Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Badminton and Balloonminton

I play this with Darren because he still doesn't know how to 'defend'. 3 yr olds can't catch very well yet. 

I'm talking about badminton. When I play with Daniel, who says he is Team Lee Chong Wei ( I am Team Awesome by the way), the little one gets a little lonely. He hits an old shuttlecock in one corner all by himself, with a broken pink toy plastic racket. Poor thing hor?

So I play balloonminton with him! I played this with Daniel when he was 3 too until he was able to play properly. Just blow up a mid-size balloon of your baby's favourite colour, get two badminton rackets and play away! It's a good training for him to learn how to aim and hit a slow-falling target. 

I should call it Kampung Balloonminton because they play barefooted! Dirty feet=happy kids!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chinese Flower Bath

RM1 per pack

Lately, I started buying a pack of flowers from the florist near the Tebrau wet market after I do my weekend grocery shopping. The pack of flowers are for the husband to mandi. It contains 7 different types of flowers, as opposed to some write-ups that says it must contain flowers of each colours of the rainbow. I dunno, I ask the florist wan. Variations for convenience I guess. Fill up a pail with water, put the flowers on the water and then bath with the water with a scoop. The Chinese believe that this can wash away your bad luck or any bad aura around you or just to 'cleanse' yourself and be 'blessed' with happy fragrance... well, the latter part is my theory. Flowers make one happy doesn't it?

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Sore Throat and Cough Remedy

I'm gonna risk jinxing this but sharing is caring. My secret cough remedy. Tried and tested. But warning first, I took a combination of some of the below.

Foreword: I don't see a doctor unless necessary, that's me. I would try out all the natural or basic remedies first. I don't even take Panadol unless it's high fever or I have a very bad headache ahead of a very important ballroom performance.

Hall's Vita-C. Overheard at the market while I was grocery-shopping that these little candies stopped a month-long cough. Like S.T.O.P.P.E.D. I took out my iPad from my vege basket and jotted it down. This kinda thing comes naturally to me you know.

Golden Throat Lozenges. Amazon sells them, no kidding. Don't worry, you can buy these from any Chinese Medicine shops. Works wonders for sore throat. Of course if it is accompanied by fever, go see a doctor, it could be a nasty throat infection. These lozenges can sooth the throat well though. It is actually concentrated luo han guo.

Boiled Coke, with a squeeze of lemon (optional). Yes, easily available Coke. Boil a cup for 5 minutes, squeeze half a lemon into it, let it cool down a bit and sip it slowly like tea. My mom says it's the asam in Coke. But it sure helped my itchy-throat cough.

Prospan. I love this because it is natural! Made of ivy leaf extract. I give this to my boys.

Peppermint leaves. Try to grow this plant if you can. Quite a hardy plant. I boiled 2-3 leaves in a cup of water and sipped it slowly like tea. Add honey if you like. I give this to my 2 year-old when he had a bad cough and it helped tremendously.

Difflam lozenges. The red ones, because those are anti-bacterial. They are not antibiotics. This is one of my must-have for more painful sore throat. It leave a little bitter after-taste and it kinds numbs your throat. Available in pharmacies.

Lastly, it's REST. Rest is best. It's no use taking all the best medication in the world but still slogging away all stressed up. Sure, your symptoms may go away and you'd think you're good enough to samba all night but really, your body is still recovering, cell by cell. Listen to your mama.

Alright, not a secret anymore. I know how coughs can be very disruptive and tiring, especially when the kids are having it. So you can give those a try and see if they help.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How To Make A Magnetic Refrigerator Grocery List Board

This is one of my most useful handmade goodie so I'll share it here.

What you need:
Cardboard large enough for a small 50-sheets memopad. (Very thick memopads will cause the fabric pocket to stretch over time and become a little loose)

Straw to fit the pen. Choose the bigger straws usually provided when you drink pearl tea.

Magnetic tape from Daiso. Or old magnets with flat surfaces.

3 fabric designs or as you wish. One to cover the cardboard piece, one 5cm shorter as a front pocket, and one to wrap the straw with.

Fabric glue.

What to do:

1. Fold the top edge of the fabric for pocket down and sew across it.

2. Place cardboard on top of the fabric (wrong side of fabric) and glue the sides over, to wrap the cardboard. The fabric I'm using here is double-sided so it looks as if I'm gluing the pattern side wrongly.

All sides glued.

3. Place the pocket fabric on top of the wrapped cardboard, adjust the height and then turn back and glue the sides as well.

Front view when it is done.

4. Cut the straw at the length you prefer for your pen or pencil. Mine is about 10cm.

5. Rub glue all over the straw and place it in the middle of the fabric, with 1cm allowance at the top.

6. At the top, fold the fabric inside and glue it in.

7. Do this for the bottom. I suck at giving origami instructions but it is similar to wrapping presents where you fold it down and unite the flaps.

Flaps glued together, securing the bottom.

8. Glue the flap onto the back of the cardboard.

9. Paste a paper card onto the back to cover the mess.

10. Glue the magnetic tape onto the back.


I gave this to my mom :)

I made one for myself and I find that it has helped me shop more efficiently. I'd only buy things ON my list and not by suka-suka. I used to buy what I needed AND 100 other things I didn't know why I bought. Because I'm a woman la that's why! Heehee...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Angry Children Angry Mother

Contrary to popular beliefs, I do get mad at my boys and I do yell at them. Those who know me always says "Lei Yin can scold people wan meh?" or "Ally can get angry wan meh?"
I was a mouse back then.

