Run Free

[Event Announcement]

After the endless feasting of Chinese New Year goodies like ba kwa, kueh lapis, pineapple tarts, etc, are you feeling the need to shed some kilos off? What better way to shed off those extra baggage that we have put on during the feasting season than training for a Run? What can we ask for if it is a Run that is FREE. Yup, you don't have to pay a single cent for registration, nope, not a single cent, and yes, you heard me right.

Everyone could run for free

Run Free is a run that is completely FREE. Breaking perceptions that taking part in a run comes with a cost, Run Free adopts the No-Frills concept (much like a budget airline, if you ask me). Every runner gets to participate in the run at no cost - with the option to take part in either of the two race categories, 5 or 10 kilometres. You, then, have the freedom to purchase only the add-ons (Run Free Merchandise) you wish to enjoy, so every dollar can be spent wisely. 

The 5km Route (golden line)

The 10km Route (golden line)

Run Free is a whole new race experience you will want to try. Why wait? It’s free anyway. Register now. Free Your Run today!

Date: 7 May 2017, Sunday
Time: 7am - 12nn
Venue: Gardens by the Bay, Bay East Gardens
Race Categories: 5km and 10km

Regaining Confidence with Halley Medical Aesthetics’ CoolSculpting Treatment


A new year. A new start.

Time flies, it is almost 4 months since I last had CoolSculpting by Zeltiq at Halley Medical Aesthetics (see my previous post). As you may have seen in my previous post, I was able to fit into my cheongsam effortlessly 7 weeks after the treatment. 16 weeks on, how did I fare? The pictures showed it all.

It is said, a man (or woman) is the product of what his (or her) thoughts. I do believe positive outlook will generate positive action, and thus produces positive results. And the cycle repeats. I believe CoolSculpting can help me in contouring my body, and so I went for it. Indeed it did. And when I saw a better bodyline, I got motivated to wanting to maintain it. That had motivated me to embark on a regular exercise routine, to maintain what I have achieved. Right now, I am feeling so good about myself.

As mentioned in my previous post, CoolSculpting is not about losing weight, it is about body contouring. This is about getting rid of the stubborn body fat in areas like the tummy and thighs where spot exercising cannot remove so as to shape your body. If you feel that certain parts of your body need improvement, you should just do it. You may be surprised, by so doing, you gain more confidence as a result. When you feel confident, you feel you can achieve more. All the positive vibes will start flowing in. Besides, aesthetics services have become more affordable now, we really didn’t have to burn a big hole in our pocket to make ourselves look better.

A new year, a new start?
It’s really a choice. I’m just glad that I have made that choice. Now, not only are my tummy and thighs toner, I could easily fit into my clothes. I am now more confident, I definitely look better.

Onward to a better, fitter and healthier 2017! Cheers!

Halley Medical Aesthetics
277 Orchard Road #03-15
Orchard Gateway Singapore 238858
T: 6737 8233

Beyond The Tiger Mom

[Book Review]

I find that I am living in a 'rojak' country in many ways. The food, the fashion, and of course, the parenting style. Generally, we have Asian-style of upbringing, but we are largely influenced by the western culture and practices when we start parenting our own children. With the availability of Internet, we got more and more confused what kind of parenting style we should adopt. And one thing is for sure, we are increasingly shaped by the western research about children. BUT, are the research studies done by the western culture really relevant to us Asians? I often have this question and I'm glad to have my hands (and eyes) on this book - Beyond The Tiger Mom, that provides me with more insight to the east and the west parenting styles and how we can actually reap the benefits from both.

Maya Thiagarajan, the author of this book, is an Indian born in Chennai. She lived and studied there until she reached her teens when she left India and travelled to the US and spent 15 years studying and teaching there. She moved to Singapore in 2010 and is now teaching in an International school here. Because of her experience in teaching and exposure to different cultures, she gave a good insight to the different parenting styles in her book.

This book's thesis is that Western and Eastern parenting philosophies have vastly different strengths and weaknesses; therefore, parents on either side of the world can learn from each other - an in order to truly raise successful children in a global world, perhaps they need to learn from each other and blend the best of both worlds together. This book offers research-backed suggestions on how to combine the best aspects of Asian and American parenting and education philosophies. - Maya Thiagarajan

True to what she has penned, Maya provided many solid examples of the worthiness of both styles. She did not belittle any of these 2 different parenting styles, instead, she uses a comparative lens to examine the 2 different approaches. It is a win-win when we, as parents, are able to abstract the superiority of both approaches and adopt them.

In her book, Maya highlighted hot topics like 'Why are all the Asian kids on the Math team', 'Raising readers: is the West really best?' and 'Raising resilient children: how do we deal with failure?'. The research and interviews she used to back up her writing are invaluable and have given me a deeper understanding to these topics. After each chapter, she even provides practical tips which serve as a quick reference because we all do have short memories.

Overall, this has been a good read, a book I find it hard to put down because the topics discussed are close to my heart. I didn't take me long to finish the book, but it took me more time to pen this post because I was constructing in my mind how I can best share this gem with you.

Before I leave you, I have my copy to give away! This copy was given to me for review sake. Since I have finished reading it, I think it is right to pass-it-on. If you would like to get my copy, please share with me your parenting view on my Facebook post. I will do a random draw by 22nd Jan (Sun) 2359 and mail it out to you. Normal postage to local address will be absorbed.  I hope you could get it before CNY and read it over the long break. If you didn't win or decided not to participate (after all I only have a copy to give away), you may purchase the book here.

Sarahbelle's Playful Puns

[Book Review]

Wouldn’t it be fun to pun with homophone?
Wouldn't it impresses you that a 6-year-old could do that?

