Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Tiger Mom's Piano

When Aelig was 3 - 4 year old, I wanted to enroll her into piano classes. In France there are many clubs (sport or leisure) subsidiazed by the Town Hall who offer activities with an affordable price. Well, I couldn't find any club who would take a 3 year old. They told me that she was too young, and they would only accept kids that could read at least the alphabets. Hubby teased me by saying that I'm a Tiger mom, forcing my little one to practice piano at such young age!

Well, the idea was put off, and I don't think we could afford a real piano anyway. I have been looking at a toy for her to play with, so that she could play the music and sing at the same time. She loves her school teacher because she teaches her lots of songs. She sings every evening, mostly French songs, and each time it has to start from the first one she learned at school till the latest one.

I have been eyeing this small piano for a year. I waited for the sale period last year but it was not on sale. I went back to check out this year, still not on sale. One day while shopping I stumbled upon this shop that sells tons of cute kid products, including this one. I felt in love with the shop and decided to pay the price: 66€. Pricey for me, but with the gift card from our company, I only paid 2€ out of my pocket.

Can't wait to show her the gift!

Bought this little ball for Awena.

Colorful dolls.

Owl shape game play mats.

Other Owl theme products.

Baby sleeping bags. In France the doctors advise against blanket and anything else in the baby bed. Babies wear this kind of sleeping bag to keep them warm.

Cute bag!

I love the products in this boutique. Most of them are made in France, so a bit pricey.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chinese New Year Ang Pao Market Rate 2015

Update 15/02/15 : Revised rate in OCBC Malaysia Facebook page:

This year the Chinese New Year would fall on the 19th of February. It coincides with the winter school holidays here, so I wanted very much to go home with Aelig to celebrate this event with my family. Well, didn't make it last year and couldn't make it this year. Hopefully next year then.

I found the below information interesting so I would like to share it with you. In Malaysia, it is the trandition within the Chinese communities to offer angpow (red envelop stuffed with money) from married adult to other unmarried adults / kids. This is just a general guideline on how much money you want to slip into the red evelope before distributing.

Kids love receiving ang pao. I remembered we would share among friends the amount of ang pao we collected. There were many memories : friend bribed me to accompany her to someone's house because the host would distribute angpow; whose parents among our schoolmates would give the highest value. Mostly I envied friends who had grandparents because they would get at least four more angpow than me. At that time, we got RM1 - RM2 from friends parents. RM5 would be considered a big win.

Over the year the market rate has increased significantly. I didn't have much chance distributing angpow because I didn't go back for Chinese New Year every year. The first year I did that I gave out around RM1500 in angpow, which was a huge budget, but on the other hand Aelig received lots of then so it even out. Still, for couple without kids with moderate household income, it must be a big burden doing this.

A site note : I used to think that giving out angpow is so much pratical compared to giving present (eg during Christmas). One of my coworkers told me that she prefers giving gift, as giving 20€ to someone is a big budget to her, but the amount is relatively insignificant to the one receiving. I found it so true. These days kids get so much pocket money that RM20 is really nothing for them, but a nice T-Shirt might make them happy.