Sunday, December 03, 2017

Floral Garage

As a busy mum, juggling work, the home and toddler minding... the first thing I look for when it comes to products and services I engage is CONVENIENCE and RELIABILITY.  I mean I want to just go online, click a few buttons and then offload that errand from my mind for good. (Seriously don't need to add on to my mental load).

Need to send a fruit and flower basket to a Friend who just gave birth? Need to send hampers out to clients during the festive season? Corporate accounts at Floral Garage get up to 11% discount and 30day credit limits.

Need to make sure a bouquet of fresh showers get delivered on time to your Girlfriend on her birthday? Just use an online flower shop like Floral Garage. They have professional florists who will put together the most beautiful bouquets for you.

I love that their delivery is reliable, their prices are reasonable. The basic hand bouquets start from just $29.90. And if you want to splash out, go for the premium bouquets or customise one to your liking. All flowers come together with a complimentary card, designed by in-house artists! Simply write your message after checkout.
Floral Garage does so much more than just flowers. Like DID Y Terrarium Kits! This makes a cool, quirky, alternative gift! And their Terrarium Kits have 20% discount now. They also have a good range of stuff for your party needs like balloons, decor, bunting, pinatas and loads more.

For Myla's birthday coming up, I ordered a whole bunch of foil balloons (she loves floating helium balloons!!!) for her. It's quite troublesome to get them because there's no shop nearby that sells them, they only sell the foil balloons but I would have to inflate them myself. And it doesn't make sense buying or renting my own helium tank. From Floral Garage, I can pick out the balloons I want, they will inflate them with helium (it lasts a couple of days at least before it loses its 'float') and deliver them to my door step. I'll share with you a pic of all the balloons on Instagram soon, look out for it!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Avoiding Toddler's Diarrhea

Toddler's diarrhea, bloating, gas, constipation, and even IBS can plague our little ones. Apart from medical issues of the GI tract, the underlying causes of digestive troubles is often inappropriate eating habits. Many parents don't realise the importance of good nutrition and the relationship between food and the body's functions.

Here are 5 tips to help your toddler's digestive system:

1. Avoid Overeating
Quality over quantity.  It is easy to lose sight of what a proper portion is. With Baby Led Weaning, it is said that the baby will stop eating when full and not over eat. But I have noticed her gorging on some tasty foods, shovelling mouthfuls and swallowing without chewing much. So I help her control the pace by serving smaller portions to her at a time and topping up each time she's done. Eating too fast and overeating puts a lot of pressure on the digestive system. This can result in abdominal discomfort.

2. Don't drink with meals
Combining both food and liquid can lead to slower digestion as the digestive juices are diluted by the liquids consumed. It is best to keep the amount of fluids around mealtime to a minimum. Myla Rae is allowed to have small sips of water during mealtime. She gets full access to her water bottle the rest of the day and will drink to her heart's content then.

3. Eliminate Junk
Highly processed foods and junk foods contain a lot of trans fats and preservatives which can interfere with digestion. Because many of these substances are unnatural, their systems are not sure what to do with them, and this hinders digestion. Such foods also contain very few nutrients and will use up the body’s nutrients as they are digested. This will in turn create a nutrient deficiency that will impair future digestion. Opt for fresh, natural, whole foods that the body can easily absorb.

4. Limit Certain foods
Certain foods, including dairy, are harder for babies and toddlers to digest. Myla has troubles digesting fresh milk, even a small amount gives her gas and explosive diarrhea. So I limit treats such as ice cream. And I don't give her fresh milk to drink, I give her Friso Gold formula instead because it's much easier to digest. This formula supports good gut health with prebiotics and probiotics. It is also well balanced with nutrients such as DHA and AA for brain development, and antioxidants such as, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E for immune health. With LockNutri System Friso nutrient is easy to digest.
5. Food Combining
Did you know that eating certain foods together and keeping certain foods apart during a meal can affect digestion and nutrient absorption?

The main foods that should be kept apart are starches (i.e. breads, potatoes, rice, pasta) and protein-dense foods such as meat. So instead of serving your child steamed salmon and potatoes for dinner, combine the salmon with a non-starch vegetable such as broccoli.

And when serving pasta with meat and green vegetables, its best to use a tomato based sauce as the vitamin C in the sauce will help aid absorption of iron from the dish.

These are my 5 simple strategies to help toddlers cope with a less mature digestive system than adults have. They are healthy habits and really do help alleviate bloating, constipation and other digestive discomfort.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

My Life Didn't Go as Planned, and that's OK

I don't know if some of you would have had a hunch, or if some friends guessed this already.... I have gotten divorced.

We tried to make things work, but this divorce has been a long time coming. Things haven't been good for years - and it was a struggle for me that kept building. Although daunting, going our separate ways is inevitable, it was just a matter of when, not if.

