Thursday, February 15, 2018

Proud Mama

Last Tuesday, my daughter performed at her school's Chinese New Year assembly. She was part of the junior choir and boy, she did so well I was beaming with pride.

She's been practising hard. She loves singing and practising is natural to her. She would sing the song all day every single day. I was not able to understand or guide her because the songs are all in mandarin (I dont know, it could be some other language but it is foreign to me!). I looked at the lyrics and I was not able to tell if the pronunciation is right or wrong. Basically, she was on her own. They had to attend extra after school practices and skipped some lesson during school hours. They did work hard and the performance was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!!

Being the kiasu mum that I am, I came super early to get the best seats in the hall. After breakfast with my husband at a nearby cafe, we drove straight back to school. We were lucky they let us in the hall early. I managed to get the middle seat, second row from the front. It was the perfect seat with perfect view.

My daughter is not very academic. Dont get me wrong, she is a really smart kid but studying is not her 'thing'. She does get good grades in school but as her mom, I know all the academic stuff doesn't drive her. Singing does. And as a mom, I need to encourage her although I'm not too sure I want her to be in the music business when she grows up.

I hope she will continue to find joy in singing because she really does light up my day when she sings. Sometimes I wonder where she got this from because neither myself or my husband can sing. I only sing in front of my kids, badly I must add but my husband, I dont think I've ever heard him sing.

Whatever it is, I hope she will continue to shine and most importantly continue doing what she loves the most. Mummy and Papa will always be there to support you. Well done my dear...
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A good Parent

I always question myself if I am a good mom or a parent. I think I am a pretty good mom but there are some days when I think I could be doing more. Some rare occasion, I also feel like I've been too good a mom and I should chill out and not stress myself too much.

What are the qualities that make a good mom or a good parent? I was thinking about this as I was in the shower today. (I know right, even in the shower I am thinking about my kids!)
Honestly, I think I am pretty alright. I mean, I dont starve my kids, I dont put my kids in danger, I dont beat them up, what more can one do to be a good parent?

A good parent is not the perfect parent. It is not about being perfect. My mum is the perfect mum in my eyes. She was there to provide for us, to support us, to basically give the best that she could given the situation she was in. We never went on holiday because she was always working, to provide for us and boy did we have a good life! We really had everything we ever wanted. It wasn't perfect because she couldn't be there to do my homework with me (again, because she was working!) but she made sure we had our tuition teacher to be there to guide us with our homework. I guess what I'm trying to say is we all try to give our best to our children. Of course being a SAHM I have plenty of time to do homework with my kids and a working mom wouldn't have that but we all try our best nonetheless.

When I see my kids taking things for granted, I get really upset. I am helicoptering them pretty much all the time. My husband is also a helicopter dad. We are there for them at every step of the way but sometimes they take it for granted. Like I am always there to help (or sometimes even to do) their school project. I personally love doing them but when they couldn't be bothered to even help complete it, I get really upset. I feel like because I am there to do it, they take it for granted that it will be done. That's not how I want them to be. They should take ownership of their work and be independent. I want them to grow up to be independent human beings. I am very independent because my mum wasnt always there because she had to work.

So you see, there are all these little things that makes me question my parenting skills sometimes. I wish I can just let them fail their school project (if they choose not to complete it) but then I feel like a failure if I dont push them to do it. You get what I mean?

We all try to be good parents. We only have one chance to get it as right as possible. That is tough! You have 50% chance of getting it right and 50% chance of getting it completely wrong. It's not like we can do R&D on our kids. We dont have the time.

I have to say being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I hope I won't screw up!
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Managing Stress

When you think about stress, you always think it is something negative but actually, it can be a positive thing too. Stress isn't necessarily bad. It can be good too if it is in small doses because it can sometimes push you to perform better or even motivate you to do your best.

For me, I work better under pressure. I hate it but I just work and perform better when I am pushed. Or rather, when I have no way out, I will be the best version of myself. Strange isn't it? Well, we are all different and some are just built differently. I am one of them weirdos if you like to call it that!

