Lifestyle Uncategorized

Fun ways to celebrate Deepavali

This Deepavali, brighten up your household with these joyful activities for the Festival of Lights.



Despite the grey, drizzly monsoon season, there’s something bright to look forward to – Deepavali, which takes place on 24 Oct this year.

Known as the Festival of Lights, Deepavali comes from an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “a row of lights”. The holiday marks the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, and is celebrated with gatherings of family and friends, colourful decorations and a smorgasbord of food and sweets. 

Here are some activities to make this Deepavali special, whether you’re celebrating it with loved ones or just looking to add a little light into your life. 


When visitors come by at Deepavali, it’s traditional to welcome them with sweets that are often made with milk, nuts, spices and jaggery (unrefined sugar). You could visit Little India to buy mithai – the Hindi word for sweets – and arrange the different varieties on a platter to serve up.

To really impress your guests, though, why not make your own? For an easy recipe that kids can help with, try making peda, a type of sweet milk fudge comprising only four ingredients: milk, milk powder, sugar and ghee. Finish off each peda ball with a decorative slice of chopped pistachio, edible silver leaf or a piece of dried fruit.


In the spirit of sustainability, you can look around for recyclable materials to make colourful and festive Deepavali decorations.

Get the kids to paint used cardboard and cut it into shapes like flowers, leaves and peacock feather motifs, then punch holes and make a garland using string or ribbon. Add sparkle with glitter or sequins left over from other art projects. Hang your finished garland on a door, or wall.

Got a bag of expired flour? Don’t throw it away. This recipe shows you how to use flour and water to make an oil lamp known as a diya. Once baked and painted, you can pour oil into them and add a cotton wick. Presto, a little light for Deepavali!

If you’d rather not get messy at home, head on down to HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok with the little ones for a Sand Art Rangoli activity on 22 and 23 Oct 2022, from 11am to 5pm. Also known as kolam in Tamil, the kid-friendly activity sees participants creating beautiful and traditional floor decorations with coloured sand. Rangoli kits are limited to two per member, and slots are reserved for the first 250 HomeTeamNS members daily.


The Indian Heritage Centre is hosting its annual Deepavali Open House, an extravaganza of events, workshops, performances and more, till 23 Oct.

Take part in a Mandala dot painting workshop, watch a Deepavali cooking demonstration (yes, food samples are provided), enjoy an interactive storytelling session and even come together to create a community LEGO mural based on a classic kolam (a floor drawing made from coloured flour) design. On weekends, admission is free.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.


Get crafty with the kids

Spice up the school holidays by learning to make these easy and creative crafts and treats as a family!


With an active imagination and some guidance, junior HomeTeamNS members unleashed their creative and culinary talents during Children’s Day on 8 October 2021. Missed out on all the fun? Fret not! Get up to speed with our online tutorials and have fun creating these treats with your children during their school holidays.


Bigsy’s Popcorn Craft

Popcorn is not only a delicious treat, but it also makes a great prop for crafting! Have a popping good time with T-Play host, Bigsy, in creating a popcorn craft from scratch. To prepare for your session, you’ll need glue, paint, scissors, paintbrush, cotton wools, ruler and coloured papers. 

Watch the tutorial for Bigsy’s step-by-step guide:

Bunny’s Paper Puppet Clown

Spice things up and brighten your day by creating your own sprightly and interactive clown! Join T-Play’s host, Bunny, as she shows you how to make a Paper Puppet Clown. Before you get started, ensure that you have these materials ready: scissors, coloured papers, coloured markers, rectangular cut-out paper and a cut-out paper of a clown head.

Watch Bunny’s step-by-step tutorial:


Not sure what to do with that pile of used paper lying around the house or the paper bags from your lunch delivery?

Turn it into a Dancing Paper Pinwheel and watch it move with the wind! With just a pair of scissors, pen or pencil, another wooden pencil (with an eraser tip), ruler and a map pin, transform an ordinary item into a toy for your child. When it’s done, go outdoors and watch your homemade pinwheel spin.

Watch the step-by-step tutorial by our friends at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier and make a Dancing Paper Pinwheel:


Ice cream – it’s a comfort food for all ages and the perfect treat to savour with your family! Members tuned in with HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok and Professor Messy of Mr Bottle’s Kids Party to learn how to make ice-cream from scratch.

“I’m surprised that it tasted like store-bought ones. Time to make my own ice cream from now on,” shared Cheng Chee Wee, a participant of the live Ice Cream Making session.

Watch Professor Messy’s baking skills in action:


  • 2-3 tbsp of sugar
  • ½ tsp of vanilla
  • ½ a cup (about 120ml) of cream
  • ½ a cup (about 120ml) of full cream milk
  • Sandwich-sized Ziplock bags (if they come in smaller sizes, you can split mixture into different bags)
  • Big container/sturdy bags
  • 2 cups of ice
  • 120-150gm of salt (no salt required if you have dry ice)
  • 4 tsp of cacao powder (optional)
  • Gloves (optional)


  1. Pour 120ml of milk into a measuring cup.
  2. Add two tablespoons of sugar and mix well.
  3. Add 120ml of full cream milk and mix well.
  4. Add two to three teaspoons of vanilla essence and mix well.
  5. Add 4 teaspoons of cocoa powder and mix well (Milo powder can also be used as an alternative, but do keep in mind that the powder already contains sugar. Hence, the amount of sugar in Step 2 can be reduced).
  6. Pour the contents in a sturdy ziplock bag, however you may wish to add another layer for added protection. Ensure that some air are kept in the bag.
  7. Pour some ice cubes into an empty container, followed by the ziplock bag. Pour more ice cubes and let them rest on the ziplock bag.
  8. Add 120-150gm of salt into the container to lower the temperature of the ice, and tighten the lid of the container.
  9. Shake the container for 15 minutes to evenly distribute the temperature and to cool down the ice cubes. Feel free to use a glove or wrap the container with cloth if it gets too cold.
  10. Enjoy your homemade sweet treat with your family!

