Monday, October 20, 2014

Kids Showcase Their Talents via Dugrostar!

danceamir
Amir busting Dugrostar moves! 

Dugro®, a growing up formula brand, wants to inspire children to discover their fullest potential and showcase their talents to the whole country! To celebrate every child's star quality, Dugro has created Dugrostar™ - an exciting performing arts platform just for kids.

Now the campaign is coming to a resounding end - a total of two hundred and eighty (280) young finalists will be shortlisted for the next phase, involving live performances at seven malls across Malaysia held from 24 October to 16 November. Here's where and when you can catch the action:

Venue                                      Date
KB Mall, Kelantan                  24-25 October 2014
Plaza Merdeka, Sarawak         31 October-2 November 2014
Sunway Pyramid, Selangor 31 October-2 November 2014
One Borneo, Sabah                 8-9 November 2014
Mahkota Parade, Malacca 7-9 November 2014
KSL Mall, Johor Bahru           7-9 November 2014
Queensbay Mall, Penang  14-16 November 2014

At each location, First, Second and Third Prize winners for each age category will win great rewards, while all finalists will receive attractive prizes as a token of appreciation for their hard work!

The exciting mall program, scheduled every day from 10.00am to 10.00pm, also includes interesting promotions, a variety of stage and booth activities such as the Dugrostar™ Step Dance, Dugrostar™ Beat, and family photo-taking activities as well as the Dugrostar™ Wild Card video booth that allows your child to still register to perform and win other attractive prizes!

So don't forget to swing by and join in the fun!

For more information on Dugro® and Dugrostar™, log on to www.dugro.com.my or call the DumexCareLine at 1-800-38-1038.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Force Was With Us @ Kinokuniya

Last weekend, the boys and I attended the Star Wars Reads activity at Kinokuniya, KLCC, which was organised by the Star Wars Malaysia Fab Club. It was really fun and we had an awesome time :)

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Here's the panel of Star Wars experts, who provided an in-depth take on what's happening in the Extended Universe and what to expect in the upcoming Star Wars movie.

  P1030311 
Amir asking the panel a question :) I didn't waste the opportunity to get my geek on either, as I questioned the panel on the EU's thoughts about Anakin's true origins.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Fun Day @ Kidzania :)

Recently, the family and I had a chance to enjoy a day at Kidzania, courtesy of Lifetime's Mom's Time Out Blogger Post-and-Win activity. It was our first time at Kidzania, so it was really exciting for us! Here's a glimpse at Kidzania and the wonders that await within:

Kidzania
First, we checked in with our 'boarding passes.'

Kidzania
Then, Amir swung by the bank to cash his cheque and get some Kidzos (Kidzania currency).

Kidzania
Kidzania is a miniature town, with everything scaled down to kid size. Kidz are supposed to get 'jobs' at Kidzania. At some jobs they'll earn Kidzos, while some activities will require them to pay Kidzos. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Be a Dugrostar!

Every child is a star, but now he or she can be so much more! To celebrate your child's talent, let him be a Dugrostar! With Dugrostar™, every child gets to be a star! This opportunity is open to children in two age-based categories: three to six years AND six plus to 10 years. Participants in each age category can enter in these segments - singing, dancing, playing an instrument or a combination of these talents, and perform individually or in a group of up to six children.

Amir poses
Amir's always happy to strike a pose for mummy :)
From now to 12 October, join proud parents across Malaysia to rejoice in the special talent of their child by participating in this unique opportunity.  Parents can register their child in three ways:

i. By uploading a video of their child’s performance at www.dugro.com.my;

ii. By visiting select nationwide roadshows where live recordings can be made at the Dugrostar™ Recording Booth; or

iii. By submitting the completed registration form with a recording of their child’s performance and mailing it to the address found on the registration form.

Amir poses
Every kid is a star!



What’s more, participation in Dugrostar™ is absolutely free, with no proof of purchase requirement!

Children can also enjoy exclusive Dugrostar™ collectibles with purchases of Dugro® 900g softpacks during the campaign period, such as piano or guitar bags, cool jackets and watches, and much more!

For more information on Dugro® and Dugrostar™, log on to www.dugro.com.my or call the DumexCareLine at 1-800-38-1038.


JOIN THE DUGROSTAR CAMPAIGN!

If you'd like your kid to join Dugrostar, visit www.dugrostar.com.my and don't forget to use my unique code HH0006 when you sign up!

Amir poses
Time to reach for the stars!

Dugrostar Logo

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

If it's steel & powder-coated white... I want it!

