Post Chinese New Year Diet

For the last 3 months, my diet plan has gone topsy turvy! First it was Japan, then Italy, then it was Christmas, the new year, Singapore and then Chinese New Year.  Holidays and the festive seasons are the worst times to maintain a healthy diet – at least for me. This has caused my diet to go off on a tangent!

But it’s ok.

I’m getting back on track starting from today!
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For breakfast this morning, I had  2 soft boiled eggs  with a dash of Maggie sauce, a banana and I finished off with a packet of IZUMIO and 3 capsules of Super Lutein. IMG_20160729_134929

For lunch (I am so proud of myself), I had my usual Kimchi Cauliflower Fried rice. I haven’t had this in a long time and it feels good getting back on track again!

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What’s in my Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice?

Kimchi, canned tuna, cauliflower, button mushrooms, carrots, pumpkin, yellow pepper, egg plant and sometimes top it up with croutons.

For tea, I felt peckish and snacked on mixed nuts and nope…. I didn’t reach out for Chinese New Year cookies and junk on the kitchen counter.

Gambateh!!!

Parenting. An Ongoing Journey.

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We are truly blessed that both Ashley and Aidan are very loving and caring towards AK. No jealousy whatsoever. Just pure love. To be honest, if I were to compare between Ashley and Aidan (I know I know I should not be comparing them but the Asian mother in me cannot hold back), Aidan seems to have more patience with AK. There was only a handful of times where I witnessed Aidan losing his temper with AK. 99% of the time,  he has been very  accommodating to AK’s demands. Sometimes she’s grumpy and throws tantrums but  Aidan would just take it all in. Ashley on the other hand doesn’t take much crap from AK. She is more of a disciplinarian compared to Aidan and she is the one who doesn’t 100% give in to AK. Which is good in a way. There is balance. Yin and Yang.

These kids of mine have changed me. I used to be very uptight about how inconvenient certain things would be e.g. if AK were to freely push the stroller, then it’d be difficult to look after her in public etc (yea yea I was uptight like that). But the kids have taught me to throw a positive light on things.

Chill mom,” they’d say or Ashley would say, “Don’t look so serious, Mom.”

After having Amelie, things that would usually stress me out before don’t stress me out now.

For example, when Ashley and Aidan were babies, when they threw a fuss before I sat them down on their respective car seats, I’d get all worked up stressed out. There was a lot of power play involved too now that I think of it. With Amelie, I just went with the flow of things.

No stress about her not taking her afternoon naps. Just sleep earlier in the evening and it worked out really well for us too.

No stress if she doesn’t want to sit on her car seat. It just takes more time to coax her to sit on her car seat. Of course the kids help to distract her too.

No stress if she doesn’t want to wear the clothes I planned for her to wear. Just don’t plan it. With less expectation, you’d have less disappointments.

No stress when she doesn’t want to eat or drink her milk. It just means that she is not in the mood. We adults are like that sometimes too.\

No stress when she wakes up in the middle of the night crying. There’s always a reason if she cries since she cannot fully express herself in words.

Parenting. It’s an ongoing journey. The moment I think I have everything  worked out, the kids throw a curve ball. So as a parent, we need to be agile and learn to adapt. It’s fun. Challenging at times but  so rewarding and such a privilege.

Let’s Go Kai Kai!

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Photo taken in Jan 2017 (AK at 2y 3 m)

When I went downstairs one day all dressed up and all, AK saw me and quickly took her sandals and squealed, “Yay!!! Kai Kai!” And then she hurriedly attempted to work the straps on her sandals.

A few days ago, I read a post by a mom in one of the mommy groups on Facebook. She posted on how she was contemplating on a second child and she said that  doesn’t know if she has enough love for a second child.

You know what? I don’t blame her.

I had the same thoughts as her as well when I was expecting Aidan. I think it’s only natural that these kinds of questions pop into our heads.

No judgments needed.

From my experience, after having 3 kids, all I can say is……

1. Don’t over think it.

2. Children are blessings from God.

3. And we may not know it but there is a lot of more room in our hearts to love more than 1 child.

Whilst we were enjoying being with the kids a few days ago, my dad asked me, “Na? Can you imagine if you guys didn’t have Amelie?”

