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

30 April, 2008

an entrepreneur journey

Nowadays, it is easy to find a franchise opportunity if you are all set to become your own boss. From selling donuts to sandwiches, pretzels to ice-cream, starting a franchise means you can ride on an existing brand name and build your business. DH used to own a franchise but after five years of toil and struggles, he decided to call it a day. The high overheads including rental cost and expensive franchise fees had made it very hard to break even and sustain the business. Though it was a challenging journey, the lessons learned had been valuable for him. At least, he had become wiser and less idealistic after this experience.

labour's day outing tomorrow

Like adults, kids do look forward to holidays. Somehow, they know that holidays mean an activity away from the norm - such as going to the mall, bookstore, their favourite places, playground..etc. I ought to visit the IT mall for a new mouse tomorrow and hubby would need new hdmi cables for the office. I know Clayton is hoping to go to the bookstore and that's a good sign for me :) He's also not one of those kids who want to buy everything they see in the store so I'm not that worried.

Heard that google update is here again... and yes, this blog is still a zero... when is my PR coming back - boohoohoo!

we just gotta slap ourselves!

Hubby and myself had to slap ourselves for leaving our camera behind on Clayton's first stage performance last sunday. It was a BaoBei Mandarin Class concert and it was also our first school function appearance!

We couldn't wait for him to perform and my, were we proud of him! He was dancing and singing with his classmates and it was even cuter cos he was the smallest boy! I know that medals and prizes meant alot to kids especially if for the boys, their soccer trophies will mean alot to them in their growing years. Clayton was awarded a medal for completing 7 sets of Chinese flash cards and all I did was to snap a photo with my 2 Megapix phone. Now I have another reason to get a 5 megapix camera phone - for emergencies like this!!

29 April, 2008

accessorizing your room

One of my favourite past times is to read home and living magazines cos I always like to gather creative ideas from pictures and articles. When accessorizing your room, remember that less is more. Choose neutral colors and accent with colorful textured throws, rugs, and other decorative and artistic elements. Keep the balance of your room in perspective. You don't want to overwhelm a small room with large, bold pieces, nor do you want to place smaller, neutral pieces in a large room where they'll get lost.

If you're working with used furniture, try distracting from worn upholstery or a faded finish by using colorful toss pillows or table runners. Bright curtains can distract from a faded carpet and breathe new life into an old room.

asia needs to learn

My blogging buddy was telling me about her neighbour who was banging his head against the wall to lessen his pain from drug withdrawal. Apparently, drug addicts have the tendency to afflict pain upon themselves if they can't get their fix. Unlike US, drug treatment centers are few in Asia and they are usually not viewed in a positive light by members of the society. After taking a look at the websites of some of the rehabs in the US, I must say that they are impressive. The environment is conducive and promotes a sense of well being and calmness for the patients. Some of the centers are built like a luxury resort with recreational activities and wellness treatments. Perhaps, Asia needs to be more open and learn from the folks in the west.

anyone wanna lose weight?

Whenever I bumped onto my friends, the first comment would be "You lost so much weight". Well, the truth is, my weight has been stagnant for the last two years and only recently had I seen a slight increase. Slight means 1 kg at a max :) Well, some will ask me how to lose weight and my answer is always 'babysit my son for 3 days' - no medication, no cost involved and no side effects - lol! So, any takers?

something to look forward to

It's time for another travel and market research for another holiday destination for this year. Though it sounds early to start my planning, it's something that keeps me motivated in the midst of work and other stress. It feels nice to know that I can take a vacation after all my projects ended. It's good to have something to look forward to in life, whether it's a vacation by the beach or just spending time with special people in a quiet place. It can even be something as simple as going for a diving trip or a hiking expedition with some friends. Whatever it is, having something to look forward to in life makes life more interesting and worth living.

28 April, 2008

saturday updates

The weekends had been busy which left me no time to catch up with list of things to do. I told myself that I needed to shop for a pair of dressy shoes especially after cramping my feet in my 15 year old formal shoes. It was a lovely pair of shoes I bought one Christmas but pregnancy might have expanded my feet in a little.

