Bubble Boy

My first post via WordPress mobile, sitting in Starbucks whilst I wait for a hearing test that my ENT specialist ordered I take. My right ear has been ringing. Maybe it’s just sensitive to the screams of my two boys 😛 We’ll know in abit when the results are out. 

Whilst chatting with the ENT specialist, we spoke about my older son (also known as holy boy – that’s a story for another day) who’s turning 3 this November. He still wears a bib to school because of his incessant drooling. I thought it was a teething phase, later I wondered if it was because of his constant blocked nose and flu episodes that made him a “mouth breather”, hence the uncontrollable drooling. Holy boy would wake up sniffling and scratching most mornings. He is so sensitive to the slightest change in the environment, he reminds me of the protagonist in the movie “bubble boy”, born without an immune system. 

Doc asks me the million dollar question: have you done anything to rid your home of dust mites? That is one of the lead causes for persistent child allergies. Bedsheets have to be washed every week.” <cold sweat moment> All I could see were the mountains of weekly laundry, and the possibility of bubble wrapping my pug up, so she wouldn’t shed so much, and friggin provide a buffet for the mites. 

One of complications that arise from years of “mouth breathing”, is underdeveloped cheek and jaw muscles, resulting in the formation of a “flat face” (in the doctors words) This also potentially impedes speech development and other issues that follow them to adulthood, like sleep apnea.

My ENT Doctor ends off by handing me a booklet called “allergy guide”. It covers a range of topics from tackling pet/mould/food allergy, tried & tested allergy combating products and a final guide on “How to dust mite-proof your home”. Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for the next few weeks. 

  

 Otherwise, I’m pretty psyched that I can blog on my mobile phone!! Is this old news already? (Oh well, better to learn this now, then never) Done with lunch, a quick blog post, right about time for that hearing test now. Bye!

2013: A Year at the Crossroads

In afew hours, we welcome 2014. A part of me is still fretting over outstanding matters, and yet I wouldn’t be doing any justice glazing over moments that shaped the year. And as my life coach & friend succinctly summarises it, “2013- A Year of Crossroads”.

Looking back, there was hardly a clear path, conflicting decisions to make, and very often, having to walk the tight rope between business & friendship. 2013 has been a year of pushing boundaries, and very rightly, should be celebrated!

In the 1Q of 2013, returning to work onstage (3 months post pregnancy) was challenging. Clothes did not fit and no amount of magic girdle could suppress the spill-over of post baby bulge. There were physical constraints like “whether to continue breast-feeding” whilst on-the-go, because extracting my baby’s food in the washroom cubicle isn’t the most sanitary (I’ll spare you the details). Above all, having taken a 6months hiatus off work, meant I needed a “run-in period” to find the “mojo” back onstage . In the end, I am constantly grateful for the continuous belief in me and what I do, from my starmummies at Artiste E, event companies and clients, as I eventually planted my 4″ heels firmly back onstage.

Hosting the Opening of Unity at 100Am Mall
Hosting the Opening of Unity at 100Am Mall
Hosting Launch of PlayStation & its Pop-Up Store in Singapore
Hosting Launch of PlayStation & its Pop-Up Store in Singapore
Hosting the Inaugural Christmas Light Up at JEM
Hosting the Inaugural Christmas Light Up at JEM

During this same period, we moved into our First Home. Countless hours of midnight trips to the new place (after baby was sound asleep), teething problems without the convenience of a helper, and being total strangers to the North-East Area (having lived in the East all our lives) made up much of the sweat & tears of the early 2013. Whilst I personally found the role of wife, mother, careerwoman tough to juggle midst this house-move, a wise friend gave some words of encouragement “The strength of a couple & their relationship, can be liked to how diamonds form. Diamonds are formed under intense heat & pressure. A diamond has so many properties that make it valuable. Likewise, brave the intense heat & pressure that is required to move forward, and you will uncover the new brilliance in your relationship”. And so, we did. Glad to report that no one was hurt in the process.

Home & Decor Magazine did a simple feature of our home. Thanks to SpaceMatters for the excellent work.
Home & Decor Magazine did a simple feature of our home. Thanks to SpaceMatters for the excellent work.

Also, I can’t say enough how important it is to stay grateful. That alone is enough to shift your perspective, minimise the griping, and allow you to rise above many situations. What can be so bad that you need to throw in the towel of defeat? Ask Nick Vuijic. Nothing.

What else was on my plate? I had been certified as a realtor, whilst I had been expecting my son in 2012 (9 months to make a baby is o-so-long!) So I got busy, sold my first 2million dollar apartment in the first month of work, met & worked with an awesome team at RunningStream that does Portfolio Management & Overseas Real Estate Investments. Most recently, had the pleasure closing a deal for a friend’s landed property within the month, despite unfavorable market conditions. What got me interested, is my belief in the tenacity of real estate as part of wealth building & legacy planning, but it requires good understanding, timing and a good team to make the investment work. And so, the journey continues… I look forward to opportunities to work on interesting real estate projects, learn, earn, invest and hopefully make some good with all this knowledge acquired.