I cannot imagine life without her so much so that that night, I had a nightmare that I lost her forever.

Like seriously.

 It’s one of the worst nightmares I’ve had. In my dream, I prayed that it was only a dream and when I woke up in the dream, she wasn’t there. It was horrible. Like a dream within a dream. When I finally woke up, I hugged her tightly! I almost had a heart attack!

Retail Therapy with Zalora

I had a few things on my mind yesterday and I wasn’t really ready to start work after a nice break (Chinese New Year). So I resorted to the best therapy ever  – retail therapy! I checked out a pair of shoes from Zalora a few weeks ago and ever since then, it kept popping up in my Facebook feed as an advert! (Smart buggers). So I decided to indulge and logged on to Zalora to get myself the shoe and a top. I expected it to arrive in a few days time but the delivery guy arrived at my doorstep at 10am this morning! I was pleasantly surprised. And on top of that, the shoes and the top fit perfectly. Yay! I don’t need to return/exchange them (Zalora’s exchange/return policy is really good by the way. I’ve returned and exchanged many items before without any hassle.)

Keep it up you guys!

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I got these….

 

Day 2 – Shizuoka – Karuizawa

My Japan post is long overdue considering that the trip was made in Oct 2016! I better get on with it before my next Japan trip 🙂

Ok, after Day 1, we went to the Super Lutein factory located at Shizuoka. This was my second visit to the Super Lutein factory hence nothing was new to me. They shared how the soft gel capsules were made, how the precious ingredients were encapsulated into the soft gel capsule and what they did to control the quality of the product before they were distributed to be sold. You can read more about it in my post which I published here last year. When we left the Super Lutein factory, the factory workers bade us farewell until we were literally out of sight. Japanese hospitality. Gotta love it.

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After the Super Lutein factory. we headed to Lake Kawaguchi for a sumptuous lunch.  It was a wet and gloomy day and the yummy food kept us nice and warm.1486031506873
1486031856024 Can you see the Naturally Plus banner on the building to the right? That’s where we had our lunch. Yup – we had the whole place to

ourselves.    Directly opposite the restaurant is the beautiful Lake Kawaguchi. Breathtaking in real life. The photo did not do it any justice at all.

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After lunch, we spent the rest of the day in the coach  and headed to Hotel Karuizawa 1130. If I am not wrong, it took us more than 3 hours to get there. It was a very long journey. These are some of the places we passed during the journey.

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1486031622597 1486031396136Hotel Karuizawa 1130 is a 6 star resort and is one of the highlights of this trip. We arrived just in time for dinner. We had a buffet dinner and enjoyed a large spread they had to offer.    1486032031253 This was round 1. I didn’t manage to snap photos of the subsequent rounds because I was too busy eating and having fun chatting with lovely company. This hotel was apparently the most  expensive hotel that we stayed in during the trip. When I stepped into my room, my jaw dropped. It was a huge suite and I had it all to myself!   147765071971992b2fece397ff3519c5e1bd7a888d8233b061d8c003eae1f079665b49e5fc89637fb3c4375115f4d0356506b81f550f64cc97c954e4b6db34d81f4acf67cef17

When I opened the door, this was the entrance which I was greeted with. Bear in mind that it was dark at first and I really didn’t know what to expect. Plus I was going to be sleeping in the suite on my own.
14776506426495e0c30fa2998d9cb2294f9ec935c3f64db4964e8c31b523b86007e24ab7671febfc37eef709cf17110178eb5311cb5254a365634982556b4542b1b5868405387   To the left of the hallway was the bedroom. 147765065615443b4021721b9c9355b2cf4b2d56e2a293758640fdf2e8d3fe7ec74f556a599508215cd3004693e2700a1e8dd198d907d284d4cf75bdc00556ee4f9b195e039d8 To the right of the hallway was the bathroom.