Over time, the home atmosphere had gotten truly unbearable. For years, I was able to put up with it and make it seem to others that it was a good relationship... perhaps it was a way I tried to cope with things, or kept whatever optimism going that it would get better. Only my closest friends knew the truth, and their support kept me sane.

However, my mindset really changed after Myla came along. I started to consider how it would affect her. And as she got older, saw more and took in more, I reflected deeply about how these influences would be unfair to her.

Divorce is not a tragedy or failure, but raising a child in a bad environment would be - that choice was clear. I will not go into too much detail regarding what happened out of respect for his privacy, so let's leave it at that. 

I genuinely wish him well in his future choices. We have put in effort to ensure that Myla will receive the best from the both of us, and discussed the most suitable arrangements. To give abit of detail: she will be in my care and he  has visitation access. She also has a tight family network here in Singapore, all of whom have been pitching in so much over the last few months to make this transition easy for her. 

My dearest Myla is a happy child and I'm determined to give her the best opportunities and do all it takes to raise her well. I am certain that she will be more than OK. And that this change is for the best for Myla and myself.

I have not told this news to many friends or relatives in person (so most of you would be finding this out for the first time here). To those who were in the know, and stuck by me through those times of turmoil and uncertainty, your support has been one of the most precious gifts I could receive. For that I'm very grateful.

Moving forward, I just want to assure those who may be worried, that I am ready for the journey ahead. I've been refocusing my time on things that matter and ensuring Myla will be raised well. After my prayers and reflection, I am confident this is something I can deal with. 

All will be well. xx

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Teaching Toddlers to Share

There are 2 opposite camps when it comes to getting kids to share. I've come across a number of posts on my Facebook feed about how it's good to teach kids that they don't have to share (their toys, food etc) with other adults or peers. I'm not here to discredit that camp. But I do feel that it's important to teach and encourage my child to share from a young age. I feel it would make her less possesive over material objects, less selfish and not overly entitled.

The other day Myla Rae held out her toy to another toddler who curiously came by to look at what she was playing with. I remember when she was much younger and learning to walk, at that same park, Myla Rae toddled unsteadily to a 2 year old girl who was holding a pink ball. She then reached out to touch the ball, and the 2 year old pulled the ball away and to my surprise, she smacked Myla on the face. :( Her helper was quite a distance away, and I didn't feel it was my position to tell the child off etc. I just carried Myla off the lawn and told her it's ok, let's go play something else. Even though Myla didn't cry, it sucked to see my child get hit by a toddler twice her age. OMG it's just a ball, and a 1 year old, half your size, touched it, why do you have to feel so threatened and hit her?! So from then on, I knew I didn't want to raise her to be selfish, I want her to be kind and giving, especially to those who are smaller/ weaker.

The willingness to share is not a character flaw or a sign of weakness. It's not a bad thing in my books. But because Myla Rae is an only child, she doesn't go to any child care, and she has no similar aged cousins to play with in Singapore, she doesn't get much time interacting with other toddlers. So I have been trying to inculcate the habit of sharing, taking turns and not feeling threatened or throw a tantrum when something (like a toy) is taken away from her. It's going very well so far.

Here's what I've been doing.

Make Taking Turns Fun
You stack a block, then she stacks another on top of yours. You turn one page of her story book and she turns the other. For older toddlerss, you could also take turns putting puzzle pieces together. Try give-and-take games, too: you hug her teddy, then give it to her to hug and return to you. You kiss her teddy, then give it to her to kiss, and so on. Play pass the ball with other people in the family. She'll begin to learn that taking turns and sharing can be fun and that giving up her things doesn't mean she'll never get them back. 

Use Praise
Myla doesn't understand everything I say yet, but she does understand tone. So when she makes an effort to share, I praise her, and my voice sounds encouraging, happy, joyful. And that lifts her up too, she knows she has done something good.
The best way to teach your child is to be what you want them to be, and they will observe and follow. You are their best role model. The best way for your child to learn generosity is to witness it. Show them that there's no need to get overly possessive.  So share your ice cream with her. Offer her your sunglasses to wear, and ask if you can try on her hat. Have a laugh about it. Use the word share to describe what you're doing, and don't forget to teach her that intangibles (like feelings, ideas and stories) can be shared too. Most important, let her see you give and take, compromise and share with others. 

Use a timer
This is a tip I picked up from a mummy friend who has been through it all. She used a timer (the cute kind people use in the kitchen which buzzes after 5 or 10 minutes). To get her children to share toys and play fair and learn to wait for their turn, she used this device. When it rings, it's one child’s turn to give a toy to her friend/sibling, then she gets it back once the timer rings again, and so on. They start learning that sharing their toy doesn't mean it's forever, and also if someone shares with them, they have to give it back after some time.

