How to Fight ZIKA Virus using Safe and Effective Bug Spray

First there was Dengue and now – Zika.

While Zika virus is not as dangerous as Dengue, it still post a threat to the health and well-being of our little ones.  The pesky mosquitoes spreading the virus will still cause fever, rashes and some muscle pain to its helpless victims and the only way to deter this is through prevention.

Singapore government is so efficient in monitoring and controlling the spread of Zika virus locally and has initiated various campaigns to inform the public of how the virus is spread and how to prevent it.


As a mom, I always carry on my baby bag a bug spray or bug lotion to keep my Baby J and myself protected from mosquito bites. If I could afford and had the choice to go organic, chemical-free and all, I would always choose that – may it be in food or in other consumable products that we use. I try to check on the ingredients used on the label to make sure that the product will not post any harm to my munchkin And as a rule, if it is safe for my baby and then it is all the more safe for everyone else in my family.

Speaking of preferred products, I have always trusted Human Nature products from the Philippines. Its ingredients are at least 95% natural while most are 100% natural, all from biodegradable materials, and all clinically proven safe.

insect-repellent-bug-shield-oil-citronella-oil-secondary-web-product-imageI specifically like Human Nature Bug Shield DEET-Free Oil because it is infused with soy bean oil and eucalyptus oil  which makes it mild to the skin yet provides full boost of protection from mosquito bites. It is also  dermatologically tested as non-irritating and safe, and as the label says it, it is DEET-Free!

The tender scent of citronella, orange and eucalyptus in every spray is very nice and somewhat relaxing too. I like its packaging also because it is light and small enough to be carried in a purse, and the spray makes it easy to apply on skin or clothing. I would say it is economical, safe and perfect all-day, all-night protection against mosquito bites.

Good to Know:  DEET which is used in many insect repellents was developed for military warfare and not for daily, long-term use. Studies have shown that long-term exposure to DEET kills brain neurons and affects the central nervous system. Source: Organic Consumers Association

On the business side, it is really overwhelming to know that a Philippine-made lifestyle brand like  Human Nature is now patronised here in Singapore.

I often see their booths on Baby Fairs and Expos flocked by Singaporeans, foreigners and fellow Filipinos. Good business would mean Human Nature could further help more communities in the Philippines through social enterprise development projects (that trains and employs underprivileged Filipino families) and transform slum areas into farming village communities through its foundation, Gawad Kalinga.

insect-repellent-bug-shield-oil-right.pngDo you want your family to be protected from Dengue and Zika virus, and at the same time help poor communities in the Philippines?

Be a part of our Farmer’s Fund Drive! Combat dengue while battling poverty. 100% of the profits from every Human Nature Bug Shield Oil and Bug Shield Lotion will fund the development of sustainable livelihood of farming communities in the province of Bukidnon, located in the southern region of the Philippines.

Click here to know more about Human Nature – its product range, where to buy, and how their humanitarian initiatives work.


Lastly, here’s an amazing treat to all my readers!

Shop online at and simply enter promo code: EMD15 to enjoy 15% discount for all regular-priced products you like including the Deet-Free Bug Shield. This promo is valid from now till 02 November 2016. So hurry and shop now!

5 Family-Friendly Neighbourhoods For Expats in Singapore

Boasting everything from greenery to quaint cafes to art galleries to fun options for kids, these cool neighbourhoods put a spin on day-to-day living – and family fun. Here are five to consider when moving to Singapore!


Tanglin Park. Photo by Greyloft.


Home to many embassies, the prestigious neighbourhood of Tanglin has become one of the most sought-after on the island-nation as it offers quality housing opportunities such as venerable villas, low-rise townhouses, impressive condominiums and apartments in a central location.

Due to its proximity to Orchard, the neighbourhood exudes a cosmopolitan feel, allowing you and your family to experience everything from shopping to local and fine dining, a wealth of entertainment and exclusive health services. And fret not, there are even international schools such as Avondale Grammar School.