14776506531003901f978e03d98594718539534fdc56350c0ca8c2a4d273ff0d3e3f1620f8a2eb7e47be9833427d29831648877f14daed7d7a325763b36929aeaf88c93cfe35a

1477650663792f6d71e575fbfd3ff801894c2d6fcde60d63a6d893cdf4a279f94db47c454fddacaf5de33144eb08339f82016f0d5b0f597b8257428d994dcaa3d1f5b0f224319   And next to the bathroom was another room for the WC. 1477650679311a1745d2e8eeb7c41ac9f5fae5cebfae0edfb48ba70c05d67475a625006e8d9b0d8575016ef4a39e878321fbfda0ab5fc94f0379db0aef6941869c69d889ba6f2 To the end of the hallway, there was a mini kitchen, a living room and a second living room which was more traditional (with tatami mats and all)1477650689283d2adb9b2330989e1a009f111baf6533e356bbe3563c802ca823c351f7731e32cacb006b7da47a8a69378a1cae02767ec92aa2c458f264675f6d5af3c77bce78d147765070493013e7c02218d359d7af853058eff016bb9c5ab1d743a910c8575f0d3fcf67481db0a335f44b7ed936a334b9085d6814818f0f7aef0d63fc4b14732b650e581036This is the view of the suite from the end of the living room looking towards the entrance of the suite. No doubt the furniture were very dated but for Japanese standard, the space is a luxury.

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The next day, we managed to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the resort. I am not sure when I’d be coming back to this resort again but I want to go back there with my family soon!

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It’s so difficult not to stuff your face during a holiday. So whenever I can, I try to have a clean and healthy meal. It’s not very hard to do that in Japan compared to Italy (I have yet to blog about my Italy trip).

On Day 3, we explored Karuizawa. Look out for my next post.

Little Innoscents

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I had the pleasure of trying out these Little Innoscents products from Ethissa. I have been on the lookout for organic products since AK was born and this came at a pretty good time because I was about to finish the bath gel that AK was using.

Before I give my review on these products, let me introduce the brand to you. Truth be told, I have not heard of this brand until I discovered Ethissa. Little Innoscents is an Australian brand. It provides 100% natural, Australian made and grown baby skincare products.  Little Innoscents products have genuinely certified organic ingredients.

Little Innoscents products are :

  • 100% naturally derived ingredients
  • Hypoallergenic and pH balanced
  • Naturally scented using the finest essential oils
  • Australian Certified Organic – assuring authenticity
  • Not tested on animals

Eric from Ethissa sent me a newborn starter pack which consists of

1. Hair & Bodywash

2. Moisture Rish Body Lotion

3. Intensive Soothing Cream

4. Mineral Powder

5. Goat’s Milk Bar

Hair & Body Wash

What I like about this product is that it’s both a hair and body wash so I don’t need to reach out to 2 products when I give AK a bath. For those of you who have little ones who have sensitive skin, you’d be glad to know that this product is sulphate free and hence it produces low suds. This means that the product will not foam like conventional shampoos and body gels. I don’t particularly like the fragrance of this product though.The fragrance reminds me of Coppertone sunscreen but much much  stronger. AK  however loves the smell and enjoy using this product and kept asking for more to be dispensed on her palm during bath time.  The product doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry after a bath – which I like.

Moisture Rich Body Lotion

After AK’s bath, I’ d apply the Moisture Rich Body Lotion on her damp  skin. Again, I am not particularly fond of the scent of floral Ylang Ylang. The lotion is also not as creamy as the lotion I used to apply on AK. It left the skin a bit sticky for a minute or two after application – like how you’d feel after  applying sunscreen. AK has no complaints about this products hence I continue to use it on her.

Intensive Soothing Cream

This cream smells like dried flowers – which is not too bad.  I don’t mind the smell.  We apply this on AK’s bottom after each nappy change and so far so good. I cannot tell the  effectiveness of this product because she does not usually get a nappy rash but I guess not getting a nappy rash is also a good indication that the cream is doing it’s job. Best of all, I have peace of mind that only organic stuff are  used for this product.

Mineral Powder

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the scent of this mineral powder! It smells of Spearmint (which I love).  This mineral powder is completely talc free and it’s 100% naturally pure. We don’t apply powder on AK though but I use this instead. It leaves me smelling fresh and dry under the armpits 🙂

Goat’s Milk Bar

I haven’t got a chance to use this milk bar because we don’t usually use soaps at home but the smell of  manuka honey with Ylang Ylang is actually not too bad.

