Hello 2017!


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Good morning to a brand new year! We are off to somewhere! Guess where?

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To the Botanic Gardens we go! This year, I hope that we will be in the outdoors more as a family, to learn and explore!

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Learning takes place everywhere and every moment. So don’t waste the opportunity! There’s so much in nature that we can learn. I only hope that we have the patience and knowledge to share with the kids.

This year, I want to continue to focus on relationship – God, husband, children, immediate family members, friends (new and old). So, yes, I want to make time for them. My family is important to me and I want to invest my time, effort and resources on them. I have chosen to be a SAHM and I want to stay focused on my calling and STOP thinking about venturing into other areas. It’s not fair to anyone if I don’t do a good job in the various areas that I am involved in.

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I want to give more attention to Dan this year. I hadnt’t been able to give a lot of my time to him last year and his development hasn’t been as good as the sister. There shouldn’t be any comparison but to be honest, he is spoken less to, read less to, taught less and less stimulated. There is always the guilt in me but it hadn’t been a smooth ride last year. So I hope I could concentrate on him more this year.

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Needless to say, I will still continue to work on the girl but at the same time I’ll get the girl to teach the boy. It’s time for her to impart some of her knowledge to her brother and one learns more when she teaches. Since the girl would be in the afternoon session this year, I hope to utilise weekdays’ mornings well.

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I’ll be more diligent and work on teaching and learning resources. I mean, as a teacher, I have to come up with lesson plans and related resources. Now that I’m a teacher to my kids, I should be equally diligent, if not more!

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As a family, we will still be attending BSF and this year, I hope to have small scale family devotion on the materials given by BSF rather than to be doing it on an ad-hoc basis. Faith could sit through longer stories and I want to read more biblical stories to her this year. For family worship, we could sing worship songs together. The hubs will play the piano and the rest will sing. It’s time to be intentional about teaching her gospel songs and not merely leave it to her to learn by listening.

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I want to save more for the family and that means we intentionally don’t eat out that often and even if we have to, we will go to the hawker centres and coffeeshops more often.

The other day, the hubs and I were discussing about some financial issues after a recent talk which I have attended. He mentioned that if we want to model thrift, we should eat out at restaurants LESS often. I agree.

I need to start teaching Faith about the value of money and shall start this year. Will write more on this (if I have the time).

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Direct application: So we stopped by Food for Thought for playground time and knowing me, I would normally order a drink or small bite. But today I decided not to. We will just (shamelessly) use the playground and not spend unnecessarily.

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I’m still trying to figure out Faith’s interests. I don’t think I will get Faith to have music lesson unless she specifically asks for it or that I could find a good teacher. I’m not even sure what I want F to learn. I can expose her but till now I don’t know what instrument she wants to learn although she is still keen on ukelele.

I will concentrate on sports because that is the area the adults are interested in too and thus could motivate them a wee bit. Swimming for both, hiking, frisbee, cycling, in-line skating, rock wall climbing, ⚽️…

Oh yes, they do need to play and pray more.

Personally, I want to read more and enrich myself. I do think that my language ability has deteriorated over the years. I could no longer write fluently and at times, I need more confidence to speak. Of course I’m all right when it comes to casual talks with my peers but it’s a different story if you ask me to present before a crowd. Maybe I should really sign up for a course eh?

So yea, these are my quick thoughts for 2017.

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Some food-for-thought.
[Source]Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-school years

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What’s up for 2016?

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Happy New Year, everybody!!

I’m one of those who makes resolution every year because I like the challenge (crazy me) and also it serves to remind me of my focus for the year. So here goes. I have eight main ones.

#1 Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) has done the family a great help in understanding His word better. All of us have been in the programme for the past 2 years and last year the hubs got more involved by serving in an area. That also translates to more time away from the family. But I think it’s good for him to continue to serve in that capacity and I’m sure the Lord will strengthen both adults to deal with whatever come our way.

This year, we should still be in BSF studying the book of Revelation. Yup, all 4 of us and we aim not to miss any lesson!

That includes Dan of course and I’m praying real hard that there will be a place for him (the infant class has been full since last year). I’ll continue to pull the girl out from school on the day when there’s BSF because to us, knowing God is ultimately more important than having more academic knowledge.

