Getting a made-to-measure wedding suit

22nd June 2020 by Anthia Chng 2 Min ReadA well-made suit can make you feel like a million bucks. And that’s exactly how you should feel on your wedding day, no less! Whether you’re shopping for your wedding suit or a bespoke suit for work, consider getting it made-to-measure so it fits you perfectly. My husband Benjamin Mah got his suit done at Edit Suits for our wedding earlier this year – read on for his review.Ben’s wedding suit reviewWorking in a tech-forward, creative environment has its perks, like never having to worry about dress codes. My weekday essentials consist almost exclusively of T-shirts and jeans – sometimes even shorts. No need for “Dress Down Friday” when there’s “Floral Friday” to dress for!Unsurprisingly, as my wedding day drew nearer, my lack of experience with formal attire meant I had no idea how to look the part. Save for one off-the-rack jacket, I had never owned a suit in my life, let alone a tailored one. Thankfully, my worst fashion nightmare never saw the light of day and I have Edit Suits to thank for that.My first appointment couldn’t have gone better. I was relieved to find the showroom cosy and unintimidating — important as a first-time customer. The mannequins that lined the showroom walls displayed suits for every occasion, demonstrating the versatility of Edit Suits’ designs.I was attended to by the store’s Senior Style Consultant, Syafiq, who patiently guided me through the fabric and customisation options on offer. With a whopping 3,000 fabrics to pick from, there’s something for everyone here, style and budget-wise. I eventually decided on a midnight blue and grey combination from Dormeuil’s Amadeus collection for my three-piece suit. This premium collection is known for its comfort and excellent drape, and I figured it would be a worthy investment for my first made-to-measure suit. The measurement process that followed was swift but detailed. I tend to require very specific instructions for this kind of thing, but Syafiq worked with quick precision and the experience wasn’t as awkward as I feared it might be. I was particularly impressed with Edit Suits’ digital approach to suit customisation. After picking my fabrics and buttons, an iPad was presented with all the available options for fit, collar, cuff and more. The user interface is clear and easy to navigate, with illustrations accompanying every option, so the entire process was a breeze.The online platform also ensured full transparency, with every measurement and detail of the order saved to my Edit Suits account. This is a convenient reference for dreaming up your next suit, and it streamlines the process if you use your most recent body measurements. My suit was completed in two weeks and all it took is a slight alteration for the perfect fit. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. Now that the wedding is over, it’ll soon be my turn to take the role of a groomsman for my friends, so I’m already planning my next visit to Edit Suits!Edit SuitsLevel 2, 35A Duxton Road3158 3926 | [email protected]/sg

Trivia time: 20 trivia questions on history!

