The Hokkien custom and tradition

Chanced upon a new local tv variety series on Mio TV last week – “Are You Hokkien? 你是福建人吗?”. It talks about the customs and traditions of one of the dialect groups in Singapore – Hokkien.

Just as we were watching episode 6 today, mum’s friend pop by with a box of cake, red eggs and ang-gu-kueh for the full month of her grandson!

Pretty box!

Cake, red eggs & ang gu kueh!

How I know it’s grandson and not granddaughter? Because the ang-gu-kuehs are sharp-edged! That’s something I learnt from the show :D

While it may not be the full fledged set as according to the hokkien tradition, it still feels more heartwarming as compared to receiving those full-month vouchers that we have been seeing these years.

一路走好

星期一傍晚回到家的时候, 发现组屋楼下开了”档”。因为已经围起来了, 所以看不见过世者是谁。今天早上就跟妈妈聊了起来, 发现原来过世者是七楼的卖菜 auntie。

我愣了一下。几个星期前我还跟她聊过天呢! 看起来好好的, 怎么走得这么突然?!

卖菜auntie, 一路走好。

Goodbye 2013, hello 2014!

You know how everyone talked about how awesome / bad 2013 was.

No matter how 2013 had been for you readers, 2014 will be better!

Looking back, 2013 had been a happening year for me. I left my job of 6 years without a job. Took me 2 months to come to that decision, and boy am I so glad I chose to do it. The wisest decision in my work life!

Took the opportunity to take a break – a well deserved break if you know how many late nights in office I had been spending. Being out of job, thoughts went wild. Many ideas came to mind about how I can do businesses. While I didn’t take immediate action, plans were made with those goals in mind.

I was fortunate to be able to give tuition to several kids, allowing me to have some allowance without touching savings. The best thing that happened during this break, is that I actually learnt to save. Because you do not have a fixed income, you tend to be more careful about spending!

Was blessed to be able to land a job less than 2 months after I left the company. Otherwise I might have to 吃草. 7 months into the job, I still cannot believe that I am working here! It’s like a dream come true.

In year 2013, I fell in love again. The feeling of being able to walk out of the past has never felt this great. Never thought I will get to experience this feeling again. 所以特别珍惜 :) hello Lego, thank you for being part of my 2013. 无论结局是什么, 2013 had been great with you in it.

My wish for 2014? Resolutions are too old school ‘coz I can never follow them thru. 2 simple wishes for 2014 – no hiccups at work. And being able to flip the pages of this book till the end without it deciding to close upon me.

Simple wishes for the simple me.   因该不难吧?

Cerebral Palsy Day

02 October 2013 was Cerebral Palsy Day.

Being in Singapore, we are fortunate that most places are wheelchair friendly. Googled a few blog posts related to Cerebral Palsy and found out that in some countries, it is hard to find wheelchair accessible toilets.

In Singapore, our housing flats (most if not all) are equipped with lifts that stop at every floor. There’re alternative routes (be it slopes or lifts) near staircases – be it housing or shopping malls. There are wheelchair-friendly buses. What else can we ask for, when we live in a country that accepts everyone of us as her own?

But there are still places/amenities within Singapore that are not wheelchair friendly. Abled-bodies like us might not realise it, but these amenities do pose a fair bit of challenges to people who are not as fortunate as us and need to rely on wheelchairs to get around.

For example, non-wheelchair friendly buses. Yes I’m being a bit greedy here, since we do have wheelchair friendly buses. But these buses do not come in frequent intervals. Imagine you have to wait 30 minutes for your bus to arrive, only to realise you can’t board because it isn’t wheelchair friendly.

How nice it will be, if your wheelchair has a retractable board that you can control. Even if the bus isn’t wheelchair friendly, all you need to do is to extend the board and you can now board the bus! Would be nice(r) if it is solar powered!

Ok it’s just an idea. Wishful thinking. But that will definitely change the world (exaggerating but it’s true!) of the people who rely on wheelchairs to move around this island of ours.

Until now, you might be thinking, how on earth is this wheelchair thingy related to the title of the blog post.

If I may, let me explain (in summary) what Cerebral Palsy is.

Cerebral (brain) Palsy (lack of muscle control) is an inclusive term to describe a group of non-progressive disorders occurring in young children in which injury to the brain causes impairment of motor function. The degree of the disabilities ranges from extreme tightness or looseness of the body muscles, improper head, shoulder or hip control to speech impairment. Cerebral Palsy is not curable. This can occur during pregnancy, at birth, or in the early years of the child due to illness or injury to the brain.

- extracted from Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore

So what happened is, Kah Whye, one of the students at CPAS actually came up with this idea of having the retractable board. I thought it is a pretty cool idea that I needed to write a blog post on it.

How can we help? Kah Whye has submitted his idea to the World Cerebral Palsy Day website. Apparently, the most voted idea will be given to inventors who will turn this dream into reality! If you have been agreeing with me that is a cool idea, and most beneficial, cast your vote!

On behalf of Kah Whye, I thank you in advance for your kind help. ^_^

Achievement unlocked

Someone once said – one of her personal goals is to live a healthier lifestyle. And it shall start with running marathons.

