A Moment To Cherish

This is my turning-7-soon boy co-sleeping on my bed with me during an afternoon nap. Moment like this is 1 of which I cherish.  Watching him nap peacefully next to me reconnects our bond, especially after the screaming & yelling during the rest of the day (oops!).  Many parents will discourage children co-sleeping with them.  Not me.  Yes, AJ has his own room & he sleeps in his own room in the night.  But, when it comes to napping, we welcome him to co-sleep (co-nap?) with us.  This is a moment of reminiscence when I recollect him being a baby, a toddler & now a little boy.  Moment like this will come to pass as the clock ticks.  As he grows, he will certainly feel awkward co-sleeping with his parents.  Until then, I shall enjoy this very moment.

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Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcake

Cooking & baking are never in my blood.  When I was in secondary school, we were given a choice to choose Home Economies or Technical.  Naturally, I chose Technical.  I simply dislike the stuff that women do at home.  But that does not mean I do not like food.  I love to eat & am pretty good with food tasting.  I just do not like the process of cooking & baking.

When I was living with my mom, I did not have to worry about food & housework, all these were taken care by her.  She was an excellent cook too.

When I got married & had my child, I had a live-in helper.  Again, I did not have to worry much about food & housework, all these were taken care by her. 

But when my helper left 4 years ago, & that we decided not to have any live-in helper, I started to panic.  Cooking & baking are not my forte, I never like them too.  But I understand the danger to health if one eats out often.  I was left with no choice but to cook.

Initially I did not know what kind of ingredients are better for health, what kind are harmful.  So I would buy anything the supermarkets sell, assuming that all are safe to consumer since we have a stringent food control in our country (right?).  It was only a year ago that I was brought to light what kind of ingredients are better for health, what kind are harmful (I am still learning, though).

Recently I started to explore more recipes to keep the meals interesting.  I chanced into Munch Ministry, a website which has quite a lot of interesting recipes.  While not all suit our needs, I can always modify the recipes & replace the ingredients of my choice.

In celebration of Singapore Mom Bloggers’ (SMB) 1st birthday (a blogging community that I am in), Munch Ministry offers us a class on how to bake Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcake.  & so I went.

It was held at Civil ServiceClub – Tessensohn Clubhouse.  The fully-equipped kitchen is certainly impressive, with 6 island counters for students to DIY.

Here’s our sifu (masters), Pauline & Louisa, demonstrating the process of baking Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcake.

Then it was our turn to DIY.

& it turned out really lovely.  I could not resist & ate 1 while it was hot from oven. Oh, so yummy!  The texture was soft & light, & it could almost melt in my mouth!  After adding in the filling, the gluttony set in & I took another one.  Oh, that was awesome!  I thought I could finish all 8 but I resisted because I have to think of my waistline & my little boy who might be keen to try this out.

So I ‘dabao’ (packed) 8 back.  True enough, it was a hit at home, they were gone in less than 24 hours.  AJ loves them so much!

Baking together is fun! I also got to know some of the mom bloggers like Jasmine Koh & Evelyn Tan-Rogers better.  There were some I met for the 1st time like Sandra Tan, Jing Seng, Donna Tan Ling Siew.  I would like to thank Rachel Teo from SMB, Louisa Loh & Pauline Wong from Munch Ministry for organizing this workshop.  I really enjoyed myself.

& if you are keen to bake it, here's the link to the recipes posted in Munch Ministry. Enjoy!

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Childhood Memories - Playsets of Yesteryears

This is part of National Park Board’s roving exhibition of nostalgic playsets to commemorate 50 years of transforming Singapore. The exhibition will be at:
  • Raffles Place Park (mid March to mid May)
  • East Coast Park (June to end July)
  • Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park (mid August to mid-October)
  • Singapore Botanic Gardens (November to December)
We visited the one at Raffles Place.  But we are sure to visit it again at East Coast Park & Bishan Park.


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[Giveaway] Physiogel

Following through with the hype of the makeover workshop conducted by Style Essence, let's talk about cleanser & moisturiser today!

Dr Joyce Lim from Joyce Lim Skin & Laser Clinic, in conjunction with Physiogel, was kind enough to give us some top facts about Skincare & some tips on proper skincare.  