For a dose of weekend cafe-hopping, the dining enclave of Dempsey Hill is located nearby and pledges a slew of foodie options tucked behind verdant greenery. One of them is the Open Farm Community, which focuses on local farming, offering a fine restaurant, a cafe, sand playgrounds, a lawn bowling lane and a farm. For more greenery, the UNESCO World Heritage Botanic Gardens is also located in the vicinity, often mixing nature, music performances and open-air movie nights.


The Coast @ Sentosa Cove. Photo by Greyloft.

Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island quickly rings an entertainment bell to any expat’s ears for good reasons. Boasting a stretch of beaches dotted with swaying palm trees, topnotch restaurants, quaint cafes and vibrant bars, this corner of Singapore easily knows how to meld nature, fun and outdoor activities for the entire family.

While to many newcomers, this sunny island may resound as a weekend fun locale, it’s safe to say that many call it home. Right at the tip of the island, check out Sentosa Cove, a residential enclave, which brings luxury to a new level. Here, there are condominiums such as The Oceanfront Sentosa, an architectural masterpiece, which offers residents awe-inspiring vistas as well as endless dining and shopping opportunities at the visually-appealing waterfront precinct of Quayside, and boardwalks and promenades ideal for jogging and serene night strolls.

For an alternative marine perspective, there’s also The Coast at Sentosa Cove, known for stunning views of both the waterfront and the open sea, granting you a slice of both worlds. Renowned for its great landscaping and lush greenery, this tranquil oasis of the senses makes for a beautiful place to live in.

Besides, the island will immediately be in line with your kid’s idea of fun as there’s a slew of attractions ready to be explored with the whole family; think Universal Studios, aquariums, waterpark attractions, unique performances such as “Songs of the Sea” and even impromptu encounters with animals such as peacocks and monkeys!


River Valley

Offering proximity to the city and a quieter facet ideal for families, River Valley is a neighbourhood that constantly reinvents itself as a modern, hip area brimming with shops, malls, late-bars and a plethora of dining options to suit all tastes.

In terms of accommodation, you can enjoy popular condos such as Starlight Suites, where you can feel at home, unwind and enjoy the picturesque view of the city without even having to get out of your abode. Located in a prime district of River Valley, this condominium offers exclusive privacy as it is surrounded by pristine greenery.

To make the most of the neighbourhood, you can easily access Robertson Quay area, which has pretty river vistas, cafes, and late-dining options for all tastes. For a dose of culture, the nearby Asian Civilisations Museum organises interactive exhibitions and offers insight into the local heritage.

And while your little ones can benefit from great choices of A-list schools ranging from primary to tertiary, the fun element won’t lack either, with entertainment options such as J H Kim Taekwondo Institute, where they can participate in taekwondo classes, and Amazonia, an indoor playground and party venue, which will keep your kids active and happy.



Suitable for families without cars, this charming suburban neighbourhood is steeped in history evident in the Insta-worthy rows of shophouses on Koon Seng Road, intricate temples, impressive array of local fare and establishments dedicated to the unique Peranakan culture.

For park lovers, East Coast Park is located in the proximity and provides leisurely activities such as cycling, rollerblading and jogging, and there are also plenty shops, restaurants, international schools and swimming pools in the area to better complement your stay here. For a splashing good time, the water theme park Wild Wild Wet is another leisure option, allowing you to soak in a weekend of family adventure not far from home.


Tiong Bahru

Judging from the number of hip cafes, wet markets, quirky boutiques and sleek restaurants, the eclectic neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru is ever-flourishing. In the past years, this beloved corner of Singapore has experienced a major cultural and urban coming-of-age – from an enclave solely known for its rich heritage, narrow alleyways and low-rise Art Deco buildings evoking the 1930s ambience, to one of the city-state’s most burgeoning and creative hubs.

