Archives for May 2012

Guest Post – Our Children next time how?

This is the first guest post on my blog, and I have been hoping to get this person to break his silence on the blogosphere for some time.

It is none other than my dearest hubby, Keith. Keith has a knack for expressing situations alot better than I can, providing his personal insights.  As a couple, we share many similar views in bringing up children, here’s his take on education on bringing up Kyle.

“Now cannot study, next time drive taxi lor…” When these words escape our lips, they are often dismissed as a corny remark along with a spate of nervous laughter. That reaction, of course, is natural. Now, do not get the wrong idea, being a taxi driver is a perfectly honest way to make a living and I personally have 2 family members belonging to that profession. However, in the context of this post, which parent can claim to envision marshalling a taxi to be the eventually choice of making a living for their child?

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“Mummy ~ Daddy, I score the highest in class!” Now, that is a statement we mentally envision our child saying one day, perhaps in front of audience consisting of family, friends or both, where we will then have an opportunity to avoid exploding with pride and exercise our self-control while we put on a straight face and respond modestly, probably mumbling  something along the lines of keeping it up and not getting too complacent  along the way….

Now come the questions I want to table. What are our expectations for our child? How successful do we envision helping our child to be? How do we plan on executing that vision? My personal opinion is strongly tied-in with an examination of this society we co-exist in, children are constantly being pressured to perform against an academic counter.

In the course of their schooling career, character building, health focus and mental balance (amongst other things) often play second fiddle to academic achievement. That is very understandable, after all, is it not untrue that getting a place in the primary school near home is no longer adequate. It is no longer just getting a place in school but also it is excruciatingly crucial to land a spot in a branded highly ranked primary school to give your child the best start in life possible. (not even going to start on the recent trend of branded pre and prep schools)

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So,  does the success my wife and I envision for our son, Kyle, primarily involve only programming the ability to beat down the competition in school into him? It is of course the desire of this parent that I would prefer my child to be astute in all aspects of his life. Unfortunately, in reality, we humans, though top of our food chain, have our limitations too. Not everyone can be a genius, a savant or a MP…

As parents, we frequently ponder what we should emphasize more of, how we can teach and guide him more effectively to succeed in life. Should we consider tuition, home-schooling, etc? We worry about how Kyle will grow up to handle an increasingly challenging world out there? Will he be adequately equipped? Are we guiding him correctly? So many more questions arise.

We then realize that we need only look at our own day to day lives to find the answer. As we face our own challenges, some seemingly insurmountable, we find that as long as we trust in God, we can survive even the meanest of situations thrown at us. So as the teachers of our child, Rachel and I have a rather laid-back style of teaching Kyle, preferring more to encourage his knowledge and dependence on God.

So what if this non-academic approach backfires? Rachel and I often get opportunities to observe Kyle’s successes and failures.  There were times when we thanked God as he displayed intelligence, picking up pretty quickly on certain things, or the times when we exchange mortified looks as he struggled with basic homework (we have even discovered IQ tests being snuck in here and there). Unavoidably, we undoubtedly feel the apprehension that follows the realization that our child has his limitations in some areas.

However, compared to drilling Kyle academically, Rachel and I know that if we can instill in him trust God, he will then be much better equipped to manage difficult situations in his life down the road. As we concentrate on guiding his young walk with God, Rachel and I worry much less about how he stacks up against others in his age group but instead find joy in teaching him how to take his weaknesses and failures in his stride. Dependence on God and having a full spirit will counter any of the many bankruptcies life can throw at a person.

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As Kyle grows too quickly day by day not unlike a mutant mushroom on steroids, we are fully aware that he may not end up being the next big thing. He may even have to struggle with the various challenges that life throws at him like other average Joes. But I think with emphasis on our walk with God as a family, the 3 of us will be alright.

So sometimes when the kiasu side of us surfaces and Rachel asks me what we can do about his struggles with certain academic aspects, I look at her and say: “Now cannot study, next time drive taxi lor!”

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A Fashionable Tea Party

Do you like walking through bustling Orchard Road after work or during the weekends, just to get some shopping done to update your wardrobe?