Here are 5 Top Facts about Skincare:

(1) In Singapore, 1 in 5 people suffer from dehydrated &/or itchy skin.  Some of the most common culprits of skin dehydration include dry air from air-conditioning, prolonged exposure to heat, & the use of harsh cleansing agents.

(2) The skin itself is a network of lipids like a jigsaw puzzle.  Natural lipids form an interlocking matrix to keep moisture within our skin.  Moisturisers containing lipids (e.g. ceramides, squalene & lecithin) that closely mimic the skin's natural lipids help to repair dry & damaged skin thereby retaining skin's moisture.  As we age, our skin loses lipids & moisture, thus more susceptible to damage.

(3) Dry skin is due to poor epidermal function & damage to the skin barrier film resulting in increased water loss from the skin - called transepidermal water loss (TEWL). This can occur when harsh products are used on the skin e.g. antibacterial soaps, or when the skin is irritated by ingredients in skin care cosmetics e.g. fragrances, alcohol.  Sometimes skin can get dry from environmental insults like pollution, dry air, heat, dust or by poor skin care, e.g. too frequent washing or scrubbing. 

(4) For sufferers of sensitive skin, it's possible to regain healthy skin by preventing flares using moisturers to repair the skin barrier & prevent transepidermal water loss, rehydrate the skin & clam the skin. You should identify & avoid trigger factors.  When fewer flares occur, the skin becomes less sensitive & over time becomes less irritable & eventually the person regains a healthy skin.

(5) Environment (e.g. heat, dust, pollution, dry air), Foods (e.g. alcohol, nuts, mango), Stree & Frequent washing with too hot or cold water can all trigger flares up in people with sensitive skin.

& Here are 5 tips on Proper Skincare:

(1) Choose the right cleanser.  Use gentle, soap-free cleanser with neutral pH.  For those with sensitive skin, choose cleansers that leave a moisturising film behind after washing.  They are enriched with natural oily compounds, which leave skin feeling soft & smooth. Remember, always remove all make-up before going to bed.  Make-up left overnight will clog your pores & dehydrate your skin.

(2) Choose the right moisturiser.  Use a non-comedogenic moisturiser containing lipids that repairs the skin & provide longer lasting hydration.  Skin lipids like ceramides & squalene repair the skin barrier function.

(3) Always apply moisturisers right after a shower to seal in the moisture. Towel dry your skin but leave your skin moist for better absorption.  Try to reapply as often as you can especially after a swim or exercise or whenever the skin feels dry, tight or irritated.

(4) Learn about common ingredients that go into your skincare products.  Some ingredients like alcohol & fragrance can irritate sensitive skin, while ingredients like glycerin help to hold water in the skin.

(5) Sleep well, eat well & drink lots of water!  A balanced & healthy lifestyle will make you & your skin glow.

I was given these to try on myself.

Most people will shun soap free or foam free cleanser because they just feel that it may not clean well.  Not for this cleanser though.  I have tried it on myself & am surprised that it cleans really well.  It has become 1 of my favourites cleanser during shower time.  You may like to know it is suitable for sensitive skin too, so you can use it on your little ones as well. :)

I also like the Lotion & Cream.  After shower, I will apply the lotion on limps & neck. No greasy feeling!  I use the cream on very dry areas like my hands & heels.  The cream smoothen the very dry areas really well.  Again, no greasy feeling!

& here's my giveaway, sponsored by Physiogel - A bottle of Physiogel Cleanser 300ml for 3 fortunate readers.  All existing & new Fans of Lil Bookworm in Facebook will get equal chance to win a bottle of  Physiogel Cleanser 300ml.  The random draw will be carried out on 21/4/13 (Sun) 9am & the result will be published here on this post.

Easy peasy?  Then get started now!  

* This is a sponsored blog post. All opinions & text are my own.

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Winners of Physiogel Cleanser are:
(1) Edlyn Giammy Mummy
(2) Justina Tey
(3) Ross Andy

Congratulations!  I will be dropping you an email to get your mailing address!

Walking Thankfully

I have always been taking walking for granted, I mean, unless you are handicap for some reasons, we take walking like breathing, dont we?

However ... ...