Today, amidst this bohemian estate, plenty of modern housing options abound; think apartments and high-rise condominiums readily available for rent, from where you can not only admire the awe-inspiring vista of the city’s skyline, but also have easy access to amenities, shops, restaurants and green spaces.

Ready to make the big move and find your perfect home? Get in touch with a Greyloft agent now and start your new adventure in Singapore!

Greyloft is a digital real-estate agency that combines a smart search platform with a handpicked team of in-house, licensed property consultants to help you find your ideal home.

Congratulations to #JohnsonsBabySG Giveaway Winners!


Congratulations Kristina OngDee (and her two Facebook friends Christa Po Lyn and Ester Em) and congratulations also to Weeqi Wee Qi (and her two Instagram friends @kanglaychoo and @xxbeexx__)
You will all receive the New Johnson’s Top-to-Toe Washcloth and a lovely diaper organiser from #johnsonsbabysg. Thank you to all who joined the contest and congratulations again to the lucky winners! :)

The New JOHNSON’S Top-to-Toe Baby Washcloth provides a quick & easy bath time anytime, anywhere. It is mild and gentle yet gives thorough cleaning for baby without the need for drying. It’s so perfect for travels where you have not enough time or space to give your baby a full bath. They are larger than a traditional baby wipe, and are made from a soft and thick cloth. The scent is also very refreshing. Any mommy would be happy to have this on her baby bag.


Johnson’s Top-to-Toe Washcloths and Diaper Organiser Giveaways



Good news MOMS! I am happy to be among the first moms in Singapore to try the NEW Johnson’s Top-to-Toe Washcloth and I am sharing the joy with other moms who are residing in sunny Singapore.

Winners will get the new Johnson’s Top-to-Toe Washcloth and a lovely diaper organiser. Contest ends on Friday – 14October.

Join via Facebook
1️⃣ Follow @expatmomdiaries on Facebook
2️⃣ Like this post and tag (2) of your friends who would like to try the new Johnson’s Top-to-Toe Washcloth
3️⃣ Share this post on your Facebook profile and use hashtag #johnsonsbabysg

Join via Instagram
1️⃣ Follow @expatmomdiaries on Instagram
2️⃣ Like this post and tag (2) of your friends who would like to try the new Johnson’s Top-to-Toe Washcloth
3️⃣ Share this post on Instagram and use hashtag #johnsonsbabysg

The new JOHNSON’S Top-to-Toe Baby Washcloths provides a quick & easy bath time anytime, anywhere. It is mild and gentle yet gives thorough cleaning for baby without the need for drying. It’s so perfect for travels where you have not enough time or space to give your baby a full bath. They are larger than a traditional baby wipe, and are made from a soft and thick cloth. The scent is also very refreshing. Any mommy would be glad to have this on her baby bags. So hurry and join now to get a free Johnson’s Top-to-Toe Washcloth and Diaper Organiser!

Congratulations #GetawaytoBatam Contest Winners!


Congratulations to all the winners of #GetawaytoBatam Contest!

(1) Ajeek Syasya

(2) Jemry Ong

(3) Seline Chen

You win a Pampering Package for Two at Familia Spa Batam inclusive of the following:

*Enjoy 90 Minutes of Traditional Indonesian Massage at the Villa
*Complimentary use of SPA facilities: hot and cold pool, sauna and steam rooms
*Delicious Indonesian Meal
(Nasi Goreng Gila, Mixed Tropical Fruits and Herbal Juice Drink)
*Complimentary pick up service:
Terminal Ferry – SPA – Terminal Ferry




Online Shopping Deals and Discounts at ShopBack!

I have been a great fan of online shopping ever since I became a mom.

But why not? I can do shopping while on my pajamas. I can browse through 101 different products in just simple clicks. I can securely pay using a credit card and many of these online shops offer free deliveries too. I just have to make sure that the shop is legit and have good customer reviews.

Like when shopping with Honestbee and Fairprice Online, I am getting the same prices, savings and deals offered at a nearby Fairprice outlet. But buying online saves me a lot of time, no more long queues to the cashier, and  it also saves me the burden of carrying heavy and bulky grocery items like baby milk cans, diapers, etc.