And so she started the ball rolling by claiming her first 10km medal at the Standard Chartered Marathon last year. Though it was only 10km, it was no deem fit for someone who doesn’t run. Claiming a timing of 1hr 34mins for a 10km walk (averaging a 9min 24s), it’s quite a record for a first timer ya? :)

This year, she decided to take on the challenge of Yellow Ribbon Prison Run. Knowing the route consists of lots of slopes, she took on the 6km challenge and managed to complete in 52mins! Quite an improvement I’d say, considering slopes kept appearing :) Ok actually she didn’t walk.. she ran for the first 1.5km non-stop, which was a first! Achievement unlocked!

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run - tag + medal

Update: the official timing for Yellow Ribbon run is 0:50:53 :)

yellow-ribbon-run-2013

 

Tips and tricks of staying slim after giving birth

Recently, a friend of mine wrote a very nice piece of article on her tips and tricks on slimming down after pregnancy. Before her first kid, she had a good figure. After giving birth to her 3rd child, she still looks equally awesome! So I thought it’d be good if I can share it here, and maybe serve as a good advice to friends who are giving birth soon.

For those who asked me what is my secret to slimming down so fast after delivery; there is no secret really but just sharing what works for me during pregnancy and confinement.

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1) Although I ate whatever I wanted during pregnancy, I monitored my weight gain during this period. There are guides online on how much you should be putting on based on your pre-pregnancy BMI. Pregnancy is not an excuse to “let go” and overeat. The more weight you gain, the harder it is to lose it later on. Hence don’t go piling on too much!

2) I watched what I ate during confinement. I didn’t overeat and I ate healthily with less carbo; think soups, fish and veges. The only fruit I had was apple and the only drink was the red dates drink. For the whole month, there were NO SUCH THING as cheat days or little treats. Even when your husband is downing that ice cold gassy coke right in front of your eyes, you just have to tahan and settle for your red dates drink.

3) Post natal massage and binding helps. Post natal massage is SUPPOSED to be painful; it is NOT the relaxing massage that you have had at spas. No pain, no gain. Jiak ba bo si zor, wrap your tummy or wear corsets/girdles/tummy binders. Think of yourself quite literally like a cocoon, after all the wraps, you will become a beautiful butterfly. Haha…sounds cheesy but seriously, do it.

4) Find a motivation for yourself to be disciplined. I continued to buy pretty clothes in my pre-pregnancy size during the 9 months. You si mei si during confinement, I will take them out and see whether I can fit into them anot. Cannot, then repeat steps 2 and 3.

5) Treat every pregnancy as if it is going to be your last, (OK this time it better be for me!) so that you won’t think that you don’t need to lose the weight since you will be putting on again after a while for your next pregnancy. Marie France? No need la, if I can do it without paying that amount of money, you can do too!

6) Breastfeeding can only help that much. After a while, the postpartum weight loss will become stagnant and the rest is really up to you. It is not a time to go on diet or exercise vigorously during confinement but you should monitor your input and output. Since most of the time, you should be sleeping or resting at home, you won’t really use much energy hence don’t eat too much but just enough, smaller meals more times a day if need to.

All in all, they say it takes 9 months for your body to change during pregnancy hence it will take the same amount of time to regain your pre-pregnancy body. I say you can do it faster if you are really disciplined. However having said that, everyone’s body is different. Don’t stress yourself too much, get enough rest and eating healthy is good for you. Jiak bou is a must. Give yourself a realistic timeline to gain your pre-pregnancy body back. Remember there are no ugly women only lazy ones. Jia you!

Follow-up: An unpleasant experience at Orchard Hotel

So I did a super long post about my experience attending a wedding dinner at Orchard Hotel.

And I saw that it has been posted to Orchard Hotel’s facebook page too.

You know how some companies just reply out of courtesy and doesn’t do follow-up?

I’m surprised when Orchard Hotel’s Senior Director of Catering and Events contacted me via this blog! It’s awesome when companies take the trouble to contact people who complained gave feedback. Ok I’m not sure if it works the same way if the feedback was given “secretly” via their feedback form since I never really trusted the “trusty” feedback forms. But it’s good to know that they take my feedback seriously and bother to contact me to provide me updates on my feedback, even though I’m not any big-shot blogger who has high hit-count on this blog. They could have just cast the feedback aside.

So I’ve been informed that they have held a meeting to discuss about putting new action plans in place, hoping to improve on the challenges faced by the operations team. Yes I’m appalled by that. Though we cannot expect a total change in service level overnight, every small step taken is a step towards better service. Kudos to the team for that!

If I ever have to attend another wedding dinner at Orchard Hotel again, I am looking forward to seeing better service. Manpower crunch in the industry is a norm now, but I’m pretty sure there are workarounds for that. :)

Oh yes, I have to clarify that the complain post wasn’t targeted at any specific person. 所谓对事不对人. I am not unhappy about any particular staff, but unhappy with the overall experience I had. You know some companies will penalize their staff based on feedback (or maybe I have watched too much drama). I have stressed that to the Senior Director, and have been assured that it won’t happen. After-all, bad service is not the 1 person’s fault, but the company’s fault for not providing adequate training right?

At the end of the day, they are answerable to the wedding couple who paid for their service and not me.