Friday, July 07, 2017

New Products for Dogs & Cats

Hello all pawrents... in today's post I want to share with you some dog (and cat) food and treats which Lola recently tried and loved.
 As usual, we got our pet stuff from Kohepets online, because it's convenient and they have such a wide range of products. Plus free delivery to my doorstep.

The first new product I want to tell you about is KAKATO. It's for both cats and dogs. Kakato is a popular brand in Hong Kong, and finally its available in Singapore at Kohepets :)

Derived from the New Zealand Maori word for ‘delicious’, Katako is a premium pet food that uses the finest in human grade ingredients with no additives or flavourings added. Just pure delicious meaty goodness.

The flavours I ordered for Lola to try are Salmon In Broth ($2) , Tuna & Seaweed Canned Cat & Dog Food ($2) and Tuna Mousse ($1.40). All made of human grade ingredients, 100% Sea water fish, rich in Omega-3 oils and gluten free.

Super duper yummy looking and smelling, especially the salmon in broth! Mmm

Another new item is the Chunky Centers range of tray food from Wellness CORE. This grain-free range of tray food was just launched by Wellness a few months ago, and it's on promo now at Kohepets - BUY 3 GET 1 FREE - 6oz x 4 trays $15.90 (usual price $5.30 each)

These are tasty and wholesome. Suitable for larger dogs too as these trays are quite large, at 6oz each.

A new thing I've been doing for Lola is adding Meal Mixers to her food. It gives her more variety, you know, make her meal time more exciting and even tastier, plus it adds a good amount of additional nutrients too. I started out with Stella & Chewy's Chicken Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Dog Food ($14.90). It is made of raw cage-free chicken (95%), fortified with added vitamins & minerals and enhanced with probiotics & antioxidants. I love that raw freeze dried food such as this is very minimally processed. Because the closer foods stay to their natural state, the better they are.

I just add a scoop to her wet food, or kibbles... and she will chow down happily. I'm getting more and more particular about giving her food made of quality ingredients nowadays especially because she's in her senior years. I want her as healthy as she can be.

For treats, Zuke's has a huge range of Enhance Functional Dog Treats. This is a new range of functional treats for things such as shiny coat, mobility, fresh breath and digestion. We just tried Zuke's Enhance Functional Calming Peanut Butter Dog Treats (5oz $14.90). It gives her daily support for a calm disposition with nature-inspired functional ingredients. It's a healthy, tasty, tender, grain free chew treat.

If you spot any new and interesting products at Kohepets online and would like me to try it out and let you know how it goes, do let me know! Lola is always keen to try new things. Do check out their on going promotions (always have!) for some great deals, perfect time to stock up on pet supplies!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Getting your pre pregnancy body back

When it comes to pregnancy and the stress and changes to your body, they say the first is the easiest. But I've seen and been around women who don't get their pre pregnancy bodies back even after the first.

I can't comment on what it's like for multiple pregnancies (obviously), but I think that if you don't get your pre pregnancy body and fitness condition back soon after the first child, then it's a slippery slope from then on.

From my experience so far, here's what helped me.

1. Have the best pre pregnancy body u can
Even before you start looking to get pregnant, get in shape. Don't say, oh I'm going to be fat when pregnant anyway so I'll just start after the baby is born, no point getting in shape and then get pregnant.

I see lots of comments whenever fitness mums & celebs show off a great post pregnancy body a few weeks after giving birth. Usually people view that negatively and say- there's no way regular people can do that, she probably has a personal trainer, she probably had surgery. I think in most cases this is not true. It CAN be done, and yes it can be done within weeks of giving birth.

One thing is definitely true though... that if you were out of shape before being pregnant, u have even less chance of getting in shape after giving birth.

In our busy lives, it's hard to find the time to get in shape. Try slipping in 10 minutes a day for a start, or instead of taking the lift, climb the stairs. It's the little things which will eventually add up. If you're planning to get pregnant, start getting in shape now. Once you're pregnant and after you have a baby, you will also be thankful for that extra stamina you built up.

2. Prepare for the stretch
One of my concerns was stretchmarks because I have dry skin, and I also had stretchmarks (on my knees and thighs) from puberty. My mom has pregnancy stretchmarks. A lot of this is genetic.

I used a variety of stretchmark creams in rotation (because I wasn't sure which would work best for my skin. So I hedged my bets by using a different one on each application. Example, Mustella in the morning, Elancyl in afternoon and coconut oil at night). I loved coconut oil (not sticky or smelly at all!). I think it's a good inexpensive way to moisturize your stretching skin.

Don't forget to apply it EVERYWHERE. Not just the belly. I was horrified to see the beginning of a stretchmark on my boob. So I began applying it religiously all over. Hips, thighs, lower back, chest. Not just your belly!!! I'm happy to report that it worked, and worked well. No pregnancy stretchmarks, and even the one stretchmark that was starting on my boob disappeared too.