Having said that, I HATE stress! Little or a lot, I just hate it. I dont care if I am a better product from being stressed, I just hate being stressed out. I am actually very calm and contented most of the time. Stress is what I cannot control because it doesn't come from me. It comes from the people around me. That's why I try my best to pick and choose who I am with. I just dont want to burden myself with unnecessary stress. Unfortunately, sometimes, stress can come from a family member or someone closest to you too. That's when I need to pray to God to give me strength to carry on.

I was speaking to a friend the other day about expressing myself more. I feel like there is a blockage inside me that is preventing me to speak my mind. Sometimes, this gives me a lot of stress. For example, when I am unhappy with a situation, instead of voicing out my frustration, I tend to keep it inside. Why do I keep it inside instead of blurting it out? Well, I also hate confrontations. I dislike yelling of any sort, arguments,  is all a big no no to me. In the end, I will be the one suffering because it is all inside and sometimes, my kids will suffer because I let it out on them. Like when they come to me when I'm all boiled up. That stresses me out.

Here are some of the things I do to handle and manage my stress:

1. Get Connected with friends/family
My best friend is my "Go-to" person. She is the first person I will contact when I am feeling low. I am super blessed that I have her in my life and I hope that everyone has that one "Go-to" person whenever they feel down. I thank God every day of my life for my friendship with her because without her, life would be a lot harder. She doesn't have to do much….just a listener and supporter in everything I do. And not only that, when I am not stressed, she is the person I run to to laugh with. They say laughter is the best medicine and our friendship for over 20 years have been filled with that.

I am so lucky that I also have so many girlfriends whom I'm met a long the way who are super supportive and most importantly positive in every way. I tend to stay away from negativity because at my age, I just want to live in the most positive way. I'm over all the fun and games and madness. I just want my life to be positive and I am truly blessed that I have wonderful group of ladies who are super positive and such a great influence. Getting connected to them means I get to share their positivity in life. We all share the same goals and Alhamdulillah, even when I am down, they push me back up.

2. Talking to God the Almighty
I must admit that I still have a LONG way to go when it comes to being more religious and more spiritual. But each time I am down, speaking to Him calms me a lot. There's just something therapeutic about it. I need to do more. Note to self!

3. Eating Healthy
Now that I'm older, I find myself rejecting unhealthy food more than ever. For example, I used to eat McDonalds every time I feel like it but these days, the smell of it just makes me want to puke!
My kids and my husband still eat it whenever they want but I seldom join in. I will be there with them but the smell of McDonalds just makes me go all yuck! I hope someday they will reject it like I do but somehow I dont see that happening anytime soon.

I am also not into vegetables and fruits all that much. I am more a carbs person. But lately, I crave for vege and I juice a lot more than I normally would. I think I am organically moving towards that healthy lifestyle because of the people I am surrounded with. They eat health and so I want to eat healthy too. Which is a good thing. I feel like when my body and mind is healthy, I won't get stressed out unnecessarily.

4. Be alone
I also like to be alone when I'm stressed. Be it at home, in a cafe, I just like to be alone to gather my thoughts. Sometimes when I am stressed out, I will just lock myself in the bathroom. My kids will be outside screaming most of the time but when I am in the bathroom and they know I want to be alone, they will leave me alone! Cry it out if you must. I do that too. In the bathroom is where I cry. Once I am done crying, I look at myself in the mirror to snap out of it. I talk to myself. "Get over it!!" "You can do this!" "You will be OK". It is hard because sometimes it is not even you. It could be PMS. Normal things that dont bother you might just do when it is that wrong time of the month.

Sometimes all you need after a long day is just alone time in the bathtub. ALONE!!!! I will add a few drops of my essential oils (my favourite for bath time is Stress away, lavender and Peppermint).