And the best part? Many online shops now are getting more and more competitive and are offering attractive shopping deals and valuable discounts. Some would even offer you cash rewards just by shopping from their affiliates like Isn’t that cool?!

Check out this video to see the smarter way to shop online.


Shopback Singapore is a cashback site that pays you for shopping with more than 500 merchant stores. It has a wide variety of store offerings on board – from lifestyle stores, grocery stores, food deliveries, travel sites and a lot more. It is one of the most popular cashback site in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

I just love shopping sites like this one which enable us shoppers to be more savvy and more informed with our choices of products and services. The layout of its website makes it easier for shoppers to see and compare among other similar shops and products before finally making the purchase.

Aside from cash rewards, kiasu moms like me would also be happy to know that Shopback Singapore also offer discount coupons.  You can look for the latest FoodPanda voucher to help you save on food deliveries or save on your travel bookings when you grab an Expedia discount code.They even have the popular Guardian on board!

The amazing deals seem endless. Click here to get some more discount coupons to use in your next shopping.

There you go shopaholic moms, you can have your cake and eat it too!

Happy smart shopping happy moms!


Win a Pampering Treat from Familia Spa Batam



Are you ready to go on a quick getaway to Batam?

Do you want  some relaxing time in a spa? A soothing massage? Maybe a dip in a warm pool? Or perhaps have some drinks in a bar and cozy up with your loved one?

Here is your chance for a wonderful time at Batam courtesy of Family Spa & Cafe Batam

Three (3) lucky winners will get the chance to win a pampering package for (2) pax from Family Spa & Cafe Batam and will receive the following rejuvenating treats:

  • 90 Minutes of Traditional Indonesian Massage at the Villa
  • Complimentary use of SPA facilities: hot and cold pool, sauna and steam rooms
  • Delicious Indonesian Meal (Nasi Goreng Gila, Mixed Tropical Fruits & Herbal Juice)
  • Complimentary pick up service: Terminal Ferry – SPA – Terminal Ferry

3 Easy Steps to Join:

  1. Like  and Follow ExpatMomDiaries  and Family Spa & Cafe Batam on Facebook and/or Instagram. 
  2. Like and Share the contest post “Getaway to Batam, Indonesia” to your friends on Facebook and/or Instagram and tag the person you will be bringing along to Family Spa & Cafe Batam
  3. Use hashtags #getawaytoBATAM and #sgcontest on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Contest is open to followers residing in Singapore. Contest ends on 5 October – Wednesday. Winners will be announced on my blog and my socials: Facebook Instagram TwitterNOTE: fares, taxes, visas, insurance and any other costs related to the trip are solely the responsibility of the winners. 

Hurry! Join now and have that perfect weekend getaway to Batam.








Getaway to Batam, Indonesia

Batam is a major city in the Riau Islands of Indonesia which boasts of lovely beaches, duty free shopping and zappy night life.

Reaching the island is just about an hour of ferry ride from Singapore. It is no wonder that Batam is among the favourite holiday and shopping destination of many Singaporeans and some foreigners living in Singapore. It’s closeness to Singapore makes a perfect quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the Lion city.

Singapore Cruise Center

My family had a weekend trip to Batam before and it was an enjoyable, affordable and relaxing experience. Let me share how I managed to put together our short trip to Batam a success, and hopefully, you could have the same wonderful experience too.

Harbourfront Ferry Terminal is the port to go to from Singapore. Singapore Cruise Center is located inside Vivo City. Ferry ticketing shops are already open when we came at around 9am. I noticed that many passengers were walk-in ticket buyers but good thing that we had our ticket pre-booked and pre-paid online via Batamfast. We did not need to queue for a long time and just had to collect our return tickets then wait for boarding.

