrassed to say most people had difficulty recognising it 🙂


Make sure to check out these other cake posts too!
Birthday Cakes for the Fun-Loving and Frugal
The Smoke-Emitting Prehistoric Cake
The A380 @ Camel Diaries

New Paper: The Most Boring Household in Singapore

This interview with up-and-coming Singapore politician Grace Fu focuses on her role as a parent. It struck me as containing many nuggets of parenting wisdom. I submit it for your consideration.

The Electric New Paper: The Most Boring Household in Singapore

I have to do a quick linkback to an earlier post concerning the Wii, and another on the modern-day malaise called the Nature Deficit Disorder.

Birthday Cakes For the Fun-Loving And Frugal

When Athos celebrated his first-ever birthday at school (aged 3), I bought a magnificent chocolate cake for the whole class from the delectable selections at Room For Dessert.

Thing is, it set me back by something like $45 .

I rationalised that:

  1. With three kids and Heaven-knows-how-many birthdays ahead, this practice was not going to be sustainable.
  2. What kids really care about is how the cake looks. The taste, not so much.
  3. Making a cake could be a thoroughly fun activity for mother and child, BUT I had to find some way around my feeble kitchen skills.

And once again, invention (with necessity as her ever-faithful mother) came through. The solution? Continue reading

Why I Love My Sarong Sling

How did I survive a two-hour walking tour with three boys under seven?

I don’t quite know. But I’m sure my sarong sling had something to do with it. Months ago I wrote a comparison of the baby carrier and sarong sling. Since then Aramis has outgrown the carrier, but the sling is still extremely useful as a baby hands-free kit 🙂

The more interesting comparison now is between the sling and a pram. Although the pram is less physically demanding (I don’t have to bear the baby’s weight), I’ve come to the conclusion that most times, the sling wins hands down. Here are 5 reasons why: Continue reading

More On The Nature Deficit Disorder

I last posted on the nature deficit disorder here. While catching up on blog-reading, I found this link to a Washington Post story via Whymommy over at Toddler Planet. The article expresses concerns over nature’s diminishing presence in the lives of our children, and it’s worth a read.

It’s sad but true that unless we make a special effort, the next generation of children will experience less of nature than us. My father talked of catching guppies in drains and fighting spiders as a child. Today, we have to go somewhere before we can be surrounded by nature, and ahead of that douse ourselves head-to-toe with insect repellent so we don’t get dengue. And here in Singapore, it’s hot, it’s sweaty, and it’s so much easier to go to a mall or just stay home watching TV and playing videogames.

But let’s not be lured by what’s easy, nor put off by what’s hard. Is being outdoors amid nature a good thing? If yes, for the sake of our children, let’s just do it.

Need ideas? Try the Places to Go link above.

Here’s more if you’re interested in the topic:

Incidentally, Whymommy, whose blog I read regularly, has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She has two boys aged 2.5 years and 5 months. Would you drop by her blog and give her some encouragement?

Ring Toss Your Way To A Goodie Bag

A goodie bag is standard issue at most parties. Instead of simply giving them out to the kids, why not make them earn their goodies? You get a party game out of it, and they get a sense of achievement! Here are some possibilities: Continue reading

Important Advice for Parents of Preschoolers

Never, never, never leave scissors where your child can reach them.

Because if you do, this is what can happen three days before your child is due to be the pageboy at his aunt’s wedding.

Continue reading

How To Organise A Kids Party (And Live To Tell The Tale)

Athos celebrated his 6th birthday over the weekend with a party for a few friends. We played lots of crazy games (including a raucous round of Limbo where the parents got so into it that the kids lost interest and left….). Will post about some of the more engaging activities subsequently.

For now, I just wanted to share some thoughts on organising a kids’ birthday party. This is my 4th, with no doubt more to come, so here’s some of what I’ve learnt along the way: Continue reading