3. Don't worry about pregnancy weight
There's no need to minimize weight gain. Unless you have a medical reason to, like if you start out overweight or you have gestational diabetes. Other than that, I would say do not worry about the scales. The scales scared me a lot (in retrospect, I should not have worried about it). I was envious of my friends who like put on 8kg (or less!) throughout the whole pregnancy. I gained 12 kg within the first trimester itself.

And I wasn't even eating a lot. Don't talk about eating for two, when I can barely eat for one. But the scales kept jumping up up up. I think your body knows what to do. If you're pregnant and your starting weight is under weight, your body will automatically retain more of the calories(?) and put weight on to prepare for the rest of the pregnancy journey. I was eating healthy, lots of fruit and during times where I struggled to eat (because morning sickness all day), I supplemented with Friso Stage 0 milk which is the first maternal milk with prebiotics and probiotics for mums to get the nutrition they need.

In all, I gained 20Kgs. That's like putting on almost half my original body weight. And I had a 2kg preemie so hardly any of that was her weight, it was all on me. Lol. But I managed to lose all that and more. This is without hitting the gym. Which brings me to my next point...

4. Get back on your feet as soon as possible
I was not able to get any help after the delivery, so I had no choice but to get back on my feet and take care of baby, and handle all the night feeds, and also carry on with the house chores and cooking. That was a period of extreme exhaustion. But you know what? I survived it. And it took the weight right off.

So mummies who are don't doing confinement, don't worry, work at your own pace, prioritize your newborn baby's needs first and the rest of the housework can do later. You can do this.

And if you are doing a month long confinement, even if you have someone helping you to take care of baby and take care of the house chores, do try to get back on your feet and do some simple exercises as soon as you feel you're ready for it.

Oh and they say after a csection, your abs would never be the same again. Because it cuts through the stomach muscles, your abs will never be flat around that area and you will have a small paunch you can't get rid of (this was the main reason I was dreading having to get a csection. lol. Vanity). Not true. So super not true at all. Don't worry about it. Even if you have to have a Csection, you can get back in shape after baby is born.

5. Don't eat (too much) junk
When trying to get rid of post pregnancy weight, it's ok to eat anything and everything. Just in moderation. I eat junk food. Just the other day, the cleaning lady passed me by the poolside and was shocked I was having a Macdonald's. She said - "I thought you're the kind who won't eat junk food."

Indulging in bit of junk food won't make you fat. I have it (macdonald's, popeye, jollibee etc) maybe twice a week. But what will make you fat is if you consume more calories than you can burn.... even if those calories comes from healthy foods. So don't go hungry, just be smart about it.

6. Participate in your child's play

At first I thought that a baby kept me on my feet a lot, but oh man a toddler keeps me on my toes!
Whatever stage your child is at, get in there, get on your knees, run about, and engage in healthy activities with them.

This could be taking them to a bouncy castle, an indoor playground, swimming, go for walks in the park, etc. It's a great way to bond and to help your child experience and develop.

So yeah, it irks me when people tell me I'm "lucky" that I shifted all that weight so "easily" and quickly. While it is attainable, it's not by luck.

I know that when you have a child, it's easy to let your own well being take a back seat. Trust me I know that (my face hasn't been seen with nice make up for the past 1 year plus lol). But when it comes to health and feeling good and confident with your own body... you need to take charge. And I don't want this to come across as a slap in the face when you're sat there, exhausted, and still having tummy flab or that stubborn last 5kgs you haven't shed.... yet.

I know, I understand. Don't worry mummies, you can get your pre pregnancy body back. Do it!

If you're pregnant now (congrats!), find out more about the changes your body will go through in this Pregnancy guide.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Freshest Flowers in Singapore

As much as I love makeup, I’m similarly crazy about home d├ęcor, and all the wonderful ways to make your home your peaceful oasis. Like any blogger, I do have a very special nook where I like to unwind and work, but also get my creative juices going. My special corner where I get relaxed and work on my blogs is a space where there are lots of lighting and always some fresh flowers. I’m the kind of girl that won’t remember to water plants, but I will always pay for a good flower bouquet. And there’s nothing quite fresh and exciting as a bouquet of colorful and vibrant flowers.

Lucky for me, I’ve found an online florist in Singapore that caters to my needs and they are very affordable. I don’t have a huge budget dedicated to flower purchases, but I do like a beautiful, fresh flower arrangement that makes me feel good when I look at it. A vase of withered flowers doesn’t really make me good, which is why I never settled for any florist I’ve found up until this moment. A Better Florist is, in my own opinion, a very affordable florist with plenty of special and seasonal offers for their customers.

