| A blog on my journey as a WORK AT HOME MOM and my WORK AT HOME BUSINESS |

30 December, 2006

Christmas in Kuala Lumpur

I don't usually hop around KL malls to check on Christmas props and decorations. This year, I took Clayton to Mid Valley and this is probably the nicest decorated mall - at least it looks 'Christmas-sy'.

I made a special trip just to capture the attractive props before they are all pulled down.

29 December, 2006

Quality time

The Internet is not working too smoothly since the Taiwan earthquake. I read about the many complaints from bloggers in the newspapers. As much as it is inevitable to feel frustrated and upset with the internet disruption, maybe we should also take it easy and spare a thought for those who are suffering from the earthquake.

Families are lost, homes destroyed, people injured, devastation and sadness is in the air. And all we do is to feel upset because 'our lives' and businesses (for some) are disrupted and affected but would our situation be worst that those sufering from these calamity.

We took Clayton out to KidzSports Gym since we can't do much work anyways. He had such a ball of a time... exploring the tunnels, the rides, slides and crossing barriers. They say that children learn well through play and I can't deny this truth at all.

Go do something that doesn't require the internet these few days and you will be surprised that there are many more neat things to do other than getting upset over the temporary internet disruption.

Internet Reflections

I have been blogging on a more serious mode only few months ago and it has been an exciting and fun journey.

I have learnt alot from other bloggers, a little more about SEO, social networking and jumping on the bandwagon of being a paid blogger. Amidst these learning curves, I have also learnt more about who's who in the internet business - the good ones, the fake ones, the hit-and-run ones, the sincere and helpful ones and of course, some snobbish ones. All I can say is there are not many out there who believe in the 'pay it forward' concept. There are many who won't even bother about you because you or your business or website does not add value to them.

This is the online business world and it's not any different from offline business. In our line of business, we met all kinds of business people - some are sincere and professional, some are plain opportunists.

I'm working on expanding my social networking skills online and polishing my work at home blogs in the next many months. This would be one of New Year resolutions - if I still believe in these things. If anyone knows how I can improve in these areas, drop me a line. If you like to exchange links with me, please let me know too.

28 December, 2006

Protecting your teenage children

This Christmas time, I managed to catch up with few close friends in Singapore. Clayton and myself were invited to Judy's for dinner and we had a wonderful time.

I knew the family for many years now and I could still remember how I used to babysit Judy's children - Evangeline and Eugene when they were young children. It was quite a change now that Evangeline is a 18 year old teenager. She has grown to be a confident, intelligent, elegant and beautiful young lady. With all the knowledge of a Singaporean teen, I constantly go to her for shopping ideas and town directions. She is also my first teacher when I began my first blog!

It is not easy being a teenager these days. The advancement of technology has changed the way teenagers mature and grown too! Do a survey and which teenager is not exposed to the worldwide web and been part of this internet revolution.

Being a parent to today's teenager is even tougher. How do you make sure your teenage child is not surfing the sites they won't supposed to? I recall a friend of mine whose parents would not allow any use of internet in the home after 10pm - for the fear that the children (they are between 13 -16!) would surf pornographic sites! I thought there was a little extreme.

Nowadays, parents can installer a keystroke loggerin their home PCs to monitor their teenage children's activities on the computer. I am not encouraging parents to 'spy' on their children but installing a keystroke recorder can actually keep them out of danger or trouble. There are lots of sexual perverts in the internet preying on their next victims.

As parents, we need to protect our growing children. We don't own them neither can we control them, but we can definitely do our part to help and educate them in the best of our ability during our time here on earth.

Acts of god

We have been experiencing internet connection difficulties since yesterday morning. We have no clue what was going on til we flipped the papers this morning. The earthquake in Taiwan had affected all the underground cables which led to this slow-down and connection failure. This has also affected online business and massive complaints are coming from bloggers too.

Some hard core bloggers are feeling 'lost' and frustrated because they couldn't get their 'voices' heard, since the blogosphere has become an avenue for many to let off steam and unveil their hearts.

I come to realise that no matter how advanced we can be with technology and life, nothing on earth is totally dependable and reliable. We must all learn to be flexible and strike a balance in how we live our lives. It is never too wise to be controlled or governed by man-made inventions. Who can answer to the acts of god? Really.

Training made convenient

The year is drawing to a close and looking back, we are thankful for three successful seminars. We had marketing and branding experts, Al and Laura Ries with us in June and Ron Kaufman, the ‘best of the best’ customer service thinker, presenter and speaker twice in September.

These last few years, we have worked closely with many training and human resource personnel in countless of multinationals and local SMEs. We have incorporated this tagline on our business envelope, “If People are your greatest asset, then training is a wise financial investment.”

It is good that many companies have recognized the potential of training as a way to upgrade and contribute growth to their staff. Unfortunately, there are still many who need to believe in the positive results training can bring.

Training has become so convenient now and you can learn at the comforts of your home or office PC. Comptia Network Training is one such program where learning can as fun and interactive through the step-by-step videos on Cds. Infact, the investment for a set of training program can be more affordable than attending a class. The extras that accompanied the program is a bonus you can’t get anywhere else from other training companies.

27 December, 2006


I've been reading alot about Social Networking lately. This seems to be the next big thing in the Internet. This digital democracy is moving so fast that I'm beginning to feel outdated and old-fashioned. Well, the year is coming to an end and I'm running through my head on some goals and must-dos in 2007.

I'm definitely jumping on the social networking bandwagon. Maybe a little late but it's better late than never. More updates coming soon...

Shopping online

I'm an avid online shopper whereas most of the people I know are skeptical about that. I like the convenience and variety of what online stores offer. The only issue is usually on the shipping and delivery costs as most online stores are based in the U.S.

Shopping online does require some careful attention, especially when you are releasing your personal credit card details. I am thankful that I have never run into any fraudulent issues.