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#2 I’ll continue to prepare home cooked food and to add to that, to prepare Bento for the hubs to bring to office. Erm, I think he needs to watch his weight and therefore his diet because he has been expanding horizontally since coming back from Boston. Granted that it’s because of the nature of his job and there’s no time for him to exercise since he will be helping me with the kids when he comes back from work. Plus he works night shift (taking care of Dan) so the least I could do is to help him with his diet.

We want to be healthy and not fall sick right, don’t we? So eating right is crucial. It’s more important that exercising although you need both to have optimum results.

Please note that I’m not talking about dieting which is a different thing altogether. I don’t encourage dieting because more often than not, it won’t work in the long run.

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#3 Cook a variety of dishes. Okay, I think I need more variety in my food. I purchased a few cookbooks but I’ve no time to experiment with the recipes. So I hope to be able to cook a few new dishes and add them to the repertoire of meals that I prepare for the family. And every year, I resolve to learn to cook Peranakan dishes and every year, I failed to do that. Is it really that difficult, Lynn?

#4 Exercise together with the hubs. The hubs and I decided that we would still go ahead with #bbg. I’ve taken a look at NTC and Popsugar training Apps but because I’m lazy to design a training plan for ourselves, I think following #bbg is the way to go. It’s tough (oh, so tough!) but I think we must learn to persevere. Personally, I want to run a 5km and then 10km race this year. Who’s interested?

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Did my first run in 2016!

Would love to do a kids dash with Faith. Either GE or SCM ones.

#5 This year, I resolve to enrol F in music class. I don’t know if she will like it but I should at least expose her. If she doesn’t like it in the end, then it’s okay. I didn’t have any music lessons when I was young because my mom doesn’t see the benefits of it even though I wanted to learn. Till now, I’m a bit sore about it. Hahaha..

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Update: Got her enrolled and she started the lesson today!

I will also make swimming a weekly thing and teach F the sports. Not sure if I want to enrol her in a class since I can ‘teach’ but we’ll see how.

I had wanted to put her in some Chinese enrichment class last year but since we put her in school for an additional one hour for Chinese lesson, I don’t see the urgent need to do so. She really enjoys her Chinese lessons in school which is really good.

#6 Do not take more than 1 cake order per month. Much as I enjoy making cakes for others, I have to say that each cake takes up a lot of time and usually it eats into the time which I could spend with Faith and working on resources for her. Also, I compromised on family time during the weekends when there are orders and the hubs has to take care of the kids. Though it’s so kind of him to do that because he wants to support my passion, I think it’s rather unfair to him.

So this year, I will be taking fewer orders but bake more for leisure which makes me happier. There are really a lot to learn. This year shall be a year of learning for me.

#7 Meet up with friends and extend help where necessary. In other words, SERVE. I think I am really poor at this. In 2015, friends asked me out more than I asked them. I’m not exactly an introvert but I think I’ve decided not to make the first move because I wanted time for myself – ME time. But there is value in meeting up with friends to refresh and to be refreshed. Also, I’ve received so much practical help from friends in 2015 that I think the Lord is telling me to do likewise. “Get out of your comfort zone!”

#8 Take care of myself. You know, as a SAHM, we don’t really see the need to dress up cos we are often at home and dressing up (when we need to go out) takes too much of our time. At times, we don’t have time to erm… brush our teeth or clean our face because the kids wake up when we are in dreamland and we have to start ‘working’. In the end, we forgot about cleaning ourselves. I know this sounds yucky but it happened to me once! Then slowly I realised I prefer to dress in t-shirt and shorts and then look like a typical auntie.

Gua gua leh (Goodness gracious me!)

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Btw, this skin brush is really superb! Cleans the face so well!

So as a second time mother now, I make it a point to take care of myself. Skincare is important because I’m getting old and I really ought to put in effort in taking care of my skin. I should take the time to dress well too. I know confidence comes from within but looking good gives extra boost of confidence instantly.

I must also remember that I’ve a toddler girl who is observing and learning everything from me, from how I treat others to how I take care of myself. So I’d better buck up.

So, there you have it. Quite achievable right?

What’s yours? 😉

[Motivational Monday] It takes discipline

Three weeks have passed since my last entry on Motivational Monday and it has not been smooth sailing in terms of my exercise plan.