It’s time to challenge friends or family with Expat Living’s Weekly Quiz. You can get together with a small group, have a glass of wine and try these out – or stick to Zoom, of course! This week, it’s 20 trivia questions on history. #1 How long did the 1896 war between Zanzibar and Great Britain last: 24 days; 11 months; or 38 minutes?#2 In which century did the Dodo become extinct?#3 When it launched in 1911, the Titanic was the largest manmade moving object on earth. How many funnels did it have?#4 How did Joan of Arc die?#5 What kitchen invention was awarded first place at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893?#6 A ruler of which ancient civilisation is said to have had his slaves smeared with honey to keep the flies away from him? #7 What famous music festival was attended by 400,000 people in the US in 1969?#8 True or false: since the end of World War II, all British tanks have been equipped with tea-making facilities.#9 Place the following religions in correct order of their development, from first to last: Christianity, Buddhism, Islam.#10 In what year was the Berlin Wall torn down?#11 Which type of wireless technology takes its name from a Nordic king?#12 What famous city once had thoroughfares named Foul Lane, Stinking Lane and Bladder Street, which have since been renamed? #13 Where is Asia’s oldest university: India, Thailand or the Philippines?#14 An icon of the “Roaring Twenties” was a woman who wore shirt skirts, flaunted “respectable” behaviour and was referred to as a what?  #15 Which of the following dictators composed six operas: Kim Jong-Il, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein?#16 What was the name of the Sherpa who became the first to summit Mount Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953?  #17 Which American President rescued 77 people in his first job as a lifeguard: John F Kennedy, Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan? #18 Which civilisation was the first to use paper money?#19 Only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World remains mostly intact today. Which one?#20 In 1923, jockey Frank Hayes won a 20-1 upset victory in a horse race in New York. What was unusual about his condition at the finish line?BONUS: Who am I?(If you can answer correctly after the first clue, you get 10 points, but you lose a point for each additional clue you require to identify the person.)I am a ruler from the ancient world. (10)My birth name was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, but that’s not how I’m known to history. (9)I held power from the age of 17 until my early death at age 30. (8)My mother is alleged to have killed my predecessor, allowing me to fill his spot. (7)I later had her killed, just to be safe. (6)I participated in sporting contests while in power, and was awarded first place in every event I entered, even the ones I lost. (5)I’m a Roman emperor. (4)I’m said to have “fiddled while Rome burned” (even though fiddles weren’t invented for another thousand years!) (3)I’m best known by my one-word, four-letter name. (2)I am N___. (1)All the answers (no cheating!)#1 38 minutes#2 17th century (the last widely accepted sighting was 1662)#3 Four#4 She was burnt at the stake (in 1431, at the age of 19)#5 The dishwasher#6 Ancient Egypt (Pharaoh Pepi II)#7 Woodstock (headline acts included Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Grateful Dead and The Who)#8 True#9 Buddhism, Christianity, Islam (around 2,500 years, 2,000 years and 1,400 years old respectively)#10 1989#11 Bluetooth. It’s named after King Harald (10th century), who was nicknamed “Bluetooth” probably on account of a dental issue. The Bluetooth logo combines the two Nordic runes of his initials. (Why name Bluetooth after Harald? Because he was said to be a great communicator who brought people together.)#12 London#13 The Philippines (the University of Santo Tomas, in Manila, was founded in 1611 by Spanish Roman Catholic priests)#14 Flapper (as opposed to a wowser)#15 Kim Jong-Il#16 Tenzing Norgay#17 Ronald Reagan#18 Chinese (in the 7th century)#19 The Great Pyramid of Giza#20 He was dead; Hayes died of a heart attack during the race but his body stayed in the saddleBONUS: NeroLooking for something to do? See our What’s On section.

Pedalling for a purpose – a 100K goal!

14th May 2020 by Expat Living 2 Min ReadFind out how one British expat is using the Circuit Breaker period to give back!Anthony Houlahan has signed up as a food delivery rider and is on a mission to raise $100,000 for the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) by the end of the Circuit Breaker period. To date, he has raised $30,000!The 49-year-old permanent resident, who has lived in Singapore for 18 years, is donating all his earnings from delivering food in the evenings and on weekends. This is after he’s done with his day job as Vice President of Strategy at Ericsson Telecommunications!We asked Anthony if it was scary cycling round Singapore in the traffic. He says no, but probably because the roads are a bit quieter during the Circuit Breaker. Initially, he found it hard physically, but he’s getting used to it. His biggest day so far involved cycling 77 km and making 21 deliveries! Anthony, who only purchased his bike at the start of April, decided this charitable undertaking was a good way to stay fit and combat the loneliness associated with isolation. His wife and two daughters (ages 21 and 23) are currently based in the UK. He’s now on his bike for between two and three hours Monday to Friday, and up to eight hours on Saturday and Sunday.While delivering meals, Anthony explains his cause to customers in a message on the delivery app. He also gives them an informational leaflet encouraging them to donate. The aim is to tap corporate sponsors, too, in the hope of reaching the $100,000 goal by 1 June, when the current lockdown period is set to end.[embedded content]How to helpCurrently, there are four ways you can show your support. You can:Make a direct donation to the Children’s Cancer Foundation via the Giving.sg websitePledge an amount based on Anthony’s earnings as a food delivery riderJoin him on his quest by becoming a delivery rider yourselfShare his mission with othersOver the years, CCF has helped more than 3,000 children and their families at different stages of illness and recovery. It’s a charity that’s close to Anthony’s heart. “Children in need, cancer and heart disease are three issues that mean a lot to me. CCF covers two of those. It also has excellent credentials and testimonials from people it’s helped,” he explains. Anthony’s goal through this push is to help improve the quality of life for children with cancer and their families.To find out more or to donate, visit fooddeliveryriderforcharity.com. Remember, every little bit counts!