As we had ample time, we were able to eat breakfast and change money from Singapore Dollars to Indonesian Rupiah. There are a lot of food choices around the cruise center, Kopi Tiam, Han’s, Mo’s Burger, Mc Donald’s, etc are already open for breakfast. There are also many money changing shops in the area.

Batam Port

Ferry is the main transportation to Batam. Batamfast, Wavemaster and Sindo Ferry are the big ferry companies that got routes to Batam.

Check here which is the nearest Port in Batam to your hotel:
– Batam Centre (Harris Hotel, Harmoni One, Crown Vista)
– Harbour Bay (Swiss-Belhotel, Novotel, Harmoni Suites, I Hotel)
– Nongsapura (Turi Beach Resort, Montigo Resorts Nongsa, Nongsa Point Marina)
– Sekupang (Tempat Senang Resort Spa, KTM Resort, Teluna)
– Waterfront City (Holiday Inn, Harris Resort, Sijori Resort)

Batam Map

Batam Ferry Terminal Map from

We stayed at Novotel Batam in Nagoya area. The hotel taxi charged 60,000 Indonesian Rupiah (about S$6) for the hotel transfer. Novotel Batam is near Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal and Nagoya Hills Shopping Mall. The hotel has free one-way shuttle service to Nagoya Hills, DC Mall and BCS at designated times.

Batam Novotel

Our hotel stay was generally okay but the hotel could improve on service and may need to renovate recreational facilities. Check Tripadvisor for my full review of Novotel Batam.

As recommended by my friends, we went to Nagoya Hills to eat Indonesian dishes such as Gado-gado (a mixture of boiled veggies, eggs, crackers in peanut sauce) and Bakso (hot noodle soup with chicken, mutton or beef meatballs).

Batam Food

As for shopping, we only went to Nagoya Hills because the locals say it is the biggest mall in area. It has Matahari Department Store, huge section of shops selling mobile phones and replica branded bags, family karaoke lounges, kiddie arcade, some nails salon and beauty shop. There is a Wacoal shop that sells authentic Wacoal undergarments. On the ground floor is the Hypermarket where you can buy many cheap items, from fresh and preserved fruits, dried herbs and spices to quality ceramic pans. It is a shopping heaven for mommies. What I can’t stand though is the constant smoking of people everywhere inside an enclosed, air conditioned mall.

Batam Mall


  • Bistro Godiva – Indo coffee here is heavenly, also a good hangout place as they got free wi-fi.
  • A&W – the famous root beer float, burgers and fries.
  • Indonesia prawn crackers, prawn rolls, preserved mangoes and dried guavas

Batam 1

On our last day, we had time to check out Harbor Bay Mall which has a walkway directly to the ferry terminal. There’s J Co Donuts, Coffeetown and Bistro Godiva. But what’s nice is the OG Hypemarket and OG Homeat the basement. For me, shopping is much more enjoyable here because of lesser people, neatly displayed products and same cheap prices found in Nagoya Hills.

Spa and salon services are pretty affordable too compared to Singapore prices so we indulged ourselves in some pampering too  while in Batam. Singapore dollars  really goes a long way when converted to Indonesian Rupiah.


  • Singaporeans, Malaysians and Filipinos are visa-exempt in Indonesia. If you need a visa, Bintan ports offer visa-on-arrival services for a fee.
  • Arrive in the ferry terminal at least an hour before your departure time.
  • Bintan is 1 hour behind Singapore time.
  • 1 Singapore Dollar is about 10,000 Indonesian Rupiah.

Another nearby weekend destination perfect for families in Singapore is Bintan Island. It is also part of the Riau Islands in Indonesia and may be reached by Ferry. Bintan also offers many beautiful beaches, fantastic resort and hotel choices, interesting tourist sites to visit, and their local food is truly amazing.

If you missed my post about Bintan, click here and get some ideas on where to stay, what to eat and what to do in Bintan.






Easy Ham & Cheese Wrap

A wrap is any homemaker’s best friend.

