What I did in 2010 that I'm proud of...

~ Posted on Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 8:59 AM ~

Oh well... it is now 2011 already! I was just wondering the other day what have I done in 2010 that is worth remembering and be proud of myself other than being a slave full-time mummy to Ben...

#1 : I have finally let go of my previous company - the immediate help and advice and the thoughts of going back there to work.

You see, up until the first quarter of 2010, I was still entertaining thoughts of going back to work and I was still enthusiastically helping out and giving advice to ex-colleagues who asked for my help on the IT system. But now, no more on that. Maybe because I have finally gotten the hang of being a full-time mummy and are not perturbed by the office stuff, politics or etc as much as I did back when I first quit my job.

Of course, I do still care about my ex-colleagues and keep in touch with them via emails or Facebook but I don't feel the thrill of being in a part of the rat race work force anymore. I mean, I used to drop everything on hand (except Ben of course) and cracked my head trying to remember back the IT system stuff just so I could help out my ex-colleagues ASAP. Now, I don't feel like I owe anyone any explanations or anything, if I remember, I will help, else, I'm really sorry. I mean, it has been 1.5 years since I quit my job, so it's really not easy to still remember everything about the system!

# 2 : My very own I'm a full-time mummy domain!

I left my old blog in Blogger and got myself my very own domain! Finally, no more squatting for free on Google and total control of my own posts and blog designs and stuff. Yes, the initial work of redesigning the blog template from scratch, of tweaking and all the countless trials and errors in order to make everything on my blog looks nice (to me!) were such hardwork and stressful (with an active boy to care and watched out at all time), but the end results are worth it!

# 3 : I ventured into BAKING!

I am not much of a cook but venturing into the world of baking is a milestone in my life! I am very happy that I get to experiment and try on some baking recipes, and even contribute some of my baking experience into a few batches of cookies for hubby's clients (as Christmas presents for 2010)

# 4 : I've been able to help some friends, even strangers in the matters of baby care, breastfeeding and so on. Amongst them are advicing:

* 4 mums-to-be on matters pertaining to breastfeeding (why it's good, benefits, how to get more info etc), baby products (essentials, etc)

* 5 new mums on matters pertaining to breastfeeding (latching, co-sleeping, dreamfeeding, EBM storage and disaster plan)

* 4 mums with more than 6 months old child on matters pertaining to breastfeeding, SAHM concerns, baby care, feeding, vaccinations and etc.

I mean, I'm not an expert on parenting, breastfeeding or whatever matters but with the experience I have, I am more than happy to share what I learned, experienced (You only need to ask! I don't want to be a busybody and give advice when you're not asking for it!) and I hope these wonderful people that I came to contact with will value my advice as much as I valued dispensing it to them.

# 5 : Doing more awesome book reviews with more publishing companies!

Just for the year of 2010, I reviewed 20 books of which most are very very good read (no regrets) and some of which are only made possible when I finally gathered my courage to ask for a copy to review. Ask and you shall receive! Amen to that! And for 2011, I currently have 4 e-books on hand (and 2 hardcopies on the way) waiting to be read and reviewed... And to think that we saved so much money and we get to read and review all those books for free! God is so awesome and generous!

# 6 : Doing awesome music album reviews!

Yes, I reviewed 6 music albums for 2010! It all started with some browsing over the Internet and I stumbled upon this website which has a link for blogger review program and I just signed up for it. Weeks later, I got an email with details to review my fist ever music album which was published in July 2010. From then on, other opportunities came by and there were from different PR companies (I still have no idea how they got my contact since I only signed up for one!)

So, that was it for now that I can think of. All in all, it was a fruitful and blessed year for me, for us in fact to live through 2010 (good health, good income, abundant joys, happy family and good memories to cherish, made more bloggy friends). And not to forget, the ability to still breastfeed Ben who is going to be 22 months old in a few days time (still zero speck of formula powder in the house woohooo!)

I am for ever thankful to God for His neverending blessings and generosity to us and I hope that with this new year which has ushered in, we will get to enjoy and be blessed with more of this awesome stuff!

I hope that you will have a blessed year ahead too! And a big thanks to my regular blog and/or Facebook followers for your neverending comment support and encouragement!

* Images are all taken from Google image search

2010 Christmas Cards...

~ Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 12:40 PM ~

In this age of modern technology, it's not often we get to receive Christmas cards anymore. People would rather go for sending Christmas greetings via Facebook (guilty!), Twitter (guilty cos my FB status goes to Twitter automatically!), blog post (guilty!) or the common method of e-cards now.

So it was a real surprise for me this year to be getting not one, but TWO Christmas cards! Actual Christmas cards! What a nice feeling that is! It's kinda big deal since we don't really get any greetings card anymore!

The first was from one of the PR company I worked with where I get to review a couple of awesome music albums this year. I love the fact that they took the trouble to do this, I mean, I'm sure I'm not the only blogger working with them, so this is quite an honor to be remembered and thought of in this joyful season! Take a look:

2010 Christmas Card
My address shaded to protect my privacy hehehe...
2010 Christmas Card
The front cover of the card... creative!
2010 Christmas Card
The Christmas & New Year greetings...
2010 Christmas Card
A handwritten note with signatures from the PR team!