Something Special for Mother’s Day!

29th April 2020 by Rebecca Bisset 2 Min ReadIf you’ve been wondering what to get Mum (or your wife) for Mother’s Day during this Circuit Breaker, Flower Addict has the answer! Luckily, they’re open for flower delivery and have gorgeous fresh flowers for Mother’s Day and Special Mother’s Day gift bundles for homes across Singapore.Flower Addict has some great options for you that can be a one-off gift, a customised bouquet  or a flower subscription she can enjoy all year!#1 A range of beautiful, breezy floral bouquetsThe impressive designs with a perfect blend of colours are something that makes Flower Addict a favourite florist in Singapore for expats and Singaporeans alike. In fact, it was the Gold award winner in our Expat Living Readers’ Choice Awards 2020. The store’s bouquets reflect a modern, contemporary feel that is true to its word: “addictive”! Some of the amazing creations include antique roses, delphiniums and lilies, of course mixed with a good dose of eucalyptus leaves.#2 Weekly “Style Yourself” subscription boxes bursting with seasonal fresh flowersTreat her all year long – and stir her creativity with a weekly gift of freshly-cut curated flowers, delivered in striking bespoke boxes. They come with simple instructions on how to put together a creative arrangement and include a free pair of secateurs and a vase with your first order. Delivery is free! #3 A gorgeous array of gift bundles and luxury product add-onsTo make her feel extra special, complement your flowers with some delicious artisan chocolate, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne or some relaxing T2 tea. A full selection is available on the website.It also needs to be mentioned that Flower Addict’s packaging is – quite simply – stunning. The whole experience exudes luxury (but with prices that don’t break the bank!). Flowers come overflowing in branded bags, complete with added extras including free flower food and a helpful card with flower-care instructions. If you follow the instructions and use the flower food, your flowers really can last a lot longer. A selection of modern glass vases are also available.Founders Sandi Sadek and Kerry James say, “Flowers are the best mood booster! It’s wonderful to be able to share some happiness and beauty during these challenging times.” Products aside, the reason we’re such a lover of Flower Addict is the service. They are responsive, helpful and always such a pleasure to deal with. They’ll even make custom bouquets with your favourite flowers if you order a day in advance.We all know that supply chains are a tad unpredictable during these Circuit Breaker times. So do get your orders in early for Mother’s Day to secure your delivery and show her you care!Visit the Flower Addict Website or call 9859 7127.

Mother’s Day Gifts (& a couple for dad too)

17th April 2020 by Rebecca Bisset 3 Min ReadIt’s time to de-clutter and pretty up your home – or the home of a loved one! Hacienda Blue has some great home accessories you can buy online. Items like trays and boxes can help you conquer the clutter and make your home look more organised. And they’ll jazz it up a bit, too! They also work as amazing gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (both of which are coming up), or all year round for birthday presents – even something with an Asian twist for a leaving present. You’ll also find Desti Saint handbags and Flower Addict bouquets and arrangements in these images and online – all perfect for Mother’s Day.As they say, a picture tells a thousand words!#1 For cutting the clutter!For decluttering and sorting your home, these trays and petite trays are perfect. There are small jewellery boxes, too. Or, go for large ones if you find you’ve got quite a lot of stuff hanging around on dressing tables. Choose soft pastels or more dramatic geometrics. #2 For a special mumFor a present for Mother’s Day (10 May) or birthdays, I suggest one of the vases, or a lovely mirror, bowl or serving platter in the iconic bone-inlay design. Hacienda Blue shares its space with Desti Saint, whose handmade handbags are beautiful and will win you major brownie points! From clutches to carry-all bags and her new backpacks, have a look at what Desti’s got in her online shop. #3 For the gentsLet’s not forget Father’s Day (21 June). If you have a nice balcony or outdoor area, I think Hacienda Blue’s hurricane lamps (below) are perfect gifts for “him at home”. The black-and-white trays in a geometric pattern make a great place to put bottles, decanters and bottle openers on top of a bar or sideboard. You’ll also find fabulous whisky glass sets, classic barbecue tool sets and gorgeous cheese boards – who doesn’t love them!? #4 For prettying a roomIf you’re just in the market for making your home a bit prettier, the side tables and table lamps are perfect home accessories and easy to place in a bedroom or living room. A nice cashmere throw will pretty up your sofa or an old armchair. Or splash out on a couple of nice coasters or a new coffee table just to give a new breath of life to your living room. Online:haciendablue.comdestisaint.comfloweraddictShop (for when things are back to normal!):17 Woking Road, #02-04 (by appointment,call 9866 1024 or email [email protected])Management and wholesale purchasing: [email protected]