I didn't think I would buy my shoes from Loewe but after walking for half an hour in the Gardens, there wasn't anything I truly liked. Nine West, Aldo, Fiorucci, Isetan.... not even Salvatore Ferragamo! Finally, it was the last stop at Loewe and I grabbed it at 40% - the right colour, right size and style. DH got confused over Lewre and Loewe so he wasn't suspicious at the label after all :P

Then, I invested in a Massimo Dutti jacket, something which I would need for business meetings and functions. I guess it's time to update my casual wardrobe for serious work now. We headed to Early Learning Centre for a birthday gift for Sunday before heading to get our dessert and appetizer for the pot luck party.

That was just Saturday... next would be a brief update on Sunday. And oh, my Sydney NYE proposal was thrown out of the window - that was depressing!

25 April, 2008

gps tracking device

When we were in the States, I was rather impressed by how our cousin got around places with her gps tracking device. That was one cool item I would love to have since I am not very adventurous when it comes to driving to unfamiliar areas. It was cool to hear navigation and directions from the device and the information given was accurate and precise to the dot. DH mentions that you could still get lost if the device is used here cos the roads are not carefully mapped at this point. Or maybe it's just his excuse not to buy me one :P

men and women

Research has clearly shown that we women talk more than men in a given day, week, month or a lifetime! For whatever reasons, men don't need to talk that much a day but a woman needs to hit that quota for words spoken in a day. But interestingly, when all girls and boys talk just as much when they are little. I suppose things change along the way as we grow up and our likes, dislikes and preferences differ. Likewise, women pay more attention to beauty, acne treatment, hairstyle and her appearance as she aged while men aren't so bothered and seemed to look better as they progressed towards seniority.

22 April, 2008

our first event is here!

I'm blogging from the new Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. We are looking forward to our first event of the year with Jill Lowe and looking back, we are so thankful to God for giving us a breakthrough. Those who are close to me have heard about the challenges we were facing in the last two months.

Very briefly, this is the first time we are with Traders Hotel. Previously, it's always been Mandarin Oriental but since the event is to be held at the convention centre, Traders is offering a much better deal, especially when we manage to secure their corporate rates. I will blog atbout the impressive Club park view room we are staying at in the next two days, when my event is over. This hotel has thought of everything to the details, from including a vanity kit for the lady to designer toiletries in the bathroom. The bathroom accessories remind me of the cool kitchen faucets I saw in an online store some time back.

Now, I really have to get some beauty sleep and get recharged for the big day!

20 April, 2008

what is your hindrance?

When unexpected events happened in our lives, it can be hard to cope. Our friend, Alvin, had a bicycle accident few years ago which caused him to lose his mobility. Whenever I looked at him, I felt so sorry cos he was a fine young man in his prime 20s when that accident happened. It took him a while to accept and get over the entire incident though his lifestyle had to change completely too. He had to learn how to get around with his wheelchair and invested in a stair lift for his double storey house.

It's been a few years since that accident took place and today, Alvin is a successful car salesman. You may wonder how can this be. Well, he still sells cars in his wheelchair but has assigned runners to get admin and paper documents settled with a fee. But the encouraging thing is, Alvin has strived to live a normal life like you and me and he has succeeded. What about you? What is hindering you for pursuing your dream?

18 April, 2008

online everything

In the US, people use the internet for everything - almost. They use it to shop, do their banking, pay auto insurance online, do their research, book air tickets, accommodation, online education, online flowers ordering..etc. Thus, broadband is affordable and almost every household has a computer and an internet connection.

For me, the internet has become part of me. Whether it's for leisure, personal or business, it's frustrating when connection is down for a day. You can feel as if the earth stops revolving (I'm exaggerating :P). On the other hand, online banking, online shopping or online financial services are efforts to live a green lifestyle - less paper, less trees to cut and less waste - that's what it means.

annoyed with unprofessional internet marketers

I can't tell you how annoyed I've been with those irritating sms-es that try to sell you things and inform you of promotions you didn't subscribe to. Few weeks ago, I received a sms from someone I didn't know and tried selling me a motivational workshop. I politely replied to say that I wasn't keen and requested that he stopped sending me anymore text messages. He was thick-skinned enough to still asked why and tried to carry a conversation. I warned him to stop this and he agreed.

