Lesson from my daughter – Lovin my Mum Bod

Lovin my Mum Bod 01

 

Just over the weekends, the Sunday Times ran an article about Dads Bods where fathers can celebrate their less than chiseled abs and take heart that their paunchy mid-sections are desirable. After all, who has time for exercise when you’re a dad, or so they claim.

But us women have it much tougher with our Mum Bods. As it is, women struggle with their self image once we hit our teenage years. Maybe even younger if you came from an all girl’s school where how you looks is so important.

And while most mums-to-be are supposed to feel like glowing mums where they are pregnant, most will confess that they probably hated how big their baby made them look. In my case, I looked like a whale because I looked five months pregnant when I was only three with growing fibroids. And my feets and thighs swelled so much, it looked suspiciously like a case of elephantiasis. And after all these years, I’m still trying to get back into shape after my pregnancy …….. a grand six years ago!

So as you can imagine, it’s hardly unusual to hear me bemoaning how fat I look when I stare at myself in the mirror, or when I step on the weighing scales.

But one day in the middle of my laments, Sophie came up to me with waving finger and exclaimed, “You called yourself fat. That’s so rude mummy.”

I was taken aback at her bossiness but her words sank in.

 

“To her, calling myself fat was just plain rude”

What was I teaching my daughter all these while when I made remarks about hating my body?

What kind of a role model was I when I judged myself for how I look?

So often, we teach our kids not to label others fat even though they may be overly well-endowed or big in stature and here I am being so harsh on myself and saying the exact thing about my body.

Accepting my Mum Bod

As a mother to a daughter, I should know better than to inculcate such a belief system, that we are how we look. Rather, I want her to know that beauty is what lies within her. That having a brave and generous heart who cares and looks out for others is what’s exudes from a beautiful soul.

I have long been a victim to poor self esteem in my adolescence and that’s the last thing I want for Sophie to struggle with growing up.

Lovin my Mum Bod 03

What makes me beautiful? Confidence with lots of smiles and laughter

I want her to learn to love her body and recognise that beauty is skin deep and it starts with me accepting my less than perfect mom bod. To treat my body well by being healthy and eating well.

And how do I intend to do that?

  • Get back on track with my exercise and take Sophie along to motivate me (She hasn’t reached personal coach level yet, but she’s one great cheer leader)
  • Make wise choices about what I eat and put into my body (Bye bye bubble tea and chocolate cake)
  • Embrace my hips… and maybe stretch marks and thighs too
  • Recognising that I am much more than how I look
  • Having self confidence that radiates from within

And this quote sums it best!

Positive image

Lovin my Mum Bod 04

How matter how slim or thick my arms may become, they’ll always be there for you baby girl

 

Do you also struggle with your mum bod? What are you doing to make a change or to embrace it? I’ll love to hear from you.

My Little Champ – Scrapbooking Sophie’s First Race

Sophie took part in the Cold Storage Kids Run last Sunday at Gardens by the Bay. And like all proud mamas we snapped photos and posted pictures of our little ones on Facebook. But to me, it was not just a run with mama – that was a milestone as she learnt about running and completing a race.

Never mind that we probably took longer than others to cross the finishing line as the more competitive ones raced by. What matter to me was that she gave it her best despite having a cough and running under the blazing heat that morning.

In fact just two minutes into the run, Sophie started to ask, “how far more?”.

Midway through the run,  we stopped because she was tired and she requested that we walk to the end. But after a while, she noticed most kids dashing by. So she turned to me and said, “Mama let’s run.”

Though it was only 800m, that’s two laps around the running track in case you’re wondering, she completed it like a champ with no complaints…Hmm maybe just about the heat that day because it felt like it was 40 degrees. Nevertheless, I’m still mighty proud of her accomplishment.

My Little Champ 01

That’s my Little Champ!

