Lactation Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


I didn't know there was such a thing called lactation cookies prior to this. So when I heard from a friend that it helped with increasing her breast milk supply, I gave it a try. I used a classic oatmeal raisin cookies recipe and adapt it by adding the key ingredients in lactation cookies, namely flaxseed, oats and brewer's yeast. I've also reduced the sugar by half. 

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups oats
1 cups raisins
3 tablespoons brewer's yeast (optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celcius.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, brewer's yeast and salt. Gradually beat into the butter mixture. Stir in oats, flaxseed and raisins. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking paper.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Let cool completely.

Tip: I divided the batter into half before adding raisins. I added chocolate chips instead into one half of the batter. So I have 2 types of cookies in one batch :)

Enjoy!

PS: In this rainy weather, how about some beef stew?

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PhysioAesthetics: Non-Evasive Nip And Tuck

the chill mom singapore

It is a given that post-pregnancy, our bodies will never be the same again. Unless of course, you are a Victoria Secret's model. Mere mortals like me are left with our jelly bellies (loose skins, stretch marks and all), bad skin and dark eye circles from late night feedings.

And these are exactly what the team and technology at PhysioAesthetics can help us with. I was lucky enough to be invited for a trial session of Microcurrent Body Toning & Sculpting and their Signature Face Lift treatment.

asia top blogger

As soon as I arrived at their doorstep, I was swept into the consultation room for a chat about my lifestyle and body concerns. Adrienne , the clinic manager pointed out my dark circles, uneven skin tone and that I've developed some light pigmentation on my cheeks due to my ad hoc, sometimes put, sometimes don't put skincare routine. Yikes! She offered some very good advice and was able to answer all my questions.

Next, I changed into my robe and did a full body analysis that measures not only weight and inches but my BMI, visceral fat (fat in between inner organs), metabolic rate, muscle and fat percentage.

Now let's move on to the treatments.

MICROCURRENT BODY TONING & SCULPTING


I was told this treatment is recommended for people who lost large amounts of weight over a short period of time, and ended up with excess skin. Perfect for post pregnancy or post liposuction. The Microcurrent Body Toning & Sculpting treatment uses Specific Frequency Signatures to cause hydrolysis of triglycerides (the shrinking of fat cells) while simultaneously toning muscle. It also improves circulation and lymphatic drainage.

Apparently, a 55 minutes effortless isometric muscle contractions replaces 2 hours of exhausting sit-ups. The result is long lasting circumference reduction from the problematic areas. Nice!

The wires and all might look scary but it really didn't hurt at all. There was some slight discomfort, only when they increased the strength of the contractions.

My core muscles felt a little sore the following day and lasted the whole weekend. Not that I'm complaining though. The soreness is similar to the sore you get after some intensive abs workout. So I guess it was working. The treatment is safe and non-invasive.

Duration: 55 minutes | Price: $350 for one zone or a package of 10 sessions is $2500.

PHYSIOAESTHETICS SIGNATURE FACE LIFT

While my tummy was shrinking, I was treated to PhysioAesthetics Signature Face Lift.

It started off with a normal cleanse, exfoliation and a relaxing eye massage with chamomile eye oil.  Apparently, the muscle around our upper eye lids tends to weaken and slack as we age. The eye massage is best suited for tired looking and stressed out eyes from insufficient rest.  Exactly what I needed. The oil smelled heavenly too.

After applying a cool gel that works as a conductor for the electrical pulses, out came the treatment device with 2 handles with 4 metal prongs on each. The skillful aesthetician pressed the metal prongs gently on my one half of face and massaged it upwards, paying careful attention to areas prone to sagging and fine lines.


She carefully explained how each low frequency signals produced by the device would feel like and what it does to my skin. Using Nano pico micro currents, the treatment targets the skin entire system, enhanced muscle tone and gives the ultimate face lift. The device increases production of collagen and elastin, improved blood circulation, and cell regeneration, so the skin gets better muscle tone and a natural boost of youth.

Besides some tiny tingling in areas of the face where the skin is thinner (for me, it was around the jaw and upper lip), the procedure was rather relaxing. I fell asleep by the time she worked on the other half of my face.