Weeks later, one more such sms and I told him off again and just now, one more. This guy - an internet marketer - is one unprofessional internet marketer. A successful and professional one will respect people and when asked to be 'unsubscribed', he would respect your wishes. Worse still, I didn't even give him my cell phone number. He actually picked it up from a publicity brochure which had my cell phone number in it. When questioned, he sounded as if he knew me - what a crap! I won't put his blog name here cos I'm not going to give him any links. I hope that all Malaysian internet marketers will be more professional than this guy.

world's largest database rating men

More and more people are meeting their dates online as technology advances and people become more receptive to social networking. I have met a few friends who actually tied the knot after a period of online dating. It sounds too good to be true but it is really happening.

But before you think this is a fairy tale story, there are also unhappy and unfortunate cases where online dating has caused hearts to break and souls depressed. I believe this is the reason why relationship and dating expert, Stephany Alexander has set up WomanSavers, with the intention to allow women to conduct their "research and rate BEFORE they date". This is the world's largest database rating men website which targets abusive and cheating men. There are lots of articles related to relationship and dating as well as stories to bring the good guys to the top and the bad to the bottom. The men would probably detest this idea but for the women, this may be the channel to save you from a possible abusive relationship.

17 April, 2008

American idol says good bye to Kristy Lee Cook

So it's the end of the American Idol journey for Kristy Lee Cook, the country girl who sold her horse to pay her trip to the audition. I find very pretty - she has one of the most mesmerizing eyes, a charming smile and very silky long hair. But personally, I don't find her a strong singer, though I do like her. It was kinda expected that Brooke White, Syesha and Kristy Lee Cook were the bottom three again this week. I believe all three will be eventually eliminated and the attention will be casted on David Archuleta, Cook and perhaps Carly, if she doesn't mess up in a poor choice of song. But I seriously don't think she can beat the Davids.

The American Idol will be one show I won't miss in the next few weeks til the finale night. I'm one of those who look forward to hear Simon Cowell's comments and feedback every week, however sharp and merciless he is. But you see, the truth will set you free, right?

16 April, 2008

Sydney NYE

It doesn't look like I can get a harbour view room in Sydney city area that will fit into my budget. I am shocked with the hotel prices that are 300-400% more during the NYE and most of them would require a minimum night's stay of 3 - 7 nights over the NYE period. I know the fireworks will be magnificient at the harbour bridge in Sydney but I really need to think if we should do. Many who had been to Sydney to see the fireworks claimed that it could be one of those things every traveler should do.

So I do need to rethink my decision or otherwise, go somewhere for a serene and quieter Christmas and New Year.

more party invitations

I suppose if you are parent of a young child, you must be ready to receive birthday and party invitations all year round. We are not those who like to organize birthday parties and such but now that Clayton is going to four, he is excited with birthday treats and favour from his classmates at school. Attending children's parties is also a good way for him to socialize with other children his age and improves his interaction skills too. It looks like we would need a mindset change and enjoy the things he enjoys, to make his childhood experiences richer and more meaningful.

13 April, 2008

new year's eve in sydney

I don't know if this will be a dream come true but I'm hoping to spend this New Year's Eve in Sydney for the spectacular fireworks. Out of curiosity, I went searching around the web for info and resources, read reviews and realized that this should be a decision I had to make fast. Apparently, many people from all over the world are already making bookings and plans to do the same and it seems like I may be a little late if I don't plan anything now. So, I may just book by faith and see how I can convince DH about the trip few months from now... this is in line with a Chinese proverb - Xian Zan Hou Zou - I'm not good at translation but it basically means 'Do it first, face the consequences later' :P

11 April, 2008

Praying for Time by Carrie Underwood

After watching the replay of Idol Gives Back this afternoon, I was drawn to play a part in a small way. Since I don't live in the US, the only way to donate is to download some songs in iTunes. Well, I went to Americanidol.com and was planning to do that but when it came to payment, I realized that my country was not listed in iTunes, this meant that I won't be able to purchase songs via iTunes. It was kinda sad for me cos I seriously loved the song, Praying for Time, sang by Carrie Underwood. She sang very well in the show and the words were truly meaningful too. So since I couldn't download from iTunes, I had gotten this from youtube. If you can, do download it at AmercianIdol.com

It's time to give back.

are you an online shopper?