What I love about my car

13th April 2020 by Expat Living 2 Min ReadHaving a car in Singapore is going to be expensive compared to most other countries, so why not make it as easy as possible? Here’s a reader who used to own the cars he drove but is now a firm convert to the benefits of leasing – and he loves his car!Name: Peter YoungOriginally from: UKYears in Singapore: 7Here with: Wife and 11-year-old daughterJob: Private art dealerWhat type of car do you drive?A Volvo XC60 T6, sort of a metallic brown colour. It’s almost an antique now by Singapore standards – but I love it, and don’t want a new car I can “talk to”.Why did you choose it?My previous car with Wearnes was a regular Volvo saloon; it went in for servicing, and they gave me this as a replacement. When my car was ready, I refused to give this one back!What are a few of your favourite features of the car?Wheels, windows, seats… I’m easily pleased.What kinds of cars have you driven in the past?Like many people, I started out at seventeen with old wrecks – cars that broke down on the motorway at 3am. That was in England, and the RAC were my regular friends! After that, I had a Ford Capri (really), various BMWs, then Volvos when we lived in Melbourne for seven years. What’s your current leasing arrangement with Wearnes?I give them money each month, and they let me drive their car. Seriously though, I’ve always owned my own car before moving to Singapore, but here that just seemed too expensive and too much trouble. Now, I absolutely love leasing. Everything is taken care of – you just put petrol in and drive.What are the servicing arrangements? Do you find it convenient?Wearnes are exemplary here. There’s regular servicing with a replacement car, of course, but for any other problems or breakdowns, there’s a number which is always (always!) answered and the issue dealt with straight away – including an on-the-spot replacement vehicle if needed. The car always comes back fully cleaned as well, which is a bonus.What do you like about driving in Singapore?Pure convenience, relatively easy traffic, and the fact that every single car park in the entire country takes payment from the same payment card.Are you a “car person”? If so, what’s your dream car?I love driving rather than cars themselves; so, as long as the car works, I’m generally fine with it. Maseratis are beautiful (which is important to me as I work with art), but I’d probably choose a Tesla Model S. That’s clearly the future in one form or another, and apparently they go quite fast too.If you could do a driving holiday anywhere in the world, where would it be?Two choices: the Northwest Highlands of Scotland for pure, breathtaking scenery around every corner; but for more variety and better food, from Zurich through Ticino to Northern Italy, ending up at one of the Italian lakes.Wearnes Automotive28 Leng Kee Road6876 5063 | wearnesleasing.com