The left photo (taken under fluorescent lights) was taken when only one side of my face is done. You can see that the right side is more 'lifted'. The photo on the right (taken with natural lights) was taken after the whole procedure. The visible effect may not be very obvious but I like that my skin felt firmer, if not a little. My eyes didn't look as sunken as before too. A week later, a friend commented that my face looks slimmer.

Duration: 90 minutes | Price: $380

Overall Satisfaction

Personally, I would consider the facial treatment every 2 months. It is great as an anti-aging, fine lines prevention beauty regime and we, mommies deserve a little break and invest in ourselves too, no? I like that it is targeting the skin cell inside out; it is not something we can do at home.

As for the body treatment, if I have some cash to spare, sure! It would help getting rid of my love handles a lot quicker. But in the meantime, I'll just stick to my healthy eating and baby-wearing as workouts.

With the friendly aestheticians at PhysioAesthetics

PhysioAesthetics 1 Orchard Boulevard, #04-06 Camden Medical Centre
Tel: 6836 7731 | Email: enquiries@physioaesthetics.com | www.physioaesthetics.com

PS: How I lost weight without exercising.

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Georgia's First Highchair + Chance To Win One For Your Bub!


When we first started looking to buy a highchair for Lauren, we wanted something good looking. Something that would match the rest of our furnitures. However all the nice, wooden, designer looking ones were expensive. So we got the plastic IKEA one in the end. Cheap, light and does the job (at the time). However, Lauren has grown out of it at 2 years old. It is often very awkward getting her in and out of the chair too.

So for Georgia, we are lucky to have found Nino Nino wooden high by MG. The seat and foot rest are adjustable, so the chair is suitable for baby from 6 months up to 10 years of age! Lauren has been asking to sit in it too. It is quite light despite its sturdiness, which make it easy to move around. Apparently, it can hold up to 70kg. It feels very stable and not rocky at all. I feel safe putting my girls in it although it doesn't come with a seat belt.



According to the product guide, all materials/paints are 100% toxic-free, adhering to European safety standards (BS EN71-3:1995). Although it is delivered flat-packed, it is very easy to assemble. It also comes with a removable tray.

Usual retail price is S$329, but over at MommyGrabs.com, you can get it for only S$149.

It is available in wood and white with many colour choices for the cushion.

Giveaway to ONE lucky reader!

Now, if you like a gorgeous highchair for your little one, here's 2 easy steps to win.

1. Register as a member on MommyGrabs.
2. Leave a comment at the end of this post on why you want to win, along with your name and email address.
Note: You have to complete both steps to be qualified for the draw.

This giveaway is open to all residents in Singapore. Giveaway ends on 25 Nov 2014, at 2359 hours. Winners will be announced at the bottom of this post and on my Facebook page. 

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I received a Nino Nino Wooden Highchair from MommyGrabs for the purpose for this review. MommyGrabs is an online private sale store started by a mompreneur. It features daily deals on top quality products catered especially for mothers, babies and kids.


PS: How to support your baby's development through play.

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Free Year End Holidays Activities in Singapore

Christmas and year-end holidays are fast approaching. Looking for things to do with kids in Singapore? I have a list of free places to visit here, and now I've compiled a comprehensive listing of all the free shows, meet & greet sessions and events for 2014 year-end holidays season.

As I will be updating this page regularly, check back with me and keep a look out for updates of new events and postings! Alternatively, you can follow me on Facebook so you will receive the updates on your newsfeed :)

Christmas Fantasy @ Takashimaya, Ngee Ann City


Live Shows and Meet & Greet at Takashimaya Square, B2

Hello Kitty 
14 - 23 Nov (1pm, 4pm & 7pm)
(No shows on 17 Nov)

Tobot
26 Nov - 2 Dec (1pm, 4pm & 7pm)

Batman & Catwoman 
4 - 9 Dec 2014 (1pm, 4pm & 7pm)
7 Dec 2014: Gotham City Cos-play Competition (1-3pm) | Little Ones Club Party (10am-12pm)

