Motivational Mondays – Carrying one another’s burden

holding hands

For many marries couples, familiarity breeds contempt the longer you’re married.  I too have gone down that slippery slope where I’ve taken my husband for granted, made assumptions that my hubby can read my mind and pick up the vibes when I give him “the look”,  or when I’ve speak to him in an unkind manner out of frustration after a long days’ work.

It’s easy to forget that we’re a team who wants the best for each other, the best for the family when the daily grind gets to us. And over the past few weeks, when I’ve had the time to slow down, I begin to see my hubby in a new light.

Alexis has been a hands on dad all along and he even chips in with the housework. But when I was in the hospital, everything fell on his shoulders, from ferrying Sophie to and from school, playing with her in the evenings, to the chores at home and even taking care of my every need so that I can recuperate without a worry. And he did it tirelessly without a word of complain or unhappiness.

I saw how he demonstrated, bearing one another’s burden from the book of Galatians 6 and felt blessed beyond words to have a partner who so willingly picks up the pieces during my moments of weakness.

In a marriage, husband and wife share many ups and downs. There will be seasons when one falls and the others needs to stand in the gap. How ready are you to carry your spouse’s burdens?

More importantly, don’t let a day go past without expressing your gratitude for the little things your partner has done to show that you care and appreciate what they’ve done.

 

Link up for Motivational Mondays

Do link up every Monday on what motivates you to be better be it a fitness goal, parenting, marriage, etc. Share your recent posts and encourage someone. Share your recent posts and encourage someone. Don’t forget to grab my badge and include it in your post after you have linked up and leave me a comment too.

I host Motivational Monday every week and I hope that you can join me every Monday. Have a great week ahead!

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Thankful Tuesday – All is well

All is well

Thanks everyone for your concern, prayers and well wishes. The op last Wednesday went well and I'm now recuperating back in the comfort of my home. Though the nurses and sisters took great care of me during my stay in the hospital at Gleneagles, nothing beats the familiarity of sleeping in your own bed and pillow and of course being surrounded by my family.

Though it was not a major operation, I don't think you can classify it an minor surgery either. After all, a total of 25 fibroids were removed.

Yes, 25!

I still shudder at the thought of how so many fibroids can multiply in such a short period of time since my last op when I removed… 33 fibroids. Please don't ask me why there are so many of them as it's still something that puzzles me as well. I just pray and hope that they never come back to bother me again.

Though it has been a rather unnerving experience when I saw red for one whole month that saw my hemoglobin levels dip to a low of 7.1 (the average is 12), there was still so much to be thankful for.

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Thankful For

Just days before my op, the bleeding miraculously stopped and I thought that was my silver lining. I quickly made an appointment to see another gynae for a second opinion but was advised the same to proceed with the op. Though, I was disappointed to say the least, but at least I had peace knowing it's all for the better.

Just before the op, I was so thankful that they allowed Alexis by my side right until I was wheeled into the operating theatre. Knowing that he was there beside me, comforted me so much and I wasn't as fearful as my previous ops.

My biggest worry in the hospital was Sophie. But the family rallied around and my in-laws and parents both took turns to take care of her, with Alexis running around the whole time too. After a long three days, when I was finally off the tubes, did she come and visit me and I was so cheered up by my little sunshine.

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Celebrated with a slice of chocolate cake on my last evening at the hospital when I could be discharged

And of course, I'm most thankful by all the well wishes, concern and prayers from family and friends who prayed alongside me for this whole episode.

And this may be trivia, but one thing that I'm doing for Christmas is to donate blood. After being a recipient of four pints of blood post op, it's the least I can do to give back and help save a life. I hope you'll do the same too and save a life.

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What are you thankful for today?


 

Phuket Beach Holiday Getaway Part 2– Holiday Inn Resort Phuket

After spending 2 and a half days in the lovely Holiday Inn Resort Mai Khao, we headed to a more happening part of Phuket – Patong. Patong is Phuket’s most famous and popular strecth of beach where its pulsating nightlife attracts tourists every evening for a slice of it’s electrifying atmosphere.

Coming from Mai Khao to Patong, the cab journey took slightly less than an hour. So, if you’re coming from the airport, it will take you about 30-45 minutes to get to Holiday Inn Resort Phuket which is right at the heart of Patong.

