Life After Kayla Itsines BBG

I am so elated to announce to the whole world that I have completed BBG vol. 2 đŸ’Ș! That means 24 weeks of Kayla Itsine’s torture by choice 😏. I started BBG vol. 1 for the fourth time in Sep 2016 after failing to persevere on to complete it for thrice. Yea, for those who think it is easy had better eat up their words. Somehow I got this motivation to carry on because I did coolsculpting aesthetic treatment that month. I know coolsculpting will help me in my body contour, but nobody says the body contour will stay that way forever if one continues to be a couch potato. If I don’t want the effort of doing coolsculpting to go to waste, I had better find ways to maintain it. The answer is – a home exercise regime 🏋. 

To start off BBG was tough, of course. To do 2x 2 circuits three times a week can often be a dread than a joy. There were many things that I could think of to postpone my BBG workout – time, energy, fatigue, you name it. But I also learnt that if I want these to be my obstacles, they will be, and I will not progress. Somehow, after three failure, the motivation to preserve on this fourth time is a lot stronger. So, persevere I did.

BBG Vol. 1 Week 1

Then I completed BBG vol.1 miraculously in Dec 2016 (clap! clap!). Before I even pondered to think whether I should proceed on to vol. 2, I did it without hesitation. Reason?

BBG Vol. 2 Week 24

In Nov 2016, when I went NUH to meet with 2 fellow mummies working around there for lunch, I met an auntie on the train. This auntie came out of the train door around the same time as me, but her swiftness caught my attention. For those who know me, I walk fast (because I dislike wasting time). But I will walk exceptionally fast if I am late. This auntie looked like she was in her 60s, she overtook me and like anyone who is in a hurry, she climbed up the escalator on the right lane (the speed lane). Frankly, I will only do that if I am late, so when this auntie did it, she caught my attention, mainly because of her age. I decided to trail her because I was curious how long she could walk at this speed (the speed I would walk if I am late). Knowing that the escalators are long and steep in Circle Line stations, I really had my doubt if she would complete the entire journey up. She proved me wrong. She completed the entire journey. And without panting, without even pausing to catch a breath, she continued marching out of the station in the same speed. I trailed her until we had to part due to our different destinations. I was totally awed how a 60+ auntie could walk as fast as me without having to pause to catch a breath or pant. That incident set me thinking, and motivated me further to continue with BBG vol. 2 because I do want to be as strong as her even when I reached her age.

I only realized how important strength training is when I started to do sports, because you need strong enough muscles to help protect your joints from injury and to increase balance and coordination :) also important, it gives the body nice lines – Jamie Teo (local celebrity)

The wonderful part about BBG is that it not only gives nice body lines, it gives me very strong (but not bulky) muscles. Am I still continuing BBG? Yes, I am restarting BBG vol. 2 with a tweak. Instead of doing 2x 2 circuits of legs, arms or abs (total 4 circuits of legs, arms or abs) each time, I am doing 1x 2 circuits of legs, 1x 2 circuits of arms and 1x 2 circuits of abs (total 6 circuits of legs, arms and abs). What would I do after completing the second round of BBG vol.2, I’m not sure yet, I will got to see what comes around by then.

Food Lovers Only - FLO

[Media Invite]

The Jurong region is rapidly transforming itself into a second CBD. Jurong  East’s attractions include established housing estates, comprehensive amenities, diverse recreational options and proximity to commercial and industrial employment areas. New malls, new hospitals, new bus interchange, new hotels, new Science Centre (coming soon) and many more. It is so vibrant and happening that you wouldn’t mind living and working there.

And if you are already living or working (or both) there, good news to you! I was invited recently to an eatery in IMM Building for food tasting.  I have not been to IMM for many years and didn’t realize it has transformed itself too!

Up on the 2nd floor of IMM Building (west wing), very near to Charles and Keith boutique, is FLO – Food Lovers Only. As the name implies, this place is for you and me, the Food Lovers. FLO is a halal cafĂ© that has a capacity of 36, and is open daily from 11am to 10pm. It does not include service charge or GST (say ‘yay’!). 

Established in 2016 by the Manuka Group, FLO is the newest casual dining cafĂ© at IMM that features a melting pot of cuisines. Having opened its New-Zealander cuisine CafĂ© Manuka in 2014, the Manuka Group took some inspiration from its first cafĂ© while adding various Asian influences into its second venture, FLO’s menu.