Angry Birds Meet
11 - 14 Dec (1pm, 4pm & 7pm)

CBeebies Live! Countdown to Christmas @ Plaza Singapura

Live Shows and Meet & Greet at Plaza Singapura, Main Atrium, Level 1
21 Nov - 7 December 2014 
Mon - Fri (1pm & 7pm) 
Sat & Sun (1pm, 4pm & 7pm)
No shows on Tuesdays

Orchard Road Christmas Light-up

Christmas on A Great Street 2014 Light-Up Ceremony at Shaw House
15 Nov 2014 (6pm) 

Celebrate Christmas In Singapore 11th Anniversary Performances
18 - 23 Dec 2014 (7pm - 11pm)

Story Telling with Santa Clause

Christmas tales and photo taking @ Forum Shopping Mall, B1 Atrium
5  - 16 Dec, except Wed (12.15pm)

Elves Workshop - Make your own Dancing Santa photo frame
5 - 16 Dec, except Wed (2pm & 2.30pm)
Registration starts at 1.30pm, limited to 20 children per slot

Barbie and The Secret Door

Live Show and Meet & Greet
The Centrepoint: 14 - 23 Nov 2014 (Except 17 Nov 2014)
Causeway Point: 25 - 30 Nov 2014
Compass Point : 2 - 7 Dec2014
Northpoint: 9 - 14 Dec 2014

Meet & Greet ONLY
Anchorpoint: 14 - 16 Nov 2014
Changi City point: 21 to 23 Nov 2014
YewTee Point: 11 to 14 Dec 2014
Bedok Point: 19 Dec 2014

1pm, 4pm, 7pm daily. For more details on activities, visit here.

Chuggington - All I Rail-ly Want For Christmas

Live Show at City Square Mall, L1 Atrium
6 -21 Dec 2014 (No shows on Mon)
Tue - Fri: 2pm & 7pm; Sat & Sun: 1pm, 4pm & 7pm

Slide & Glide Winter Velocity

Figure Skating Performance
12.30pm & 6pm

Ice Skating Sessions

Below 1.4m in height (Min. age: 3 years old): 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm & 4.30pm
Above 1.4m in height: 7.30pm
*Spend a minimum of $50 for a pass.
*Closed on Mondays.

SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Starfish

 Meet & Greet at Downtown East, Event Square Stage
6 Dec (7pm)
 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28 Dec (4pm & 7pm)

Santa's Magical Toyshop

Live show at Raffles City Level 3
28 Nov- 7 Dec
Tues - Fri (1pm & 7pm)
Sat & Sun(1pm, 4pm * 7pm)

Arts & Crafts 
2-7 Dec
Tues - Sun (2.30pm)
*Minimum spend of $30 applies

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Meet & Greet at Changi Airport, T3 Departure Hall
19 -21 Dec (1pm, 2.30pm, 4pm, 5.30pm & 7pm)

Lights Out! Play Is In!

Lights Dance Show at Parkway Parade
28 Nov - 7 Dec 2014
(2pm, 5pm & 8pm) 
*No shows on 1 Dec

Dora The Explorer Animalito Adventure 'Live'

Live shows and Meet & Greet* @ United Square, B1
20 Nov - 8 Dec 2014
Mon - Fri (2pm & 7pm) 
Sat & Sun (2pm, 5pm & 7pm)
(No shows on Tuesday)
*Terms and conditions apply for meet & greet after the show.
For more details, do refer here.

Barney, Angelina Ballerina & Fireman Sam


Live show and Meet & Greet at United Square, B1
11 - 18 Dec 
Mon-Fri (2pm & 7pm)
Sat & Sun (2pm, 5pm & 7pm)
No shows on Tuesday

AMK Hub Sweet Season of Giving

Meet Santa & His Helpers at AMK Hub 
22 Nov - 28 Dec 2014 Sat & Sun (2pm & 5pm)

Reindeer & Snowflake Fairy: 22 & 23 Nov
Gingerbread Man & Sugar Plum Fairy: 29 & 30 Nov
Snowman & Candy Elf: 6 & 7, 13  14 Dec
Santa & Santarina: 20 & 21, 27 & 28 Dec