How to make a marriage work better

Clinical psychologist Claudia Doig looks at what it takes to keep the love alive in a marriage or long-term relationship. She tells us about the “lovebows” we need in order to make a marriage ‘better’.Don’t we feel wistful when we see that rare old couple holding hands, looking so peaceful and content? While we may think they are just lucky, the secrets of deep connectedness and lasting love were heavily researched by American psychologist Dr John Gottman. He observed over 3,000 couples across decades, identifying the behaviours and attitudes that benefit or damage marriages. His findings indicate that we can all cultivate our own “lovebows” – special ties that keep couples in strong, loving relationships.Why it’s important to make it workBut why bother, when it takes so much effort and hard work? Well, myriad studies indicate that happy marriages pave the way for increased health, higher immunity, higher recovery rates from illness and longer lifespans. For example, unhappily married men are 11 times more likely to die prematurely than happily married men.The benefits of a good marriage further extend to our children. Gottman found that the higher the quality of a marriage, the fewer stress hormones in children. Quality of marriage not only directly impacts children; it indirectly impacts parenting quality and children’s future trajectories. The better the quality of our marriage, the better the outcomes for our kids! And, lastly, why not have a home that’s a safe place, where we feel happy and appreciated?The significance of small actsThis may sound intuitive, but the energy source of lovebows is trust – in a much larger sense than jealousy alone. To measure trust, Gottman used what is known as game theory, likening personal benefits to game theory “payoffs”. Consider washing dishes, for example. To maximise one’s own payoffs, one would want to persuade their partner to wash the dishes. To maximise the relationship’s payoffs though, one would perhaps want to alternate washing dishes.While washing dishes may seem trivial, seemingly small acts can combine to carry enormous significance over time. In this context, trust is the couple’s stance whereby each partner is ready to change their own behaviour to benefit their partner – and, implicitly, the relationship. When trust is lacking, a partner’s position shifts. They maximise their own benefits at the expense of the other person’s, and therefore at the expense of the relationship. When two partners seek to maximise their own payoffs, they move towards opposite sides of a camp, gradually becoming adversaries. Couples who nurture their lovebows act purposefully to prevent such an adversarial stance from developing in their relationship.To fuel our lovebow, we want to be in a trusting relationship where we maximise each other’s benefits. We want to trust that our partner has our back, and our best interest at heart. We are happy when our partner succeeds and unhappy when they’re upset – our happiness is interconnected. Both partners are willing to sacrifice for the marriage by sometimes prioritising the needs of the partner, since maintaining the partnership is the ultimate outcome.Betrayal, trust and connectednessOn the other hand, when trust dissipates, we start feeling betrayed at an intuitive level – this is when we typically say that our partner is “changing”. To keep peace, we avoid expressing our needs, and our partner appears to be emotionally unavailable. Betrayal can have many shapes and colours. For instance, flirtatious behaviour towards others indicates superficial commitment; it communicates to the partner that all is good unless they come across someone better. Other forms of betrayal are lying, emotional affairs, not being there at crucial times (in illness, for example), being absent, being unavailable emotionally or sexually, breaking promises, and treating the partner with disrespect, selfishness or unfairness.While trust keeps the lovebow bright, love is further nurtured through deep connectedness. Happy loving couples achieve this intimacy through treating each other with appreciation and kindness; they maintain a healthy ratio of positive to negative comments that is much higher compared to unhappy couples. These partners tend to express their appreciation for each other more often than they share their discontent. Loving partners embrace the opportunity to talk, by being responsive and genuinely interested in the topics brought up by each other. Loving partners tend to accept each other’s guidance and listen with patience to each other’s points of view. In couple therapy, these lovebow skills can be nurtured and practiced.More secrets of loving couplesAnother noteworthy secret of loving couples is that when they have a fight, they don’t brush it under the carpet. Once tempers have cooled, they discuss the incident and they engage in repairing behaviours, such as apologising or committing to handling such matters in better ways in the future. They intuitively avoid falling into the trap of piling unresolved issues between them. This way, they bypass the Zeigarnik effect, according to which, couples are twice as likely to recall unresolved matters than processed ones.An additional secret of loving couples is that they protect their relationship from the outside world. They work as a team with the attitude that their couple is a bubble in which they roll together. They keep each other informed of what’s going on when not together, and they share their stressors, challenges and worries. And they don’t use these opportunities to put each other down; rather, they maintain the bubble rolling gently, “us above the world”. These loving partners don’t talk poorly of each other in front of others, and they don’t compare their partners with others in negative ways.A final wordThe rule of reciprocity acts at a very deep level in these loving couples. The more they give, the more they receive from their partner. This beautiful “dance” creates treasure chests of happy memories and enduring faith that the partners will be there for each other time after time. When hard times knock at their door, these treasure chests buffer loving couples from aversity, allowing them to overcome challenges; they understand and accept that there are no perfect others, and thus spend their time feeling lucky for having a loving partner and protecting their relationships from the outside world.During this current challenging  time, many of us will spend significantly more time together and have the opportunity to reflect and work on our marriages. If you would like to use this time to improve your lovebow, I’m available for online or face-to-face counselling sessions.Find out more at claudiadoig.com, or contact Claudia through Annabelle Psychology, #17-12 Novena Medical Suites, 101 Irrawaddy Road. 8202 3385 | [email protected] | annabellepsychology.com To read more about life and love, head to our Living in Singapore section.