So glad that my Max Studio orders had been delivered to my US address via Vpost. Vpost Singapore is a postal service that is specially extended to those who want to shop in US sites and you do need to have a mailing address in Singapore to utilize this service. The postal charges are cheaper than what you would need to pay for your US merchant to deliver a package to Singapore. But you probably want to use Vpost if you are planning to shop for few items. Otherwise, the postal charges may not be justifiable.

I'm one person who use the internet for more than 12 hours a day and believe in shopping online and booking my travel accommodation via the internet too. Isn't it great that we can do so much things online these days, including paying bills, banking, buying groceries, ordering flowers, getting car insurance quotes...etc.

Are you an online shopper too?

10 April, 2008

Idol Gives Back

Sometimes I really want to catch the full version of the American Idol but somehow, I have to prioritize and make way for more important things like putting Clayton to bed or finishing my work before bedtime. But for me, catching snippets of the show is good enough and this evening, I truly enjoyed part of the Idol Gives Back program.

It wasn't so much of the entertainment and celebs I enjoyed but the meaning and essence behind this idea of Idol Gives Back. It reminded me of how fortunate I have been and how I should do my part to reach out to the needy out there in whatever ways I can. The clips of those suffering in hunger and poverty makes my heart cry and once again, I felt guilty for the frequent complaints I had when things went wrong. These people have needs - real needs - that many of us will not experience in our lives.

The show ended with a beautiful song by Hillsongs. Shout to the Lord is one of my favourite songs and this song reminds me of how great He is and that He cares for every hungry soul out there tonight.

technology can't alter some things

It's amazing that you can now take notes with a digital pen on paper - this is technology! But no matter how advanced technology can be, we still use a lot of ink pens in the office and home. I suppose this is why you still get alot of pen souvenirs from trade shows and promotional stands. Just like print is not replaced by digital media, it is hard to replace the traditional use of pens and pencils. Technology may not alter some habits - at least not now.

09 April, 2008

buy daily living aids online

It's not easy to find a store that stocks a good range of life enhancing products. Usually, you will go to the pharmacy for your personal care products and first aid stuff like band-aids, over the counter medications, dietary supplements and daily living stuff. But online shopping improves the shopping experience and provides a wider variety of choices and saves you the time from driving to the stores.

Do you know you can even buy a Folding Shopping Cart online plus Alzheimer products, diabetic supplies, wound care supplies and maternity care products and lots more? Allegro Medical is a one stop shop to get everything you ever need for someone who needs special or extra care and by shopping online, you don't even need to spend hours hunting for FreeStyle Diabetes Test Strips or a Polar Heart Monitor.

looking forward to Trader

Hmm... I'm kinda excited that we are staying at Trader hotel for the first time in two weeks' time. All the while, our seminar accommodation has always been Mandarin Oriental but since our upcoming program is in KLCC convention centre, we decided to try out Traders. I like the crisp and modern styling of the interiors and decor especially the outdoor pool - truly a class of its own since the hotel targets business and discerning travellers.

After looking at the rooms and suites in the website, I am certain about choosing the Park View room since the price difference is minimal and I manage to negotiate for a corporate rate. I'm truly looking forward to have a great time in the hot tub with Clayton at the outdoor pool area before the big day itself.

quality time with my boy

After all the washing from dinner, I negotiated with my boy to watch a few clips of the American Idol. You must be wondering - why do I have to negotiate with a three year old. I'm one who believe in teaching my child how to negotiate at a young age. I know I could have insist my ways but personally, I like to respect him like how I would respect anyone in the family.