Since I got a friend in Yishun, this is my favorite Florist if I need to send flowers in Yishun. Fast, affordable and above visually exquisite. If you’re a woman, you’ll definitely appreciate the sweet combinations of carefully chosen blooms, all arranged and packaged very tastefully. Take a look at the bundle I’ve sent my friend and see for yourself.
My experience with this florist has been nothing but great so far. I always order online, since their website is so easy to use, and shopping is done in a couple of clicks. I don’t have the slightest worry about security or payments. If they don’t come through with their deliveries, they guarantee a payment back, although this has never happened to me.

Their arrangements are true visual heaven. When you go on their website and click on the tab that says flowers, you will get their recommended picks (and you’ll want to grab them all). I’ve ordered a simple bouquet, and it arrived the same day. I wanted to test out how fast they actually are, and the same day delivery isn’t just a myth. It’s true. Nothing about flowers was ordinary, they were amazing. Beautiful, carefully arrangement, to the last detail. To my biggest surprise they were fresh for the longest time, at least for 10 days.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Letters to Myla Rae - Love is blinding

Open when- You think you've found the one
If I'm still alive, ask me to explain this pic to you.

Dearest Myla Rae.

So you're in love. You're tired of keeping your options open. Everyone else around you seem to be settling down and moving on to the next stage in life.

Before you commit to him, and decide that he really is THE ONE. I want you to know the reality of love, it is very very blinding... but only temporarily. It would pain me to watch you realize months (or years!) down the road that actually (when the blinkers come off) you made a mistake.

The thing is, we never really know, how much of our love for someone is due to that temporary blindness, our stubbornness, our desire not to let yet another relationship fail.

No matter how hard you try, the odds of happiness will never be in your favour if you choose to commit to a man who displays any of these traits.

If you're anything like me, you will be drawn to the alphas. I think this was why I was always attracted to older men (but younger men can be alphas too). Being an alpha male is great, in fact it's very attractive in a man. He is driven, intelligent, powerful and a good leader. Be with an alpha male, only if you rank high in his pack... he will fight for you fiercely, he will protect you.

But never mistake a partner who is aggressive towards you for an alpha. If he hits you, that's a definite strike out. GET RID OF HIM.

But also be wary of the passive aggressive man. He will take out his frustrations out on you. And he makes no apologies because he is never at fault, it's always due to something that happened at work, the slow traffic on the way home or maybe because someone shoved past him on the crowded MRT. But you will pay the price for it.

My girl, please do not end up with an angry spouse who will only give you a minimal level of love and caring. If you're smart, you will figure out what his trigger situations are and be able to avoid those (not successful all the time though), but it's not enjoyable living your life in a perpetually 'braced' position.

His interests only
It is human nature to be self centered... to a reasonable extent. But watch out if every movie you watch, every restaurant you eat at, every weekend activity is catered solely to what he likes/wants. You voiced your opinions, mentioned your preferences, but if it's not something he wants to do/eat/see/etc, then too bad, it will not be an option... ever.

He might be this way because of low emotional intelligence ... or he might actually be aware that he's being intentionally selfish and manipulative. Marry this man and you will end up with an unsupportive and unsympathetic husband. He will not be there for you during tough times.

Uses the Divorce word easily
When you're still dating, each time there is a small problem or disagreement he says he wants to break up (even though he doesn't mean it). Fast forward to being married...this will not change. He uses the Divorce word just as easily, often threatening to pack his bags and leave.. or worse still asking you to get the fuck out of his life.

And then the next morning, act as if nothing happened... expects you to carry on as normal and be loving towards him. He probably only said it to alarm you, get a reaction out of you, maybe he is immature like that.... or maybe he really meant it and then chickened out the next day. You will never know. And that shit will eventually take a toll on you.

So yeah, if he's always issuing ultimatums to you (or at work or to his friends/family)... take it as a warning sign of extreme immaturity.

He has debts
It's different if he has a home loan, or if he has a student loan (from university fees) to pay off. But if he's racked up a huge debt from either from gambling or spending beyond his means... then he has poor impulse control!

You know what other problems can come from poor impulse control? Drinking, having affairs... the list goes on.

So if he has a gambling debt, drinking debt, credit card debt... do not take your relationship any further, it's a big sign of poor impulse control. Similarly my dear, I hope you do not become one of those with poor impulse control and end up with like a Prada debt. I would turn in my grave!

I'm not sure how far along you are in your relationship but if you see that he has any of these traits, please find a way out. I want to say it's never too late to leave a man who is wrong for you... but I'm pretty sure when you're in deep, it may feel like there's no longer a way out so you just have to cope with it. I'll tell you what your grandma (G'ma) always told me when I was growing up and navigating the world of dating- Decide what you want, then just bulldoze your way through.