So yes, although I'm a bit apprehensive because the terrible twos are in the horizon (in 3 months!), I do feel that you can nurture their character from a young age, even from birth. You can teach your baby valuable emotional and social skills even before they start walking. And that will hopefully help you and your child navigate through life and its very new and trying experiences. For more info on how you can shape your child's learning and experiences, click here.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

How to Pick Flowers for Your Girl

Flowers make a great gift because they are very versatile. They're appropriate for almost any occasion... birthdays, anniversaries, when someone is ill, when you want to congratulate someone, or just to say I'm thinking of you. It's super easy to just go online to florists like Little Flower Hut to get a beautiful flower arrangement picked out, paid for and then delivered to your girl.
They are versatile because the options are limitless, they can say exactly what you want, you can make it as informal or grand as you want. If you're clueless about how to pick the right flowers for your girl, here are a few simple no fail tips.

What's her favourite colour?
Surely you know this! But if you don't, then you should be able to tell by looking at her belongings and clothes, what colour are they usually? If it's pink then go for a hand bouquet of pink tulips.

What's her character like?
If she's girly, sweet and demure, then consider a bouquet of soft pink roses with baby's breath. If she's the edgy kind, then add a huge gold foil balloon floating above her bouquet. There are options to add stuff like these on to your bouquet order. If's she's quirky, she might appreciate a delicate orchid in a pot.

What is your budget?
If you have a realistic budget, it's easy to stick to it and find something well within your price range. Prices of bouquets at Little Flower Hut start from $59.90. They also have this thing called the $50 weekly pick which are flowers freshly picked by their florist, beautifully wrapped just for your girl. And there's free same day delivery in Singapore.  :)

Tip: If you're picking her up from her house for a date, then get the flowers delivered to yourself beforehand. That way you can turn up with them. A classic move is to stand there at her door with the flowers hidden behind your back. Watch her face light u when you present them. Bonus points all around, my friend, all around!  

Monday, October 09, 2017

Wellness Trufood, Tropiclean Life supplements and more Doggy Stuff!


Lola's haul from Kohepet's online has arrived :). Only a 2 day wait for delivery (free delivery), that's super fast, and so convenient. I want to show you some new pet food products, and and promotion prices at Kohepets that I had for this haul.

Oh by the way, apart from really good promo and sale prices, they also give out free samples for your pet to try (not just dog food, but there's stuff like cat litter, etc. Go have a look). I picked out a couple Sample packs of Addiction Dehydrated Food for Dogs. In 2 flavours for Lola to try; New Zealand Forest Delicacies (which is NZ bushnell and Venison with honey) and Perfect Summer Brushtail (which is brushtail with postatoes, papaya and sunflower seeds).
I can rehydrate it with warm water or just give it to Lola dry. She enjoys it both ways. It must be packed with so much flavour. I love it because its high in premium protein which is great for dogs, plus there's added vitamins and minerals.
She's also trying for the first time- Life by Tropiclean ultra concentrated supplements for dogs. She's getting older now, and it's important to provide her with added vitamins for immunity and health. I should have started this earlier, but I guess it's not too late now. Love this range because it's so convenient and easy to use. Each bottle of Tropiclean has roughly a 45 day supply. Just pump it into your pet's food bowl to support optimal nutrition. It has an oily texture (coconut oil and omega oils!), doesn't affect the taste of the food.
Wellness Trufood Tasty Pairings in Broth is new and on promo at Kohepets now (buy 3, get 1 free. ). Each bowl contains 2 layers of goodness - Shredded protein and diced fruit.

They are grain free, pure protein and contains nothing artificial. I chose Pumpkin, Lamb & Duck, and Chicken, Pumpkin & Beef for Lola. She is equally enthusiatic about both flavours.
In smaller pouches, there is Wellness Trufood Meal Complements. This is a delicious, juicy, flavourful broth with shredded meat and vegetables in it. Also 100% natural, grain free, no fillers. I add these meal complement pouches over Lola's kibbles, the broth helps soften them (especially good since Lola is a senior dog now, and finds chewing through hard kibbles less enticing then when she was younger). I also sometimes offer a ouch to her as a yummy snack treat.

I am really a big fan of Wellness's Trufood range now. Very good quality ingredients, Lola loves the taste, and not extravagant price for such a premium product. Especially while it's on promotion price now at Kohepets. Will order the other flavours next.

Kohepets now has a shelter donation program (Kohepets Cares), where anyone can help shelters like OSCAS & Lily Low Cat Shelter by buying for them essentials like food & shampoo at exclusive subsidised prices. Do check that out too.