So here’s the proud mama’s way of recording it, on the blog (where else) and in a scrapbook layout with a note to my little champ. I also penned a short note to her to remember that life is like a race and that it’s not how well we start, but how well we end that matters. #QOTD

My Little Champ 02

Date of your first race

Date of your first race at the Cold Storage Kids Run

My Little Champ 04

My Little Champ 05

 

I’ve kept Sophie’s bib from the run… wait, actually she’s the one who told papa that I needed to keep it so that I can blog about it along with her prized medal. Haha, a sure sign she’s a #daughterofablogger

I hope to preserve these mementos from the race for another scrapbook or craft project. If you have any suggestions, do hit me with some ideas!

This layout was put together with the Dear Lizzy serendipity collection. I was envisioning this layout to have more greens but somehow fell back on pink (AGAIN!) and with lots of polka dots and confetti! After all, this is a celebratory layout. The Best wood veneer is from my favourite designer, Elle’s Studio!

And if you’re interested, this is how little Sophie trained for the Cold Storage Kids Run :)

 

Learning never stops with PA’s Senior Academy

As the saying goes 活到老,学到老. Which translates to, one lives to old age and continues to learn to old age. In fact, my grandma is such an example and she’s learning English from the Community Centre even at 86 years old! I really admire her courage and thirst for knowledge.

To encourage more seniors to lead an active lifestyle and expand their social circle, the People’s Association has initiated the Senior Academy where those 50 years and above can pick up a new hobby, life skill, knowledge and even contribute back to the community.

Sophie with 奶奶 at the Senior Academy scrapbook class

Sophie with 奶奶 at the Senior Academy scrapbook class

Last weekend, I attended one of such courses, where I invited my mother-in-law to attend a class on the ‘The Basic Of Scrapbooking’. We learnt how to transform a shadow box andinto a memory box filled with precious photographs and meaningful mementos under the guidance of Ms Loh Kit Mui, a trainer from Nanyang Academy Of Fine Arts.

Sample of the shadow box scrapbook we're making

Sample of the shadow box scrapbook we’re making

PA Senior Academy Scrapbooking 006

A decorated shadow box that you can get from Diaso!

We were given a shadow box and lots of embellishments of our choice  to work with.

PA Senior Academy Scrapbooking 004

Paper flowers, resin flowers and coloured markers

Paper flowers, resin flowers and coloured markers

PA Senior Academy Scrapbooking 002

Everything always looks nicer with washi tapes

Initially my mother-in-law was worried that she’ll be lost at the class as she’s not done such craft work.

As it turns out, it was very easy to follow the class as it was mostly hands-on where the instructor moved around tables to give suggestions on how we can mix and match different papers, affix embellishments and introduced techniques like painting, punching that enhanced the look of our shadow boxes.

Nothing too complicated so beginners can be assured that you wouldn’t feel lost during the class. After all, there are no mistakes when it comes to a creative class like this :)

PA Senior Academy Scrapbooking 008

 

PA Senior Academy Scrapbooking 009

The instructor introducing washi tape to my mother-in-law!

PA Senior Academy Scrapbooking 010

Teaching us a technique to bring out the colours of the pattern paper

In fact, my mother-in-law did such a good job that she was the first in the class to complete her box.

She even did it meticulously with a theme to each box in the second row. Do you see the beach, garden and forest theme?

PA Senior Academy Scrapbooking 013

Sophie with her youthful 奶奶

Sophie with her youthful 奶奶

And this is my shadow box, in my signature pink with all things flowery, sweet and lacy. And don’t you agree that everything looks nicer with washi that I used to line the box with?

PA Senior Academy Scrapbooking 014

PA Senior Academy Scrapbooking 012

With our completed shadow box creation

I’m glad that my mother-in-law found the class interesting and I’m always glad that someone takes pleasure in doing craft work which is always such a therapeutic activity in itself  :) 

Besides scrapbooking, there are other classes such as introduction to mobile apps and tablets, cooking with Chef Eric, Health and Wellness by Celebrity DJ Anna Lim,  first aid, dancing, mobile photography, etc. To find out more about Senior Academy, do visit http://www.pa.gov.sg/courses/senior-academy.html.