Anyways, I sat down to watch for a while before taking him upstairs for a bath. It's just the only show I watch in the week for now. Munching on my jumbo raisins, he snuggled up cozily next to me and asked, "Can I share?" I said yes and we both ate raisins and enjoyed the American Idol together. I felt nice that he was asking politely about the raisins. I could see that he enjoyed having me by his side. He was loving my company - that felt really nice. That, to me, was another quality moment with my three year old.

08 April, 2008

do you drink pure and clean water?

After drinking distilled and RO water for the last few years, I've gotten so used to the pure water taste that it is hard to tolerate the plain water served in F&B outlets and restaurants. In some countries like Korea and Singapore, you can safely drink the water off the tap but in many countries, it's still not safe to do so. But even if it's safe to drink the water straight off the tap, I would prefer to go through a purification system.

These days, you can see bottled water dispensers used in offices, hospitals and certain households. People will order from companies likeo premium waters for prompt delivery to their work places and homes as the company is also known to be the fastest growing home and office bottled water delivery company in the world. Find out more what the company offers if you are keen to learn more about drinking pure and clean water.

07 April, 2008

I'm back!

You can tell that I have had a crazy week from the date of my last posting. I hardly 'neglect' this blog so when it's been 'quiet' for more than three days, this means there are too much happening!

See, I'm blogging less on the weekends now. Weekends belong to my three year old though I still squeeze in some time to write when there's a dateline to meet. Other than that, we'll be lazing in front of the TV or we'll be kicking football in the porch. It feels great to spend more time with the family cos you can't turn back the clock... life is so unpredictable and children grow too fast!

03 April, 2008

a great time with my wonderful pal

It was great that I could spend the last weekend with my good pal whom I had known for 26 years! We have always been in touch all these years from the time when she left for Canada for her studies to the time she returned to Singapore to fly with SQ, to the time she relocated back to Kota Kinabalu til she got married and now a mom of two kids. We used to hang out together for high teas and even teamed up as pals in a pen pal column when we were 12 years old - with the nickname of Punky Gals - LOL.

She was in Singapore for the Fashion Festival and I made a trip to meet her over the weekends. Though it was a short trip, it was wonderful to have a couple of meals together, did some shopping and talked about our lives then and now. I am truly thankful to God that I have an awesome friend like her :)

letting go of ego

As a seminar organizer, we are constantly scouting for new programs and workshops on niche topics for our corporate clients. Every year, we see new training providers and new seminars being launched for both the corporate talent development and self motivational individuals. Lately, I heard about The Sedona Method and how The Sedona Method is the bridge between The Secret and the Law of Attraction. It seems like an interesting philosophy cos it's referring to letting go of the ego and pain body - something that many of us struggle with in our lives from birth. This was a theory founded by the late Lester Levenson who extended his life for 42 years even though the doctors gave him a short time period to live. Lester through his experiment found out that by releasing his non-love feelings, his health was transformed which led to renewed health, perfect health and perfect peace of mind.

As a seminar organizer, I found this very interesting as I thought about how this philosophy and theory could help many people to succeed in their personal, social, family and corporate lives. In the world of stress and chaos, people are searching for answers to calm their souls, soothe their minds and cope with the pain and struggles of life. Perhaps, with the Sedona Method, they can learn to achieve happiness as they learn about letting go.

ironical parenting

Remember the times when your baby was barely one year old and you were worried that he wasn't taking his first steps like your neighbour's son? Perhaps, she was already 18 months and had not uttered her first words and that got you worried too... we parents had gone through these phases, haven't we?

But the irony began when they are three or four years old and we stopped shouting at the top of our voices asking them to 'stop running' and 'keep quiet'. Didn't we want them to walk and run when they were little? Weren't we worried when they weren't talking much at two? Then, we started to complaining them being around and talking too much.