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS events and activities, subscribe to our newsletter, visit our website or official Facebook page .

Close Up Uncategorized

Getting physical

Keeping fit is all in a day’s work for SSSGT (NS) Heiryl Ilham.


SSSGT (NS) Heiryl Ilham values fitness so much that for a period of time, he was downing 20 egg whites every day, just to up his daily protein intake (protein benefits the body in several ways, like helping to build lean muscle and speeding up post-exercise recovery). And without the soy sauce or pepper that many of us would add, mind you. “Just straight-up whites — 10 in the morning and 10 at night,” the 29-year-old says matter-of-factly.

His commitment to a healthy lifestyle started during his teenage years, when he would consistently fail his National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) test at school. “I did well for every station except my 2.4 km, which I was completing in about 15 minutes,” SSSGT (NS) Heiryl recalls.

Keen to turn this aspect of his life around, he turned to YouTube to learn more about fitness — and the rest is history. These days, he clocks in at under 10 minutes for his 2.4km runs — a result of training on the treadmill, which he finds highly effective in learning to run faster. This, combined with interval training, has helped SSSGT (NS) Heiryl shed around 27kg (he currently weighs in at a lean 62kg).


Between December 2016 and May 2017, SSSGT (NS) Heiryl Ilham set out to transform himself, losing about 27kg and going from 28 per cent body fat to 8 per cent body fat.

“Be the best that you can be”: This is a tip SSSGT (NS) Heiryl readily shares with his clients at Sport Singapore, where he is a fitness instructor. He also supports his fellow Home Team NSmen through the Virtual Fitness Training (VFT) initiative, which was launched last December.

Every Saturday, SSSGT (NS) Heiryl leads about 40 NSmen in a vigorous High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout that he designed, which comprises an energetic mix of core training, as well as upper and lower body workouts. This complements his NSman role as Officer-in-Charge (OC) Fitness at Clementi Division, where he supervises Remedial Trainings (RT) and oversees the division’s Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) training sessions. In addition, SSSGT (NS) Heiryl serves as a Police Contact Tactical Trainer and IPPT Trainer, training fellow NSmen in a modified self-defence form that combines elements from Wing Chun and judo.

SSSGT (NS) Heiryl is passionate about helping NSmen up their fitness game, especially since many of them support crucial operational work during their reservist cycles — and it’s an experience he knows well.

While on patrol during his first reservist cycle, he and his partner were alerted to an incident of public nuisance. A drunken man was causing a scene outside VivoCity and when the pair approached him, the person refused to cooperate and even tried to attack them. SSSGT (NS) Heiryl acted swiftly to pin him down and arrest him. “Anything can happen in situations like this. That is why we need to be on our best form, even as NSmen,” he shares.


Fitness isn’t just an occupation for SSSGT (NS) Heiryl; it’s also a means of bonding with his wife, whom he had met when he was a trainer at a private gym. “She is just as passionate as I am about fitness. We love working out as a couple,” he says.

SSSGT (NS) Heiryl and his wife tied the knot last December. “We had a COVID-19 wedding,” he explains, referring to the smaller and more intimate nuptials that are now the norm because of the pandemic. This meant that the ceremony cost less than one-third what it normally would — money that is going towards their first home in the upcoming Tengah Forest Town development which will be ready in 2024.

For now, the couple is living at home with SSSGT (NS) Heiryl’s family, where they enjoy his mother’s  scrumptious cooking. He admits that he does not really watch what he eats and he is more concerned about when he eats. “That’s because I am very disciplined with my workouts. I may start the day with a packet of nasi lemak but I know for a fact that I will work out hard enough to burn off those calories.”

For most of us who don’t have that kind of determination, he suggests using a simple calorie tracking app to avoid eating excessively. “But there’s no need to go overboard with calculating everything that you eat. That may be too tedious and is not sustainable in the long run,” he adds.

From failing his NAPFA test as a teen to training fellow NSmen to pass their physical fitness tests and helping his fitness clients lead healthier lives, SSSGT (NS) Heiryl has come a long way on his fitness journey. Not only has he come to embody physical fitness, he’s doing his best to help others transform their lifestyles, one rep at a time.


SSSGT (NS) Heiryl is a big proponent of interval training as he has seen its benefits for many clients and himself. Here’s how to start:

  1. Warm up thoroughly
  2. Sprint for 30 seconds at 100 per cent effort
  3. Rest for 1 to 2 minutes
  4. Repeat (2) and (3) at least eight times, at least once a week

IMPORTANT: You should always consult your physician or other healthcare professional before starting this or any other fitness programme to determine if it is right for your needs.