The September Issue is Out

How time flies when you're having fun! The September 2014 Issue is out and it's aimed at introducing families to various available after school activities, specifically sports. The beijingkids team interviewed five coaches to get to insight on the sports they coach - soccer, swimming,golf, tennis, and dance in the year round sports. We feature four family friendly sports that can be a good bonding sessions for families and we spotlight six get into shape sports for moms and dads.


And the Honors go to...The Top 10 Most Viewed Blogs of August

Well these months just keep zooming past us, we are heading for cooler temperatures, heavier traffic, back-to-school ritual, soggy streets and of course blogs. August in Beijing feels like a re-birthing period, new residents have made the much-anticipated journey to the city. This edition of the top blogs as per Google Analytics brings some freshness to the list that has remained constant for some time. Lets get to it…


20 Years at WAB: Two Veterans Share Experiences

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), we speak with two long-term veterans to find out what the school was like back in the day. We talk to 20-year employee Greg MacIsaac, or as the kids like to call him, Mr. Mac and Rob Korfage, a 15-year WAB veteran and learning support teacher.


LAYman's Chronicles: It’s Back-to-School Time!

Am I the only parent who feels like celebrating the beginning of the school year? Okay, I’ll be waking up 90 minutes earlier each day (at least) to get my daughter ready for school, but despite the intrusion on my “beauty” sleep, I’m tickled pink that school is back in session.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the extra time to travel and hang out with my kids, but for the past two months, much of my time has been spent shuttling them back and forth from science camps, play dates, outings to parks and museums, shopping, and lunches. Many of these things I thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately there is a mountain of other things that remained undone. Work things, home things, and personal things. Case in point, I’m in need of a haircut and have been for over a month.


Alternate Routes: Bespoke Kids - A junior sartorialist reveals herself

“This one!” Brigid insisted to me.

In May, we were in Sanlitun to browse fabrics for new summer clothes. Myles had already picked the material he wanted for his shirt and pants, but I wasn’t a fan of the bolt Brigid wanted. It was a repeating pattern of pastel flip-flops on a white background. To me, it looked like old, sun-bleached bed sheets but all Brigid could see was her new dress.
 


Seasonal Eats: 5 Ways to Enjoy Taro

Taro (known as 芋头, yutou in Chinese) has been called “the potato of the tropics” and is widely used in Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa. This purplish vegetable is the corm of Colocasia esculenta. It’s similar in size and texture to a potato, and can be used for similar purposes in cooking. As a tropical and subtropical plant, taro needs at least 200 frost-free days to mature and must be harvested before the weather turns in fall.

In China, taro is often steamed, boiled, stir-fried, braised, or used as a food flavoring (taro pie from McDonald’s, anyone?). With a bit of experimentation, you’ll also come to appreciate the versatility and wholesomeness of taro. When grocery shopping, choose firm, blemish-free tubers that are heavy for their size.


Adventure Summit: Beijing Hikers Share Their Favorite Trails

We asked a selection of experienced Beijing hikers to choose their favorite trail and explain why they like it and how we can get there.

Shun Tong Trout Farm Fishing near the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, northeast of Beijing

Hikers: Elliott Bloom and Katrina McDonnell Why they like this trail: The hike starts at a trout farm, where visitors can catch their dinner and have it freshly grilled by friendly locals. From there, hikers can begin four-hour trek from a “wild” section of the Great Wall to the famously refurbished Mutianyu section. Directions: Take the 916 bus from Dongzhimen station to either the Bei Da Jie or Yang Jia Yuan stations in Huairou District. At the bus stop, there are drivers willing to take people to Shun Tong trout farm for approximately RMB 60 (round trip). From the trout farm, hikers can begin walking east at Jiankou to Mutianyu.


Taobao Made Easy

China's Taobao is one of the world's largest e-commerce websites, a combination of eBay and Amazon, only bigger. With more than 800 million items listed, you can find almost anything offered for sale. The website has two major platforms - the TMall, where established brand owners sell directly to customers, and the Taobao Market place, where smaller companies and budding entrepreneurs set up shop.
 
If you are unable to read Chinese, or do not have the time or patience to trawl through hundreds of pages of items, then it’s time you got a Taobao agent. Agents, or personal shoppers, will do your shopping for you. They do the searching, buy the items, and have them delivered either to their own warehouse, and then ship them out to you, or will arrange delivery direct to your home.

Beijing Baba: Size Matters - If the shoe doesn't fit, wear it later



As a wee lad, I didn’t receive many new clothes. Not only did my two older brothers pre-wear most of my clothes, but we lived across the street from an older cousin. This resulted in a steady stream of hand-me-downs.

Although I do recall shopping for the occasional new pair of pants as a kid, this usually only happened right at the beginning of the school year. For some reason, we had to look presentable on the first day of school. After that, Mom was content if we boys managed to put on something clean each day.


A Fighting Chance: Try Out Kung Fu for Free with Xie's Martial Arts

Martial arts are a fun, social form of exercise, and a way to develop kids' fitness, discipline, and focus. Next Saturday September 6 at BSB Sanlitun, from 9-9.50am, Xie's Martial Arts Academy are offering a free trial.

Xie's classes are available at variety of other locations around Beijing, including Beijing City International School, Beijing International Bilingual Academy, International School of Beijing, and Western Academy of Beijing. See the full schedule here.


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