Thursday, July 31, 2014

Young Living for your children.

Having two kids (toddler and pre-school age) of my own, I am particularly interested in children behaviour and well-being.
Once you've used essential oils to improve your children's health physically (eg. Thieves, RC, Peppermint), you can now better concentrate on another aspect - their cognitive and psychosocial development.
Growing up and going to school may seem like a natural and normal process to you, but to children it can be extremely frightening and stressful. They are learning about the big wide world, yet at the same time are being thrown into uncertainty all the time.
Here are some oils which have been widely and safely used on children of school-going age, with positive results from parents.
The smaller bottles (5ml = approx 100 drops of oils per bottle) are from my FIRST Everyday Oils kit which has lasted me for over 2 months!

Cedarwood: Contains the highest percentage (98%) of sesquiterpenes, meaning they are highly effective in crossing the blood brain barrier and reaching the limbic system. Cedarwood is capable of stimulating the brain and is therefore also known as a "sleepy oil" because it promotes Melatonin production. Cedarwood is widely used for reducing brain "fog" and allows mental clarity.
I rub one drop onto Adam's crown at night after bath when his hair is still damp and pores are still open, and one drop onto his brainstem before bedtime.

Frankincense: Regenerates cells, helps in concentration and lifts depression. Frankincense can also stimulate limbic system of the brain, and has been known for its wide healing and regenerating properties.

Peppermint: With its unmistakable strong aroma once you open the cap, Peppermint is an affordable and quick way to promote focus and concentration. One drop on the back of the neck (near brainstem), and rubbed on the temples is all you need for the instant mood lift. I rub one drop near Adam's brainstem before he goes for his abacus class on Tuesday evenings, and it helps him stay alert in class. His teacher has remarked that he is focused in doing abacus, sometimes doing faster than his classmates. By his 8th lesson (there are 10 lessons a term), he has already finished an entire workbook and upgraded to another workbook of higher difficulty.
One caution is that Peppermint is a "hot" oil and 1-to-1 dilution (1 drop Peppermint + 1 drop carrier oil) is recommended if applying directly onto children's skin.

Peace & Calming: This is one of the most popular oils for babies and children alike. It is also safe for pregnancy, and is used to relief tension. It is relaxing and reduces hyperactivity. I use it 30 minutes before bedtime for Adam as a night massage routine, and it helps him fall asleep faster. No more tossing and turning, and he's never wet the bed or woken up in the middle of the night since using Peace & Calming. Better quality sleep results in a relaxed and focused child in the day-time. Some parents even use it before going to school to relieve stress and anxiety.

Lavender: Lavender is no stranger to relaxing ambiences at spas, and when used in the home, it aids calming of the body. It also helps induce sleep. Rub on the soles of children's feet because it is very strong. If using for back massage, dilution with carrier oil is needed.

Valor: aka Chiropractor in a bottle. Balances the body, balances internal energy (or "qi"), instils courage and self-esteem. A very nice, bluish, aromatic oil which promotes grounding and strengthening. Valor is often used not just for body and bones alignment (scoliosis, pain), but also for children with Autism and ADHD who have learning difficulties and problems coping In school as Valor instils confidence in them.

You may notice that most of the oils will produce same or similar effects on children, and are commonly used for Autistic or ADHD kids.
This does not mean that a normal child cannot use these oils, and definitely not all children who are hyper are sufferers of ADHD/ADD, and not all quiet introverts as classified as Autistic.

 You've gotten some of the oils you need for the family, now what?
Other than applying neat/ diluted with carrier oils onto your skin (body's largest organ), you can also diffuse the oils.
Essential oils are so potent and have such tiny molecular structure, allowing them to pass through blood brain barrier to reach your pineal gland and limbic system of the brain.
When you diffuse the oils, the precious molecules are suspended in the atmospheric air and inhaled directly into your system.
Afterall, that's where the word "aromatherapy" comes from.
Did you know? Only Young Living brand of diffusers can be used to diffuse YL EOs.
Other brands of diffuser/ humidifier will destroy the therapeutic properties of your precious oils, and certainly NO burning with a tealight!
However, you may diffuse other brands of EOs in your YL diffuser.
That's the difference in quality you pay for.
So now, fill your diffuser with a few drops of your favourite oil, diffuse, and take a deep breath.