On 20 March  - my right pelvic joint was in great pain, I did not fall, I did not hurt myself.  The pain came gradually but intensified in the night & it immobilised me.  There was no improvement the next morning, I had to call my sister to send me to the hospital.  I admitted myself to SGH A&E.  The doctors did x-ray on many parts of my right limps, but no signs of  fracture was shown.  They were as puzzled as I was.  Nonetheless, I was administered pain killer & muscle relaxer to relieve my pain.  A MRI scan has been scheduled for me in May to confirm if I have Avascular Necrosis (AVN).  I was discharged on the same day when the pain subsided (probably due to the pain killer & muscle relaxer).  Gradually, I regained my mobility. Life went on.

On 30 March - That fateful Saturday morning, we brought AJ to Raffles Place to experience the Playsets of Yesteryear.  I had probably hurt my right foot while doing this stunt.  Well, I have forgotten that I have aged, & with the good intention to encourage my son to be more adventurous, I hurt myself unknowingly.  

That night we had to attend an anniversary dinner as AJ was 1 of the performers.  I had slight pain on my right foot by then but I endured in order to send AJ there (the father had to leave much earlier for rehearsal).  The pain intensified during the dinner.  1 of my church friends came over to my table to check my foot & noted that I had sprained 3 of my veins!  Long story cut short, eventually I made a grand exit from the ballroom on a wheelchair.  Almost famous overnight!

I went to see TCM for acupuncture the next day, & soaked my elephant foot in strong alkaline water to reduce the swell.  Gradually, I regained my mobility. Life went on.

On 7 April - my second toes of each foot got inflamed. The symptom is similar to that of gout but i have tested my uric acid & confirmed that it is not gout. The next thing the doctor wanted to confirm was whether it is Rheumatoid Arthritis. The referral check will be in July (public hospital - long wait).  I seriously doubt it is Rheumatoid Arthritis.  My instinct told me, but no harm checking.  To me, it is more like a healing crisis since I have been detoxing myself for the last 6 months. 

Today, I can finally walk without holding on to any support, howbeit, very slowly.  I am so used to zipping in/out, I am so used to walking fast, but now I take 5 times the time to walk the same distance (with pain, of course).  But I'm not dismay.  It makes me feel thankful that I can walk.  I know I can walk properly soon, I will.

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[Giveaway] Birthday Celebration with Style Essence

The community that I am in - Singapore Mom Bloggers group celebrated its 1st birthday in March & we had a makeover birthday party sponsored by Style Essence! We had loads of fun making ourselves up!

Do you know what colours suit you, & whether you are warm or cool tone?  Florinda shared great insight, & I got to know that I suit warm colours.  :)

We picked up make up tips like how to select foundation, how to line our lip, what is the easier way to draw eyeliner, how to apply eyeshadow & blusher, & why you should use a good eye lash curler.

Yes, knowing your body shape is important too!  You want to dress yourself up to best compliment your body shape (not highlighting the flaws!). 

Florinda also shared with us how to clean our face properly, in the strokes that work with your facial hair!  Wow, now I know why the beauticians always use identical strokes to clean my face. & not forgetting the 2 fingers we should use to massage our face, the way we should apply moisturizers & sunblock lotion. 

That's me with half of the face covered with mask.. Florinda wanted us to only wash, scrub, mask & moist half of our face to see the difference.

Photo credit: Mary Kay (cosmetics & skincare products shown here)

Photo credit: Style Essence

Unfortunately I have to leave early that day & thus missed the group photo.

Envy?  Here's your chance to win a makeover workshop sponsored by Style Essence worth $150.  All you need to do is to email me at lilbookworm1234@gmail.com with Subject Title: Style Essence Makeover Win-A-Workshop & content: I wanna win a Style Essence makeover workshop!  3 winners will be picked on 15 April (Mon) 8am & announced in this blog post below.

Winners of the Style Essence Makeover Workshop:

(1) Meng Xin Tan
(2) Wendy Lee
(3) Chor Ee Kwek

Congratulations! The folks from Style Essence will be contacting soon.

Visit To Singapore Youth Flying Club

The club that AJ joins organised a visit to Singapore Youth Flying Club in Nov last year (yes, I know, this is a very late post).  It was truly an eye opener for us. We got to learn that children as young as 12 years old can join the club as a CCA.  Though they may not be allowed to practice flying until they are 16, they are taught to do the model planes, understand the theory of flying & 'practise' flying in the Simulation Room.  The child has to meet certain criteria though. You can read more about this here.  I am not sure if AJ was indeed motivated to fly after this visitation, but it sure helps us to know there is this avenue a child who is keen in flying can explore.