It’s so versatile it can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

You could go heavy or light depending on the stuffing. You can always mix and match like wrapping pan-grilled chicken with scrambled egg whites and tomatoes or use leftover corned beef mixed with corn kernels and fresh lettuce.

I thought my daughter a snack idea that she herself can do using her favorite ham and cheese duo on a wrap.

It’s so easy as one, two three. Check this out!

One: Place slices of ham and cheese on a wrap (I used Mission’s Onion & Chive Wrap) then fold it.


Two: Heat the wrap for 2-3 minutes on a pan with some oil or go oil-free by heating it up in a toaster or an oven.


Three: Serve your wrap with sour cream dip or as it is, and enjoy while it’s hot!


3 Baby Bedtime Tricks That Really Work

My baby is soon turning two and she is still that terrible, irresistible, little munchkin.


I still remember the time when we went home to Manila to celebrate her special days – Christening and 1st Birthday, and consistently, she was crying as soon as all the attention was on her. She sees our families and friends as strangers, unfamiliar faces trying to snatch her from mommy and daddy.

And 22 months passed. My baby is no longer a cry baby but she still got this cute temper that we could not resist smiling, if not laughing out loud, when we see her run her tantrums, with the rolling of her eyes and everything else.

Kids are kids. So we just try to let her be and at the same time tell her what is good and not good to do. And I think, she listens. We must really never underestimate the little ones.

She also recently joined a playgroup in our community. She enjoys her class. She is learning to make friends and interact more positively with people around here. She enjoys singing children songs, dancing to whenever there’s music, role play with girly stuff in the closet, she cuddles and kisses. She also knows now how to say and when to say important words like bye bye, thank you and hello.


I believe establishing a certain routine helps up in making a child understand her daily activities which leads to less stress for both the parent and the child.

My child’s routine is to wake up at around 8am, eat her breakfast or drink milk, next is bath time then she dresses up for her playgroup. Her class starts at 9:30am and ends at  11:30am. By the time she comes home after her class, she is hungry and ready for lunch.

After which, she can watch TV or play with her toys for an hour then our room shifts to quiet mode for her afternoon nap. When she wakes up, she has another play time hour in our community playground where she interacts with other kids in the neighbourhood.

She can be very active playing in the playground that when she comes back, she definitely needs some clean up.


I have been using  Johnson’s Milk Bath for my baby’s day time bath and it is nice that Johnson’s got this baby bedtime bath and lotion samples that they sent me recently for my little one to try.


Johnson’s recommends clinically proven 3 steps to help our child sleep better and longer: (1) a warm bath (2) soothing massage (3) some quiet time.


  1. Warm Bath using JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Baby Wash: A bedtime routine, including a warm bath, helps baby know it’s time to sleep. The gentle and soothing NaturalCalmTM aromas featured in JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Baby Wash has been developed to calm baby in preparation for sleep.Research has also shown that babies bathed with a fragranced bath product were more relaxed and spent nearly 25% less time crying before sleep, compared to those bathed with a non-fragranced product.
  2. Gentle Massage using JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Baby Lotion: A massage, as part of a bedtime routine, can help baby sleep better. JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Baby Lotion also features NaturalCalmTM aromas developed to help soothe baby, and hydrating emollients that leave skin feeling soft and smooth.Familiar and pleasant scents can make baby feel happy and relaxed and lead to better well- being by enhancing baby’s mood and emotions.
  3. Quiet Time: The moments before bed are an opportunity to help baby wind down through quiet time activities, such as reading, singing or listening to music.

    JOHNSON’S® recommends that parents try the Bedtime Routine for at least one week to discover its physical and emotional benefits.

After reading the benefits of bedtime routine, it really feels good to know that I have been doing the right thing for my baby.

If you have not started a bedtime routine, never fret, you can still start now and even arm yourself with a bedtime app, an interactive 1 week challenge from Johnson’s to  help you create that bedtime routine with your baby. To know more about this, click here.

Sweet dreams and don’t let the bedbugs bite!