One of my favourite stores is Target. You can find a wide selection of merchandise and great deals at Target, from children's toys and books to women's apparels, to kitchen ware. One of the ways to shop and save online is to use online coupons by entering your promotion codes. This is a great way to save when you shop online.

Christmas party

We invited a few friends to our place on Christmas day for dinner. A gathering like that is usually hard to come by, especially when I'm all busy with Clayton most of the time.

On the menu, we had roast beef, steamed snow fish, roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables. We had so much to eat that there were lots of leftover roast beef, which then ended up as beef casserole for dinner today.

It was great chatting, eating and enjoying each other's company. Clayton was an angel. He sat on his high chair the whole dinner time and wasn't cranky at all. I guessed it was because he had his favourite uncles and aunties on the dinner table.

Christmas is a nice time to catch up with good friends. And I thank God for them.

26 December, 2006

Keep in touch through chatroom

With the internet, it is so convenient to keep in touch with friends overseas. I only wish the idea of chat room are that popular 10 years. It would have saved me lots of postage costs and stay in touch with more.

There is practically no excuse for anyone not to keep in touch if you have an internet connection and computer at home. I chat with my friends from Singapore and other parts of the world via Messenger. Chatroom is so useful to keep in touch and a great channel to keep friendships together through constant communication.

Some people find chatting a waste of time, with some abusing it. I do believe that we should always respect each other's privacy when we chat. Most importantly, do not disclose any private banking details such as credit card details when you are in a chatroom.

A Christmas that reaches out

This year, Singapore has a fabulous theme for its Christmas celebration - Christmas Nativity Village. The streets of Orchard Road from Wisma Atria to Takashimaya is lined with the props of Jesus and the manger scene, very much like what you see in christmas performances in churches.

I was strolling along the jam-packed streets and I almost mistaken the 'real' characters as those artistic props. It was an interesting concept, mixing the 'real' with the props.

I noticed several mission-related booths that focused on educating the public on 'reaching out' this Christmas season, a good contrast from the usual retail booths which focused on selling gifts. It's good to remind shoppers that we should think about those less fortunate this festive season. After all, Christmas is about sharing and giving, not just the receiving of gifts.

My Dream MacPro

I have a big wishlist for 'Santa' this Christmas. I have been longing for a MacPro for months. My 4 year old iBook needs a serious upgrading and I'm tired of handling speed issues when I try downloading a video file. But due to the weak ringgit currency, the new MacPro is priced at a whopping RM8,000 and up! That is a heavy investment for a home 'laptop'. But you need to be an Apple user to really understand why I still insist on a Apple platform.

While I'm justifying on why I need a MacPro, one other software I would invest along with this cool, sleek, powerful machine is a copy of the Norton AntiVirus 2007 download. We all know the importance of keeping our files and documents FREE from unknown viruses and worms. This is of great importance if you are an ardent surfer like myself. With so many social marketing options these days, I can get as many as 100 spam emails a day!

Let's face it, Norton AntiVirus is the most reliable antivirus software in the market. When it comes to security issues and protecting your valuable documents, it's not advisable to stinge on a fake copy. You may end up with more damages to your computer files and face the potential danger of investment losses!

• This is a sponsored post

My Christmas wishlist

I have a big wishlist for 'Santa' this Christmas. I have been longing for a MacPro for months. My 4 year old iBook needs a serious upgrading and I'm tired of handling speed issues when I try downloading a video file. But due to the weak ringgit currency, the new MacPro is priced at a whopping RM8,000 and up! That is a heavy investment for a home 'laptop'. But you need to be an Apple user to really understand why I still insist on a Apple platform.

While I'm justifying on why I need a MacPro, one other software I would invest along with this cool, sleek, powerful machine is a copy of the Norton AntiVirus 2007 download. We all know the importance of keeping our files and documents FREE from unknown viruses and worms. This is of great importance if you are an ardent surfer like myself. With so many social marketing options these days, I can get as many as 100 spam emails a day!

Let's face it, Norton AntiVirus is the most reliable antivirus software in the market. When it comes to security issues and protecting your valuable documents, it's not advisable to stinge on a fake copy. You may end up with more damages to your computer files and face the potential danger of investment losses!

• This is a sponsored post

A Singapore Trip Report 1

It was a good trip home even though it was just 3 days.

People seem to marvel at my courage to travel alone with a toddler. Well, what they don't know is that I do get a little nervous at times. Was it easy? No, it wasn't :) But will I do it again? Oh yes, I will.

I started taking Clayton on a trip singlehandedly when he was 3 months old. It was scary. I didn't know what to expect then. It was stressful. But I did it and it didn't stop there! Baby Bjorn was a great travelling companion.

Travelling with Clayton in a coach to Singapore had always been a breeze in his first year. It got tougher when he was 18mths, when he 'discovered' his legs. He wouldn't sit still and would attempt to get down the seat. I could recall those stressful moments of constant struggle with him and I didn't enjoy it.

However, this trip was a breezy one. He was a fantastic passenger. Other than hopping from my seat to his, getting busy with the seat buckle, he would just meddle with the mini TV in front of him and occasionally tried to slide down the seat. But I had no complaints.

Infact, we had alot of fun watching our fun videos via the digital camera, singing, reading, taking photos, pointing to the sights along the way. The most enjoyable moment for me was his nap time.

This was a great trip. I like the Christmas theme in Singapore this year, more reports in the next few postings. I had some sinful indulgence. Finally got my Bzero1 ring and splurged on a Loewe bag - oops!

Clayton had a lovely time catching up with his godpa and my mum; I got to chill out at Le Salon for my long awaited haircut while Clayton enjoyed his playtime at Garage @ventures - what a find! Life would be easier previously if I know about this 'shop and drop' place for mums like me who need to run errands!

Clayton has finally learnt how to utter 'godpa' and that must be sweet to the ears.

I only wish I can spend the entire Christmas in Singapore with close ones next year.

25 December, 2006

Thank you party

Last week we attended a 'Thank You' party hosted by The Sun media, Malaysia's only Free paper. The party was held at a new convention centre near Mont Kiara.