Besides the food, another highlight of this café is the chef. Chef Kim Jin Myeong is a bubbly 18 year old Korean who comes up with fresh and innovative recipes at FLO. The fresh-faced Seoul Tourism High School graduate has been cooking since she was 14 years old. Besides cooking Korean dishes and creating Koreanfusion dishes, Jin Myeong also has a soft spot for cooking Western food, her personal favourite cuisine.

FLO features all-day breakfast favorites like FLO’s Rosti Special and the classic New Zealand style pancakes, Pikelet Stack.

Pikelet Stack $12

We tried the FLO’s Rosti Special and are all praise to this dish. The potatoes are freshly grated and pan-fried upon your ordering, thus explains the 20 minutes wait. The Rosti is very fragrant and crispy, yet not too oily. You can have your eggs done sunny-side up or scrambled. The marinated pulled chicken slices go well with the rocket salad seasoned with salt and olive oil. This dish is a mush have if you love potatoes. 

FLO's Rosti Special $15

We managed to catch Chef Kim in-action cooking the Rosti.

Step 1 to 6 - bottom left clockwise

Another dish that we tried was Chef Kim’s creation – Korean Inspired Marinated Chicken served with Korean-style fried anchovies and Kimchi fried brown rice.

Korean Inspired Marinated Chicken $16

I find the marinated chicken mild, not over-powering, the Kimchi fried brown rice is not spicy too. Overall, I think a child can manage this dish without much difficulty. The Korean-style fired anchovies is da-boom. I wiped up all the anchovies.

Her other creation is Korean Beef Bulgogi Sandwich ($15), but we didn’t get to try that.

Another hot favourites in their menu are Tom Yam Prawn Pasta and d’Orange Pasta. We tried the d’Orange Pasta because it is something unique which you couldn’t find elsewhere easily. It didn’t disappoint us. The tangy orange blended in nicely with the pasta, surprisingly! We had thought that it might be a sweet dish rather than a savoury one. The balance of both sweetness and saltiness was in equilibrium. Both my friend and I like this dish pretty much.

d’Orange Pasta $14

Tom Yam Prawn Pasta $15

Besides its Korean-inspired dishes, FLO also features western dishes such as its Flank Steak and Chicken Egg Waffle. We didn’t try them not because they are not appetising, but because we had limited stomach space for more food. And we needed to save some stomach space for FLO’s curate collection of specialty cakes that include Rainbow Cakes, Durian Pandan Cake and Ondeh Ondeh Cake.

 Flank Steak $18

Chicken Egg Waffle $17

We tried the Ondeh Ondeh Cake because anything coconut rocks me. But I find the Ondeh Ondeh Cake not quite up to my expectation. The fragrant of coconut wasn’t strong enough and the gula melaka was a tad overwhelming. But, it is subjective, because I prefer stronger coconut fragrant and less sweet stuff. I have friends who went to FLO, tried their Ondeh Ondeh Cake, and like it.

High-Tea or High-Coffee Time, can?

For the essential touch to the café, FLO has quite a good range of desserts like this Bountiful Choco-Brownie. Those with sweet tooth might like to try this. The intensity of the chocolate in the brownie is just right, the waffle is crispy and goes well with the vanilla ice-cream. It is especially great to share with friends.

Bountiful Choco-Brownie $14.50


Besides the options above, FLO also provides lighter starters like their Soup of the Day ($7.50), Tomato Mozzarella Salad and Wild Rocket Mushroom Salad ($10). Other savoury picks also include the Sausage Trio Platter ($13) and Savoury Crepes (single $8, double $14) with a choice of 3 fillings (turkey ham/ cheddar cheese/ mozzarella/ egg/ mushroom/ turkey bacon/ spinach). Not forgetting the yummy caffeine free Iced Butterscotch Roasted Almond Latte and frizzy drinks ($5.50)

Tomato Mozzarella Salad $12

Passion Fruit Mint Frizzy Drink $5.50

Iced Butterscotch Roasted Almond Latte $7

FLO is also a kid-friendly cafĂ© that eases the minds of parents during their busy shopping trips. They have a kids’ set menu at just $8 and toys, books and colouring tools to make sure their energy is well-spent while parents can have a break at the cafĂ©! FLO is also available for rent for private events, and delivers for free in the west area for orders $150 and above (order one day in advance). It is great for office party!