 


* A Juggling Mom was invited for a media invite to write this post however no monetary compensation was received. All opinions are honest and are my own.

 

If you’re into crafts or memory making, do check out these posts too

Getting ready for our first Cold Storage Kids Run

Sophie may be a sporty little gal but this will be her or rather our first time taking part in a run together. As parents, we have always encouraged a fit and healthy lifestyle since she doesn’t get to go outdoors much as her childcare is in the CDB area.

Of course, Daddy has been a greater influence in this aspect as he’s the one who’s always keen to let her try new sports unlike this overly protective mum who’s worried she’s going to scrape her knee. And one of the most worthwhile investment which has given her plenty of fun while exercising is the balance bike, a strider, which we bought that goes way back since she was 2 and a half years old.

Over the years, Sophie mastered her strider so well that she can keep up with me when I jog alongside her. Or maybe it’s me trying to keep up with the little speedster.

Cold Storage Kids Run 2015 004

My little Strider babe at 2 and a half years old!

And just last week, she’s just progressed to her new bicycle and it took her less than 3 attempts to cycle on her own. So mighty proud of my little trooper who’s always game for new challenges.

Besides that she’s also gone for inline skating classes and swimming lessons, both which she enjoys thoroughly.

And now, we’re challenging her to go for her first run at the Cold Storage Kids Run this weekend. I know kids run around all the time but it’s quite another thing for little ones to stay focused and run to complete a race.

In any case we’re really doing this for the experience and not as a competitive event. And of course, we’re looking forward to a fun and healthy way to spend our weekend as a family.

Cold Storage Kids Run 2015 002

Off for her trial run before the Cold Storage Kids Run

But just to give her an idea of how far 800m feels like, we went for a practice session yesterday. She was panting half way though and even asked how far more she has to run as she began to moan how tired she was and can’t run anymore.

As her cheerleader, I told her to think positive thoughts and got her to say, Yes I can instead. She made a dash for it after she shouted the words like a warrior off to war, shocking the poor elderly joggers besides us as I ran off to chase her and hide my embarrassment.

I got her to keep jogging after that and surprised her when I told her we completed 1.5km. Not bad at all so I’m confident we wouldn’t be the last to complete our Merry Berry mother and daughter race on Sunday.

It does help that I told her she was wearing ultra light running shoes that made her FLY  (wonder how long before she calls mummy’s bluff on that). I’m relieved that she likes her new pair of Sketchers shoes which arrived in time before the race.

Cold Storage Kids Run 2015 003

Her purple Sketchers running shoes

She’s pretty smug that it has an “S” initial on it with purple glitter (her current favourite colour along with gold because it’s sparkly in her words). If you’re keen to check out the shoes, here’s the affiliate link on Amazon where I bought at a pretty good deal (compared to the retail price here of course).

We’ll be praying for good weather this Sunday and also be staying for the Mega Picnic by AIA where there will be fun activities as well as the promising sports carnival after the race.

Let’s get active and healthy. See you at The Meadow on 17 May!

Cold Storage Kids Run 2015

Sophie and her winning pose!

White Flower Factory – Siam Square One, Bangkok

Two weekends ago, I took off to Bangkok on a girly trip with my colleagues. When you travel to Bangkok with a bunch of girls, you can be assured that there will be lots of shopping, eating and shopping on the itinerary.

While we had our fill of Thai street food, we also discovered a new gem in Siam – Siam Square One, where there were lots of cafes and restaurants in the mall. And the one that captured our hearts and tummy is the White Flower Factory restaurant.