I confess, I have a thing for Ikea's steel, powder-coated offerings... like these beauties here: 

Ikea

1 - Ikea PS Cabinet, 2 - Kajuta Table Lamp, 3 - Gunnern Mirror Cabinet & 4 - Ikea PS Coffee Table


I own all of the above and I love them because...
  1. Strong - They're made of powder-coated steel, which is durable stuff! 
  2. Recyclable - I'll keep these forever, but if I ever have to get rid of them, they can be recycled.
  3. Easy assembly - They're not as tricky to put together as some of their wood/particle-board counterparts.
  4. Value for money - I think they're great value and priced just right.
  5. White - I love white furniture in my home, as they don't take up much visual space.
  6. Awesome design - Last, but not least, I love the classic, simple and elegant lines.
I hope they come up with more steel stuff in the future, because you can be sure that I'll keep an eye out for them! I also wish they'd introduce more PS cabinets, or at least bring back some of the options they used to have! PS lockers please!

PS: I've been coveting the Josef cabinet and the Raskog trolley for quite some time, but I don't have space for them right now.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Sunnan Lamp from Ikea

I shop at Ikea quite a lot. In fact, I profess that I am a big Ikea fan, and have been for years. I'd say about 90% of the stuff I have in my home is from Ikea, so I thought I'd start reviewing some of them on my blog. Today, I'm reviewing their Sunnan solar-powered lamp. Here it goes...

I've always liked the idea of solar-powered things, so I've had my eye on Ikea's Sunnan lamp (RM49) for quite some time. According the the Ikea US site, purchasing the lamp has an added plus point, as "For every SUNNAN solar lamp sold, the IKEA Foundation donates one to UNICEF and Save the Children to help children in India and Pakistan play, read, write and study after dusk."

SUNNAN LED table lamp IKEA
Image via Ikea.com

Having read a couple of online reviews, including the ones by Inhabitat and Garden of Shadows, I decided to pick up the lamp a few months back, as I needed a nightlight to help me see my way around when the baby wakes up in the wee hours. I would recommend that you read the reviews I've mentioned above, as well as others before you buy the lamp.

So what do I think of the lamp? Check out my review after the jump...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Share the Softness Campaign by Kleenex

Share the Softness
Life can be hard, so a little softness is always welcome. As Malaysians celebrate the establishment of the Malaysian federation 50 years ago, Kleenex® gives Malaysians a new way to mark the occasion – by performing simple acts of softness through the Share the Softness campaign. The campaign aims to reach at least 10, 000 Facebook posts to create a tidal wave of softness among Malaysians!

Kleenex Press AD_Chosen
“Soft and gentle care makes all the difference in our busy, modern lives and when things are tough, even the smallest act can make a change for the better. This is why Kleenex® continues to encourage Malaysians to share the softness and bring some joy to the people we care about,” said Emily Chong, Marketing Manager, Family and Adult Care, Kimberly-Clark Malaysia. 

Every occasion, big and small, can be made meaningful with a touch of softness, and Kleenex® reminds more Malaysians everywhere to make Malaysia a softer place by taking a moment to reach out to their loved ones and share a kind or caring word. From now until September 27, the brand invites Malaysians to express their care via Facebook with a simple tag and stand a chance to be rewarded with prizes worth RM10, 000. 

How to take part
Whether it’s a simple encouragement or an invitation to catch up, a touch of softness can make someone feel treasured.  To participate, all you have to do is ‘Like’ Kleenex® Malaysia’s Facebook page, look out for the “Share The Softness” Facebook contest posts, and start sharing the softness. Tag a spouse, friend, family member, or neighbour in the comments section of the contest posts and let them know how much you care. Do include #kleenexsoftness too!

KleenexFB
I've shared the softness :) You can too!

You could be a winner!
While sharing the softness is a reward in itself, it can also make you a winner! The most endearing Facebook messages will win an exclusive, limited-edition Kleenex® Softness Pack and prizes like a Polaroid camera, Longchamp bag, Thomas Sabo bracelet and more! 

Help OrphanCARE
What’s more, these acts of softness take on a whole new meaning as every Facebook post also helps to contribute towards OrphanCARE, a non-profit organisation that helps abandoned babies and orphans find loving homes. Every Share the Softness post on Facebook plus every purchase from the Kleenex® CSR product range is equivalent to a RM0.50 donation to OrphanCARE; just SMS in the unique code found in the Kleenex® products.
Kleenex Press AD_Chosen
Simple, positive acts are good for you :)
Take this chance to make a difference in the lives of those around you, as well as those who are less fortunate – even psychologists recognise that the little things really matter, from small gestures between loved ones like making each other a cup of tea  to being more polite and courteous when speaking to one another.

Simple and positive acts are the key to building and leading a happier life, and researchers acknowledge that a single individual has the power to influence the way another person feels , hence a single act of softness can make a big difference in someone else’s life.