As soon as we stepped into the foyer of the ballroom, the invited guests were all mingling and chatting away. This was a large gathering of advertising, marketing and PR people coming together for a night of great fun.

We met few business associates at the party and it was nice catching up on a social basis, other than the usual business meetings. I'm not that sort who love social parties but this is a one that I can't say 'no' to. It is nice meeting Edward again, regional marketing director of The Edge Communications. This is one important guy in the company but a real friendly, sincere, casual and gorgeous chap.

The night ended with lots of empty Heineken bottles on the tables (that was the main beer served during the party) and the roast lamb was one of the best I had eaten! The most enjoyable performance that evening was a fashion show put up by the management team of The Sun. All the models were so sporting and were anytime better than the professional ones you see on TV!

24 December, 2006

Christmas Nostalgia

I just got back from Singapore.

This is Christmas eve and somehow this is always a special day to me.

I used to roam about til wee hours of the morning celebrating this special night with a few close friends. I'm missing those days of shopping for the most stylish attire, a 'tradition' that I observed for years. It was fun planning and deciding on colour coordination.

Then it was the Christmas carolling that I often miss. I recalled staging a mega Christmas eve performance with Dayna, my good friend 15 years ago, with a big group of children. Yea, I was only 21 and staging 'Friendship Company' by Sandi Patti was so memorable and a huge achievement for both of us. Those kids who staged the show with us are now teenagers and working executives! How time flies!

Then again, those were the good, ol days... and I am truly glad I had such great and fond memories with different groups of friends and sharing spendid moments with different ones.

This is another year of Christmas in Kuala Lumpur. At least, I get to 'feel' the Christmas spirit this year in Singapore - just a little. It was a busy time in downtown Singapore but I'm crazy enough to 'enjoy' it. This is because I miss the Christmas ambience. I think I'm having this sense of nostalgia. Perhaps, I'm not getting younger.

But I'm counting my blessings tonight that Clayton has added much fun this Christmas. He was humming the words and tune of 'Jingle Bells' earlier. Though he could only say 'Jangle Bell, Jangle Bell, Jangle Bell...... Hey!' It was so much fun. I couldn't helped but hugged him tight and laughed.

Christmas is special because of these precious moments. It is made of thoughts that linger deep in our hearts and minds.

Wishing all of you reading this blog a blessed Christmas filled with special thoughts and wonderful moments.

23 December, 2006

Christmas in Singapore

I'm writing this from my hometown, Singapore... been a dreamed desire to be here during this festive period.

Christmas just isn't the same as in KL... so much LIFE here!

Well, I'm using a public library's computer so I'll the reports till I get back...

21 December, 2006

Tips on SEO

I considered myself a newbie in the internet business. For the past few months, I have been reading, researching and exchanging information with like-minded individuals. I had also attended a couple of internet seminars. The information I gathered and the knowledge shared by some top internet marketers have opened up new opportunities for me.

Lately, I have been thinking hard about increasing traffic to my sites. There are many suggestions and talk on how to increase search engine traffic. I came across a simple 3-step formula by Chris Sandberg. There are some bits of insights shared which are quite new to me. One of things I learnt (which is quite different from what I was told) is to 'focus' on one keyword phrase per page instead of having too many. Another important thing to note is to obtain links that are related to your topic and not just focus on sites with high page-rank value.

This is definitely an article I would refer to in the next few month to increase search engine traffic.

The birth of your home office

Do you know what is a blog carnival?

It's very much like a discussion group where anyone can share articles and information pertaining to the topic of discussion.

I'm hosting a blog carnival - The birth of your home office. The carnival will feature on WAH Women stories. Basically, the article should include sharing on how your home office began, the successes, the challenges faced, and visions.

I'm excited about this carnival... looking forward to hear wonderful stories from different ones.

20 December, 2006

Remedy for Gout

I know of several close friends who have gout problems, one of them is my dear brother-in-law and the other, my one and only professor who supervised me during my postgraduate days.

This seems to be a 'painful' disease. I had seen both of them limping in discomforts and agony when gout hits them! I used to offer the advice of drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with honey in a glass of water. But no everyone enjoys the taste of that concoction.

As an advocate of natural and alternative medicine, I always recommend 'all natural' treatments - if possible. Long-term use of drugs, painkillers and steroids can lead to harmful side effects and lead to potential dangers.

Apparently, there is an 'all natural' remedy known as Goutinol in the market. It promises positive results with NO negative side effects. Formulated with natural ingredients, it helps to fortifies your blood while it clears the uric acid out of your body fast.

I believe this is worth a try compared to expensive and harmful drugs.

Online dating - Anyone?

Eversince spending alot more time surfing, I have come across quite a few online dating sites.

Looking back, I never really enjoyed dating. Why? It sent me cold feet! Me? Cold feet? Oh Yes! My friends will laugh if they read this. But the truth is I did get nervous those days and didn't quite like thinking hard about what outfit to wear, what shoes, what to say... I was - shy!

Due to my outgoing nature, I have to 'hide' this shy side by appearing cool before my dates and pretend I'm all fine. Somehow, this 'cold feet' syndrome diminished with age and dating became more natural, fun and exciting!

Back to online dating sites, there is one with a catchy and friendly name: justsayhi.
I checked out the site (just for fun) and apparently, it is free! Besides, it has a casual, lighthearted and friendly homepage. It says, "No gimmicks, no tricks". You can meet thousands of individuals, view their profiles and have fun browsing. Well, just be selective and choose carefully and if he or she is not your type - move on. After all, it's a free online dating site. You don't have to worry about what to wear on the 'first date'.

19 December, 2006

The birth of a home office carnival

I just created a logo for my upcoming carnival on 'The birth of a home office '. More updates coming up...

Internet Interuptions!

I'm getting frustrated. The internet has been up and down since Sunday... this is affecting lots of my plans.