For those who might have known me for years, give me a microphone any day, but think twice if you’re handing me a cooking spatula. Even a “cooking for dummies” guide would not have done me any good. So, I happily signed myself up for a 3 month “Certificate in Culinary Arts” At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy, in late 2Q this year. Boy, was it a workout! As a student even on short term course, I had to report at 0730hrs mon-fri, uniforms clean & pressed, stand in line to be inspected by our Sous Chef of the Day, before we spent the rest of the day in lecture or cooking and cleaning out the kitchens. That is by far the most eye-opening experience for the year, under the guidance of good chef-teachers and a fun bunch of classmates that came from all walks of life.

In the Kitchen At-Sunrice
In the Kitchen At-Sunrice
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Trying to cook fresh whenever possible!
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First attempt at Onsen Egg, Oishi ne!
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Cooking for Friends

Recently, I finished a 3months course on “Business Chinese 商务华语“ at NTU’s Confusius Institute. I’d like to boast of a 360 transformation, but in all honesty, there’s still much room for improvement. My overall proficiency and vocab has improved, but still requires consistent practice & more depth in understanding the language, to attain mastery. If you have patience to put up with the “uh…” and smattering of mandarin & english, 我们可以借此机会多讲华语吧!(speak more in mandarin, that is).

We are often told the importance of discipline at work. I say, discipline for family time is very important too! No matter what you decide is the best way to spend that quality time with the family ie. meals together, outdoor activities on the weekend, reading before bedtime- what matters is that we consciously do. I think it could be a job hazard, but I enjoy planning activities. And so, I sold my husband into taking an overdue trip with me to Seoul for 1 week, just the 2 of us. And later in the year, we planned a family vacation with our son, Titus to Perth- in place of throwing a 1year birthday party.

Horsing around with Titus at an installation in Claremont, Perth
Horsing around with Titus at an installation in Claremont, Perth
Beautiful weather at Sorrento Quay, Perth
Beautiful weather at Sorrento Quay, Perth
Headed back to Singapore with Mr Grumps
Headed back to Singapore with Mr Grumps

As we get ready to close 2013 in a matter of hours from now, I must thank my life superheroes:

  • my supportive husband for filling in the gaps like a pro with the baby, when I was on course/ work
  • mentors for your quiet guidance, wisdom, relentless belief in me
  • business associates for the support & work opportunities
  • friends for celebrating my highs, lending a shoulder on the lows, and being inspirations for me through living well.

And to you my brave adventurer, let’s saddle up for an exciting Year of the Horse 2014!!

50Plus Expo (2012)

“Growing old doesn’t mean growing mould”

I’ve come to understand this, having had the chance to host 2012’s 50Plus Convention catered for those in their silver years (>50yrs)

This year, the exhibition focused around the 6 different aspects of well-being, which comprised of: Physical/ Spiritual/ Emotional/ Social/ Vocational/ Intellectual. Some peektures from my 3 days there…

(pardon the poor quality) An afternoon chat with Medicorp Artistes- Zhu Houren & Hong Huifang about balancing work, family & active aging.
Suhaimi or JojoJoget (as we fondly know him from “The Noose”) is really lovable in person!
I give Marcus Chin 2 thumbs up for his hosting & singing chops!
Irene Ang a.k.a Wonderwoman shares her experiences & what keeps her going.
Hehe, I like to think that Irene’s giving ME a thumbs-up. After all, I was her student once upon a time.

All the celebrities I spoke to were in their late 40s to 60s. But man! The energy on stage was great & the topics we talked about were inspiring, educational & real.

There was nothing dowdy about the 50Plus Expo.

Fashion x 20% off x Happy Colours= :-)

WAREHOUSE SS’12 FASHION LAUNCH

Over the years, I’ve grown fond of fashion & dressing up- all in the name of work 🙂

And this was one event that got me excited in March.

DJ Reiki who also happens to spin on Lush 99.5FM
It's hard to get good photos while talking. I've decided to pose for once!
BOUGHT! Couldn't resist!
BOUGHT!
BOUGHT!
Dressed by Warehouse/ Hair by Capello Loft/ Makeup by Shiseido/ Nails by Fave (Citylink)
Canapes for sustenance. 

My damage after that: $600 on Warehouse’s latest collection (Inclu.20% discounts)

Clients should hire me more often for fashion events- you’ll get your monies back, one way or another 😛 Thanks Sheryl & the Wingtai Asia Team for getting me onboard, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there!

Photo credits: Moving Stills

Bite-Size Philosophy for Sanity

My friends & family think I get to philosophical sometimes. I don’t deny it.

But! That is precisely what keeps me sane when I’m at the brink of senselessness.