Let’s acknowledge that even the smallest act of softness can have a ripple effect, so through our actions we can make Malaysia a softer place to be. This Malaysia Day let us celebrate by Sharing the Softness with our fellow countrymen.

For more details on how to Share the Softness, just log on to the Kleenex® Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Kleenex.Malaysia).  



Print

DIY Disposable Wet Wipes

I've been trawling the Internet from some frugal living ideas and I decided to try my hand at making wet wipes that I can use for clean ups during diaper changes.

DIY wet wipes 

For my DIY disposable wet wipes, I used this basic recipe that I found online:
  • Kitchen towel (it's best to use the best quality you can find, as it would be sturdier, but for this experiment I bought the cheapest brand I could find!)
  • 1 tablespoon baby bath
  • 1 tablespoon baby oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of water (it's best to use distilled or at least filtered and boiled)
If you would prefer a more natural/organic approach, you could use an organic baby bath and baby oil. Or, you can substitute the baby oil with coconut oil and a drop of tea tree oil, like this.

DIY wet wipes 
Steps:
1. Cut the kitchen roll in two using a serrated bread knife.
2. Mix the baby bath, baby oil and water together.
3. Soak the kitchen roll (cut side down) in the solution for about 10 minutes. You might want to turn the roll upside down a few times to let it soak through.
4. Remove the cardboard tube inside.

DIY wet wipes

Put your roll in a resealable container and it's ready to use! Be sure to pull from the centre.

Cost of my DIY wet wipes
Kitchen towels (First Choice brand from Giant): RM7.99 for 4 rolls
Cost per roll: RM1.99
Cost 1/2 roll: RM0.99

Johnson's Baby oil (125 ml): RM7.65 / *8 tablespoons = RM0.95 sen per tablespoon
Johnson's Baby bath (200 ml): RM7.20 / *13 tablespoons = RM0.55 sen per tablespoon
* 1 tablespoon = 15 ml

Cost per DIY wet wipe roll: RM1.00 + RM0.95 + RM0.55 = RM2.50 per roll


Savings
The most cost-effective baby wipes that I could find in Giant is their house brand, which costs RM5.99 (150 pcs). So, as a comparison, I can save up to RM3.49. 

Notes:
The Giant baby wipes usually lasts around 2 weeks in my home, so I'm eager to see how long my DIY wet wipes will last with daily use. I'll also be checking for any adverse reactions from my baby to the wet wipes. I'll post an update once I'm done with my first roll. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cardboard treehouse

Amir's on a school break right now, due to the UPSR exams, so we've been indulging in some creative projects. Today, we made a cardboard treehouse, based on this one by Spoonful.

Tree house

Cardboard treehouse
Here's our finished treehouse :) Check out its details after the jump...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My column in BabyTalk magazine's May & June 2014 issues

When I started my column for BabyTalk magazine early on in my pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to share my experiences with other women. Little did I know then that my pregnancy would be filled with thrills and spills :P Nevertheless, it has been a humbling experience and I am most grateful for my precious baby boy. 

I finally found some time to scan my articles from back in May and June. Here they are!

Think Yourself Thin & Hottest Fitness Trends @ Urban Health magazine

Hi everyone, how are you out there? I've been ok. For a little while, I didn't have a lot of freelance work on my hands and though it had me a little bit worried (bills to pay!!), I turned it into a positive - I paid a lot more attention to my children and projects around the home :) I'd like to share with you my latest articles published in Urban Health magazine, this time, it's all about fitness!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mom's Time Out @ Lifetime

Mom's Time Out Title Frame

Late last year, I gave up my career as a museum curator to become a stay-at-home mum and freelance writer. Fulfilling my role as a full-time mum to 10 year old Amir and 4-month old Arif has not been without its challenges, but I wouldn't have it any other way. My husband has done a great job supporting me, but I really don't know how he would cope with looking after the kids and holding down the fort if I were to go away for a few days.

The Jasons
The Jasons from Malaysia
This is precisely what the producers of Mom's Time Out wanted to find out - What would happen if the woman in the household disappears and the man takes over?

Exploring the idea that being a mom is an attitude and not just a biological relation, three families from Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines are put to the test in a role reversal social experiment. In the reality show, which is Lifetime's first Asian production, the three moms take a 5-day holiday in Vietnam together, leaving the dads to manage their kids and household.

The five half-hour series showcases the interesting and sometimes funny results when these typically hands-off dads are left in charge. The tune in, catch the show as it premieres on 28th August 2014 and when it airs on Thursdays at 9 pm (SIN/HK) on LIFETIME™, which is available on Astro Ch 709.

So will dad step up or give up? 