Anastasia, the author of Sarabelle’s Playful Puns, wrote this book about her eldest daughter (6YO) who seems to have great fun playing with words with her in their daily conversations. So much so that it inspired this mother, Anastasia, to write this book, hoping to leave a legacy to her daughter and immortalise the precious things that her daughter has said. Through this story - Sarabelle’s Playful Puns, Anastasia hopes to demonstrate that language is very much alive and fun.

Would you support the love of this mother? She has a crowd funding site here. If you are looking at bulk purchases, you may like to visit this website. Otherwise, for loose purchases, you may order the book from this link.

AJ and I had some fun laughing when we read this book. Though the intended audience is children of 4-6, I would strongly suggest parents (or caregivers) to read to/with the children. There are some difficult words in the book which you may need to explain. Along the way, you might also want to explain and coach how homophone works and how to pun to make our conversations/writings interesting.

Before I leave you, I have my copy to give away! This copy was given to me by the author, we have finished reading it and I think it is right to pass-it-on. If you would like to get my copy, please put a comment on my Facebook post. I will do a random draw by 11th Jan (tomorrow) 2359. Normal postage to local address will be absorbed.

English Composition Writing Ecourse


AJ did not go for tuition last year as I have my reservation on going to group mass-market tuition classes because the tutor will cover everything he or she needs to teach to the group. So if the child is not weak in a particular topic, he/she is going to feel bore. It is quite a waste of time, in my opinion. We should just teach the child the topic(s) he/she does not understand or is weak at. In this sense, I prefer a personal tutor, because a personal tutor can fully customise the lesson according to the child's abilities.

AJ is a logical person, he appreciates factual stuff like Maths and Science better, so there is little doubt he is stronger in these 2 subjects than languages. In fact, he hates to write (literal sense) since young. Holding a pen or pencil to write is a daunting thing to him, but give him a keyboard, he will turn into a keyboard warrior type right away. I have even sent him to typing courses before, up to intermediate level. So he is quite a pro with keyboard, really.

So now you know. It's a pain to get him to write, using pen or pencil. So, when it comes to composition writing, it is his greatest hate. It doesn't help when he did not receive strong foundation in lower primary because I can't coach him in this aspect and he had an EL teacher who was absent more than 50% of the time when he was in Primary 3.

Needless to say, I got very a little panic when he started Primary 4 in GEP. I tried buying some model composition books and composition guide books, but I am still very much like a headless chicken, clueless in coaching him.

You see, composition writing in Singapore's context is not creative writing. The child has to know the structure required and how marks are allocated, then you write accordingly to score well. To some extend, it restricted a child's wild imagination, but the child can still stay 'creative' within the defined boundary.

I don't know the structure (bad mom I am) and I don't know how marks are allocated. I need help. So I plugged the courage to seek help from my blogger friend Hui Ing, who also conducts Writing Workshops. She said AJ could try her Composition Writing Ecourse.  We are no strangers to e-courses. In fact, AJ has a few online courses. I actually like e-courses because the timing is flexible, we can access to it whenever we have pockets of time (or make time for it).

Long story short, that was how AJ started the 8-week Composition Writing E-course with Big Ideaz Education in Sep last year (just in time for Semestral Assessment 2, phew!).

If you are still not aware, the format for PSLE English Composition has changed. The new format started in 2015. In the old format, students were given 2 choices:

1. A scenario based question, and the students continue with the story. OR
2. A picture based question, where students were given 4 sequential pictures (or 3 sequential pictures with a question mark on the 4th) and asked to write a story according to the pictures. 

In the new format, there is no more such choices. Students are now given 1 topic, with 3 different (might not be sequential too) pictures for them to interpret and write their stories. They have the choice to use 1, 2 or all 3 of the pictures. They also have the freedom to write anything that this/these picture(s) fit.

The beauty of having such format is that children who can write well would not have to have their creativity restrained. However, the danger of having such format is that children who are weak in composition will no longer have the sequential pictures to guide them, thus they could be direction-less if they do not follow a structure.

Big Ideaz Education serves to fill in the gap here, helping the children who are weaker in writing to, firstly, learn a simple structure and then slowly add-on to enrich their content. I must say, each topic is well explained with sufficient examples. The entire programme went really well as Hui Ing's lessons are very well-planned and purposeful. They are divided into bite-sizes, which make them easy to digest and apply. I find that the same techniques can be applied to Chinese composition too!

The areas she has covered are:

  • Ways to write an introduction
  • How to create event(s), conflict(s) or challenge(s)
  • Ways to expand the event(s), conflict(s) or challenge(s) to engage the readers
  • How to write a great conclusion
  • Story planning

This programme that AJ took is now revamped. Hui Ing has changed the eCourse format to a monthly subscription membership site. That means, instead of a one-time (8 lessons) eCourse, with a fixed deadline that everyone has to meet, students can now pay a monthly fee of $84 to access the eCourse videos, notes / assignments and take the course at their own pace, as long as they are subscribed. They can submit up to 4 pieces of writing assignments or full compositions for marking per month of subscription. Which means, they have a choice of either submitting the lesson assignments or if they think they do not need help in those areas, they can submit entire compositions. She will mark 2 drafts for each submitted assignment or composition. Students can also unsubscribe any time. Once unsubscribed, there will be no access to the webpage.

I welcome this change as there will be a continuation on composition learning to further improve the child's writing skill. I am most likely to continue the subscription.

Big Ideaz Education has kindly sponsored 2 students for this e-writing monthly course for 2 months (each worth $168). If you are keen to participate in this sponsorship, kindly enter your entry in the Rafflecopter below.

Congratulations to Cara and Janine for winning the 2-months sponsorship from Big Ideaz Education.

I have given your email addresses to Big Ideaz.

Big Ideaz Education