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It started off well, actually. We and another family went to the beach and did some exercises on one weekend. Faith could ride on her skate-scooter and I could do a slow jog with the stroller alongside her. The pace was good and I felt awesome and sincerely planned to do such a jog when F was in school during the weekdays. But it didn’t happened.

5th week postpartum and things started to get rough. I was trying to establish a routine and I realised it’s not easy with two kids now. I had difficulty dealing with Faith as she threw tantrums and whined over the slightest thing and then Dan needed to be soothed and carried. Just dealing with these two children took up much time and I realised I need to work smarter in the kitchen. So whatever free time I have in the morning (while Faith was in school), it was used to prepare lunch and dinner and to do the other household chores. By the time those were done, it was time to pick Faith up from school. My planned exercises didn’t materialise as a result.

20151124_120609Now that Faith is having her school holidays, things get even trickier. I tried to squeeze in dips and planks whenever I could and climb the eight flight of stairs whenever the kids are not with me. Thankfully, I was invited to try out a machine called the Calorie Burner which helped me eliminate at least 500 calories in half an hour ( I will do a review on that in another post) and that is the only exercise that I was consistent in for the past 2 weeks. Apart from these, exercises were reduced to a bare minimum unless you count household chores as a form of workout.

It’s December come tomorrow and I have targetted to start #bbg this month.  My gynae has given me good report on my health during my 6th week postpartum checkup and I believe my body can accept more vigorous workout.

Now I just need to be more disciplined and stop popping those Ferrero Rocher into my mouth whenever I feel stressed out dealing with the two kiddos.

Oh, Mr Discipline, please visit me!

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15 things to do differently in 2015

I love making lists and resolutions. Each year, I take the last few days of December, reflect and note down what I want to achieve the following year. I find that life gets so busy that you just go with the flow and without you realizing, the year’s over.

When I hit the big 3, I bothered to list down 30 stuff that I want to do within that year but I stopped making lists or resolutions after Faith turned one year old because I simply couldn’t find the time to do so anymore. My last post for the 30 list is here. So, when Rachel of Catch 40 Winks suggested this blog train earlier in the year, I gladly accepted doing the blog post.

So, here’s my 15 things that I will do differently in 2015 in no order of preference.

:: Record Faith’s developmental progress faithfully

I’ve been real slack in this area. Once Faith turns one year old, this mommy slowed down and got lazy and forgot to record her milestones. So, this year, I hope to do so every 2 months.

:: Blog about each playdate

We started the playdate/co-op in March last year and we are so happy that a group of mummies decided to continue with it. This year, I want to record every session on this platform as a form of resource for others to use. It’s also heartwarming to trace how the children progress as the months go by.

:: Catch up with friends regularly

I have been focusing a lot on family (in-laws included) since Faith was born and sometimes I feel that I have neglected my friends.  On rare occasions, I would meet up with the closer ones and realised I so missed those conversations and laughter that we have had. This year, I hope to connect with them again. Friendship takes time and effort to blossom as with any other relationship and I shouldn’t take them for granted.

:: Read and review 10 books

Oh, reading! I read a lot of cookbooks and children’s books but I don’t want to count them in. What I’m referring to books are those that nourish the soul. Besides the Bible, I hope to read more and pen some thoughts about the books that I have read.

:: Try out new recipes and blog about them

So, I have dishes that I am familiar with and more often than not, I would prepare those for meals. It can get boring obviously and thankfully, the hubs didn’t complain. But I do find it less than exciting when I have to cook the same dishes again and again. This year, I would cook more new dishes and hopefully blog about some of them.

:: Climb stairs

Busy, busy, busy. Where to find the time to exercise? To solve that problem (excuse), I would not take the lift but climb the stairs whenever Faith is not with me.

:: Couple time once a fortnight

I know couple time is so important and we are encouraged to have time together once a week or so. But I regret to share that the hubs and I spent only about 5 times last year together sans Faith. So sad, right? It takes effort, more from me, to want to go out without the little one. I think the hubs is more than happy to spend time with me. So, I need to let go and try to spend more time with the man this year. Once a fortnight…. hopefully, this is achievable!

:: Do my BSF home work dutifully every day and not attempt it at the last hour

This year is my third year with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) and to be honest, most of the time, I did my homework rather last minute. This year, I resolve to do it daily to allow God’s word to speak to me. It’s helpful now that I have about 2 hours of quiet time when Faith is in school so that I could really meditate on His word.