If you are like me, who detest squeezing through the maddening crowds, personal shopper services might be the option you can look at.

So what exactly is a personal shopper? A personal shopper will provide personalized and individual attention to advise what’s in fashion, what fashion style looks good on you. Usually the personal shopper can assist to advise the best outfit for an occasion or help select a couple of trendy pieces to update your wardrobe for each season.

Recently, my sister and I was invited to attend a tea party session where we were styled personally by Susan, a personal dresser. This session was sort of a tete-a-tete get together of girlfriends to dress up, shop, chat and have tea on the side.

When we arrived in the quaint location, we were enamored by the array of accessories display on antique dressers and tables.





Susan first started her personal dressing services as a hobby, as she enjoyed helping her friends shop for clothes and dressing them up.  So it became a regular practice to source for beautiful clothes & accessories, each time she chanced upon suitable items from her frequent travels.


Her passion in styling and fashion became work when she set  up ‘The Closet Soiree’ 2 years ago. She started working hand-in-hand with various image consultants to help their clients source for clothes overseas. For her, it has been a rewarding experience to able to share and provide advice to the ladies who come to her, on the latest trends and clothing styles. Also to provide them with a personalized shopping experience, taking into account their individual body shape and color preferences.


Before we started browsing through the styles that were available, Susan did a quick personal style profile for us. She asked detailed questions about our style preferences (structure dresses, separates, smart casual), our lifestyle and job occupations and specific color preferences. Once she had a clear idea of styles we preferred, she went  ahead to select styles that suited our body shape.

It was lots of fun to play dress up with friends, and even more exciting to be surrounded with a large variety of clothing styles available.


From shift dresses, to structured 60s ‘Mad Men-style‘ office wear (60s style silhouettes are in-style for Spring 2012), but in a more subtle shade for me.


Cocktail dresses for parties, day weddings, wedding dinners or for dinner dates with the hb 😉


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And chic casual clothes for meet ups with girlfriends, or for bringing the little one out for play-dates.


After deciding on the specific styles for ourselves, we were served a fabulous spread of cakes, sushi, samosas, sausage rolls, fruit and tea. We had a wonderful time chatting with one another, playing ‘fashion show’ and selecting the styles that we preferred in those 2.5 – 3 hours that was well-spent at ‘The Closet Soiree’.


So does this sound like like a shopping experience like no other? I don’t think I will be able to find a private location where I can play dress up, shop, have tea and exchange fashion and style pointers with friends.


All you need to do is to gather 5-8 of your female friends on a Saturday afternoon between 3-6pm. ‘The Closet Soiree’ Tea party starts at $10 per head, and the cost of tea will be waived, if total purchases of the group exceeds $1000.00.

Prices of clothes range from an affordable $30.00 to $260.00 for cocktail dresses and evening gowns.


Do send Susan a mail at to make reservations. Or you can join ‘The Closet Soiree’ Facebook page for fashion and trend news and regular updates.



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When disagreements happen

Voices were raised, we argued due to differences in opinion, in the car on the way to lunch from church today.

K tried to lighten the situation in between by saying, “Mummy, can you stop a while and see this…”, I was too occupied with the heated situation to look at what he was referring to.

Hb and I both stewed in stony silence during lunch. I said a silent prayer, and things were resolved during lunch.

But the little one did not forget.

He drew this when we got home after lunch. Told me that he was busy and needed to do this before his nap.

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He then gave this to hb.

I realized what we have done in the afternoon, and what impact it might have on a little one’s mind.

It does get hard to be a positive role model for my child all the time.

It’s probably time to tell him before bed-time today, “Remember this morning, when mummy and daddy were shouting at each other? We are sorry that you got a little upset hearing it, mummies and daddies sometimes don’t agree with one another. But even when they quarrel, they will still love one another, and we definitely still love you.”

It’s important to say things like that to him so that he knows that disagreements are normal in a relationship, and we have both made the effort to resolved it. But even more important that I meant every word I said.

So I gave hb a big hug this evening.


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