Sunday, March 26, 2017

[Review] Superlife Co. - Asian Flavoured Quinoa Packs

Taken from my previous post "Why Quinoa (pronounced as Keen-wah) ? Being the Mother of all grains, Quinoa is an energizing suerfood which is high in protein, minerals, good for metabolic health improvement, weightlossrich in antioxident and best of all it's gluten free. Today, they call it "Super grain". Quinoa is a low GI product as well, hence, it is also beneficial if one is on a diabetic diet.

This is part of Vera's diet too if you have read about her eczema management. She has to be on a gluten-free diet. Quinoa was also recommended by her doctor as kids needed protein to grow, Quinoa or Millets will make better options. Furthermore, Quinoa is easy to digest and is naturally gluten-free and wheat-free.

I have cooked Baked stuffed capsicum with cheesy quinoa for both Xav and stir-fried minced meat and vegetable quinoa for Vera. Both of them polished everything off their plates !

Usually, people would lament how yucky, healthy food would taste. But let Superlife.Co change your opinion of the usual boring and plain quinoa with their newly launched Starter kit if you would like to get yourself all 5 flavors to try out.

I think it's so creative of them to come up with the five Asian Flavours + 3 4pm Quinoa Cacao Protein Blocks and putting them together as one starter kit. Per pack is sufficient for one person's serving.

5 Asian flavours
Quinoa Cacao Protein Bloc
(Photo credit: Superlife.Co)

I cooked Japanese Quinoa for Vera's dinner and was pleased to find the flavour of the flavoured quinoa were packed individually. You can estimate on your own, how much seaweed (in this instance) to put in. I like that the amount can be controlled by my own preference.

Generally, this can be a #Quickfix dish for a healthy and fast lunch. Quinoa is pretty easy to cook. In less than 15 mins, they will be cooked. Simply just boil the quinoa about 10 mins, off the fire and cover the pot with a lid, allow the quinoa to sit in for another 10-15mins.

What I did in addition and at the same time was, I stir-fried some salmon cubes and asparagus before I add in the cooked quinoa and sprinkled some pink salt over and gave a few rounds of stir-frying just like how we normally cook fried rice.

Here you go ! One healthy and tasty meal served and it's easy to cook too !

I have also tried the Korean Kimchi Quinoa, I am no fan of kimchi BUT surprisingly, I could accept it! I wish the kimchi bits come in a larger pack. But overall, I find this flavour pretty appetizing! I am trying out the rest of the flavours in a few days time and if this stirred up an interest in you to try quinoa if you have never try before or if you would love to try these Asian flavors, I have a discount code to share. Enter SUPERSER17 when you are doing your online purchase and get a 10% off with a minimum of $40 purchase. The code will be valid until 30th June 2017. This excludes the Cacao Subscription on the website.

I am currently in search of more quinoa recipes so that I can cook something for Vera. Should you have any recipes using Quinos, would appreciate if you could share them with me ! Just drop your recipes in the comment box !

For latest updates from Superlife.Co, do follow them on:
Facebook : Superlife Co.
Website :

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !
Disclaimer: I received a starter kit from #Superlifeco for review purpose only. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

[Review] Primero Fitness - NatTone Mat

You must be wondering, it's just a mat. What's the fuss about ?

I was given an opportunity to review NatTone Mat from Primero Fitness. Before that I was using the kids' playmat to do my planking and stretching exercises and having to clear off part of the toys on the mat before I could free up a little space. I received the NatTone Mat in a sleek, classic black cover which made it convenient to carry around. Yes it may be on the heavier side BUT it does have its reason why it was produced this way.

This super-premium mat is designed with input from bodyweight professionals, and was specially made for bodyweight exercises like Planks, sit-ups and push-ups. It's surface features a honeycomb matrix that provides incredible traction, especially just for these type of workout. The proprietary Micro-Skeleton Polymer design ensures extreme firmness during exercises and also increases bodyweight workout efficiency by maximizing grip and having the perfect level of cushion. I did not need to be bothered about if the mat did shift and if my feet did skid.

On top of that, the best part is, I would not need to worry about Vera using it with me especially that her skin is more on the sensitive side. NatTone mat is completely skin-friendly, made with premium all-natural eco-friendly materials, from natural rubber tapped from renewable rubber trees. This is the only skin-health mat with no unnatural toxins and chemicals used during the production process.
It is best suited for the hot weather in Singapore as its open-cell rubber absorbs oils, odors and perspiration.

Just a few nights ago, I actually fell asleep on the mat on night while taking a break from writing one of my post. The mat was firm yet the level of cushion was comfortable enough for my back. Did I ever tell you that I cannot sit or sleep on soft surfaces for prolonged hours? It actually result in me having an aching lower back at the end of the day.