Forever Friends Close To You

Live shows and Meet & Greet at West Mall, L1
Live shows
13, 14, 19, 20 & 21 Dec (1pm, 4pm & 7.30pm)
Meet & Greet
15 - 18 Dec (1pm & 7.30pm)

Santa and his Elves

Meet & Greet at The Shoppes MBS, skating rink
1 - 25 Dec 
Mom - Fri (5pm - 9pm)
Sat & Sun (12pm - 4pm & 5pm - 9pm)

The Little Big Club

Live Show and Meet & Greet* at OneKM, Atrium, Level 1
28 Nov - 8 Dec
Mon - Fri (2pm & 7pm) 
Sat & Sun (2pm, 5pm & 7pm) 
No shows on Wednesday
No 2pm shows on 30 Nov
*Minimum spend applies

Mr. Men Little Miss

Meet & Greet at OneKM, Atrium, Level 1
11 - 21 Dec
Mon - Fri (2pm & 7pm)
Sat & Sun (1pm, 3pm & 7pm)
*No meet & greet on Wednesday

Just a quick tip - bookmark this page for easy reference and updates.
Have a lovely merry holidays!



PS: Going away this holiday? Here is a packing list for baby and toddlers.

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Packing List For Traveling With Baby & Toddler


Every year we travel to Sydney to celebrate Christmas with my in-laws and extended family. Every year is no different. Except this year we are traveling with a 2 year old and a baby. There is so much to pack for 2 little persons! Instead of wracking my brain trying to remember every little thing, I've come up with a list organized by category: Clothing, Feeding, Bath/Diapering, Entertainment, Bedding, Carry-on, & Miscellaneous.

Clothing 

Dressy / Special Occasion  Outfits - 1-2 pieces
Casual / Sight seeing Outfits (make sure they are comfy) - as many as the number of days we are traveling + additional 5 pieces. If I can do laundry on location, I cut the quantity by half.
Jacket (for cold weather)
Socks - 2-3 pairs
Pajamas - 2 sets
Swimwear (if swimming is in the agenda)
Sunhat
Sandal
Comfortable walking shoes
Hair clips and rubber bands for hair
(Quantity stated per child)


Cute and comfy onesies are versatile for both casual and special occasions.
Light weight fleece jacket that keeps kiddo warm is great for travel.
This jacket from Fox is available in 6 colours.

Feeding

Baby bottles
Baby bottle brush and soap
Breast pumps & accessories / Powdered formula
Snacks
Baby spoon & fork
Sippy cup 
Water bottle
Baby food
Burp cloths
Bibs

Bath / Diapering

Baby soap and shampoo
Comb 
Baby bath towel
Baby oil / lotion
Sunblock
Wet wipes
Diapers - If I have space, I'll bring at least 5 per day/ per child for everyday we are away. That is a lot of diapers. So usually I'll bring enough for 2 days, and buy more once we reach location.
Diaper cream
Swim Diapers (if swimming)
Sealable plastic bags for soiled diapers

Entertainment

A small book
Toys
iPad loaded with children's videos and apps - Yes, I'm on the technology is ok for young children camp. If you aren't, other suggestions include crayons, coloring book, flash cards and stickers.
ipad charger
Travel adapter (for foreign country)

Bedding

Child's favourite blanket / soft toy
Baby swaddle blanket
Baby sleep suit
Muslin cloth for shading stroller

Lauren's favourite blanket

Miscellaneous

Stroller
Baby carrier or sling
Car seat
Teething ring
Pacifier
Medicine 
Asthma inhaler
Doctor prescription - In case you need to purchase more when you get there.

What is in my carry on / diaper bag

Passports
Copy of birth certificates (just in case)
Wet wipes
Hand sanitiser
Diapers - 1 per child for every 3 hours of flight + land travel. Eg. Flight to Sydney takes 8 hours, but door to door takes 12 hours, so 4 pieces each for Lauren and Georgia. 
Disposable changing pads / washable muslin cloth (to line the surface when changing baby)
Change of clothes for baby 
A cardigan / blanket for child
Spare top for me (Just in case I get puked on)
Nursing cover
Bottles of expressed milk / pre-measured formula - 1 or 2 bottles for when it is inconvenient to latch on.
Snacks
Baby food 
Baby medication - Must be stored in bottles smaller than 100ml.
2-3 favourite toy or books
Child's favourite cuddle toy / pillow

That's it. Am I missing anything? Do let me know what is your must pack items when traveling with baby or toddler or both!