The second card arrived just today, from hubby's aunt in Sydney. Ben ever the curious boy, immediately took hold of the card and start investigating...

2010 Christmas Card
"Hmm.. beautiful color! I like red!"
"Let me see, this is D, this is E, this..."

And then he flashed us his cheeky smile as if he has managed to read out the greetings from our aunty Patricia to us... Cheeky boy!

So, there you go... our 2 Christmas cards for 2010. Nice thoughtful and memorable cards. Thank you, Amanda of Lafamos PR and Branding and to our dear Aunty Patricia for thinking of us and for your trouble in sending the cards all the way to us in Malaysia!

Yummy Christmas Gifts...

~ Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 10:08 AM ~

What a hectic month!

(*Image taken from Microsoft clipart)

As usual, every year in December, hubby and I will get busy cracking up our heads thinking of what gifts to give his business clients for Christmas. I have only started taking pictures of the gifts from 2008 and it was also the year we mostly DIY and made the gifts ourselves. We thought that it would be a nice gesture, with the added personal touch and feel to the gifts.

For 2008's Christmas, we bought some 3 feet tall Christmas tree, bought tons and tons of sweet treats ranging from mini packets of M&Ms, Toblerones, mini packets of raisins, and not to forget mini packs of junk foods. (yes, yes, what an unhealthy choice of food!) I still remember hubby telling me someone in the elevator asked him  whether the gift is for sale and whether he could order one too! (while hubby delivered the gifts personally to one of his clients)

Hubby set up the tree and prepared the box for the base while I helped out in stapling each and every treats to a wool string before hanging them to the tree branches and decorating them at the same time. Mind you, I was 7 months pregnant with Ben at the time, so it was quite a feat to be doing all this decoration then!

For 2009's Christmas, still not too far from previous year's sweet treats, hubby thought that we should give the sweet treats in a candy jars. So we bought some glass candy jars from Ikea, bought some Famous Amos cookies, bought tons of sweet treats again and stuff everything into the glass jars and wrapped them up in a nice fluffy red ribbons.

For this year's Christmas gifts, hubby and I thought of sticking to the same sweet treats idea but with a bit of a twist, in the sense that I baked some cookies as part of the Christmas treats. The original idea was for me to bake enough cookies to fit into 2 biscuit tins (1 large, 1 small) but after baking a few batches which could only fit into 2 big and 2 small tins, I gave up and told hubby it was really tiring and hectic for me to be doing all those baking with Ben around. As much as I wanted to bake all those cookies, I really had to accept the fact that I simply can't take this challenge...

In the end, hubby asked me whether we could put the few batches of cookies I made into all the smaller size tins while we put sweet treats into the bigger tins. I mulled over the idea and thought it's a good solution in the sense that all the clients will still get to try my cookies (although they are all squeezed into the smaller tins) and we are still able to give both the big and small biscuit tins to each clients at the same time.

Picture below are some of the bigger size biscuit tins which I stuff all the sweet treats like M&Ms, Toblerones, Cloud 9, marshmallows (4 different flavors), Cadbury's  & Merci chocolate, and many more which I can't remember. My head was only thinking 'I've gotta stuff all this in! I've gotta stuff all this in!'

And this is a shot of one of the smaller size biscuit tins, packed with my Shortbread Shape cookies. I packed about 6-10 cookies into each individually sealed plastic pouch so that it's easy for the clients to just take 1 pack instead of opening and closing to take a few and then letting the air into the tins making the cookies lose their freshness and crispness.

For the wrapping part, I stacked the smaller tin on top of the bigger tin and then I tied them with the fluffy red ribbons. Noticed how the ribbons ended at the smaller tins? Creative eh?

As for the greeting card to the clients, hubby came up with the Christmas greetings which I then copied and paste the text onto a template I downloaded from Microsoft. I then printed out the text greetings using color printer onto some A4 size papers. To give them an added ooompfhh with a tougher feel, I decided to recycle some greeting cards we got in exchange for a donation to a charity organisation. I cut the required size and glued the greetings to the recycled greeting cards. I even got Ben to help me glue some of the greetings text.

And this is how the final gift looks like!I present to you,

Christmas gifts for 2010!!

I don't think I will dare to attempt such a big scale of baking at any moment now, especially when Ben still needs my attention most of the time as I could only do my baking when he is taking his daytime nap (about 2-3 hours) or when there is someone taking care of him (such as hubby and my niece, Bonnie who helps out a great deal watching over Ben when she spends her daytime at our place after school).

In summary, it took lots and lots of planning and co-operation from the entire family members to play their part in order to produce this year's Christmas gifts. I would say, it was tiring but it was well worth it.

Now the next thing on the list to do is to get Christmas gifts for our 10 nieces and nephews (ranging from 3 year old to 16 years old) and our dearest Benjamin...

Time to crack our heads again...