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Holiday Inn Resort Phuket hotel lobby

The resort consists of two distinctive wings,the contemporary designed Main Wing that is catered for families with its family friendly rooms and facilities and the Busakorn Wing which blends traditional Thai design with modern design elements in spacious rooms and villas for couples seeking a more intimate resort experience.

We stayed in the Deluxe Pool View Room in the Main Wing and was pleasantly surprised by how spacious the room was. Not only was there a king size bed, there was also a plush sofa and a table in the room that was decorated in a soothing shade of blue. From the balcony, it overlooked the swimming pool as well as Patong Beach which was just across the road.

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View of the pool from our room

 

The bathroom was also one of the biggest I’ve seen in a hotel, where there’s a separate shower, bathtub, toilet and even a seating area.

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The complimentary minibar is filled daily with soft drinks, waters, breezers, and beers and free internet are provided in the room too.

To cater to families, they’ve also got Family Suites and Kids Suite where the kids can have their own private area and be entertained while the parents get their own space all within the same room. For the Kids Suite, they even offer different themes like Pirate or Jungle theme with bunk beds, TV and video, toy box and electronic games.

Food and Beverages

Food wise, we had a section of restaurants to dine in. Sea Breeze Café, was where we started our exciting time in Patong with an international breakfast buffet. The selection of food was more than we could ask for and there was something to cater to every taste buds.

Situated just beside the pool with outdoor dining seating made me feel extra relaxed as I enjoyed the warm sunshine while having my meal leisurely.

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International Breakfast Buffet at Sea Breeze

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Seafood Buffet Spread

In the evening, we had a seafood buffet and was spoilt for choice as you can tell from the picture above. And the best part, kids are not left out as they get to enjoy their own kids’ buffet too.

For lunch, we headed to Terrazzo for traditional Italian cuisine in a casual al fresco dining that was facing the beach. Here the restauant offers pizza, pasta, fresh seafood as well as excellent steak. And there is also a cocktail bar where you can have a drink while enjoying the sights of a happening Phuket.

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Terrazzo Restaurant & Bar

Besides the dining options at the Main Wing, we also ate at Charm Thai for some authentic local Thai cuisine. Every dish that we had from pineapple fried rice, to green curry and stir fried shrimps and deep fried crab cakes were all heavenly delectable and mouthwatering good.

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Interior of Charm Thai Restaurant

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We didn’t managed to dine at Sam’s Steaks & Grill this time. But from reviews, this was the place to go to for quality steak. Not only is it a local favourite, it is also recommended by tourists alike as Sam’s has gained a reputation for excellent steaks and great service.

Facilities and Activities

The first place that Sophie requested for us to check out in the hotel was the Kids Club. Here the Kids Club has an array of toys and activities and kids get to enjoy different activities daily under the supervision of the friendly staff.

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And to cater to both toddlers and older kids, they have two separate pools which was a good idea since the older kids tends to get a little rowdy when they get excited playing. Sophie loved the slide in the pool and had a lovely tan after swimming and busking under the sun that afternoon.

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Not wanting to leave the pool, we headed over to the main pool where they continued to swim while I found the best way to relax.

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There’s also the gym as well as daily activities for guests like batik painting and umbrella painting. On one of the days, we noticed that they even organised a trip to the local orphanage which I though was very meaningful to help the local children.

Holiday Inn Resort has one of the best spa around town called the Tea Tree Spa and on one of the evenings, Sophie joined me for her very first massage. It was a 30 minutes massage for her and I could sense her apprehension as she didn’t know what to expect from it.

At the start of the session, she was asked to picked the oil that she liked and she chose one that smells like coca cola according to her. But after the session, she cracked me up when she said, “I thought I choose the oil that smells like coca cola? But now I smell like pandan cake!” I’m glad she managed to just lie there for another half an hour while I had my hour long massage. Pure bliss for both mummy and daughter :)

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Location

In terms of location, we really liked how convenient and accessible the Holiday Inn Resort was. As I’ve mentioned the hotel is just across Patong beach where you can try exhilarating beach activities like parasailing, cable skiing and jet skiing. Wanna take things slow and easy, then it’s the place to just to soak up the sun, curl your toes in the sand and just watch the waves roll in at sunset.