I am different now. You know, all grown-up and capable of getting pissed off. Being mid-thirties has something to do with it, and also having children. My nerves get stepped on almost everyday. Yes there are precious moments everyday but there are also fire moments, mostly small fires, but once in a while you get those big fire moments especially during PMS. On times I lose it, I glare and I speak angrily. I have never hit them ( I pray I will never do) but I have done some pretty harsh things and most of it were on Daniel because he is the first child, the trial-and-error-child.

When he was around one, he got into a crying fit and I plonked him on the bed, but I felt like I threw him on the bed. Then his cry became different. It was the what-the-hell-happened kind of cry. I let him cry but my heart was wrenched but on fire at the same time. I couldn't understand and accept his crying fit. I think all mothers go through this phase with the firstborn. The stress, the uncertainties, the misunderstandings, the frustration.

I thought those days will end when he becomes older. Apparently children don't stop driving you up the wall. Last year, Daniel pushed some really wrong buttons and I lost it. I dragged him by his t-shirt collar (he was walking along, not dramatically dragged on the floor) and put him outside my front door, closed it and let him wail. I didn't care about disturbing my neighbours because I've heard wails coming from their houses as well, maybe same punishment method. Angry mothers unite! Heh heh.. And so I let him cry it out and then when he more or less settles down, I ask him some questions and by then he'd be ready to explain why he cried or why he did what he did.


Last night, I yelled at Darren. I was cranky, he was demanding. And the cutest thing happened. In his scrunched up face, he cried, "Mummy angry! Mummy shouting! UAAAAAAAAA" running off to Daniel who quickly ushered him away in the hush-hush-don't-provoke-mom manner. Oh my heart. I feel bad after getting angry at them. But sometimes they really deserve some black face. And studies have shown that children actually loves to be disciplined. They feel loved! I think deep down they feel that if you get so mad at them, it means you really care about them. Like getting fueled-up attention 100 fold. Hahaha.

I am still learning how to control my anger, because there are just so many types, on different levels. But what scares me is that Daniel mimics me when Darren pisses him off. The same brows, the same lips, the same glare and same tone! Aaarrrghh. I have to really brush up on controlling my outbursts. I don't want to teach them that it's ok to lose your temper whenever you feel like it. But at the same time I want to teach them how to express their feelings and not bottle it up inside. Oh why is this so difficult.

It is a long and arduous journey, but filled with joy, pride and many magical moments.

Since we're on the topic of anger...

1. Children's book on anger. I've read it once to Daniel during our bedtime story session. I think I should read this more often.

2. What To Do When You Made Someone Angry


Monday, August 12, 2013

My NEON Weekend

I literally had a neon weekend. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday holiday yabadabadoo! So what did I do? 

Besides harassing my boys, I stole some hours neon-ing around. Have you ever entered Forever 21 and got blinded by the recent neon trend? Uh-huh.

All it takes are a piece of canvas fabric, masking tape, your favourite acrylic paint colour and a stencil brush.

Taped, 1cm apart.

Brush generously.



Neon Darren. I KNOW, he's the best.

The pouches.

SO simple. And so neon.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Giveaway Thoughts

I've been thinking. I get obsessed with making crafty knick-knacks when the mojo hits. And I don't want to sell them on my etsy shop because I want to give someone I know who will love it. Or give it to my blog readers, whoever and wherever you are. Giving it to my friends who are 'forced' to receive it or who doesn't quite like my kind of magic, doesn't sound too nice.

SO. I've been thinking. What if I do a weekly giveaway on my blog? Readers can leave a comment and I'd pick a random winner, or winners. It's a win-win happiness, because I get to make more crafty goodies feeding my inner core purpose in life, while the winners get to receive it to use/keep/give away.

Just a thought...

ps. If you think it's an awesome thing to do, or not, commento? Gracias.

Monday, August 05, 2013

My New Craft Station

A little work done everyday for a week. 

That chest of drawers were from IKEA Children's cardboard chest of 4 drawers which I combined 4 of them and pasted kraft brown paper and whatnots. It has served me very well for the past 5 years because of its roomy drawers. 

The shelves above it were for favourite decorative items.

That little compartmentalized storage frame holds the McDonald's Teddy Bear collection from 1999(?) which my husband, well, then-boyfriend, got for me after eating the meal every week (or was it everyday). He knows I'd appreciate these better than Hello Kitty or Minions. Ha.

At the side, sits my old storage organizer made of hard paper board. It has also served me well for many years and looks old now.

But acrylic paints do wonders.

See? My favourite colour of late.


My shelves now holds my craft nuggets, from seashells, ribbons, lace trims, twills, beads, buttons to wooden knick-knacks. I now keep them in glass jars that I've collected over the years, and some in new jars ( the bigger ones from IKEA and Daiso). It's so refreshing displaying all of them after having them hidden in drawers all these while. It's nice to look at it everyday for inspiration.

The main change is this wooden chest of drawers, also from IKEA. What a find! The drawers are a lot of smaller but it's good that I can organize my stuff more specifically.

Jars of goodies.

Happy as a bird!

Friday, August 02, 2013

My Book Collection

Sorry, no Harry Porters, Twilight or 50 Shades. I DON'T READ BOOKS WITH NO PICTURES.

I devour these instead.. with gusto and accelerated heartbeat.

Home decor/styling books. In these, you will NOT see homes with the typical PU/fauz leather 3 seater sofa, huge LCD TV along with ASTRO decoder, DVD player and their visibly complicated network of entwined cables. No, no, no. Oh wait, that looks like my living room.

Embroidery books. Bought from dangdang, the Amazon of China with very affordable price. Control yourselves!

Aranzi Aronzo. Who can resist.

Sock Toys books.

A book on different methods of printing. LOVE.
A book on making different types of bags. LOVE but complicated ones make my head hurt.

Oh, this one is different. I chanced upon it in Popular bookstore. If it looks vintage, I get it.

I'm still a bookworm!