No thanks to our internet provider, they are slow in completing their upgrading and maintenance. Or they should, out of courtesy, inform subscribers of their plans. At least, we can plan our work schedule accordingly.

Arrghh... due to this, I was late in making some paid posts too!

How's your colon health?

Few years ago, I embarked on a 7 day detox program (for the first time ever). and that was also the beginning of my alternative health pursuit.

Other than fitness and general nutrition and health matters, I have never come closer to a deeper understanding of how important a clean colon can affect my health. Then I come to know that colon cancer is one of the biggest killers in this world. The colon is an often neglected part of the human body by most of us. Yet, it is one of the leading cause of chronic illnesses.

There are many remedies and formulas out there to help keep the colon health in check. It is important to eat the right foods. Consume a good portion of fruits and vegetables everyday. Limit your intake of meats and processed foods are some quick reminders.

Drinking enough water (more than 8 glasses) is also helpful to maintain a healthy colon.

You can also look into colon cleansing formulas such as Almighty Cleanse for a powerful yet gentle way to keep your colon clean and healthy.

The Almighty Cleanse uses a '2-part system' to help regulate and purify your digestive tract. This is a simple and effective way to help get rid off the impurities and fecal matter that has built up on your intestinal walls over time. Results can be seen in 7 days!

*This is a sponsored post

Does your computer have an infection?

You just read my post on 'Fighting infections'. What about our computers or labtops?

Have your computer experienced an 'infection', or more commonly known as a 'virus'?

I'm sure this is not new to most of us who are surfers. I'm not sure about you but whenever I open my mailbox every morning, I would receive at least more than 10 'spam' or unknown mails. From past experience, I would delete them right away.

My husband accidentally opened an email years ago and that act cost him money and the hassle to reboot the entire operating system. Since, he invested in an antivirus software in the market. He wouldn't take any chances to loose any important documents.

In Malaysia, pirated software is easily available. But when it comes to protecting your computer and files, I strongly recommend a genuine copy. It's just not worth the risk.

18 December, 2006

Fighting infections

My immune system has been terribly compromised the last two years. I have tried several ways to stay strong. The trouble is when Clayton falls sick, I'm proned to pick up the infection. It has been depressing at times, especially when you hear comments like, "You got a cold again?"

With a rhinitis history, I tend to fall prey to respiratory ailments. So the only way is to keep infections at bay by being more informed in health matters. Being an advocate in natural and alternative health methods, I prefer to see a doctor only when necessary.

According to one of Britain's leading nutritional author, Patrick Holford, here are some tips on fighting an infection:

• Avoid oily and 'heavy' foods. Eat lightly.Protein is necessary to build immune cells.

• Keep warm. The immune system works better in a warm environment.

• Avoid dairy if your infection is mucus-related

• Increase your Vitamin C intake

• Drink's cat's claw tea, add ginger, echinacea and take garlic.

• If it's a cold, consider taking Sambucol, 4 times a day

• Take grapefruit seed extract (10 drops) if you have a bacterial, fungal or parasitical infection.

• Know what infection it is. Consult your doctor if you are not better within five days

Get Active - Exercise!

I used to be an exercise ‘freak’ before I became a mum. I’m familiar with gym classes and going to the gym was part of my lifestyle.

Somehow, parenting commitments have affected my fitness priorities and I am still working on fitting a gym class into my current schedule.

Research has shown that your longevity is increased by two hours for every hour of exercise. Isn’t that powerful? I am a believer of being active and regular exercise. It helps lift my spirit up, improves my mood and most of all, keeps me healthy.

And I even read that exercise helps to eliminate constipation!

The benefits of exercise are more than this post can contain. To name some to keep in mind:

• It produces stronger bones, ligaments and tendons

• Enhances posture, posie and physique

• Strengthens heart functions

• Improves oxygen delivery throughout the body

• Lowers blood pressure

• Reduces heart disease risk

• Prevents osteoporosis

• Improves immune function

• Helps lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides

• Increases endurance and energy levels

• Helps reduce tension and anxiety

• Relaxes and improves sleep

Going to a gym seems to be a 'trendy' thing lately. Lots of fitness centres have opened up in the last 3 years. Big names such as Fitness First and California fitness, and the latest hype, yoga centres.

A good friend of mine just signed up a personal training course to get all trimmed for her wedding next May. Personal training isn't a new thing among fitness women these days. And this is especially ideal for anyone struggling to lose weight or needed someone to offer motivation and professional training guidance.

Apart from exercise, diet is equally important if you are working towards losing weight.

For exercise to be truly effective and enjoyable, it must not be a ‘burden’. Find something fun to do. Enjoy it! It doesn’t need to be vigorous. Focus on the word: Activity, not exercise.

*This is a sponsored post.

The launch of www. homeofficewomen.com

It's been many nights of careful thinking and days of waiting. I always want to create this site because it is close to my heart.

Finally, I have a place for all women with home offices to share, care, motivate, empower, teach, learn and support each other. I have come across many sites of similar nature and they are great models for me. I learn so much and I'm still discovering and networking with many other wonderful women out there, who took the courage and venture into this journey.

will feature stories of women who work from home and they may or may not have any online businesses. You will also find articles and contributions from different individuals.

If you are a woman with a home office, come join our network. I invite you to be part of this community where we can grow together during our time here on this earth.

As the site is still new, do drop me a comment if you like to be included in this community.

Listening... Learning... Living

Last Friday in our home fellowship Christmas party, I was busy sharing with everyone about the fun of blogging.

I could see that many were surprised with some blogging facts and many have misconceptions about the blogosphere. Well, I always hope that more of my friends blog on a regular basis. I know of few who have inactive blogs.

I suppose many people have insufficient understanding of the world of blogging. A friend says she doesn't blog because she doesn't want anyone to read about her private life. But who says you need to talk about who you used to go out with, or those nose-digging habits you have?

Anyone, I am truly glad that I managed to inspire a great friend, also a spiritual counsellor to me, to start a blog. He's got a story to tell and I can't wait to read more. "A retiree and full-time care-giver to his handicapped wife. Have neither silver nor gold"... you ought to know him.