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Exploring Phuket on a Tuk Tuk

If you’re keen for some shopping, it’s also very close to shopping areas like OTOP Market which has shops hawkering their wares from garments to traditional handicrafts, accessories, household items as well as bars that came to life in the evenings. Though it opens in the day, we found out that this place is more lively in the evenings as they open till late.

By foot, you can also walk to the Jungceylon Shopping Complex, which is Patong’s newest and largest shopping mall where there’s Robinson department store and Big C supermarket.

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Here you have over 200 stores in this shopping heaven that sells almost everything and the best part is, you can just plonk the hubby or boyfriend at a cafe while you shop in the comfort of an air-conitioned mall to escape from the sweltering heat or rain which happened when we were there. We even spotted an indoor playground for kids on the top level called Kidzoona, which has an inflatable slide, playground structure as well as stations for some make believe play.

By night, you can venture out to the happening Bangla Street, which according to the locals is a must go just to have a feel of their electrifying atmosphere that comes to life when night falls. Since it didn’t sound appropriate for us to bring Sophie along, we left her at the Kid’s Club in the hotel where they had programs to keep her entertained.

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Can you spot us?

Be prepared to get lots of unwanted solicitation for tiger show, ping pong show and what have you. You can expect to hear lots of loud music blasting and sexily dressed ladies dancing on the bar tops. There are also street hawkers selling their usual souvenirs to tourists.

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The happening Tiger Night Club

Though this was only  a short 4 days trip to Phuket, I felt so recharged from this short break. The Thais really have a way into your hearts with their warm hospitality and they made us feel like we were home away from home.

If you’re looking for a quiet beach holiday in Phuket, then don’t forget to read my earlier post where we stayed in Mai Khao.

For this Christmas festive season, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket is offering a special offer when you book before 30 November and stay between 1 December and 31 January 2015 that includes:

  • Accommodation with daily buffet breakfast at Sea Breeze or Charm Thai
  • 15% discount on Food and Beverage at any outlets
  • Rates start from THB5,740++
 
Holiday Inn Resort Phuket
52 Thaweewong Road,
Patong Beach, Kathu
Phuket 83150
 
Website
Facebook Page
 

Phuket Beach Holiday Getaway Part 1- Holiday Inn Resort Mai Khao

When it comes to holidays, I have concluded that beach holidays are more my kinda thing. I used to turn my nose at the idea of slow and relaxing holidays with no agendas. After all, who wants to sit around and do nothing? But the beach holidays I had so far have given me a fresh new perspective of what it means to simply

Slow down. Unwind. Relax.

And this year, I had not just one but three holidays where I had a glorious time being a beach bum in Bali, Gold Coast and the most recent in Phuket where I almost didn’t feel like coming home.

Our flight to Phuket, Thailand was a mere 1 hour and 45 minutes flight where we flew with Silk Air.  We were served breakfast as we took the 6:50am flight and I’m glad that Sophie could pretty much entertain herself with drawing, colouring and I played a few rounds of hang man with her before we landed in the land of smiles.

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Phuket here we come

We stayed at Holiday Inn Resort at Mai Khao beach which was the perfect getaway for busy city dwellers like us. Getting there was a short 15 minutes drive away from the airport where we were picked up by the airport transfer service provided by the hotel.

As the resort is situated in the quieter North West coast of Phuket, you’ll find that it is so peaceful there unlike beaches like Patong, which is always buzzing with activities. Once you step foot in the resort, the tranquility of the place immediately sets in and you’ll be all ready to kick back, take a breather and have your cares sweep away like the waves beneath your feet.

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Accomodation

We were greeted with welcome drinks and cold towels when we checked in and were ushered to our room. We stayed in a Junior Suite on the ground floor which was tastefully done up in a modern and contemporary decor.

As you can see the room is very spacious and we even had an extra bed which came in handy as Alexis fell sick on the first day and slept away from us. Right in front of our king sized bed was a couch where you can relax in.

