18
Jul 14

Less is More

My motto for 2014 and onwards will be “Less is More” and I have happily:
- cleared out 3-4 boxes of books, papers and etc from the study, where TWO adults can actually walk around now

- thrown out 1-2 boxes of old VCDs – we still have a lot more to go!

- reduced the amount of trash I throw out by:
i) cooking / buying EXACTLY the amount of food we need and
ii) switching to recyclable bottles or containers instead of “refill” packs and
iii) started using soap instead of handwash liquid or shower foam

I am very, very, very happy with these changes because I can do the dishes faster now and only need to take out the trash once every two days.

It’s amazing how such small changes can make such a BIG difference :D

Besides that, I’ve also concentrated my time and energy on family and friends instead of being Mr. Nice Guy to everyone.

In the past, I have listened to almost everyone’s complaint, gossip or sob story. Uh, sorry, you’re an adult while I have two kids who need my attention and time.

Recently, I had lunch with an amazing person who survived a near-death experience – she totally agrees with my perspective on health and life and we both agree that if someone does not make us happy or helps us in any way, then we’ll just move on…

Isn’t it nice to have just a few friends who will cheer you up, make you laugh or even poke their head into your door and say,

“Hey, workaholic, isn’t it time to pick up your kids?”

or

“Cook for your kids!” LOL


16
Jul 14

The Best Hairstylist

I went for a haircut last weekend and thought of my favourite hairstylist.

She’s a pretty young girl who is very deft with her fingers. She’s got a great eye and knows exactly which cut is suitable for my face.

Furthermore, she’s gentle because she doesn’t yank my hair the way some hairdressers do.

I also like her sense of fashion because she dresses like a rock star. She’s got style, this girl.

Since she’s such a smart girl, I would listen to her suggestions, which had once included the use of hair pieces when I complained about the awful period of growing my hair out. Definitely something I would like to try!

Before she starts snipping, she’d discuss with me the style she had in mind, telling me exactly what she’s going to do to my fringe, back and sides. After I agree, she’ll start.

Best of all, she doesn’t talk unnecessarily and she also doesn’t ask me any personal questions. I miss her.

The only male hairdresser I like is the one who told me he’s got Wi-Fi in the shop, helped me find the network and punched in the password on my phone.

Then, he left me in peace :D


07
Jul 14

Herbs and Spices

After a lot of cooking and clearing, I’m sooo happy to see that I’ve used up most of the groceries that were found in our kitchen in Oct 2013 :D

Now, I need to line up some recipes that would use up this HUGE stock of dry food, spreads, herbs and spices:

Dry stuff:
- 1 pack of mung beans???
- 1 pack of rolled oats
- 1 pack of icing sugar???
- 1 pack millet
- 1 pack nori sheets
- 1 pack of pearl barley (from mother-in-law)
- 1 GIANT can of cocoa powder

Spreads:
- 1 jar peanut butter
- 1 jar black sesame paste

Spices
- 1 pack of cayenne powder???
- 1 pack of chilli powder???
- 1 pack of ginger powder
- 1 bottle of ginger powder??? WHY???
- 1 bottle of bouquet garni
- 1 bottle of coriander powder
- 1 pack of cinnamon powder
- 2 (TWO) bottles of cinnamon powder???!!!
- 1 bottle of nutmeg powder
- 1 bottle of adobo seasoning

Any ideas or suggestions?????


14
Jun 14

Shopping for a Sports Bra

nike-black-shape-sports-braIf you read my previous post, you’ll know that I mean to do some running this year.

Got my gym bag all ready with my running shoes and gear but I still need a sports bra.

The only sports bra I’ve tried is the Nike Women’s Dri-Fit High Shape Sports Bra (L) in XL. It’s a compression-type sports bra, which meant that your boobs are flattened to reduce movement. The Nike sports bra felt very comfortable although I found the band a bit loose. I may return to try on the L size.

Reading up on a few running sites, I discover that I should look out for brands like Moving Comfort (Maia) and Enell:

Other brands like Wacoal and La Isla had high votes on Amazon:

Here are the running/fitness and shopping sites I checked out for tips on sports bras:
- Runners’ World
- DailyHiit
- Ruun
- Women’s Health

If you’ve ever used any of these sports bra, will appreciate your feedback on them as they are *expensive* and the only way I can get them is to shop online.


01
Jun 14

Children’s Day (六一国际儿童节 liù yī guó jì ér tóng jié)

I love ice creamChina celebrates this special day on June 1.

Actually a big marketing opportunity since many Chinese parents will dote on their kids on this big day.

Any and every brand of “brain food” will be promoted and marketed to death.

Pamphlets of bright, chubby and smiling children doing super intelligent activities i.e. a baby reading a book, a toddler playing chess and all sorts of such nonsense -_-

You will see many competitions, games, entertainment in deafening volumes all lined up for children at the malls and mega malls.


Babies in crawling competitions, toddlers and preschoolers in various obstacle races – err, isn’t this supposed to be “Children’s Day”? Why are the children “working” on their special day???

Thankfully, my son’s school dedicates Children’s Day (celebrated on a weekday) to the children because:

a) he did not need to bring his heavy backpack to school

b) there will be no lessons for the day – YAY!!!

c) he would be getting an ice-cream treat :D

Poor kid. Chinese school has been a big adventure for him (and me) but he’s doing well this far. He has surprised many of his teachers although they wish he’d improve his penmanship…

Although I agreed with his teachers that he needs to write better, I wouldn’t hold my breath. He’s already a slow writer – if he tries to perfect his penmanship, I wonder if he’ll ever finish any homework!

Anyhoo, after school, I met a beaming kid who had received a notebook as a reward for good behaviour (or something).

He also got a goodie pack, which contained candy, chocolates and some small toys, which he will generously share with his little sister.

I had to ask him about his ice-cream treat as he’d been looking forward to it this whole week.

He told me that it was just a teeny-weeny cup LOL

He was slightly disappointed especially as the vanilla part turned out better than the chocolate part.

Anyway, he had a lot of fun because the school hired a clown and a magician for the kids.

I am really glad to hear that he enjoyed himself on “Children’s Day”.


20
May 14

Happy Trails!

For the past few months, the kids and I have been stuck behind 4 walls at school/work, at home or in the car.

I have tried to squeeze in as much outdoor time as I possibly could but when you’re working 40+ hours a week, it’s not possible every day :-(

Anyways, in a couple of weeks’ time, we will be off on a holiday!

Yippee, no work!

No waking up at 5 – 6 am in the morning!

No school uniforms and school shoes to wash, dry or iron!

No traffic jams!

Of all the things, I am actually excited about COOKING every day again. Well, maybe not everyday LOL

Most importantly, I am looking forward to spending EVERY DAY in the great outdoors, smelling fresh air, looking at green trees and the kids running on grass.

The kids have already packed their bags with all their books, toys and goodness knows what else.

The last time we had a long break, the kids drove me nuts with their cooking toys, B-Daman and TV.

This time, I think I’ll take them outdoors and let them stay outdoors.

I know they’ll have lots of fun enjoying nature. Whatever they do, it’s OK with me if they did Trail Camera Reviews instead of B-Daman reviews!

I wonder if I should plan SOMETHING or just let them run around wild and free?

I can’t wait. :D