Some of my favourite reads are on Oprah’s website, and this particular one from on Martha Beck’s 5 best pieces of advice, gave me some personal “takeaways”. Read the original article to enjoy the full-analogy.

Here’s 2 of the 5 pieces of advice, that kinda resonated with me…

________________________________________________________________________________________

1) A Little __________ Never Hurt Anybody.

Fill in the blanks with the biggest fear in your life- so BIG that it actually makes your body numb, brain freeze, and you just want to DIE right now. For some it could be public speaking, or rejection from someone they really care about, or failure, loneliness, inadequacy etc etc.

Martha shares that if your psychologically state of mind can tell your body that “alittle ______ never hurt anybody”, you’ll be surprised at how many more things you can achieve. In 2012, I’ve promised myself that I will take active steps to achieving what I want, which includes: living a fearless life.

Immediately my rational mind goes, “but but but, you have a long long list of fears! Won’t it take forever, once you go down that path of facing them?? Of all, HEIGHTS tops the charts, followed by boredom/meaningless life, and perhaps death. Where do we start?”

2. Sunscreen is for the neck and chest, not just the face.

I’m guilty of this, more in a literal sense.

Before I head out of home, my face is always well primed with moisturiser and a strong SPF lotion. Sometimes, I remember that I have a neck, and will apply the excess SPF on it. If I have a luxurious amount of time (which is never) then I will apply sunscreen on the other parts of my body. But as I age, I have learnt that a nice smooth face, paired with a wrinkly dull-toned neck, is FUGLY.

“The importance of complete coverage extends far beyond cosmetic issues. We all tend to focus on things we deem important while ignoring related items… ”

“Sunscreen and values should be applied uniformly. If you believe in Kindness, don’t just demonstrate it to selective people you like. Slather kindness on the janitor, your weird colleague, as you would to your immediate boss or the CEO. If you wouldn’t excuse yourself for inflicting cruelty on another person, don’t make excuses for other people who are mean to you. I remind myself daily that it’s never too late to apply a protective layer of integrity to parts of my life I’ve ignored.”

And its the same principal I try to practice, whether it’s in my business, my relationships, managing sensitive family issues, difficult clients… the list goes on. And I understand much better now, that the path one takes in life & the things you choose to take on, is all a reflection of the person’s beliefs & value-system.

________________________________________________________________________________________

There, I feel more sane now having just rationalised my “demons” through that bit of “layman philosophy”.

Happy Midweek!

Happy Birthday to…

GV KATONG AND ME! *blows candles*

I spent my birthday hosting the opening of GV Katong- the World’s first Peranakan-inspired cinema @ 112 Katong. Held on 20 Dec (Tues), media & special guests were invited to explore the lovely new addition, and catch the premiere screening of “We bought a Zoo”.

We had the incredibly talented Voluptuous open the event with their rendition of “Selmat Datang” & “My Old Hometown Katong”. Guests went wild, but the loudest hoot came from Tan Kheng Hua (haha!). Although I’m not much of a dancer, good music like this, does get me shufflin’ and tappin’ to the beat 🙂

Dressed in a lace baju kurung, I kinda wished I had bought myself a proper Baju Panjang + batik sarong, like a pretty Nonya.

It was lovely to see the cheeky faces of Class 95’s Glenn (with his +1) & Rod Monteiro of 91.3FM. They both had telepathy and asked
“Are you back in radio??”

I have a sneaky feeling that 112 Katong is going to be my favourite haunt since I live in the area. With an upscale cinema where I can catch late-night movies in my flip-flops, Cold Storage for fresh groceries, Gong Cha (earl grey w/ 3Js my favourite!), plus my comfort foods Sushi Tei + Din Tai Fung– confirm 100% chop, I can be spotted sans makeup, dressed “homely” on a random lazy afternoon. See you there 🙂

“Age is relative”

Just 1 more month to my birthday. And only a couple more years away from the Big 3! Do I worry about ageing? Yes! After 25, all the woman problems surface with a vengence- cellulite, water-retention, wrinkles, pigmentation, butterfly arms, beer pooch, you name it. But beyond the physical aspects, I do embrace the new found experience and wisdom that’s been accumulated through the years. Afterall…

Age is relative. A 70 year old with an imagination, is younger than a 30 year old without a dream

Speaking of age, Japanese watchmaker Seiko celebrated its 130th Anniversary this month and I had the pleasure of emceeing its media launch. Local & international guests were taken on a journey through Seiko’s rich horological history and was given an insight into the precision & innovation behind its timepieces. Local celebrity artistes Felicia Chin & Nat Ho were amongst those invited.

It was a bummer that Seiko’s brand ambassador Wang Lee Hom couldn’t make the trip to Singapore. But it wasn’t all misses… The good people at Seiko surprised me with an early Christmas gift that made my day! They gifted the Limited Edition Lady’s Criteria Watch which I had on for the show. Another addition to the collection 🙂