Thursday, August 7, 2014

How I did a Medicine Makeover for my children and family.

One evening, I was feeling nesty (I'm not pregnant, thanks) and decided to empty and re-arrange the drawers in my kitchen as they were in need of de-cluttering.
I found many ziplock packets of pills of all shapes and sizes - painkillers, anti-pyretic, anti-spasmodic, you name it.
The thing with medications is, you never really need any just ONE. They always come in a combination. Need to take Ponstan or Synflex for your menses cramps? Sure, then you will need Antacids to protect your stomach. Taking Piriton for your flu? Then you can experience drowsiness.
Taking Accutane or Retin-A for your acne? Then you cannot conceive within 6 months of use as they are teratogenic (can cause birth defects or harm the foetus). So on and so forth.
 Plus, there's also this problem with feeding young children medication - the struggles, the resistance from them, fighting with them to make them swallow the colourful syrups and have them cry so hard and vomit everything out again. Not funny!
And then I found these oils:
Just basic handy oils to have in your home. You don't even need a whole range, but mind you, once you start your oiling journey, you'll love these oils so much that you just keep wanting more.
Don't say I didn't warn you!
Peppermint uses: Fever, headache, tummy aches, indigestion, heartburn, flatulence. For fever in children, rub 1-2 drops on each sole of their feet. Repeat or increase frequency if needed.
If using on body or head, dilution with carrier oil is recommended as this is a hot oil.
Purification uses: A blend oil containing Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Maleleuca (tea tree), Lavandin, and Mrytle.
Good for : Insect bites, insect repellent, sore throat, runny nose, cleanse cuts and scrapes, purify and cleanse air in the house. Combine a few drops with a 20-cent portion of carrier oil and rub on chest and back at the first sign of sore throat or flu. Can diffuse in the house for purifying and improving air quality.
R.C. uses: A blend oil of 3 different types of Eucalyptus species, RC is also known as the "Respiratory oil". It contains Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus citriodora, Majoram, Spruce, Lavender, Pine, Peppermint, Myrtle.
It supports respiratory function, and fights off coughs and flu. Eucalyptus also have ability to dissolve mucus (mucolytic) and helps expel the mucus (expectorant). Myrtle helps to fight infections.
Thieves uses: A blend oil consisting of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus radiata, and Rosemary.
The origin of Thieves date back to hundred of years ago in France where four robbers covered themselves in these spices when robbing plague victims. When they were caught, the magistrate took note that they were not affected by the plague and asked them to reveal their secret recipe in exchange for their freedom, otherwise a crime punishable by death back then. 
A herby, spicy blend which is my personal favourite and my go-to oil at any sign of strep throat and cough. For myself and Andy, I rub 2 drops directly onto throat, behind ears and chest. For the kids, I rub them onto their soles neat (undiluted). It is highly efficient in building up the immune system to prevent falling sick so easily.
The results of using these oils are amazing. At the first signs of any illness, I diligently oil the sick party at bedtime and by the next morning, we are all fit as a fiddle again.
It's not to say that you will be invincible if you use essential oils, but they can improve your immune system and make you more resilient.
I made the liberating decision to throw all the medications away. This shows how much faith and trust I have in the oils.

Some people I encountered have no qualms spending a bomb on antibiotics and doctors' consults, but need to do a lot of research about essential oils.

I don't blame them - it's not an easy decision to make! But once you do, you know how liberating and in-control of your family's health you are!

No more forcing medications down the children's throats. Everybody's happy :)
P.S. This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. If you have any pressing medical issues, please consult a medical doctor and discuss your intention to use complementary or alternative therapy (eg. TCM, essential oils, acupuncture). More importantly, know your own body.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

[Media invite] Baby's Day out at Promontory@Marina Bay.

Hello hello! We attended our first Baby's Day Out today, thanks to fellow Mummy-blogger Mabel from Amazingly Still and the very wonderful event coordinator Nicole from CROWD Media.
Where it's at: The Promontory@Marina Bay
Where to park:
We parked at One Raffles Quay because it has the cheapest parking rate and many lots available, but parking is also available at the following places -
NTUC Centre
Marina Bay Financial Centre
The Sail @ Marina Bay
Open-air URA Bayfront Avenue carpark

The weather was breezy and wasn't hot at all! Everybody had a fabulous time picnicking and I can see they've come prepared with lots of finger food and drinks.

There was a mobile food van selling pasta and burgers but the wait was long and that's probably the only food you can buy there.
I suggest in subsequent years, you can bring a picnic basket with your own food.

Guest-of-honour Minister Lim Swee Say.

We ended the night with spectacular fireworks blooming in the sky.

The kids were awestruck and with the loud music blasting, Adam was running around and having a good time.

Happy 49th Birthday to Singapore! Not everybody may agree with her politically, but she is my country and my home! Makes me proud to see many ang-mohs and other nationalities present at the event too.  
Thank you Mabel, Nicole and your lovely team of ladies from CROWD Media for the invite.
Very honoured to be able to attend this event, being a first for the kids :)

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.