I love the packaging of the products. They come in different colors and that was the first thing that drew me to it. While I feel assured that I am using safe and organic products , I am not particularly fond of the smell of the Hair and Body Wash and the Moisture Rich Body Lotion. Again, this is my personal preference. On the other hand, you may LOVE the smell (like my kids). I like the remaining products and how it feels after application (except for the Goat’s Milk Bar because I have not used it yet).

So if you have little ones with sensitive skin (e.g. eczema or what not),  do check out Little Innoscents at Ethissa and let me know what you think about their products.

Checking in for 2017

OMG. I have been so busy and realized that I only blogged about Day 1 of my Japan trip last year! Since then, I’ve been to Italy and Singapore and before our next trip to Phuket, Melbourne and Japan, I better get my travel post sorted out in no more than 2 posts! Meanwhile, I just wanted to pop in to say wish everyone a very Happy New Year. Chinese New Year is round the corner and I am on a spring cleaning mode again. All the junk around me is clogging my head. I can’t think. I can’t function.

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Look at the mess on my workstation? How in the world have I been functioning all this while??? PLUS! I have 2 products pending for review as well! 20170118_140914 Innoscents organic products from Ethissa and some books from Josh and Cherie. I haven’t forgotten you guys! I’ve just been sooooooooo tied up. By the way, I have started using the Innoscents hair and body wash and the moisture rich body lotion (on AK). I will give my detailed review in the next post or so. Wait for it…… 20170119_124844

     Ok…right now, I better diffuse some essential oil and clear my head. The oil of the moment is …….Stress Away!! Yes! Stress begone!

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Day 1 – Mt Fuji and Oshino Hakkai

So I just got back from Japan 2 weeks ago and we had a superb time – albeit it was quite tiring. But the perfect weather (below 10C) and great company more than made up for it. This time, we explored Nagano. It was my first time at Nagano and boy.was.I.blown.away.

I love it!

I wish I had more time there. I definitely want to go back there with my family and spend a week exploring Nagano.

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1478662826030On the first day, we went to Mt Fuji – 5th Station. I’ve not been to Mt Fuji before and everyone should at least go there once. The 5th Station of Mt Fuji is located on the side of Mt Fuji. It’s a great spot for sightseeing. I could just sit there for hours and soak in the environment. Next on my bucket list is to stroll through Okuniwa – located 2.5km away. Apparently there is a nice walking path which takes approximately 40 minutes to complete. It would be  a treat for sure.    1478663057714

1478663133383Next, we headed to Oshino Hakkai (Springs of Mount Fuji). Hakkai means 8 seas but there are actually 8 ponds at Oshino – Deguchi, Okama, Sokonashi, Choushi, Waku, Nigori, Kagami and Shoubu. We went to the Waku Spring pond  and managed to bottle up some water to drink. The water is from Mt Fuji and it’s fresh and clean. Unfortunately though, we didn’t have much time in this village and with the day so short (sunset by 5.30pm), we reluctantly headed back to our 1st hotel.

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If we had more time, I would have taken my time to explore the many shops and eateries at Oshino Hakkai and try the local delicacies.
On the first night, we stayed at Fujinobo Kaen Hotel. It was my first time sleeping on a tatami mat. My roomie couldn’t go for the trip at the very last minute so I had the room all to myself! Truth be told, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of sleeping alone in a hotel room but sleep I must right? It wasn’t that bad sleeping alone in a hotel after all. The room was quite small and somehow I felt at ease in the small space.

 

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That night, we all had to change into our yukatas for dinner. The yukata wasn’t that nice though. It looked kinda worn out and the design looked abit dated. But it was fun to see everyone in their yukatas. During dinner, we could really feel the LOVE that the Naturally Plus management have for us. We had buffet dinner with free flow of Hokkaido crabs and wagyu beef.

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 This was my first serving. I had several servings after this but as you can see, I was really trying to control my diet on the first night. After that, the rest was history. Diet fail during holiday. LOL!. 1478663640904

Since we arrived at the hotel after sunset the night before, we were pleasantly surprised when we went back to the restaurant the next morning for breakfast because we were greeted with the majestic view of Mt Fuji. I really can’t get enough of the view. Seriously. I could sit there all day!