Good on you, 'Jangbokjae'!

Add fun to your Christmas cards

I usually hand-made my Christmas cards for close family members and friends. Being a designer at heart, I like to add a personal touch to what I send. Besides, I have a huge collection of fancy papers and material in my cupboard.

I do enjoy sending out eCards too. Let's admit it, we can't send a paper card to all our friends. These days, cards don't come cheap. Besides, I have this bad habit of posting late. So eCards are convenient and equally effective.

There are a few online greeting cards which I frequently use. But I came across another interesting site while browsing through some online Christmas Cards.

The ecards at Jokeroo.com are generally humorous and funny. I'm sure these cards will add alot more jest and fun to this holiday season. This would be definitely something different from the usual traditional and heart-warming greeting I send every year.

Or perhaps you may want to surprise your friend with a funny video. There is a wide selection of videos and even online games. And besides christmas cards, there are cards for other special occasions.

So be different this Christmas, send some humour along with these cool cards!

17 December, 2006

The true meaning of Christmas

As we deck the halls with boughs of holly, do we take time to think about what Christmas really means?

On the religious end, for we Christians, we are reminded of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, who was born in a manger more than 2000 years ago. The familiar tunes of Away in a manger, Silent night, Joy to the world are so commonly heard year after year.

Of course, it's a time of gift sharing and family get-together for many of us. And for some, it's a wonderful time of clubbing, drinking, chilling out with buddies.

Amidst all these, what is Christmas to those who would never have the chance to receive their first gift or eat the first Christmas fruit cake. Christmas is just another day for some who may be patiently waiting for their next meal.

It's always good to ponder, to stop for a while amidst the music, lights, preparations, parties... it's good to count our blessings, even when we think we have little compared to some.

May your Christmas be more meaningful than ever before.

16 December, 2006

The blessing of being a WAHM

I have been work at home mom since 2003. And life couldn't be better since.

Though I have to balance between the distractions of home and the load of work I have to accomplish, it's still better than being stuck in the traffic jam at 8am in the morning.

Well, it's not just about the traffic... it's actually time savings. If you live in Kuala Lumpur, you know what I mean. This urban city is known for peak hour traffic and you are likely to be caught in the traffic for 2 hours when a truck breaks down or a heavy downpour.

Working in my P.J. is just another added bonus but I prefer to be neatly dressed - it's a psychological thing. You tend to be more focused! I value productivity and working at home allows to accomplish much more in the day.

The most rewarding of all for me now as a Work-At-Home-Mom is the ability to spend quality time with Clayton, my 2 year old. Nothing is better than watching him grow and being there for him. Yes, there are challenges of striking the balancing act. You can't avoid frustrations and temptations but hey, you are the master of your own time.

Protecting our little ones

As parents, we fear the worst for our children. We see an imperfect world, where strangers and circumstances can discourage, frighten, harm, or endanger our little ones. But kids need not be plagued with thoughts of a dangerous world, and parents shouldn’t feel the need to create a protective bubble around them. The best defense is to empower kids with a boost of confidence and how-to-deal skills when facing possible dangers.

But where do we draw the line of protecting and letting go?

That's a tough decision, isn't it.

Last minute Christmas greetings

It's one more week to Christmas. Have you send out your greetings?

We had a home fellowship Christmas gathering yesterday night. It has been along while since I last joined the group since I became a mum. It was nice catching up with different ones and of course, the food was yummy. We had the best curry chicken, rendang beef, thai glass noodle salad, durian cake and some thai delicacies.

This is the time of the year where I take time to buy some gifts and send some cards. It's a wonderful feeling to how my gifts bring smiles to close friends. Besides, I enjoy gift-giving, I really do. And for those whom I've forgotten to greet, I usually send them eCards. After all, it is the thought that counts, right?

Animated cards are popular these days and they add alot of fun and cheer. I was browsing through some free Christmas ecards and there were some really cool and funny ones from egreetings.

One of my favourites called 'Smell like Christmas' shows three reindeers having a 'gassy' Christmas. I was having a nice laugh when the little guy on the card 'passed out'! That was cute. And if you have a friend who loves music, there's a card of three oversized gals rapping their way in a creative jingle and catchy tune. This one is rather funny too.

egreetings is offering a FREE 30 days trial now so it's not too late to cheer someone up with an ecard. Compared to buying paper cards, it is so affordable to just invest $13.99 for the membership and you send unlimited greetings for a year. What's nice about it is a reminder service that helps you remember when a greeting should be sent. Members can schedule an ecard to be sent on a specific occasion, that means you won't missed out an important date.

Well, take some time this Christmas and send some laughs.

15 December, 2006

It's a time of giving. It's Christmas time!

I just got back from a little Christmas shopping a while ago. This is my first Christmas shopping trip as I have been avoiding the traffic at those popular malls.

I like Mid Valley City as compared to One U this year because of the beautiful decorations and the delightful Christmas mock-ups of Gingerbread houses, Big Bold figurines, dazzling lights and tower-tall Christmas trees. I'm slapping myself for leaving my camera behind. It's so attractive for children and even adults!

Christmas is special, it's sweet, and a season I look forward to it every year. I love shopping for Christmas gifts and I enjoy the Christmas spirit. Actually, I would prefer spending Christmas in Singapore if I have a choice.

I bought a gift for my niece and that was all I had time for... time flies so fast when you are in a huge mall!

I have some overseas friends and instead of mailing them gifts, which is what I used to do, I resort to buying online gift hampers since last year. I think it's a great idea because it saves me the worry of late arrivals and gifts lost in the mail.

I just sent made an online Christmas hamper order from anAustralia gift site to a close couple friend in Perth last week. And it was so convenient, affordable and it saved me postage time and risks too.

I have few close relatives who live in California and each year, we would just send them Christmas cards because it was just too costly to send gifts (esp heavy ones) to the U.S.

