Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giving Thanks - to my helpers

I don't usually blog about helpers and such as I respect about their privacy. But after reading Jiahui's writing about hers, I feel I should show some acknowldgement about mine too! :D

Ever since we got married, we didn't think we need help. Then we gave in, we had our hourly form of helper who would come in once every 2 weeks to come do the more massive chores. Then if you know, we sorta of moved back to my mom's place in 2008 so that my parents can take care of Isa after work as I had to slog like hell then for my previous (one and only corporate job). But in 2009, I had an accident. Then in 2010, we felt it was enough. I was too tired and knew that I could not withhold it anymore. So we arranged and applied for Mary Jane to come. Our first form live in helper started her stint in 2010 December. 

December 2010: Her name was Mary Jane. She is the same age as I am. She is the sister of my cousin's maid so she was direct hired rather. She only had a 3 yr experience working in Lebanon, Middle East and she was diploma trained in sewing. She sewed many things for my household, pillow and bolsters casing for the children, cushions covers etc. She is from Philipines. Just my personal preference to engaged one from Philipines than any other country. She was a kind soul but can be impatient with my lil brat though. But overall I would say we treated her quite well enough till we feel she could not handle my 2 kids with the chores. So we bade goodbye to her just this August. I didn't had the heart to send her back cos I knew she needed the money to send home so I sent her for a transfer just last August. There you are: Mary Jane.

Isa and Yaya in Jan 2011. Her 2nd month with us.

August 2012: Then we got our second helper, Helen which we address her as Auntie as she is much older than me. She is 44 and had 15 yrs of experience working in Malaysia and Kuwait. She is my other cousin's maid's cousin. Another direct hired case. Though she cannot handle chores as well as I am but she cooks fantastic food and she simply has her way with my children. Both my kids adore her though obviously I knew my younger one is very sticky with her. She is such a godsend cos she is so patient (much more patient) with the kids than I am. She seemed to be able to read my mind on what I wanted to do next (example things to prepare for an outing). She got along so well with my family and she is such a humble lady. There you are: my Auntie.

Dora with Auntie in Oct 2012, her 2nd month us too.

Dear God, I thank you for bestowing me with such good help. I really appreciate them, really.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Season of giving..

Since Christmas is coming, thus I made up my mind about giving. 
I am a person who believes in 饮水思源.
And this year I hope to do something different.
Something and somewhere different.
Thailand it shall be and Rejoice Charity that is.

Think my cutest mum wrote wrongly lol

Really a big thank you to all my friends who had passed on their things to me. 
There are definitely too many to mention. 
God Bless You.

Remarks: Just to let you know that I do not do cash collection of any kind. All money spent on shipping are solely out of our goodwill of my family. And I am still doing collection for the second round to be send out hopefully after Chinese New Year so dear friends, if you still have donations of any kind (preferably clothes), please contact me. 

come join my SMB's group of friends who are also into this season of kindness

Sunday, November 25, 2012

{Product Review} Portagram

Are you an Instagram fan like me?
Wish that your instragrammed pictures can be printed?

Yes it can come true!

You can now get your Instagram pictures printed from Portagram!

Who is Portagram?

They are an online site which specializes in printing quality instagram products. Using only the finest materials, they create top-notch products at an affordable price. Printed on vintage-esque paper, they bring the nostalgia right back into your hands.

Above images all copyright from Portagram

Here are my print outs from the kind people at Portagram.

My loot

And and did I mention that this was suppose to be a super early Christmas surprise for ah lao?
See his satisfied face.

Wanna get your own portagram?

And it is really easy!

1. Log in to Portagram with your Instagram account. 

2. Choose your photos to fit a roll of photographs

Minimum orders is 12 pieces to fit the roll for a mere $6!

I am such a good shopper *ahem* and since it is sponsored (*yay*), I shall stick to just 12 pieces. 

Then proceed to check out!

Fill in your necessary details and wait for them to arrive!
Payment will be made through PayPal :)
Then all you have to do is to wait for your prints to arrive in your mailbox in 3-5 working days!
You can check you status order clicking on the "orders" tab after login.

Oh wait. Let me share this good news with you.
Right now, Portagram has an active coupon code right now.
Love to have your own instagram prints but want a discount at the same time?
Like Portagram on their facebook fanpage
Then you will be able to find a 30% discount code there!
Hurry cause this offer is only for friends and family and it can only be used for 50 times ;)

Happy hunting!

And I simply adoreeeeee my Portagram photographs!

and a very big thank you to the folks from Portagram!

Friday, November 23, 2012

500 calories diet

Post natal weight? I got it. 

To be honest, I gained about 10+ kg after my two kids and even after umpteen tries to shred them off, but to no avail, they still decided to be loyal to me.

So recently I decided to embark on this very important journey (with a friend who is almost finishing the diet) so that I can look my best for my cousin's wedding in January 2013. See ah xiu, you are so important to me! 

Anyway in a nutshell, in case if you do not know, I am into a special diet recently. And yes I have to craft meals of NOT more than 500 calories* everyday and if you know what is the name of the diet, please show your support by not saying the name of it till I complete my first cycle at day 21. Also please do not call me crazy or insane for attempting such a daring diet. I am definitely under close supervision and had doctor's advice so please show me your support, negative advise will be ignore. :P

Anyway here are some healthy and yummilicious meals that I had prepared so far for my 500 calories a day meals.

You also follow me on twitter @sherbetgal or instagram @sherbetgal for more updated pictures on my healthy meals. Today is day 10 by the way and I had so far shredded 3.2kg :)

Just to highlight that I do not use any form of oil in my cooking. Just salt, pepper and spices at times. I will be more than happy to share my receipes and tips with you. 