Monday, July 28, 2014

[Recommendation] One-stop furniture resource website in Singapore.

Good day Mummies and Daddies!
If you're on the search for children's furniture, second-hand furniture, or any kind of furniture, for the matter, I have a website to share with you.

When we first got the keys to our home, we had a long time sourcing for affordable yet good-quality furniture. Andy and I would drive to different industrial areas on weekends to look for the furniture we want, take photos, and compare prices.
Some photos of our crib when it was first done up:

A result from sourcing and buying from all different furniture shops *sweats*

If we had known of back then, our lives would've been made easier!
From main page, click on View All Listings for the full list of resources. There's also a link to Buy Children's Furniture in Singapore.

Some of the relevant links on to us parents would be their Children's furniture link (from the main page, click on View All Listings) and Where to find cheap furniture link.
So if you're like me and think only IKEA has affordable furniture in Singapore, you'll be in for a surprise!
Their children furniture link shows shops for all price range - from cheap to the Atas (high class), and you will be thrilled by the wide selection of colourful single beds/ bunk beds/ storage shelves/ study tables available.

I've browsed through and find that it is a useful one-stop website that lets you do some research and browsing of price range before heading down to make your purchase.
This will be very time-saving and cost-effective as you know you won't be doing hit-and-miss like we did when we were furnishing our first home.

For example, I especially like Piccolo House for their stylish and affordable children furniture which is brilliant if you're seeking to build a Montessori-themed bedroom for the tods.
Clean, white Montessori-style furniture or themed, colourful ones, your little tykes will be spoilt for choice!

Setting up a Montessori-style bedroom for your children. Idea adapted from , and fellow Mummy blogger Lynn.

Hope you found this website useful to you, and Happy long weekend.
Selamat Hari Raya to all our Muslim mummies and daddies and kiddos :)


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tsukada Nojo - Collagen beauty hotpot at Westgate Mall.

A friend told me she recently went for dinner at the famous 美人锅 Tsukada Nojo at Plaza Singapura.
That got me curious to try their Collagen hotpot which has so many queuing 1.5 hours for.

We decided to go to the outlet at Westgate Mall, just beside Jurong East MRT, because it is newer and bigger than the outlets at Plaza Singapura and Chinatown Point.
Also because my aunts stay in the West...

They do not do reservations so all you can do is to go there and queue.
Reached at 5pm and there were many empty tables in the non-aircon seating but the air-conditioned section is already full.

In the end, we didn't want to queue so we accepted the non-aircon table. They have fans and air-cooler but as things start getting steamy, so do our sweat glands.

The famous Collagen soup curds shipped from Japan. I just went for my IPL facial laser 2 weeks ago so definitely MUST try!

Once the curds melt, they form a thicky, oily and creamy soup.

"JITOKKO" is a very valuable brand chicken in Japan. This chicken is raised in an organic way with thorough quality control further than the government's stringent standards. This chicken is shipped only by limited number of farmers.
That is why this is called "rare chicken".


三 大 美 人 吃 美 人 锅 (3 Big Beauties eat Beauty hotpot) :P

Waiting time:
Waited about an hour for air-conditioned seating but alas there were no adjacent tables available so we ended up taking the outdoor seats where 6 adults and 2 kids could all sit together.
Once you secure a table, the food comes very fast though.

I find the soup tasty and very filling (didn't even eat that much) but Hubby finds it too oily.
The chicken meat was not very tender, in fact a little bit tough, giving me a feeling that it hasn't been cooked long enough.
Or maybe it could be because it's organic chicken and not farm-bred, I'm not sure.

Impeccable service provided by the waitress who was assigned to help us cook and teach us about the famous soup base.
She was also very quick in assisting my fussy boys for their drinks and children cutlery.

In total, 6 adults and 2 children paid a total of $187 only. I find it very cheap considering it is a famous hot pot. Way cheaper than Hai Di Lao.
However, they lost 1 star because I ordered 1 plate of fried rice for my helper (she cannot eat pork) which cost a whopping $12.
After the kids finished their share, my helper brought them upstairs to the rooftop playground called Westgate Wonderland - a HUGE outdoor playground with water play and tree-top play.

