Money Matter$

~ Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 1:48 PM ~

As a SAHM for 2 years now, I would like to share how finances affect our parenting. Before I begin, I would like to clarify that we're not that dirt poor until we can't afford to buy anything, but as a parent now, we think the following items listed have indeed helped us save lots of money, enabling us to spend it on items which we really need and are of better use.

1. We gladly accept hand-me-down items!

* Image from Google search

Since we became a parent, we really love getting hand-me-downs from our relatives, friends and even ex-colleagues. You have no idea how much we save from not needing to buy bath tubs, toys, books, clothings, shoes, sandals, playpen, even a baby crib (which we used less than 1 week for Ben before we decided to co-sleep). All the money saved from not needing to buy things like this are better use to buy better quality food and necessities for the family.

* Our Point: You don't need to buy branded or new things when you can still make use (reuse) of old things. Recycle, recyle, recycle! And just because you are using hand-me-down stuff doesn't mean you are poor, just that you'd rather save the money for something better and appreciate that the old stuff can still be reused!

2. We are into DIY-ing some of Ben's stuff!

* Image from Google search

My regular blog readers would have read my post about my hubby's 1st DIY playmat and 2nd DIY playmat for Ben. Initially I was thinking of learning to make it using felt but that would take time (to learn a new craft) and money (to buy the supplies). In the end, hubby decided to use cardboards instead and we saved money from these DIY projects! My MIL also made and sewed some of Ben's pillows and bolsters herself.

* Our Point: We don't always have to buy new toys for our kids. We can make it ourselves and cultivate a sense of independence and creativity in our children to imagine and create things themselves! Also, by DIY-ing the toys, we are also recycling products like cardboards etc.

3. We are into preparing and making our own baby foods

Ben having pureed carrots...

When Ben was ready for solids at 6 months old, we bought a small tin of Nestle rice cereal  to mix with my breastmilk for him to try out. After that, we decided to prepare Ben's food ourselves. Meaning, we buy the ingredients from the grocery store and prepare it in batches and freeze it. It saves us money and we are more at ease knowing what went into the food Ben ate.

* Our Point: Just because it is soooooo convenient (I know this cos we bought that 1 small tin of Nestle rice cereal to try out. Guilty I agree!) to get baby food outside doesn't mean we should just buy it to save time and work. If you can, make and prepare the food yourself and it will save you more money and you will have peace of mind knowing what goes into the food that you are feeding to your child!

4. We are into breastfeeding

Seriously, breastfeeding really helped us save LOTS of money. We don't have to think of what formula powder, what bottles, what steriliser, what utensils etc etc to get. Of course, I am so thankful I am able to breastfeed Ben (he's 31 months old now btw) for so long and even now, by tandem nursing him and baby Alyson!

Me tandem nursing Ben and Alyson on the 1st night I was back from hospital...

* Our Point: If you can, do try to breastfeed your child, no matter how long you can do so, just give it a try! I get really frustrated hearing new mums (or mums to be) giving up or not even giving breastfeeding a try! Such a waste!!!

** Read: Ecclesiastes 7:12 (NIV), Hebrews 13:5 (NIV), Psalm 4:5 (NIV)

Operation Smile

~ Posted on Friday, September 30, 2011 at 12:24 AM ~

"My name is Min Zhu Lei. I'm three years old and already, I'm wary of strangers. All too often, they stare at me, or look away in disgust or horror.  

I have a cleft lip and my mother and I came to the medical mission in Xi'an, China looking for help. My family, including my mother, father, older brother and sister live in very poor conditions, and ever since I was born, we've been looking for an opportunity or money to get treatment for me. "

I first heard about cleft lip and cleft palate when I was pregnant with Ben in my 2nd trimester. Our gynae mentioned that in one of our monthly check-ups, he will do an ultrasound scan to check whether our baby is normal, in terms of whether he/she has Down syndrome and has cleft lip/palate condition. I was like 'Huh? What?' and read more when I got back home. It is heartbreaking for any parents to see their children having this condition. I came across this website and would like to share with you about "Operation Smile".

Some info about "Operation Smile":

"Operation Smile is a charity organization healing children's smiles, making the world a better place. Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft — often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places these children are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can't afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a normal life. 

Since 1982, Operation Smile — through the help of dedicated medical volunteers — has provided more than 2 million patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. Thanks to the generosity and spirit of volunteerism shown by our supporters, we heal thousands of children per year. With your help, how many lives can we change tomorrow?"

If you have any relatives or friends who are in college, then this is one of the many ways you can help in supporting this great cause! All you need to do is to rent text books! Yes, you read it correctly!

Some info about

" began renting textbooks in August of 2007. They served thousands and thousands of customers on more than 5,000 different college campuses in the fabulous USA. You can be confident in their customer service and reliability and they work like maniacs to get books to their customers on time, make things right when something goes wrong, and provide fast and responsive customer service.

Every rental comes with a worry free guarantee within the first 30 days of your order if you drop your class or change your mind, you keep more cash in your pocket up front, you can order from the comfort of your home or office, it doesn’t cost a penny to return your rented textbooks when you're done with them (they even provide the package), and you don’t have to worry about disappointing buyback prices at the end of the semester."

The awesome thing about this company is they have officially teamed up with Operation Smile for their 2011 Making a Difference Program. So for EVERY book rented starting now, they will donate a portion of those proceeds to Operation Smile.

Awesome right? So, do go ahead and spread out this news!

** Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, opinions and words are 100 % my own.

Have You Heard of Identity Theft?

~ Posted on Friday, September 2, 2011 at 12:05 AM ~

With the ever changing technology and more and more businesses providing the convenience to everyone in doing online transactions nowadays, we have to be very careful when it comes to performing tasks and activities on the World Wide Web. 

I'm particularly very skeptical with my personal data and would not simply divulge my particulars (such as address, contact number and banking details) unless the source is trusted and the website is encrypted and have good reputation in safekeeping their customers/members data.

Now have you heard of the terms identity theft?

* Image taken from

According to Wikipedia, identity theft is: "a form of fraud or cheating of another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name. The victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if he or she is held accountable for the perpetrator's actions. Organizations and individuals who are duped or defrauded by the identity thief can also suffer adverse consequences and losses, and to that extent are also victims."

Imagine the troubles you have to go through when you realised someone has stolen your personal details! For example, if someone manages to get hold of your credit card details, they could easily perform transactions online and make purchases online using your credit card details!

I came across this website called IdentityHawk, which is the industry leader in identity fraud detection and prevention. Unlike other services that inform their customers / members after they' have been victimized, IdentityHawk's leading-edge technology detects, deters, and prevents identity fraud before it strikes. Cool huh?

What is fantastic about their identity theft protection service is their members will receive automatic e-mail or text alerts the moment a potential risk is uncovered. They will also inform their members about the latest threats to their identity as quickly as electronically possible whether it's the unauthorized use of a member's personal information or a data breach. You can read more on how their system works at

I mean, wouldn't it be great to be informed the moment a POTENTIAL risk is detected? Of course, some of you might think it might be troublesome or even annoying, but I'd like to think that it is better to be safe than sorry!

So what are your thoughts on identity theft?

Do you practise any form of protection when it comes to divulging your personal particulars online?

** Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, opinions and words are 100 % my own.