Then I came across this online gift site which stocked lots of lovely gift baskets. I thought that would be a fantastic idea to ensure my US cousins get more than just a card this year!

What is great is the wonderful selection of gift ideas, from Cakes, to gift baskets, to flowers, even gourmet foods/meals. I can send now food gifts without worrying about freshness and custom regulations.

They say 'Pictures speak a thousand words' and that's what you can find in the website. There are photos of the items so you know what you are ordering. Besides, there are gifts which are below $20 if you have a budget to consider. Buy More & Save!! Use coupon code "buymore" get save 5% on your order.

Well, I'm beginning to work out my recipients' list now that I found this great U.S. gift site.

Parenting Challenges

Whoever said parenting was easy must be daft or has not experienced being a parent at all.

Child rearing is a continuous process and does not stop even after the child decides to move out of the house when he or she turns eighteen. Even with years, centuries, and millennia worth of experience, nobody can still determine what parenting methods work and what do not. Parenting is unique to every setup and to every child and remains as unfathomable as ever.

With this nature, the best we can do is to prepare ourselves for a bumpy ride and cross our fingers that we rear people who will be significant contributors to society.

We don’t own our children. We’re merely here to teach them the ways of life as we know it so that they succeed and survive gracefully in theirs.

Every stage of child development promises a new of challenges and experiences. One of the emerging challenges that parents face today is the exposure of drugs among growing children, from adolescents to teenagers.

What do you do when you have a child who is struggling with drugs and peer influence? Sadly, some parents do not take time to provide solace for their children and they ended up with more trouble. I believe this calls for the importance of proper education, empowerment, providing hope and the ability to make healthy choices.

14 December, 2006

Send your love with an ecard

Most of us have heard of ecards. And I believe we have been a recipient or sender from time to time.

I just received a belated birthday ecard 2 weeks ago from a good friend from Singapore. Though it was an ecard, though it was late but it was nice to be remembered.

Personally, I send ecards using a few providers and one of which is American Greetings. I like it here because this is a great 'One Stop' place for birthday ecards. Besides, you can choose cards from different category, from special occasions to invitations and also printables. They even have a reminder service to save you any embarassment for forgetting a birthday or special day.

It can be described as your "One Stop" shop for birthdays. I had used many websites but what I like about this one is the quick downloading time and it is so easy to navigate on the page.

There are different sorts of birthday ecards, you name it, you find it! Animated, Funny, Over the Hill, Romantic, Religious... etc and some of them are FREE. You can even customise the cards and get them printed!

But let's face it. Some of our friends still prefer a paper card. At Amercian Greetings, you can also find a wide range of paper cards for any occasion, whether it is thanksgiving day, friendship day or just a simple 'thank you' to someone special.

If you are throwing a baby shower party or anniversary celebration, check out the nicely-designed invites too.

What I find interesting is the Photo ecard, as well as the FREE desktop calendar. With that, you can mark down every special occasion and birthdays of your family and friends.

Television & Children

Television today is still a “baby sitter” both for adults and preschoolers. When people are bored or simply want to rest, they watch TV. Some are not really interested to watch at all. They need the TV to put them to sleep. As soon as you turn it off, they wake up.

With the remote control, watching TV can be a dizzying experience. I get confused with what characters go with what plot. What with that mysterious hand switching channels during commercial breaks, you find yourself following several shows at the same time. Sometimes you have to shout, “stop!” and confiscate the remote control. “Please decide which program you want and stick to it”.

Somehow, this remote switching syndrome is a man's favourite past-time. Believe it or not, it's a way of de-stressing for some.

When it comes to exposing kids to the habit of TV watching, we parents ought to be a little informed and carefully in our choices for our little ones.

One of the positive developments in local TV is the emergence of talk shows discussing current issues as well as TV-magazine formats. For mothers, “Sesame Street” is heaven-sent. You can put the little tykes in front of the TV (at least 4 “rulers” away – instructions to the little ones) and have a little break from mothering.

Clayton grew up with the Einstein series and I am thankful that he's learning alot from the programs.

Til today, Clayton is seldom exposed to cartoons. This is because violence even in cartoons is the order of the day. You see Bugs Bunny hammered on the head or blown to pieces by Sam his Enemy No. 1 or Road Runner running over the coyote. Tom and Jerry and now their sons slug it out; and of course, the Japanese robots and the superheroes in the endless fight between good and evil.

The crucial thing about TV is, it is a powerful medium. Repetitious subliminal messages are being exploited by advertisements that target kids. They are mesmerized by commercials. Cigarette and liquor ads suggest, “It is good to smoke and drink” without warning about its dangers. They often show images of sophisticated living.

So, take heed and be wise.

13 December, 2006

Power-Packed Fruits

Some interesting facts you may like to know about which fruits are more 'powerful' than others:

Mango - Packed with lots of healthy Vitamin A, higher than a papaya
Watermelon - Contains more lycopene than tomatoes. Lycopene is a cancer-fighting phytochemical
Grape - The seeds and skins of this little fruit are high in polyphenols, a form of antioxidant that helps to fight against diseases
Orange - High in vitamin C and contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which aids to fight against diseases.

Passionfruit, Apple & Pear - Ensure healthy bowels, passionfruit tops your apple and pear for that.

Banana - Packed with lots of potassium which fights a range of ills from osteoporosis, stroke, hypertension, kidney stones, fatigue and constipation.

Apricot, Cantaloupe Melon - Contains high amounts of beta-carotene, which helps to boost immunity.

Guava - With 150mg of Vitamin C, 3x more than oranges, high in fibre and potassium too.

Have you been Schmoozing?

OK, first thing first - do you know what on earth is 'Schmoozing'?

Honestly, I didn't know about this term til I read an article few weeks ago.

Very simply, it means 'connecting and communicating', more than just 'small talk'. I believe many of us are caught in a situation where we need to make small talk to people we meet in parties, business meetings, social gatherings and perhaps just in the office.