So we parents are one ironical people, aren't we? And should we still be complaining now?

i can be clueless

Some people are plain genius in technology and digital stuff. They can fix up a barebones computer in less than an hour while people like me can't even understand why the cursor in my Fujitsu laptop just keeps jumping around on the screen. I'm clueless when it comes to hardware configuration and sticking to the Mac platform does make things simpler. It's probably embarrassing to say this but I still don't understand how of my Nokia phone features. I better not tell DH that or he would be convinced that I don't need a new phone!

01 April, 2008

save on telecommunication with VoIP

If you are an entrepreneur which have recently ventured into a business of your own, chances are you tend to be careful about cost and expenditure of the company. You tend to pay attention to the areas that contribute to the monthly overheads including telecommunication, office rental, manpower, bills and other miscellaneous stuff. These days, business owners can save with VoIP Phone Systems instead of using the former PBX phone systems which can be expensive in maintenance and labour costs. Infact, the Nimbus VoIP provides unlimited US calling and free dialing to any other Nimbus VoIP phone in the world so you may want to check it out for more long term savings for your company.

praising Him in the storms of life

It's easy to thank and praise God when times are good and things are dandy but can we praise Him in the storm. We are facing some challenges in our business this quarter and everyday, I pray with faith that a miracle will come our way and we'll hear good news for our biz. Sometimes I feel like God is saying 'Be Patient' and other times, I wonder if He's going to put us through a tough test. Waiting is never easy and no one likes to wait. We are by nature impatient and we want things done NOW, FAST and INSTANTLY. So, it's a test of our faith now - waiting, trusting and having faith - even in the midst of the storms of life.

my little sister and brother

I knew her when she was a baby and it amazes me on how time flies and now, she's a Uni student in Edinburg. I could still recall taking her and Gene (her brother) shopping in Wisma Atria and having lunch in a Japanese restaurant. They are like my little brother and sister and even though they are now teenagers, they remain a special place in my heart. Now that she's in Uni, she's cooking up dishes that she misses from home - bak chor mee and roti prata - so funny. Get to know this little sister of mine more - see her at lifein553.com - why 553? That's the longitude and latitude of Edinburg - she's a creative gal :)

vegas is for families too

Don't we know that Vegas is a city about lights, entertainment, fun and action. Those who plan to travel to Las Vegas must get ready to let your hair down and relax with an open mind. You can enjoy the bright lights of this big city and have as much fun as you can possibly muster during your stay if you do your homework well. Opposed to what some people think, Vegas is no longer known as just the place that involves gambling or the casinos, you can find good family fun in the many tourist attractions in and around the city. For a good selection of Las Vegas Hotels, check out the website of Bestofvegas to start your search and comparison.

word verification to avoid comment spam

Maybe some readers may find it annoying the next time they leave a comment in my blog but I've decided to activate the word verification step in the comments box to avoid comment spam. It's not funny when I'm greeted with more than 30 comments within half hour. As much as I would like to think that it's a physical person writing the comments, it might just be the work of an automated software. Nowadays, you can find software for just about anything. A friend was telling me that people are making hundreds of dollars from adsense from automated software for their blogs. Well, whatever it is, if you are a sincere reader who wants to leave me a comment - thank you for taking the effort to complete the word verification.

don't spamming my blog with your comments!

It is getting annoying cos this person by the name of 'erp' is commenting in more than 30 posts at one go and I wish to tell YOU - ERP - whoever you are, to stop doing that. Commenting in my posts will face only a simply deletion or reject from me cos you are spamming my posts with comments I deem inappropriate. So I ask that you stop wasting your time in commenting in all my posts - old and new cos I'm deleting them all. Don't spamming my blog with your comments!

travel becomes more affordable

With budget airlines springing at every corner, travel has become more affordable. With more people flying and vacationing, tourism has become a bigger business than ever before. So many of my friends had taken their children to Disney in Hong Kong and it seems like a more affordable option than flying to the US. But if you still prefer a bigger playground like two water parks and four theme parks, then you ought to check out Disney in Orlando! To save on your theme park and entertainment tickets, there is no other place to book your Discount Walt Disney World Tickets than OrlandoFunTickets dot com. Booking online not only saves you money for the entire vacation but saving the hassle of standing in the queue.