Earn airmiles on your rent, tax & school fees

28th February 2020 by Rebecca Bisset 2 Min ReadGetting something back for your rentAs an expat living in Singapore, a substantial part of your income will go on paying rent. Mine is not too high, but it still adds up. With my current rent of $3,600 a month, it means I spend $43,200 a year. Over the 22 years I’ve lived here that amounts to around $950,000! If you’re thinking I could have bought an apartment for that, I did actually buy off-plan years ago. But then when it was built, I realised my bed and bedside tables wouldn’t fit in the master room. So I sold it and went back to renting.If you’re paying rent of around $8,000, you’re spending nearly $100,000 a year. So, if you could get something back from this spend, it would be great. The good news is that you now can. With Citi PayAll you can pay your rent (and more) on your card with a fee of up to 2% and earn air miles or rewards points on it. Think of how many air miles or rewards points you’d get on $100,000! That could get you a return flight to the US in economy class or to Japan or South Korea in business class* – or a shopping spree!To give another example, if you’re spending $4,200 on Citi PayAll a month on either rent or school fees, here’s a rough idea of the ways you can treat yourself:Economy Class to the Maldives in 8 months*Business Class to New Zealand in 25 months* Earn airmiles on other bills tooIf you pay your own school fees, tax and utilities – and, if you own your own apartment, condo management fees – they can all be paid this way too. So, the amount you’re getting points on could easily triple. Looking at just electricity bills as a portion of it (as I think most people have to pay their own), while I’m not sure what the average is, our utility bills are always over $500 a month. So, that’s another $6,000 you could earn air miles or rewards points on.All of these things are easily payable, too, through the Citi Mobile®App – so, it’s pretty simple.This article is brought to you in collaboration with Citibank Singapore Limited. However, please note that any views or opinions expressed and any figures quoted are the author’s own, based on her personal experience. Citi PayAll Service Terms and Conditions apply.*Disclaimer: The number of Citi Miles required to redeem a business class air ticket and the air ticket fare depends on destination, airline and period in which the booking is made. These examples are for illustration purposes only, based on 5,040 Citi Miles earned on a monthly Citi PayAll spend of S$4,200 on a Citi PremierMiles Visa Card, and an assumption that the Citi Miles are redeemed under a Participating Travel Loyalty Program pursuant to our Citibank ThankYou Rewards Program Terms and Conditions. Actual number of Citi Miles required to redeem an air ticket may differ at time of redemption. A Citi PayAll fee is applicable. 

10 things to do at home – adult edition

17th February 2020 by Michaela Bisset 3 Min ReadIt’s okay, this is a PG version of things to do at home for adults! In case you’re going a bit stir-crazy staying indoors, we’ve found some fun activities that you can do to entertain yourself, learn something new and possibly be quite productive in the process.The Kindle offers an almost endless library source – not only are the discounts on books amazing but you won’t need to leave the house. You can choose to learn a few things or lose yourself in a romantic novel. Monopoly is a classic thing to do at home! But why not switch it up with this edition made especially for those who don’t mind a bit of a cheat. This way you’ll finally be able to catch the person you always thought was cheating anyway! If you want to spice up your life, but you haven’t quite found what you’re looking for in Singapore, why not make something up yourself? It’s the kind of thing you can do over time, adding a little bit as you go! And, if you still don’t like it, you can always give it to someone as a leaving gift! We think playing darts can be quite therapeutic. Just make sure if you’re in a rented apartment, you have something on the wall behind it, otherwise you might face a hefty ‘leaving bill’! You can always make it more fun by playing a drinking game – or strip darts…? Make staying at home good for your health with these weights, which you can use while you’re watching TV or on an evening stroll around the neighbourhood. We’re not too sure if these beers will taste as good as out a tap at the pub, but hey, it’s worth a shot! And it should cost you considerably less than a pint at any bar in Singapore. Probably not the best idea to use these after a long session of doing number 6 in our list, but it’s another thing to do at home that’s calming and constructive. You’ll need a garden (or a large patio) for this one, but it’s bound to be a favourite for a few people – not just the French! Think of all those Singapore dishes you’ve always enjoyed on your visits to hawker centres. Well, now’s your chance to give them a go at home with this lovely cook book! Make your home feel like a spa with your very own bath bomb, in fragrances that include lemon, lavender and peppermint. Once you’ve made them, they’re quite good as gifts, too! For more helpful tips, head to our Living in Singapore section.