All clothing and blanket in this post are sponsored by Fox Kids & Baby.

PS: Tips for flying with young children.


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9 Christmas Present Ideas for Moms

Christmas is a little over a month away and it is not too soon to think about gift buying, right? Anyway, if you are looking for tips on what to buy for a mom, there is a list of what I want that may help. Mommies, you are welcome to share this with your partner, son or daughter :)

Raspy Platform Bootie by Steve Madden, get it at Steve Madden shoes online

A voucher for total body massage.

This jar of Molton Brown Warming Eucalyptus & Ginger Body Scrub smells wonderful.

A mug is not 'just a mug' when it is funny.

Meal voucher at her favourite restaurant

Who wouldn't like the new iPhone 6

A family photography session. These photos are priceless.

A pair of classic earrings

A Spa Collection bathrobe


PS: Here is a gift guide for everyone else.


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Mommy Thoughts: Remembering Moments


I did a mental calculation. I've spent approximately 1150 hours lying on the bed waiting for Lauren to fall asleep. At 2 years old I still accompany her to bed. Most nights, I'd run over to-do list in my head. I can't wait to sneak out of the room after she falls asleep. There are blogs to post, emails to answer, and tv shows to watch.

Sometimes she takes 10 mins, often half an hour and at times, like tonight for example, more than an hour. Some nights, I would fall asleep in her bed but mostly I get very impatient and slightly annoyed when she takes some time drifting into slumberland.

Tonight, however, I was in my contemplative mood. Perhaps the chocolate I had earlier mellowed me. After about 30 minutes of silence, just when I thought I could leave and get on with my 'me' time, Lauren suddenly started singing. I believe it was B.I.N.G.O. I can make out B, I and O from the babbleness. Then she got up and started jumping on the bed, fully awake. I pulled her down next to me and shushed her to sleep.

Then she started singing a very butchered version of the Cuppycake song. Usually I'd be annoyed by now, but tonight I thought it was rather cute. It suddenly hits me that I should feel this way every single night.

When I'm at my deathbed, these will be the memories that keep me warm and smiling as I let out my last breath. It may be a little morbid to have thoughts like this but I do think about death from time to time. Why not? Death and taxes are the only certainties in life, after all. Anyway, I digress.

Tonight, I vow to be patient with Lauren and try to enjoy these moments every night. Moments when my daughter is still babbling and needs me to be able to fall asleep. The way she sings Cuppycake song and not getting the words right. The way she subconsciously digs my tummy. These are the moments I will flash back upon. Not an episode of Homeland or my Instagram feed.

Just when my thoughts were trailing off, I noticed Lauren has stopped singing and fallen asleep in my arms. I wish I could still feel her baby breath on my face when I slip into my eternal slumber.



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How To Support Baby's Development Most Effectively (Part 1)

I've recently been appointed as Fisher-Price Play IQ Ambassador Mum and I can't wait to share with you the knowledge I've gained so far. With just a few right toys at different stages of our babies development, we can ensure they develop into well rounded individuals. Instilling the joy of learning through play not only helps a child grow but also enhances parent-child relationship. Who doesn't like to play!

What is your child's Play IQ?

Babies develop Play IQ when they are playing. It is their inborn learning ability. They learn about the world around them and develop a wide range of important skills. However, as a new parent, how do we know if a toy would be a hit or miss with our children?

Here is where Fisher-Price Play IQ tool can help. It  assesses baby Georgia's level of development in Physical, Cognitive and Social & Emotional areas. I just need to enter Georgia's birth date, answer a few milestones related questions, and learn about Georgia's play persona. She is an All Round Superkid and a curious baby.