I hope you choose wisely,

Friday, June 02, 2017

Repurposing Old Milk Tins into Toys

I came across someone asking on my Facebook mummies group about what we do with empty formula tins. Some mums said they put them in the recycling bins, other mums used it for storage of other food items or for storing small knick knacks... but like me, most mums answered - I throw it down the rubbish chute.  :(   I felt so bad for saying that, but it was the truth...

So lately, instead of throwing the empty tins away, I've come up with ways in which I can turn them into toys for Myla Rae. It doesn't take much effort, yet it gives her hours, days, even weeks of fun with each project I make.

Here's a look at some of my favourites:

Bongo Drums

Wrap the tins with pretty wrapping paper and some felt or cloth. Decorate with strings to help LO grip onto the Bongo and do include some beads for added sensory and tactile play. Let your toddler have a great time banging away. Try using different sized tins to make a combination of different sized bongos!

Barrel Climb
I got this idea from going to an indoor playground where there is a climbing section for toddlers. So I came home and used our empty formula tins to create a mini climbing obstacle for Myla Rae. Stack 3 or more large tins together and fasten them with tape and epoxy glue (make sure you fasten them properly and won't come loose, making the structure dangerous). I used 2 x empty 1.8Kg Friso Gold tins. Fill the tins with something heavy like sand. You can even fill some with bells or beads which will make sounds when moved around.

When stacking, you can use your creativity... the object is to make them like steps. The more empty tins you have, the more elaborate your creation can be! I shall add on to this in the coming months because she enjoys it so much. Always supervise your toddler's play time, and of course don't go nuts and create an obstacle course that is too high and dangerous!

Coin Slots

Cut slots into the plastic lid and with some huge plastic coins it will become a piggy bank where baby can practice fine motor skills. Friso tins come with an additional metal lid to lock in freshness, I discarded that as it's not safe to cut into that. Just using the soft plastic lid will do.

To learn more about how you can give your child more fun play experiences as they grow, check out these articles and resources from Friso. There's so much you can do. Have fun!

#frisosg #frisostronginside #frisoexperience 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ramadan Bazaar IS for everyone

There's lots I want to say and share with you but I've been apprehensive about crafting blog posts over the past year because I usually don't have the time to sit down and give things 'extra' thought in order to articulate my opinions the best way possible.

I squeeze this one out while my toddler watches 10 minutes of TV. I want to share with you what I feel because I think that the outrage and anger that people feel is due to the fact that they feel they have been wronged (but really it is not so), and the purpose is not to offend.

I've seen so many FB rants lately about the Ramadan Bazaar in Geylang. This bazaar is usually on during the Muslim's fasting month, leading up to Hari Raya. And the gripe this year from quite a few of my Muslim friends is that there are stalls at this bazaar which are not Halal.

I understand the displeasure. I mean the bazaar is called Ramadan Bazaar, you would expect that the stalls within this bazaar all be in line with Ramadan and hence be halal.

However, your choices are- to just not go to this bazaar since you deem that most of the stalls are not suitable for you .... or to still go and enjoy the atmosphere and be selective in the stalls you patronize. After all, there will be halal stalls there in need of your support. Right?

There is no need to play the victim.

You see, it's all about money... everything nowadays is getting more and more commercial and profit driven. I'm not saying that it's great thing, but it is however a necessity. The person who is organizing the bazaar is not doing it for the spirit of Ramadan, he is doing it to capitalize and make the most profit possible. You have to understand that. If you don't want it that way then you take the financial risk and organize the next one.

And this (commercialization and the loss of 'authenticity') has been happening since way back. Count yourselves lucky that it has only started to affect your religious holiday only now.

For instance, our supermarkets have a Halal option in their Christmas food menu (the packages you can pre order for your Christmas meal). I mean like what the fuck for? It's a Christmas menu.... Christmas... the Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus.  *big confused eyes*

This kind of thing has been happening since way back, it's just that we didn't choose to bitch about it on Facebook and play the victim card. It is what it is.. we still have the choice to order the Halal Christmas meal, or not to order it and get a proper Christmas meal with traditional smoked ham etc.

It's all a business. And the way our society is (multi racial) there cannot be exclusion. I was very shocked to see comments on Facebook about how the Ramadan Bazaar should be for Muslims and/or Malays only. Have you never shopped at a Christmas bazaar/sale?

I'm sorry that your Ramadan Bazaar isn't like what it used to be. But a Ramadan Bazaar isn't what your Ramadan is about (I think I am correct in assuming this). Just like Cold Storage selling a butchered version of 'traditional' Christmas meals isn't what my Christmas is about. It's just business.

So don't let hate in.