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See the huge bonsai tree which is basically horizontal and supported? This bonsai tree outside the hotel is 150 years old!  It’s definitely picture worthy don’t you think so?

It was a really fun albeit tiring first day in Japan. Check out what we did on Day 2.

Cupping Therapy in Malaysia

First of all, I am back from Japan! I was the most awesome trip with a crazy bunch of people and all thanks to Naturally Plus. I will blog about it later cause I don’t know where to start!

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Image from Google.

Anyhow, I got back a week ago. The heat and the fact that holiday is over got to me and I got myself a massage and went for some cupping therapy. For those of you who are unfamiliar with cupping, the suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system. I am a newbie when it comes to cupping. This was my second attempt done at a traditional chinese medicinal center thingy at Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya.  The masseur is a Thai lady. She gave me a really good oil massage on my upper body and then proceeded with the cupping therapy. The massage was intense though. She kept burping throughout the massage session (which is gross by the way) – which meant I had alot of wind in my body. When I was being cupped, it didn’t hurt. I felt a pulling sensation when the cups were all over my back.

2016-11-07_09-21-40 I expected a good night’s sleep that night but I didn’t. I felt even more tired. I didn’t take any IZUMIO because I wanted to feel the effects of the cupping therapy. The next day, I took a 3 hour nap in the afternoon and felt much better. I felt as though hot air was being expelled from my body. I was on fire baby!!! LOL! But I do believe that cupping therapy works. The only downside is that  the round marks stay on the body for up to a week. So no sleeveless tops  for now! I took 2 packets of IZUMIO and 6 capsules of Super Lutein  before bedtime and I slept comfortably this time.

If you’ve not tried cupping, give it a go and let me know how you feel!

Introducing Ethissa – A Baby Online Shop

In case you have not noticed, I have a new banner on my sidebar. I would like to introduce  Ethissa  – a baby online store which sells premium and high quality products. Ethissa is a product of the founders Eric and Grace, a husband and wife team who named the online store after their children, Ethan and Clarissa – hence the name Ethissa. As new parents who are also working parents, they found it difficult to go to different places to buy baby essentials.  Therefore they decided to take matters into their own hands and set up an online store so many busy parents out there like you and me! can go to a one-stop online shop to get good quality baby products.

Here are some of the items that they have in their online store.

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Skip Hop Diaper Bag. I got this one when AK was born. I love this diaper bag because it is so functional and looks trendy too! Who says moms can’t be trendy with diaper bags eh?  

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See? They have straps on the side so that you can hang the bag on a stroller nicely  too. Genius!

 Kippins-Banner-05 - Copy This is too cute! This is the Kitty Kippin organic comforter . It’s made of 100% GOTS organic cotton, can be dumped into the washing machine for a good wash and it’s basically fuss free to maintain. It’s hypoallergenic and gentle on baby’s skin. This is the first time I came across this product line (Thanks to Ethissa). It’s definitely something which a baby can get so attached to – like AK’s smelly bunny.  MNL-Plush-Oscar-03-400x400This little bunny plush toy from Maud N Lil reminds me of AK and her smelly bunny. It’s made of 100% certified organic cotton which is perfect for sensitive skin and kids with allergies and asthma.  FCF-Baby-Kits-01-400x400 - CopyDon’t know what to buy for a newborn baby? Check out the Baby Kit by Four Cow Farm. This Baby Kit comes  with 1 x Baby Wash 125ml, 1 x baby Lotion 125ml 1 x Nappy Cream 125ml and 1 x Baby Oil 125ml. It contains 100% natural and organic ingredients.   BIB-CC-Flutterby-04This bib! I’ve not seen anything like this before – a bib with a teether! This particular one is  called the Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew – Flutterby. This is made in the UK, it’s 100% cotton and super absorbent too. It’s perfect for your teething lil bub who’d be drooling and wanting to chew on stuff when their pearly whites decide to make their debut. This product contains no phthalates or BPA. Eric and Grace will be bringing in more goodies so if you’d like to be kept up to date, check them out on their Facebook page and click on that Like button.