Thursday, September 18, 2014

Giveaway: 4 Brand's Essence of Chicken ‘Listen To My Body’ sets worth more than $60 each

When the going gets tough, make it less rough by listening to your body.

I shared about how I listen to my body in an earlier post. I’ve also realised that previously as a mother-to-be, I was focusing my energies on listening to my baby, rather than listening to my body, and my baby was benefitting from all the good stuff.

Listening 2
Here's my attempt at drawing how I listened to my body, before and after pregnancy.

I hope the sharing has given you inspiration to be good to yourself and to listen to your body.

To get you started, how does a Brand’s Essence of Chicken 'Listen To My Body' set worth more than $60 each sound? There are 4 sets to be given away (worth a total of $250). Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter. Most are optional, but do give you more chances. Good luck!

Terms and conditions:
- Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
- Giveaways are open to Singapore residents only.
- This giveaway starts on 18 September and ends on 3 October (inclusive) at midnight.
- Winners will be chosen from a random draw of entries received in accordance with these Terms and conditions. 
- Winners will be announced on this post and my Facebook page by 10 October.
- Winners will be notified by email, through the email provided in the blog comments.
- The organisers accept no responsibility for entries that are lost, delayed, incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
- Prize delivery shall be arranged between the winner(s) and the sponsor's representative.
- Entrants into giveaways shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.
- Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice, at the organisers' sole discretion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: We were provided with $250 worth of Brand’s Essence of Chicken products for giveaway purposes, and a $100 spa voucher for blog post purpose. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and images are our own.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Together…

WW Together We Belong

Linking up with:



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Monday, September 15, 2014

When the going gets tough, listening to my body makes it less rough

As a full-time working mum who goes from her first working shift straight to her second mummy shift, I find it easy to feel extremely tired, physically and mentally. My body is exhausted with terribly tight muscles, especially in the upper back and, occasionally, the lower back. This could be due to long hours of working in front of a laptop, and from carrying little AA. This fatigue means that sometimes, I can’t stay awake past 9pm.

In fact, this feeling of extreme tiredness is not limited to full-time working mums. All mums, all dads, in fact, everyone can and will feel this way some time, and we react differently. Some have mild headaches, some have extreme muscle strain, some always feel lethargic and can’t seem to get enough rest, others fall sick easily because the body’s lower immune system becomes weaker..

Unfortunately, many tend to ignore these ‘protests’ by our bodies, due to our busy schedules and commitments. I’m no different. For my family and work, I do ignore my body’s shouts of ‘help’ with the terrible upper back pain that I get every other week or so. I always have some kind of excuse to not deal with it, such as having to finish up the work so that I can rush home to spend time with my little darlings. When I’m suffering from lack of sleep, I’ll get a caffeine boost from my trusty tea (since I hate coffee), and have it black without milk. Anything to get my body and mind going through the day, through the week, even though it gets tougher as time goes by.

I’ve gone for massages to ease my tense muscles, but only when the pain gets too unbearable. I knock out at 9pm because I’m just too tired and my mind has simply surrendered and shut down. It came to a point when I realised I must do more. Rushing from one responsibility to another, like clockwork, is not helping. I must listen to my body and the messages it gives me. So that it can get the needed rest and restoration it deserves.

Why? Because I need to be sensitive to myself. Because if I don’t look after myself, who will?

So, I applied what I’d learnt in yoga, and so far, it has helped me to better listen to my body.

Be open to my body, feel what I feel and trust it
Since it’s my body, it is always reacting to what I do to it, always speaking to me subconsciously. I have to be willing to listen and not deny what I’m feeling. I have to trust my body. If my leg is aching, it is aching, for whatever reason, and I need to do something about it!

Make a conscious effort to slow down
In order to clearly listen to my body, I have to slow down. First thing every morning, I would set aside about 10 minutes or so to do some yoga, focusing on only a few postures and moving slowly from one posture to another. Throughout the day, I also give myself a mental check every few hours. During this time, I would take a short walk, and take a break from the hustle and bustle of work life. And just as easily, I pick up the pace whenever I want.

Stop breathe

Relax, breathe deeply and focus
In the mornings, I also spend a few minutes to do deep breathing, and to tune myself to my body, to feel my body’s unique sensations. As I inhale and exhale, I slowly relax my body, consciously releasing the tension and focusing on how each part feels.

Sometimes, I also find other ways to relax, breathe deeply and focus. This means forcing myself to give myself some me-time to do what I like. Besides snuggling up with a good novel, I’ve found that doodling and drawing and just letting my mind flow freely helps tremendously. At the end of it, I feel more refreshed and in tune with who I am, what my body feels.

Listening 1
As you can see, I'm not an artist. But good or bad, it helps me relax.

Be sensitive and listen to my body’s warning systems
Listening to my body means I need to be sensitive to it, to myself. This also means understanding my body’s warning symptoms. If I’m working continuously, not stopping for breaks and not getting enough rest, a light-headed feeling is a warning sign for me. Sometimes, I crave more sugary drinks. This is my body’s trigger, its way of telling me: I really must rest, NOW!

Be good to my body
This means, treat it well with healthy foods. Lots of vegetables and fruits and water. And… exercise, exercise, exercise. My body’s triggers and messages will then be more positive and healthier too.