You'll have to tune in to find out :) For a taste of what's in store on the show, check out this video:


But that's not all! When you tune in to Moms Time Out, you stand a chance to WIN a 3D2N stay at Angsana Lang Co, Central Vietnam! Just download the ScanAd app on your Apple and Android devices. Open the app and scan it while watching the show to access more content on Mom’s Time Out. You can also share and learn opinions from other parents when you take part in the weekly discussion on the app!

For more information about #MomsTimeOut, check out: www.LifetimeAsia.com/MomsTimeOut

The Baileys
The Baileys from the Philippines.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Happy days are here again :)

In my last post, I wrote about spending an anxious Hari Raya. But I'm very happy to share with you that it's all over - Happy days are here again! To recap, a few days before Raya, Arif had a routine cranial ultrasound and the doctors believed that saw a subdural effusion (collection of liquid) on the outer layers of his brain. Since learning that my 3-month old preemie baby could possibly have hydrocephalus or worse meningitis, I became numb and just went through the motions on autopilot.

IMG_20140805_103927On the 3rd day of Hari Raya, we brought him back to the   hospital, where Arif and I spent the night. Beginning 4.00 am the next day, I was meant to stop feeding him to prepare him for his MRI scan at 8.00 am. However, since I was breastfeeding and Arif often feeds a little at a time, I wasn't prepared to let my son cry bloody murder from hunger. I chose to ignore the doctor's orders and followed my gut instinct. I fed him for as much as I could until about 15 minutes before the MRI. 

Seeing him go through the entire MRI process was rather unnerving. I fought back tears as my son was loaded into this scary-looking machine. The scan took about an hour, but the wait afterwards was just the worse. My husband had to go home as he wasn't feeling so well, so I waited alone for the doctors to come and tell me the results. I didn't hear a word until about 5.45 pm, when the doctors did their evening rounds. I could hear them discussing my son's case on the other side of the curtain, and waited in agony. I wasn't sure if the results were back yet and quite possibly I would have to spend another night at the hospital agonising over what could be.

Finally, the senior doctor pulled back the curtain and asked if I've heard the results. I said, "No." She smiled and said everything is fine with Arif, the MRI didn't find anything wring with him at all. I was so relieved and happy, but at the time I was mostly in shock.

The senior doctor was very kind and she said she understands exactly how I feel. She instructed the other doctors to discharge Arif right away so that we could go home. She seemed disappointed that I had to wait so long for the MRI results, she looked around at the other doctors in disapproval and lectured them for a bit. Anyway, that evening we went home and that weekend we took Arif out :) I am so happy that my son is well. This is the beginning of wonderful times ahead for my family.

PS: The MRI did confirm that Arif has a cyst in his brain, which is a scar left behind by the Grade II intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) that he suffered at birth. However, this is nothing to worry about, according to the doctors, as the bleed has healed. Usually, Grade II IVHs don't cause long-term effects to a baby's development.

IMG_20140802_143245 IMG_20140802_143135

Sunday, July 27, 2014

An anxious Hari Raya :(

A few days ago, we took Arif for a scheduled cranial ultrasound. These types of ultrasounds are routine for preemie babies, as they help detect abnormalities in the brain. Unfortunately, Arif's scan detected a few problems and he was immediately admitted for tests.

First, the saw a cyst in his brain, which is a form of scarring as a result of the Grade II Intraventricular hemorrhage that he suffered at birth. They also noted that the two hemispheres of his brain was asymmetrical. These conditions may or may not have long term effects on his development, only time will tell. 

The thing that had the doctors alarmed, however, was the presence of what they believe is a sort of liquid in the layers outside his brain. Whether the liquid is cerebrospinal fluid or blood, they cannot tell from the ultrasound. As you can imagine, my husband and I were in absolute shock and horror.

They ran an eye test on him and thankfully it showed that his eyes were normal and that there was no bleeding behind his eyes. They ran a blood test twice and noted that most of the tests came back showing that nothing was alarming. I was told the other blood tests will take longer to complete. I did not hear results of his urine tests, but I think they are either fine or the results are pending.

The doctors also noted that Arif was healthy, his head circumference did not increase during his stay and its growth since birth was consistent and normal, and he had no fever or seizures. We explained to the doctors that he has been a calm and happy baby since the day we brought him back from the NICU.

As there didn't seem to be anything wrong with Arif and there was nothing else they could do for him at the moment, they discharged him after a two-night stay. We are to bring him back to the hospital on the third day of Hari Raya to be sedated, so that they can run an MRI scan on him on Thursday morning.

We pray that the scan will show that nothing is wrong with Arif. This is a difficult and challenging time for me and my husband, but we have faith that we will get through this and it will be ok. Arif has been through and survived so much already, he is my little amazing fighter.