Accroding to 'Vault Guide to Schmoozing', schmoozing is 'noticing people, connecting with them, keep in touch iwth them - and benefiting from relationships with them'.

This is a skill to be mastered in a 'mutually productive and pleasurable way', 'half chatter, half exploration'.

It sounds simple yet we find that it's a skill that requires much practice, effort and sincerity.

To get started, put on a sincere smile when you meet someone - not a obliging or weak superficial one.

Take interest in the person you are talking to. Don't talk with the intention to get something out of it. Enjoy the conversation.

Listening is a skill we must all master to be liked. By listening attentively, you can take the conversation further and find more common grounds.

Follow up with an email, sms or phone call if you have had a wonderful time with our new acquaintance. But don't be a 'hustler'. Respect your acquaintance.

So now that you know what Schmoozing is, connecting with someone will become easier and more meaningful.

My Favourite Online Jewelry Store

I love shopping online. I had bought lots of stuff online, from books to designer bags to diamond earrings! That was how I first got to know Blue Nile, the largest online store for certified diamonds and fine jewelry.

I had bought a 'Tiffany look-alike' white gold bracelet and a pair of diamond earrings (also Tiffany look-alike)from this fabulous online store. All thanks to my brother-in-law and cousin, they graciously brought them to me during their visits to Kuala Lumpur. I only wish Blue Nile delivers internationally.

If you are looking for a Christmas gift (for yourself or a loved one), there is a host of Blue Nile deals you can check on. You can even buy your favourite jewelry using coupon codes.

To find out more about buying with coupons and coupon codes, check out: www.couponchief.com

12 December, 2006

Cool website for babies, toddlers and growing children

I'm not sure about you but I'm a regular online shopper since becoming a mum. Oh well, it all started from purchasing online maternity clothes when I was expecting little Clayton.

I've constantly on the search for good mother-friendly and kids-friendly websites from online toy store, to nursing clothes to children's chemical-free skin-care.

I'll be featuring some of my favourites in the next few days... since Christmas is just around the corner, some of you may be looking for online gifts too!

One cool mothers and kids website I would recommend is 'Whoopeekiddies.com' from Singapore. They stock lots of natural skin and body care products such as California Baby, Badger Balm, Mother of Eden, Burt's Bees, to name a few. You can even find thousands of children's books (Bilingual), parenting books, Bible story books, Flash cards, diapers and audio CDs.

I think it's a fantastic place to shop for gifts, save the trouble of traffic and 'human' jam this Christmas season. Moreover, you may not find lots of these products in your local stores (Singapore and Malaysia).

One of the fabulous thing about this website is they do their best to keep the delivery costs low. I bought a book recently and it was sent to me without no delivery charges - what service!

One of my favourites - Burt's Bees Doctor Burt's Res-Q Ointment. Effective for bumps, bruises, burns, stings and scrapes need Doctor Burt's green goodness. A great must-have in your handbag. Not forgetting the range of California Baby's bath products.

Well, I'm not an affiliate, neither I am a part-owner of this site. I'm just doing this in support of WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mum) businesses.

Check it for more gift ideas!

11 December, 2006

Acupuncture and Cupping

I've been in pain the past few days. I had no idea what exactly caused it but for the 1st time, I had so much trouble with my left back. It became so bad that I couldn't even lie flat on my back!

For a moment, I was going to seek a chiropractor, then a neurologist. I thought there was some bone adjustments needed or there may be something wrong with my nervous system.

Then I got a word of wisdom from my good friend, Tracy to seek help from this doctor who specialises in acupuncture.

In case you don't know what 'Acupuncture' is. Here is the definition found in Wikipedia:

ncture (from Lat. acus, "needle" (noun), and pungere, "prick" (verb)) or in Standard Mandarin, zhēn jiǔ (針灸, needle therapy) is a technique of inserting and manipulating needles into "acupuncture points" on the body. According to acupunctural teachings this will restore health and well-being, and is particularly good at treating pain. For more information on Acupuncture, click right here.

Well, I can't recall undergoing this sort of treatment before but this doctor by the name of Dr Yuan is one experienced Chinese lady, hailed all the way from Beijing. She checked and 'fixed' me up within an hour with those fine needles and glass cups (which looks like glass jars!). I felt a quick relief right away!

This is another TCM treatment known as 'cupping'. Wikipedia defines it as:

"Fire cupping (拔罐) is a method of applying acupressure by creating a vacuum next to the patient's skin. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) it involves placing glass, plastic, or bamboo cups on the skin with a vacuum. The therapy is used to relieve what is called "stagnation" in TCM terms, and is used in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as the common cold, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Cupping is also used to treat back, neck, shoulder, and other musculoskeletal pain. Its advocates claim it has other applications as well. To read more about this interesting treatment, click here.

Ok... I felt like I was 'sucked' by vacuum cups all over my back and legs and shoulders. Not a nice feeling but I know it's beneficial to drawing out 'wind' and toxins from my body. It was scary when I see the lit candle so I would pretend it wasn't there!

Well, Dr Yuan wasn't too pleased with my hectic lifestyle and late nights. This was a painful but comforting visit cos I knew I was on the road of recovery when I stepped out of that door.

Ok... I was supposed to be asleep an hour ago - Dr Yuan's advice!

08 December, 2006

Bang for your Buck!

Most of us love to travel but going on a holiday can be costly unless you do some careful planning. Here are some ways to save:

• Airfare
Compare carrier: Unless you are going on a package tour, you can save quite a bit by choosing the right airline to fly with. The carrier you chose can vary between S$200-S$500. Look out for promotional prices and travel fairs.

Direct flights usually cost more than those with stopovers. But don't forget that you will waste more time for transits or stopovers.

Flying by day or night can also determine a price difference. Depending on destinations, some carriers charge more for night flights than day ones.

Peak or off-peak? As we all know, peak periods (school holidays or holiday season) can be dearer. You can save about $300 when flying on non-peak periods.