Thanks for dropping by to read about our Beauty hot pot experience :)
One tip is, if you don't want to wait too long for it, reach early at about 4:30pm - 5:00pm.
They open at 5pm but there was already a queue at 4.30pm because everybody wanted the air-conditioned seats.
However, the max seating capacity per table indoors is only 4pax, therefore bigger groups will have to be seated at the non-aircon section.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Being a good wife makes me a bad mother. Vice versa.

Being a good wife makes me a sucky mother. And vice versa.

I haven't been posting much about the kids and our lives at the moment but this incident got me thinking.
Some time back, the husband suggested watching Transformers at the cinema. A mid-week dinner date without the boys. I obliged.
We checked ourselves into the Platinum Suites at Cathay, had a nice dinner while watching the Autobots, and by the time the movie was over and we got home, it was 9:15pm.
We reached our lobby and I saw the kids, my maid, and mil waiting for us downstairs because my mil forgot our house keys and the kids were locked out of the house.
It was 9:15pm. They were sitting at the lobby of our block waiting for their Mummy and Daddy to get back so they could go into the comfort of their own home.

We rushed upstairs, I opened Adam's bag to check his homework and discovered he had forgotten to do his abacus homework which I had specifically instructed him to when I called home in the afternoon.
 I was mad at him and reprimanded him and he apologized for forgetting.  More so, I was angry with myself for not being there to supervise Adam's work.
I hadn't showered all day. 
When I finally stepped into the bathroom for a shower, the kids came out of their room and wanted to play with toys while waiting for me to put them to bed.
It was 10:30pm. I hurriedly changed them into their pyjamas, made them milk and sent them to bed.

I lay in bed with Adam and Ashton and fell asleep sandwiched between them and didn't wake up until the next morning. From the corners of my eyes, I saw it was day break. I jumped with a start and checked my phone because my alarm didn't ring at 6am. I woke up at 7am. My alarm didn't ring because my phone went dead because I was so tired I forgot to charge my phone.

I felt horrid all of the next day.
I tried to be a good wife at the expense of my two children.
Sure, we all need a break from the kids sometimes. We all need to spend solo time with our spouses to keep the spark in marriage. But here I was, causing the kids and my helper to forsake their rest, waiting downstairs for us to get our bloody arses home. I was out of the children's sight from dawn to late into the night, and as a result neglected coaching Adam in his abacus work.
The only time the children had with me, was spent lying in bed and hushing everyone and trying to get both of them to sleep so that I could sleep.
I am a bad mother when I try to be a good wife.
Likewise when I get too caught up trying to be a good mother (so much coaching/ playing/ planning/ activities) the husband thinks we need some couple time too.

Not many people I know admit these stuff. Most of the time, people on social media try to portray a nice image of how wonderful married lives are and how they've got it all together. Which is not wrong to think so, of course.
I do love my kids and husband to the moon and back, but certain times, times like these, make me feel that marriage and motherhood can be major contradicting & oxymoronic.

There. I said it. That's what married life with kids does to one.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

[Review] Canon Powershot D30 Waterproof camera.

Adam is always telling me he wants to be a diver when he grows up, and he loves water more than anyone can imagine.
Every Sunday for about a year now, you can be sure to catch us at Pasir Ris Swimming Complex as that's where he has his weekly swimming lessons with Desmond from DolpSwim school.
So when Canon released a spanking new semi-pro camera which is also waterproof, I knew I had to lay my hands on it!
Introducing the new Canon Powershot D30!

Price: $350* (prices may vary from different authorised retailers).
Ease of usage: It's small and compact with minimal functions and it's pretty fool-proof even for beginners.
Other specifications: 2m shock-resistant, can go to water depth of up to 25 metres.
Cautions when using: Be sure to rinse off excess water after going into pool or sea.
Avoid using in hot springs or mineralised water.
We got it yesterday and immediately started testing it today.
I would say it's very handy for any photoshoot that involves water - diving/ swimming/ resort getaways. Love it!
If your kids love adventures and you want a not-too-costly digicam, this is the camera for you!