Being an expat stay-at-home-dad!

13th February 2020 by Expat Living 3 Min ReadOriginally from Vancouver, expat KEN WATT moved to Singapore with his wife and son. He counts himself lucky to have had a supportive boss back in Canada, who allowed him to take nine months of parental care leave after his son was born. Since then, he has become a stay-at-home dad here in SingaporeWhat role did you play around the birth of your child, from hospital to home?My role was front and centre, although my wife keeps reminding me that I didn’t give birth! Did you help with feeding?After our son was born, my wife nursed him, and I changed nappies and burped him. After six months, I prepped solid food; now, I’m in charge of bottles.Changing nappies: worst thing ever or just a part of process? Rate your nappy-changing abilities out of 10.Piece of cake; 10 out of 10. I’ve been the point man on this from Day 1. Is there something you’ve become an expert at as a dad that you never expected to be good at? I’m intimately familiar with all the characters from PAW Patrol.Was sleep deprivation an issue for your partner? What about for you?Never in our wildest imaginings could we have thought we’d be so excited about getting four hours of uninterrupted sleep.What’s the product you can’t do without for your son?Full-length onesies. He lived in them up until he was two. They made dressing so easy, and he looked cute. What’s one thing you did before you had a kid that you miss? Going skiing regularly. Since we’re in Singapore, though, it isn’t such a big deal!Any opinions on particular prams, car seats or other equipment for babies?The Deuter Kid Comfort 2 worked really well on a recent trip to Italy, with lots of hiking involved.What are your tips for travelling with kids?Take a small bag with coloured clothespins, zippers, small toy dinosaurs, stickers and other random objects. A great diversion on long flights.Where’s the best place you’ve travelled to with the family and why?Aside from Singapore, which is great, I would say Cinque Terre, Italy. The people were kind and accommodating to our son, and the food and scenery were spectacular.Got a favourite park or play centre in Singapore?We go to Kim Pong Park in Tiong Bahru, where lots of parents bring their kids to in the late afternoon. We also like the recently opened Jubilee Park at Fort Canning, which has fun slides and swings for kids. As for paid play centres, Joy of Toys and Pirate Land.What’s your favourite free activity with children in Singapore?Hanging out at the Gardens by the Bay waterpark.How do you get around Singapore?We take the bus quite a lot, and use Grab Family. We just got a Ride Safer Delight to let us take regular Grab cars, and to be safe in taxis.What local dishes does your child enjoy at hawker centres?Chicken rice and steamed pork buns.How do you get him to eat certain foods?We’re lucky that he isn’t a picky eater. He likes broccoli and vegetables, and will eat pretty much anything.What’s your approach towards screen time?We fell into the trap of letting him watch a cartoon when we wanted to change him or put him in the pram. After a couple of months of that he started asking to see the phone as soon as he woke up. From that day, we’ve gone to no screen time. We just give him a really small bottle of milk if we need to placate him.What’s the best thing about being an expat dad?Well, it doubles the novelty; having a child and living in a new place. Not having to deal with Canadian winters here is a definite plus.Any advice for men in Singapore who are about to become fathers for the first time?Take as much time off as you are able when your child is born, and sleep now while you can!This article first appeared in the Kids Guide 2019 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!