5. Go Shopping or Put on Makeup
This is so bad! I do this when I'm stressed out but I do it from home. Zalora, Fashion Valet, Shopbob you name it! I will normally regret my purchases but it makes me feel so much better afterwards. I'm not encouraging compulsive buying but I think the logic behind it is you buy things that makes you feel good and to feel good, sometimes you need to look good and hence, buying clothes that may make you look better would make you feel better.

I dont go out much. I'm usually home most of the time. I obviously dont need to put on makeup whenever I'm home but sometimes, when I feel like I need a little booster, I will make an effort to put on some makeup. My husband dont like me wearing a lot of make up but when I feel down, it is all about me. I do what I want to do or need to do to bring myself up. If full on makeup it is, then full on makeup it will be. Funny how colouring your face can brighten up your day. It really does help.
But make sure you remove it well. This is how I remove mine.

So that's how I manage my stress. Tell me how do you manage yours? And tips on how to manage stress? We live in such stressful life these days. Sharing is caring. Share your tips with me.
Saturday, February 3, 2018

Oil Cleanser

I'm totally in love with my DIY oil cleanser. It is super easy to make, believe it or not. I've started this oil cleansing routine for a while now and I really love it.

I started making my own oil cleanser maybe about a year ago or so. At first I was sceptical because I didnt think it would really be good enough to remove the dirt and makeup but after a few trial and error, I have found the perfect match for my skin. Best part is, it is chemical free and I know exactly what goes into my skin, unlike when I buy something off the counter. My aim is to try my very best to lead a chemical-free life. This is one small step towards my goal.

You only need 2 ingredients for this cleanser. Base oil + Essential oil = perfect oil cleanser

1. First is the base oil. I use sweet almond oil because I have fairly oily skin. If you have dry skin, argan or avocado oil. If you are unsure, to play safe, olive and sunflower oil are good for all skin types. I purchase my base oil from Bangsar Village.

2. Second is your chosen essential oil. Add 1-3 drops of your favourite oils into the base oil and you are done! My favourite oils to use for oil cleanser are lavender, geranium, frankincense and Helichrysum. You can chose to mix them or just stick to one. I've done it multiple times and I've done different combinations too. The idea is to try one oil at a time to see if it suits your skin. If it is ok, you can add other oils next time. But if you want to go very basic, just use lavender. It is the best!

How easy is that?
You can even use this as makeup remover. It works perfectly to remove makeup, just like the other brands in the market. I used the Shu Uemura oil cleanser before this but since I started making my own, I haven't purchased Shu Uemura oil cleanser in a long time. It works just as well anyway.

The cost?
Well, Shu Uemura oil cleanser is roughly about RM200 or slightly under (I can't remember). A bottle of your base oil and lavender essential oil would probably cost about that much too or slightly less. But the best part is, you can use it and make it at least 5-6 times whereas a Shu Uemura oil cleanser would probably last about a month or so. I would say making your own cleanser is going to be more cost effective AND it is chemical free!

I use the oil cleanser maybe twice a week only because I have oily skin but whenever I use it, my skin feels really good. I actually have to stop myself from using it more often. I want to but I can't because my skin can't take too much oil. I use washcloth to wipe off the oil and this is funny because I actually purchase the cloth from Mothercare. The cloth I use is actually meant to wipe baby's skin. If you want to know more or purchase any Young Living oils, you can email me. I'll be more than happy to guide and help you place an order.

Good luck!

Big Little Lies

This series has got to be my current obsession. I first heard about it when it won many awards at the Golden Globes recently. I wanted to check what the fuss is all about. I mean, I love Nicole Kidman and I love Reese Witherspoon, that alone is enough for me to get hooked. Luckily it is showing on Astro. I downloaded it and I am now on to episode 4.

First episode was rather slow for me. I didnt know anything about the show and I was trying to figure it out. I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. I even fell asleep halfway through. I must have been super tired that morning.

Anyway, this show is actually based on a best-seller. It is a about a group of moms in a beachfront town. It all seemed perfect. They all live in nice houses by the beach, have beautiful kids and family but behind that perfect life, there's dark secrets that they're hiding and suffering from. It's so real.