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I especially liked how airy the room felt and there was lots of natural sunlight from the balcony which opens to our own exclusive pool with an outdoor seating area! Yes, a pool access room rocks as it’s so convenient to just jump into the pool at any time of the day.

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Blissed out at our private pool access room

The bathroom area has two separate areas for the toilet and a walk-in rain shower. Within the room, you have a working area which has international adaptor at the study desk for charging all our gadgets. Oh and yes, how can I forget the free wifi in your room and throughout the whole resort too!

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We didn’t manage to stay in their Junior Suite or Kid’s Suite but we understand that they are really a hit for families with children as the kids have their own private room within the suite with their own TV, DVD player and game console.

These room options are perfect for those with slightly older kids, giving parents some well deserved break and privacy too. Not only that, the kids even get to have their own special kid’s bathtub complete with all the kids amenities.

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Kids room in the Family Suite

Kids Suite 2

Kids Suite with bunk beds

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Food & Beverage

Food wise, you have plenty of options from international cuisines to local Thai delights. We had most of our meals at J’s Restaurant where we start the day with their international buffet breakfast spread and come evenings, they offer themed buffet dinners. If you prefer al fresco dining, you can choose their out-door seating with views over the resort gardens.

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On the first evening we had their local street buffet dinner and got to indulge in many of their local delicacies from tom yum gong, pad thai, osyter omelette, green curry, and their mouth watering desserts. We even had the chance to make our own ice kachang with this retro looking ice crusher!

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Local Street Food Buffet Dinner

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Washing it down with Singha beer – drinking the local way

On the second day, we even attended a Thai cooking class offered right here at the Holiday Inn Resort’s kitchen under the wing of the restaurant’s chef where we whipped up Tod Mun Goong (Fried prawn cakes), Gang Kiew Wan Gai (Green curry) and Larb Gai (Minced chicken salad). And just in case you’re wondering, it turned out to be a pretty fun experience and I’m glad Alexis took up the cooking challenge and did it alongside me.

While we may not emerge as Thai chefs after one session, our food was up to scratch according to the chef and don’t they just look mouth-watering to whet our appetite now? A Thai cooking class is something to try when you’re in Thailand and what a great take away experience you’ll gained from it. 

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We also dined at their beachfront restaurant, Pesto that serves traditional Italian cuisine. By day, it offers a great view of the beach and you get lulled by the sea breeze and the gentle crashing of waves as you sink your teeth into their scrumptious Italian dishes. You can choose to order from their ala-carte menu or even design your own pasta and pizzas if you feel more adventurous.

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Lunch at Pesto

On one of the days, we even had a family picnic by the beach which was a unique experience where we dined with sand in our toes and watched the clouds float by.

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Facilities and Activities

As Mai Khao beach is about an hour’s drive away from central Patong area, we choose to stay within the resort but were certainly not bored at all. Besides the Thai cooking class, there were daily activities around the Holiday Inn Resort for all ages. Some of them were free like yoga at the pool, movie nights, learning thai massage, the 24-hour gym, table tennis while some were paid activities like fan and batik painting to cover the costs of the materials.

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From top left – their famous in-house Spa-Tea tree Spa, Badminton court, Trampoline, Cabanas for movie nights and fun games in the evening

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24 hour gym

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Trying her hand at Batik Painting

The hotel also has a library resource centre where you can borrow books and DVDs to watch from the comfort of your hotel room. Sophie was of course thrilled that we had movie night every night which means she gets to stay up later than usual.

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Resource centre for book and DVD rental

Besides swimming in our own private pool, we also went to the infinity pool which had a bar beside it which makes it a perfect spot for those who prefer to lounge under the sun to suntan and chill out with a pina colada in hand. There is a baby area so you can plonk little ones there as they waddle about. And if you forgot to pack your floats and beach toys, you can easily purchase it there too.

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From the pool, the beach was just at our footstep and what better way to welcome the day than taking a walk down the beach as a family as we soaked in the beautiful sights of nature, the sun, the sea and the sand. It almost felt like it was a private beach as it was so quiet making it a real gem as you experience the tranquility and peace as you watch the waves roll in and hear the soothing the sound of the waves.

Sophie went armed with her pails and toys to build her sand castles, while I picked sea shells and Alexis just chilled on a hammock. On one day, we even saw a set up for a romantic beach wedding!