:: Be consistent with family devotion with Faith

I fail as a Christian mother if I have not brought Faith up with Christian values and knowledge about her saviour, Jesus Christ. Last year, I tried to have devotion with her but it is not consistent and it lacked structure. This year, our family is going to be more deliberate about it and have family devotions using resources from BSF and the like.

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:: Turn in by 10.30pm

I used to turn in around 9pm when I was working but now with a kid, I tend to stay up late because after Faith falls asleep, that is really the time that I could do my own stuff. But I also know that sleeping late is not good for my body so I would turn in by 10.30pm from now on!

:: Run or brisk walk for 30 minutes at least once a week

Exercising is still something I hope to do even if I’m busy because I see the benefits it gives. I hope to run/ brisk walk and to drag the hubs along. I always feel uplifted after a run so that should continue!

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:: Drink at least 2 litres of water daily. Coffee is not counted

Drinking water helps flush the toxins in our body. I know this theory but I don’t always act on it. This year, I resolve to drink at least 2 litres of water daily. Any form of sugared water is not counted.

:: Document ten bento boxes

I started making Bentos this year and I find much joy in doing so even though it takes up time. I like the surprised look on Faith whenever I open the cover of the bento and I will blog about 10 Bento boxes that I’ve made this year.

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:: Learn to make five Peranakan dishes

Okay, I always cannot fulfil this goal because I really find it difficult to understand the spices that are used in Peranakan dishes. I don’t know how they work together to bring out the flavour. I grew up with Cantonese cuisine and I know how each condiment or sauce works and blends with one another but for Peranakan dishes, I would need more help in it. Hopefully, I could master 5 dishes by this year!

:: Go on hikes

I love hiking but that activity came to a complete stop after Faith was born. I want to bring the family close to nature and this year, I want to attempt hiking again… erm locally for a start.
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10962046_10153541976339688_1593194046_nSo, there you go, my 15 in 2015. What will you do differently this year? For more inspiration, click on the badge above to see what other mommy bloggers have planned for themselves. Next on the blog train is Pauline, a mother-of-two, a home cook, a baker and a crafter. She has been a SAHM for almost 7 years now and she’s still enjoying every minute of being one. Days with the children, to her, are never dull and having a hobby or something interesting to be kept busy with makes life so much more easier. Beyond her interest in cooking, baking and sewing, blogging keeps her sane as she shares with many like-minded moms about her struggles, moments of pride and everything in between, so visit her blog tomorrow to find out more! Check out her food and craft blog too!

[Tuesday Thoughts] Getting back to fitness

20130604-131153.jpgMore than a month ago, I went down to the gym to get my fitness assessment done. The numbers were rather encouraging. I had 2kg more to go before reaching my pre-pregnancy weight and I fall into the normal range for both the body composition and fat analysis. Then, there was this obesity diagnosis and oops, my Percent Body Fat and Waist-Hip Ratio were far from ideal. In fact, they were over the normal range.

My only consolation is ‘I just gave birth’.

I realised I cannot use that as a reason (excuse) all the time. Staying at home during these few months has caused me to develop some bad habits:
– Indulging in sweet stuff to reward myself after taking care of the baby. This is daily affair, mind you.
– Getting the hubs to buy ice-cream for me and this was never in my diet before and during pregnancy.
– Not making a point to exercise when in the past, I exercised for at least 3 times a week.
– Indulging in Gong Cha whenever I am out and when the outlet is within sight.
– Not drinking enough good o’ plain water.
– Not eating well at times since it can be a hassle to cook a decent meal when the baby is fussing and when you are so tired after doing the household chores. So, in times like these, I just snack.

Am I alone in this journey or do I hear ‘Amen’ from some of you out there?

Instead of whining and procrastinating in my ‘Getting back to fitness’ plan, I thought I should just pen down some of my goals and work at it:

1) Train for and run a half marathon by the end of the year.
2) Eat less meat and I will go Meatless Monday on the first day of the week.
3) Attend Pilates at least once a week (till my gym membership ends).
4) Eat at least one fruit each day.
5) No more ice-cream on normal days.
6) Gong Cha is only allowed once a week at most.
7) Cook healthy meals and in smaller portions.
8) Drink at least 2 litres of plain water each day.

Will you join me in this journey? Starting from TODAY!

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