100g chicken breast meat with mixed greens
168 calories

Salad with 100g tilapia and celery.
150 calories

who I am kiding right?

Stir fried 100g of ground beef with cabbage and onion
topped with one whole egg white
330 calories
a bit over my expected calories for a meal though

100g of prawns in soup with spinach with curry spice.
188 calories

Rye wrap with lettuce, cucumber, 100g of chicken breast, cottage cheese.
250 calories

I actually felt guilty eating this. :D

Join me and my friend Jenn in her write ups about food in Foodie Friday.


Please DO NOT attempt my 500 calorie diet without any doctor's advise as our bodies are all in different condition. I do top up with a supplement which explains why I can do this 500 calories diet. Please do NOT risk your health by attempting this diet unsupervised. Thank you.

I do not represent any company or had been compensated to do this writing. This writing about this diet is purely on my experience with this brand of products in which I will reveal later.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Meeting Z..

Just one of those days after work that I decided to meet up with my friend Jenn and her son Z, 6.
Very interesting and smart boy that I know.
Such a good fate cos these two boys are going to the same primary school next time! :)
Z is going to be in P1 next yr but Isa will only go in 2014.. but they are only 5mths apart!

Candid shot!

ok the most decent picture of the day!

cheeky ones! 

funny faces!

omg! boys..

and this was a good shot I think cos I said, "Freeze and funny face!"

There you are, Z and Isa.

{Giveaway} Our First Giveaway!

As you know, I just started my humble blogshop sometime back.

Thus we are very happy to share with you that we are doing our First Giveaway for this season!
Please click here to see the details :)

Happy choosing!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy birthday Mama!

We love you popo!!

Happy birthday to the very important lady in my life: my mum!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Preparing for primary 1..

After reading my dear friends Jenn's and Pat's posts about their preparation for their children earlier this month and I had to put myself down for reflection for this phase of Isa's life. Just to clarify that Isa is ONLY going on to P1 in 2014.

Thus I felt so inspired to jot down my thoughts for the above topic.

Before I embark to write a series on this topic. Here are some points that pop out in my mind:

  • How early did you all started preparing yourself and your child for this phase? 
    • 2 yr before or more?
    • Do you think a good preschool is a good stepping stone?
  • What did you do to prepare your child? 
    • In terms of academic and emotional.
  • What is your take on how much is enough?
    • I met this mum who sends her 5 yr old son and he is attending 7 enrichment classes and she still think it is not enough! 
    • I have also met another mom who only send her 5 yr old son to a chinese enrichment class and she felt it was enough.
    • I have meet parents who don't send their children to any enrichment classes before they go to primary school.
  • Survival skills
    • how do you transit your child (who grow up in a typical childcare or a kindergarten) to a school that is so HUGE~
Join us on this journey of which every parent will go through.
I shall share with you more of what I do as a parent to prepare my darling son for this very important phase of his life.

Jenn's badge on "Starting Primary 1"

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Small Spaces: Places for petite people. Study Living Area

Linking up with Justina's and our whole group of SMB mom all doing a similar write up about the above topic.

In my humble abode, this is the way I had organized my children's items at home. Up till now, this corner contains mainly of Isadore's items.

Other than using the shelving from a branded company, I had also clearly labelled each boxes in order to encourage Isa to read and also to sort out his own toys.

Labels are meant to be simple.

Then inside the big containers, I had also sorted out toys into different ziplocks.
I do not label the ziplock to prevent confusion.

A bagful of petrol kisok related toys, a bagful of chuggington toys, a box of Lego and so on.

In another big box are the uncategorized big items such as the trucks and etc

Before revamp, the boxes were basically stacked on top on one another.

After revamp, what we did was to purchase the structure of the shelving units.

This shelves contain mainly toys.

As for books, I mainly just place them in a bigger version of this storage series. You should spot it in the next picture to come.

This is one of the corner of my house in which the study tables are place next to one another.
No particular rational behind it but since papa's table is right there, it would only make sense that his son's table is beside it too, right?

The blue box that is next to the coffee table contains Isadore's storybooks.
Books are also available under the coffee table. Messy you might say.
But my philosophy of reading: the proximity of books should always be near and should always be available to children so that they can read anytime.

There, the main role of the day. Think he was trying to doodle something.

There it is. My humble Study Living Area in my small apartment.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Money not enough..

As a daughter, wife, mom and a woman. We all love to spend but here I would like to share with you some tips and tricks on this hobby of mine. That is to spend your money more prudently. Here are some examples:
  • Share packages: Spilt the cost of a package of a indoor playground or manicure sessions with your friends!
  • Buy in bulk : buy them by the cartons! The maximum number of cartons that I can fit into my humble sedan car is 6! 
  • Go for warehouse sale: Take leave from work and go as early as 30min before starting time
  • Find the right group of friends who share your same interests: companion is very impt. The next point will tell you why.
  • Strategize your shopping during the sale: one grab while another Q

I have found my group of ladies buddies who are always there for me,
Have you?

Here are a few scenarios of what my kakis and I can do.

Charles and Keith warehouse sale

My loots
Damage: $129 for all these purchase

ELC toy sale

My children's loot
Damage: $60+

Expo Baby Fair

 Loots for 5 families of average 2 children per family.
Damage: $120 for 4 cartons of diapers for Dora. These can at least last her for a couple of months.

My kakis.
Thank you my dear friends.
This post is specially dedicated to all of you.

Do share with me on how to spend our money more prudently ya?
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