So if you live, work, shop or just happened to be in Jurong East, do pop by FLO for a meal or tea. It should delight you.

2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM  #02-15A
Singapore 609601
11am to 10pm daily
6896 1396

Managing Our Children’s Online Activities And Screen Time (Part I)


AJ doing programming with Rasberry Pi

AJ is growing up in an environment surrounded with electronic gadgets like smartphones, tablets, laptops and Rasberry Pi. My husband works in the IT industry and I am a gadget junkie as well, so, it is not surprising that AJ is more Internet savvy than most of his peers. Having said that, he didn’t have his own smartphone and tablet until he was 9, and that was handed down from me. We are all very aware of gadget addiction, but at the same, we are also aware that our children are growing up in the digital age. We should not shield them totally from Internet exposure – there must be a balance, but that is hard to maintain if parents are not monitoring their children’s online activities. Parents have to grapple with 2 main challenges: managing their children’s online activities and managing screen time.

I have read reports that say children these days spend more time on the Internet than watching television because they have access to it outside the home, such as in school, on the bus/train, or when ‘out and about’. I’m not surprised, because I think adults are doing that too.

As parents however, we should play the role of mentor to our children when it comes to such an important growing-up issue. So as parents of an IT-savvy child in this digital world, here is what we are doing:

(1)  Set time limit 
On school days we set surfing curfews of 30mins for AJ to use his smartphone or tablet. He can use this time to chat with his friends, check emails, watch YouTube videos, record his own videos, etc. (he doesn’t play online games). On non-school days, the time is more flexible, it can be up to an hour. All this is only permitted in a presence of at least one adult. So if there is no adult around, there is no access to these gadgets.

AJ watching youtube video

(2) Place laptop/desktop monitor in the living room
Pornography or sexual predators from any undesirable sites would inevitably creep up onto your child’s screen, but if you place the laptop or desktop monitor in the living room with the screen facing outward, there is a higher chance you could stop this in time before disaster strikes. 

AJ doing C-programming

(3) Keep distraction physically at bay
We know the notification sound of an email or a WhatsApp message coming in can be quite exciting to a child, so we have requested him to set all notifications to be on silent. When he is doing his work, he should place the phone or tablet far away so that the temptation to check on it is minimised. He is also not allowed to bring his phone or tablet into the bedroom when he sleeps. In so doing, we are managing his data access.

(4) Build mutual trust
If your child has Facebook, Instagram and twitter accounts, let him or her know you would like to follow him/her or be friends with him/her. Let the child know you do that not to stalk him/her (though we would like to :p), but, more so to coach him/her along the way because life case studies are far more valuable. Should there be any potential dangers arising, it would be easier for parents to step in to help.

Google hangout chat with friends

I have also set up AJ’s email accounts on my phone, with his permission. That way, I get to screen all the emails and Google Hangouts chat messages of his. He is fine with me doing so, because of the many case studies I get to share with him on how to handle cyberspace issues wisely, thanks to this arrangement. To some adults, it may seem like an infringement of privacy. I beg to differ. There is no infringement when permission is granted. In these vital years of development, we have to teach them to communicate effectively online, to exercise self-control and to be a responsible online user. One of the best ways I can teach him is to shadow him online.

We constantly discuss issues happening in the digital world, I believe such discussion will build his awareness of its inherent dangers and be a wiser user over time.

(5) Aid from third party applications and services
As a StarHub user, I was recently alerted to their service known as JuniorProtect Plus. It is a value-added service for all StarHub mobile and broadband subscribers. With this service, parents can manage the mobile data usage of their children, block undesirable sites, get reports on their web activities, trail their locations, and many more. This StarHub service is especially useful because we cannot be with our children 24x7 so controls like this will give us an added peace of mind.

Without hesitation, I got AJ's SIM card activated with this. In this age of constant Internet threats, we recognise such a service provides a much needed assurance and cyber protection. I will be sharing more with you about its benefits and our experience as end users in my next blog post. Meanwhile, to find out more about StarHub's JuniorProtect Plus, please click here.

There is a lot more we can do or not do, when it comes to the freedom we allow for our children. It is often a dilemma for parents how much they want to let go so that their children can grow, and how much to control so that their children won’t have to face a major disaster. It is like flying a kite, it is a dynamic issue – when to pull, and when to let go. Let us all learn from each other and from the professionals, so that together, we can better help our children.

Some useful websites