The site gives me a personalized development plan for Georgia. It offers advice, suggestions of educational games and activities, and recommends the right toys for her stage of development. I find it very useful as I didn't know how to play with Lauren (my older girl) when she was a baby. Too bad the Play IQ tool is currently serving child up to 24 month of age only.

Go try it out. I think it is great to be able to understand a child’s Play IQ. As parents, we have a clearer roadmap of what to expect, since babies develop at their own pace and achieve milestones at different times. Play IQ aids in what babies need to learn, at what specific stage of development they are at, and how to best support them to achieve their fullest potential.

Understanding the importance of sleep and play

Once we've come to know the persona of our babies, let's start with the most basic things we can do for our children's development - sleep and play. This video will explain it all.


This is part 1 of a 5 blogs series on how to support babies development most effectively. I will be sharing educational videos, tips on how to play, toy reviews as well as a giveaway contest over the next few months. So sign up here or follow me on Facebook to receive updates.

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Have You Tried Drinking Vinegar?

Well, I have. During my modeling days, I've always been the meatier one amongst the girls. So I've tried every diet under the sun and one day read about how Beyonce lost weight drinking apple cider vinegar + cayenne pepper. I had one shot, gagged and never drunk another glass of vinegar again.

Until last week. Ascenshoppe sent a bottle of ITOH Lime Moromi Vinegar Drink for me to review. It stayed on my desk for 3 full days before I had the courage to give it a try. I added equal amount of water to 50ml of vinegar, as indicated on the label, held my breath and downed it in one go. To my surprise, it wasn't bad at all.

Why drink vinegar?

It is a healthy beverage popular with the Japanese for centuries, which helps with detoxification, lower blood pressure, weight management and support digestive health. Traditionally fermented from unpolished rice, ITOH Japanese Premium Vinegar contains high amounts of amino acid, citric acid, minerals and nutrients.

What do I think of ITOH Japanese Premium Vinegar?


The taste of the lime moromi vinegar is much better than my homemade concoction years ago. It is mild, a little smoky, kinda like soju (Korean rice wine) without alcohol. I have to say, I like it. It makes me go to the toilet (number 2) almost immediately. So my advice is don't drink it if you are rushing out the door in the morning.

I also won't contradict with the Japanese on diet and lifestyle. They do boasts the highest life expectancy than other nationalities.

I did some research, and by research I mean typing 'best time to drink vinegar' into Google search box and found that it is best consumed first thing in the morning and before meal. This is because it detoxifies and improves digestion. It helps suppress appetite and bringing the right balance by alkalising our acidic food intake.

You could drink about 50-100ml a day, diluted with water, or mix with juices according to your own preference. I think it makes a great palate cleanser after a heavy and fatty meal. It would also be nice frozen as popsicles or into ice cubes for summer drinks and aperitifs.

So you'd like to try?

Here is a voucher for you! $10 off for purchase $40 and above of any items on http://www.ascenshoppe.com.sg, and it can be used for promotion items too. The ITOH Japanese Premium Vinegar is priced between $20.90 to $24.90.

Current promotion on Ascenshoppe

Japanese Vinegar Series (Now till 31 December 2014)
Buy 2 and get 1 free (equal or lower value) 

Christmas sales (Starting 8 November – 31 December 2014)
Up to 30% off for items in Ascenshoppe 
Free delivery after purchase of $40 and $4 flat rate charges for purchase below $40 *
Cash on delivery or paypal payment method*
*Applicable for delivery within Singapore only.

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ABOUT

Ascenshoppe was established in 2010 to deliver the finest essential health and beauty products from Japan, New Zealand and USA. We take pride in our strict quality assurance as safety of our customers is our utmost priority. Enhance your wellbeing and that of your family’s with Ascenshoppe’s wide range of nutritional products, vitamins, beauty enhancers, weight management supplements, and body care products.

Ascenshoppe is the official distributor in Singapore for the entire range of ITOH product lines: Black Vinegar, Collagen Powder, Slimming Tea and Supplement. ITOH Kanpo Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, Osaka, Japan was established in 1887 and has grown to become one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Japan today. The company focuses on the manufacturing and development of health and beauty supplements.

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