I am now only on episode 4 but I am hooked. I can't watch it when the kids are up because the language and some scenes are a little xxx.

Nicole Kidman's acting is superb. I love her. Renee Witherspoon plays her character really well too. I love how they say "A perfect life is a perfect lie" because it is so true. Nothing is perfect.

Go watch it!

OMG!!! The final episode was DA BOMB!!!!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cheer up!

In life, sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down.That's just how it works.You can't run away from that. Unfortunately, today, I feel down. I've been feeling a bit low for the past couple of days now and I have two options:

1. I can cry and sulk and feel sorry about myself; or
2. I can pick myself up and feel happy I am still here

Today, i decided to do the latter.

I started thinking about my "happy place". Where is that? It took me a long time to find that "place" and honestly speaking, I still haven't found it - theres too many to choose from! I went through the journey in my head. I went back as far as I can remember. I walked down memory lane. I asked myself "Is this when I was happiest?" and if the answer was no, I kept walking. In search of that happy place. It's been over 48 hours since I started that journey and I still cannot come up with a conclusion as to where my happy place is. But somehow, the walk is making me smile a little. It reminded me of some happy moments. That time when I was in college, that time when I was in Cardiff, that cold winter in London, that hot summer day in Paris, that beautiful sky in Prague, that beautiful sunshine in Dublin. Wow. I've been super blessed. I shouldn't sulk when life gives me a little bit of hurdle?

Thank God for a good support system. Friends, I am forever grateful. I have a wonderful family, beautiful kids and amazing friends. What more can a girl ask for?

It is raining cats and dogs right now. Kind of like what I am feeling inside. It is completely normal to have off days. If you dont, you are not human. A human I am one…off days are included in mine. Fortunately, it isn't so bad and fortunately, I have FRIENDS on DVD!

All good!

Another day, another walk. I will continue my search for my happy place. In the meantime, I'd ride the storm. Keep Calm, Storms dont last forever.

If you are feeling low like me, today… cheer up! Go find your happy place.
Sunday, January 28, 2018

KitaKita Cafe

This has got to be one of my favourite cafe to go to in Damansara Heights. It has a little boutique selling all sorts of pretty stuff from scarfs, beautiful paintings, nice pretty Malaysian crafts. My mum will love this place. I've yet to introduce her to this place - note to self: Take mummy here!!!!

Last week, I was free for lunch and it is so convenient because a good friend of mine works in the same building. She already had something to eat that day but since I was free, she came to join me.

This cafe is really pretty. It is not that big and sits only about 20-25 pax at the most. It is usually pretty quiet there, that's why I like it. The service is not great if you are in a hurry. It is nice to sit down and chat and take your time. It is not the place to go if you are in a rush.

As usual, I ordered the same thing I normally order. They have a new menu now and it is called Siti Li. I'm not sure if the cafe has changed its name but the menu is still the same. They've added a few new things I think but the main dishes are still there.

I absolutely love their Laksa Johor. Being a Johorian myself, I always crave for a good Laksa Johor. My aunt makes the best one hands down but she's not well lately and doesn't cook all that much anymore. I've been craving for this for so long. I also ordered their "sirap bandung bersoda" which is another favourite in my aunt's house. It is basically just sirap mixed with susu cair and also ice cream soda. Sedap! I think it is a Johorian thing because I dont think my husband can drink this.

As usual, the best thing about this cafe is their famous cekodok pisang. It is so yummy but oh so small. It is to die for. This yummy banana fritters are super tiny and one portion is RM15. A bit expensive if you ask me and dont even think of sharing. You may as well just order one for yourself and save time.
We ordered 2 portions of those and also a portion of cucur udang.

My friend said it is not that nice but I liked it. And guess what? It was gone in 60 seconds too! This one is good for sharing.

I love this place and can't wait to be back, with my mum next time, I promise! I know what she will order too. Exactly the same as the above!