 

White Flower Factory – Siam Square One

White Flower Factory Bangkok 01

White Flower Factory in Siam Square One

Situated on the 4th floor of Siam Square One, White Flower Factory is hard to miss with it’s clean and modern deco with wooden tables adorned vases of white flowers. We came here expecting to find a western menu for late brunch and was surprised that they also served local Thai food.

And when in doubt, always choose Thai food when one is in Bangkok.

White Flower Factory Bangkok 03

White Flower Factory decorated with lots of white lilies

White Flower Factory Bangkok 04

The white brick wall behind makes this place instantly Instagram worthy

Later after some goggling work, I found out that this place is pretty famous with the locals and is the second outlet after White Flower Cafe & Bakery. In fact, one weekends, it’s not surprising to see a queue for lunch and dinner.

The White Flower Factory is also famous for it’s wide selection of deliciously decadent bakes and cakes. What you see below is a mere fraction of their cakes.

How I would love to sink my teeth into that lemon pie.
White Flower Factory Bangkok 05

For appetizers, we had Crispy Cat Fish Flake Served with Spicy Mango Salad (165 baht). This was my first time trying this dish as it’s not very common to find it back in Singapore and boy was I hooked right from the first mouthful.

The cat fish meat was fried to a nice crisp texture that was light and airy. And when paired with its accompanying tangy mango salad, it was an explosion of flavours.  I’m usually no fan of mango, let alone mango salad, but they managed to do it so well that I found myself going for another round and another round.

White Flower Factory Bangkok 06

Crispy Cat Fish Flake Served with Spicy Mango Salad

Another dish that we had was the Roasted Duck in Red Curry (195 baht). Somehow, the Thais have a way with their roast ducks and they always taste much better than back home. This was another mouthwatering dish where our taste buds was seduced by the intensity of the rich coconut in the red curry and the roast duck was tender and juicy.

White Flower Factory Bangkok 09

Roasted Duck in Red Curry

We had a plate of greens and ordered a Stir Fried Morning Glory which is similar to kang kong. Nothing spectacular about this dish as it’s simply seasoned with garlic, chili and soy sauce .

White Flower Factory Bangkok 08

Stir Fried Morning Glory

The winning dish for us was without a doubt their Fresh Noodle in Spicy Pork (145 baht), and it’s no wonder it’s the White Flower Factory signature dish. Looking suspiciously like kway chap when it was first served on our table, we wondered for a moment if we ordered it.

But when we took a spoonful of the soup,  the richness of the broth won us over. Though the soup was darker than what we anticipated, the kway chap was cooked to the right texture and glided smoothy while the stewed pork that was cooked to perfection and each tender piece melted in our mouths.

White Flower Factory Bangkok 07

A White Flower Signature Dish – Fresh Noodle in Spicy Pork

And before I forget, don’t forget to squeeze in some lime and top it with green chili and fried shallots. The combination is like nothing I’ve tasted and oddly the sour and tangy lime complimented the dish well and gave it an extra omph and kick especially for someone like me who loves sour stuff!

This was our most satisfying dish and we even recommended this dish and restaurant to another group of friends who came the next day who sang praises of it.

White Flower Factory Bangkok 11

And for me, having a glass of iced Thai milk tea is an absolute must in Thailand and it was not disappointing as well.

White Flower Factory Bangkok 10

The White Flower Factory was one of the best places we ate on our trip. And like what I told my friends, if you see a place that frequented with lots of locals, you know you can’t go wrong with the food. The four of us spent less than S$10 each on lunch inclusive of drinks and was greatly satisfied by our food choices.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that it looked every bit instagram worthy too.

White Flower Factory Bangkok 02

White Flower Factory Siam Square 1, Bangkok

Don’t miss this place the next time you’re in Bangkok and do check out the many restaurants and cafes in Siam Square 1 too. I’ll be writing more about the places we ate and shopped in my next post :)

 

White Flower Factory

Siam Square One 4th Floor
(Nearest BTS Siam)
Opening Hours: Daily 11am – 10pm