• Accommodation
Spending your nights in a three-star would cost less than a five-star hotel. Chances are, you won't be spending that much time in the luxurious room. Check on last minute deals (ratestogo.com or wotif.com) which can be cheaper than usual. Tip: Avoid doing this during peak season. Last minute deals mean you can't book way way ahead.

• Sightseeing
If you are on budget, choose a package where everything is included.Travel agents can get better rates with no hidden costs. However, all-sights inclusive option can mean lesser flexibility.

I learn about this fantastic website from Creamaid called Luggage Online which actually has '50 Best Sites Which You've Probably Never Heard Of'. You can find all sorts of resources in these listed sites when planning for your next vacation. You can read about real travellers' experiences, view photos of your desired destination, compare hotel prices, search for information, plan your itinerary from these sites. There is something for EVERYONE - backpacker to vegan traveller!

I think this is an amazing resource, a bookmark every traveller msut keep!

Organic Bread - Made of Passion

I promise to post this in my blog.

I've been an organic food follower for the past few years. It all started when I did my first 7 day detox in 2002. I'm really thankful to live around a few organic shops and this makes eating organic alot easier and more convenient.

Many friends often jeered at me with the nickname of being an organic freak. But I honestly don't care. What matters to me most is what I put into my mouth and since I became a mum, into my son's mouth.

What you DON'T get from buying organic:
1) Synthetic pesticides and chemical toxins
2) Artificial preservatives (flavourings, colourings)
3) Genetically modified ingredients
4) Artificial food made in the lab (without real food ingredients)
5) Irradiation

Last Sunday, I was shopping in Bangsar Village and as I passed by Country Farms Organics, I noticed a white bearded man arranging some bread. I walked closer and recognised that he's none other than the passionate baker, Mr Mustaffa, with his wife, Mardia!

I have been consuming bread by Mustaffa and Mardia so was so thrilled to meet the baker in person. You may be thinking what's the big deal about the bread. Do you know that this couple grind organic wheat for each baking day just prior to mixing the dough?

That means you get alot more out of the bread (enzymes and nutrients, including vitamins and minerals naturally present in whole wheat grain). Their mill uses natural stone which means the wheat does not get hot and nutrients are retained, unlike high speed industrial mills.

No wonder it's called Bread 'Made of Passion!'

07 December, 2006

A vacation made smooth...

Are you always in charge of planning for any family or group vacation? I am. And I enjoy it! Planning for a vacation can be real exciting and fun. And one of things I love most is to check out and decide on accommodation!

Since I completed our first family holiday site few months ago, I have also been an active forum contributor to some travel sites.

Contributing to the forum allows me to help others as well as offer my unbiased comments and feedback. Over the months, I also observed that most tourists/travelers tend to ask some common questions at the forum. Questions such as;
What to do and see?
Where to stay?
Reliable recommendations of rental car or campervan companies
Where to eat?
Any 'must dos'
Itinerary suggestions and help

The truth is the internet has made it so easy and convenient for us to gather all these information before we travel to any country. What most people are after are reliable information from 'real travellers'. Nobody wants to make a 'mistake' on a vacation!

I stumbled upon a cool site called ' 50 Sites You've Probably Never Heard of' that can provide ALL information for anyone planning for his next holiday. Yes, '50 sites'! I checked out a few of them, a couple of which I have been using in my itinerary planning. And you gotta to be kidding if you can't find the information you want from these 50 sites!

So don't forget to bookmark it and use it for your next vacation planning.

06 December, 2006


A little hard to believe but I was indeed 36 yesterday.

The earliest birthday greeting came from an old friend whom I know for almost 20 years, someone who made up a chapter of my life. It was a lovely surprise.

I'm so thankful for those other 'old' buddies of mine who remembered that I turned a year older. It was nice to receive those text messages and phone calls. I don't know what life would be like without friends!

It was a little disappointing that the dream I had few nights ago didn't come true - it was just another 'real' dream (sigh!) I dreamt that Alex took me to Lixon's shop for a surprise treat! For those of you who know Lixon, you should guess what the surprise was.

It was dinner at Deli.cious. Not fancy but friendly. Clayton was well-behaved til the last bit - that was still good.

I've decided to prepare a wishlist in 2007 - no more excuses from Alex for not getting me a gift on those special occasions. I hate to cry on special days...

5 things I like to do in the next 5 years:
• Learn horse-riding in Australia
• Take up jazz singing (not in KL...)
• Have a profitable internet biz (I still like to WFH)
• Take my mum for a holiday & treat my brother's family to one
• Send Clayton for swimming lessons (he can't make the same mistake as me)
• Walk on Waikiki beach again
• Travel to Europe

That's all I can think for now.

Turning 36, I'll like to be wiser, healthier, calmer, kinder, happier and younger.

03 December, 2006

New Zealand Nostalgia

I loaded some of our New Zealand photos on my desktop one year ago. Last night, I was looking at the photos flashing on the screen and I couldn't helped but missed this beautiful country.

Clean air, awesome views, lovely scenery, friendly people, great outdoors... such serenity and peace.

Most of all, I saw Clayton's chubby face and realised he's grown in this one year. He's talking so much these days... he can even utter 'ai yo' and 'Oh No!' when something happened. It was hard to get angry with him when he yelled out those remarks.

Having him in New Zealand with us on our first family holiday was memorable and plain enjoyable.

Looking back, it was a great decision to holiday in great New Zealand.

See you again. Kia Ora.

02 December, 2006

Have you seen a McD Airplane

We spotted this cool looking airplane during our visit to Taupo, New Zealand. Can't help but think about how creative McDonalds is!

Growing up with McD in mind, from my old time favourites, McChicken to Fillet-O-Fish, I still think the hotcakes at McD breakfast is unbeatable! And those yummy chocolate sundaes... o yes, I'm drooling!

As I grow a little 'older', these fond memories of McD have just become part of my childhood experiences. Which child doesn't know what McD is?

Emm.. when is your last McD experience?