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The mandatory jump shot at the beach

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Best way to relax by the beach

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Romantic Beach Wedding set up in progress

But the most impressive part for us or rather Sophie was really their impeccable Kid’s Club. Not only do they have an outdoor playground, they also have a kids club that kept the kids very busy and extremely happy.

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Outdoor playground

Inside the Kid’s Club, parents need to sign their child in and if you have your own plans, you can inform the friendly staff. The ball pit with an indoor playground complete with slides and swings is hard to miss and that’s the first things that all kids will excitedly dive into once they enter.

At any time, there will always be staff on hand to man the kids. And unlike some clubs where staff only sit around to chit chat, the staff here actively play with the kids and engage them with activities and crafts. I was certainly impressed by how attentive the staff were as they remember the name of the kids and also change activities to suit the kids if they got bored.

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I could sense that they genuinely liked kids and because of their conscientious efforts to engage the kids, the kids enjoyed their company too.

Sophie was absolutely chuffed that she got a kiddy manciure and had her nails painted, made her own friendship band, visor, a photo frame and also did batik painting. 

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Little hidey holes for kids

There is also a DVD and game consoles area for kids who prefer their screen time. And if quiet play is more their thing, they’ve also got a reading corner or they can do colouring.

And how do you know that Sophie enjoyed herself? She asked to go to the Kid’s Club every single day after breakfast  and didn’t want to leave unless it was meal or pool time. And this drawing that she did was a tell tale sign of how how much she enjoyed herself at the Kiddy Club with the friendly staff there.

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I’m truely thankful for this wonderful beach getaway at Holiday Inn Resort in Mai Khao. They have not only received the Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor for 2013 and 2014, the resort is also awarded as Top 25 Hotels for Families, Travelers’ Choice winners in 2013 and 2014. And reading all these wonderful reviews on Trip Advisor, I know I’m not alone when I say that this holiday resort is an ideal beach holiday destination if you’re looking for a getaway from the busy city life.

But if you prefer a more happening and exciting beach holiday, then stay tuned for our review of Holiday Inn Resort Phuket in Patong.

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For this Christmas festive season, Holiday Inn Resort Mai Khao is offering a special offer when you book before 15 November and stay between 1 December and 31 January 2015 that includes:

  • Accommodation with daily buffet breakfast at J’s Restaurant
  • One beverage package for the family at the pool bar with beers, soft drinks, juices and French fries
  • Kids cooking class
  • 10% off on Food and beverages
  • Rates start from THB4,510++ (approximately SGD 175++)

 

Holiday Inn Resort Mai Khao
81, Moo3, Tumbol Mai Khao
Ban Mai Khao, Phuket
Thailand 83110

Website

Facebook Page

 

 

* A Juggling Mom received a complimentary stay at Holiday Inn Resort Mai Khao to write this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Faith for Healing

Today’s the 5th of November and it’s been a long tiring month since I first started bleeding heavily. Initially the gynea suggested to do a hysteroscopy, which means a shorter down time and lesser pain. But after seeing how many fibroids I had, a landmine was how she described it, she concluded that an open myomectomy would be more suitable to increase the chances of conception after the removal of the fibroid.

My heart dropped because I remember my painful ordeal after the op 3 years ago which frankly still scares me. While it may be another open operation like a c-section, the procedure is a lot longer as the gynae would have to find the many fibroids in the uterus and remove them one by one and sew up the multiple incisions made.

The operation was about 3 hours but the nightmare began when the pain kicked in by the second day. I was in the hospital for almost a week.

I’m trying hard not to think about it and rest up for the op which I fear will have to be further delayed as I’m still not getting better from my cough and sore throat, which just started yesterday. The doctor also informed me that my hemoglobin levels have dipped to 7 from a 9 after two weeks, which is not ideal since the optimum level is at 12.

But I know that God hear my cries and He is the God that heals. So I’m proclaiming, proclaiming His healing, His power and His intervention for wholeness and health to my body.

 

Chin up, chin up Susan and keep a positive spirit and entrust it in the Lord. Healing and restoration comes from Him and my hope is in you God!

 

 

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