By being good and more aware of how my body feels, I can ensure that I feel refreshed and rejuvenated most of the time, ready to face the trials and tribulations of daily life with gusto and determination and vibrancy.

The ways that I’ve shared above has helped me a lot in listening to my body. I hope that it will help you too. Or if you have other ways, do share how you listen to your body.

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Thank you for reading. If you like this post, please do connect with me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, so I can share our fun adventures, thoughts and exploits with you. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Teaching kids to keep our spaces clean

Just the other day, I witnessed a middle-aged woman getting off a bus, and then very conveniently, threw away a used tissue paper on the grass patch as she walked down the pavement.

I was appalled, to say the least. I mean, what’s wrong with her? Couldn’t’ she see a dustbin nearby? Was she so lazy that she couldnt’t even take a few steps to throw her disgusting tissue? Did she do this all the time? Did she litter in her own home? Whatever was she thinking? That it’s ok to throw your rubbish all over the place?

Yes, as you can see, I get really peeved when I see people throw rubbish all over the place. It just goes to show how inconsiderate they are. They only think of themselves, their own convenience. Their selfish conduct absolutely spares no thought for others around them, and how their actions can affect others, let alone the environment.

To me, being gracious, being considerate, being nice doesn’t just apply to how we behave and communicate with human beings, but also in our actions as we walk past buildings, stroll in the parks, play at the void decks or wait for the bus. Basically, our conduct as we ‘communicate’ with the environment around us. And by conduct, I mean how it is essential to keep our surrounding environment clean, wherever we are, no matter the place.

I’ve always been trying to inculcate in EV and AA, an understanding of the need to keep our surrounding spaces clean. Whenever we walk around the neighbourhood and we spot litter, I would always highlight to EV and AA to observe how the litter makes the neighbourhood extremely unpleasant. I also tell them that the persons responsible are extremely inconsiderate. If it’s not too dangerous, we will pick the litter together and put them into their rightful places. Gradually, I’ve noticed that both kids have become more aware and do understand the importance of keeping the neighbourhood clean.

Chinatown 1

Recently, I’ve started broadening this ‘keep clean’ habit that I want to inculcate in EV and AA to all places that we visit. Earlier this week, we visited Chinatown. Now, Chinatown has special meaning for me. My daddy has a shop there which opened three months before I was born, and I practically grew up in the area, as I used to frequent the shop quite often. I go down quite rarely now, with family and work and what not, but every time we go, it feels extremely warm to be on familiar grounds.


Chinatown 2

EV surprised me the moment we stepped out of the train at Chinatown. She said ‘牛车水’, Chinese for Chinatown. It was something totally unexpected and caught me pleasantly by surprise. She asked me what it meant, and I told her a very brief history of how the name came about. She asked me where were ‘cars’ and ‘cows’ and I had tell her that the name was referring to ‘carts’ and ‘buffalos’ instead. Exactly the kind of questions that a modern girl like her would ask.

Chinatown 7

We walked into the midst of Chinatown, and amongst the crowd of tourists and locals, I pointed out the buildings and the wooden shutters on the second and third levels, and explained how houses used to be in the past. EV was quite intrigued by it, probably wondering why the buildings are so low. We went in search of the entrances of these buildings, which were hidden by the many stalls that target tourists. EV and AA were both curious about the wooden doors, reaching out to touch them, wondering why the doors are smaller than ours at home. As I explained to them about the doors and how people lived in the past, EV and AA also became interested in the tall and steep staircase.

Chinatown 8

Chinatown 3

One of our pit stops at Chinatown was the Heritage Centre. It was about to close when we went there, but we got to see some ‘红头巾’ or Samsui women dolls, so I took the opportunity to tell them about these women from the past.

Chinatown 5

On the way out, both kids noticed a lifesize sculpture of a Samsui women, and that got their focus for a while. They were curious why the woman was squatting down, why she didn’t seem to be wearing any shoes, why she seemed to be closing her eyes. Again, this was another opportunity to tell them about these women, how these women made personal sacrifices and were involved in construction work, how they were living during a time when Singapore was extremely poor, and hence they didn’t have proper covered shoes like we do now. While I was explaining all these, EV looked rather contemplative, as she tried to absorb all that I was telling her.

Chinatown 4

Walking through Chinatown, I was comforted by the fact that the place was rather spotless and clean. It seemed to me that everyone was extremely conscious and gracious towards their surroundings, keeping it clean and pleasant so that everyone, both local and foreign, can enjoy it.

Chinatown 6

Of course, we had to be gracious of our surroundings too. We had some used wet tissues that were used to wipe the kids’ hands. Instead of just throwing them on the floor while feigning ignorance, like the lady I mentioned earlier did, we kept the used tissues in our bags and threw them only when we came across a dustbin.

With such actions, I want to show EV and AA that it is important to think about how our actions affect others, and the environment around us. No matter where we are, whether we’re in a well-known place like Chinatown, or just around our own neighbourhood, we have to keep our surrounding spaces clean and not litter. Because it is only through this that we can make our living environment pleasant for ourselves, and for others.

Chinatown 9

And this is one of many values which I believe will help EV and AA grow up to be gracious and caring individuals.

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Thank you for reading. If you like this post, please do connect with me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, so I can share our fun adventures, thoughts and exploits with you.