Here are some technical specifications of NatTone Mat:
  1. Material of Yoga Mat: Nature rubber
  2. Color: Olive Green
  3. Size: 183cm* 61cm
  4. Thickness: 5.2 mm
  5. Logo: Debossed logo
You can also read about how Christy's review, who uses the mat with her foam rollers from Primero Fitness as well.

About Primero Fitness

Primero Fitness Singapore, is a one year old company which specializes in affordable gym equipment. Their aim is to provide affordable, high-quality gym equipment to every household in Singapore.

Having Virgin Rubber Weight Plates being their most popular product. This Weight Plate is protected by a proprietary elastic, non-recycled rubber that is odourless, durable and soft. The rubber protection protects floors from damage and is perfect for use in homes. And for women who wish to start a healthy and active lifestyle, do checkk out their Neoprene Dumbbells.

Should you be keen to start working out from your home,check out Primero Fitness' Home Gym Bundle (Beginning)

For updates, you can visit Primero's social media sites:
Website :
Facebook: Primero Fitness

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !
Disclaimer: I was given a unit of the NatTone Mat for review purpose only. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Eczema Management

I believe alot of young children are plagued with this. I am concluding what have worked for Vera after having to trial and error for this 15 months anad I hope this post can help mums who are dealing with a similar situation as me.

Vera's first eczema flare was when she was 9 months old.

Two years later, a sudden flare came in December 2015

The flare did not completely go off and turned for the worse in May 2016 when she was supposed to start her Nursery 1.

Unfortunately, I have to hold her back from attending school as I felt that it was unfair to both the school and ourselves. The teachers cannot be giving her the full 101% of their attention like the way I do and on our side, would not want Vera to go through the painful cycle again. It's mega tiring on the adults as well, as our sleep would be badly affected for the fact that we had to stay alert to prevent her from scratching.

It has been 10 months, that her flares were under controlled and managed by totally non-invasive, drug-free and steriods-free treatments. For a period, I felt like I was stepping into mild depression. I teared out of the blue while making our way to the clinic and I teared as I watched her going through the electromagnetic wave therapy. Not that the treatment was painful but I was upset because, we have been going doing intensively ( thrice a week without fail) for 7 months, the stubborn patch on her left foot remained dry and red, sometimes with tiny blistering, refused to go off. On the other hand, I cannot say that the treatments were ineffective because after each treatment, it did helped to bring down the angry flare.

It was financially draining as well, as per treatment was pretty costly plus the time taken to travel to and fro. I felt exhausted at a point, I did thought of giving up on several occasions, I did questioned the doctor why the patch did not go away, I asked him if there were other ways or methods that may work. Thinking back, I have to be thankful that Don kept encouraging me not to give up.

What I have leart about managing eczema from this one whole year from three doctors whom Vera was brought to. For your information, all the doctors I went to, use non invasive treatments. No drugs were given to us, it's all on improving the body's energy flow and healing naturally. This is my very own understanding from them. To conclude, it's these three things that you got to note. DIET, SKIN CARE PRODUCTS & DISCIPLINE.

Let me just share on the three doctors which I went to and both their treatment were working alongside each other.

From Dr Lai @ Bai Chuan Clinic: Eczema is an auto-immune disorder and occurs when the brain stem is inflammed thus affecting the hypothalamus and pineal gland. Vera belongs to the monority who will flare up first when her immunity is being compromised before the symptoms appear while normal kids with no eczema condition will usually just have the flu symptoms.

I was also told about CerebroSpinal Fluid . When there is an inflammtion going on in the brain and spine, the flow is not smooth and the obstruction of the flow could also affect the eczema flare. This is from my own understanding, I am still trying to figure out and understand what it is about.

Lastly, nerve fibre sensitivity does affect the condition of the flare and different parts of the vetebrae are link to different part of our bodies.

These are new terms to me altogether, as there were no other doctors be it western or TCM ever did share about such knowledge.

Bai Chuan Japan Enrac Collateral Meridien Therapy
1 lrving Place
The Commerz @ Lrving
Singapore 369546
Tel: 67379611

From Dr Diana Tan @ NAET (Shenton Clinic),it was from the energy testing. Sounds absurb to some of you if you are not into natural healing just like how Don is, until I "educated" him slowly. From the energy testing, I got to know that Vera had leaky guts (which every eczema sufferers have), which organs of hers are weaker in and what kind of food, she should be avoiding.

She was tested to be allergic to: yeast (bread and buns),cow's milk, egg whites, almond milk, Beef, Beta Carotene, gluten and papaya. I got to be thankful to my chiropractor, Dr Daniel, for recommending this doctor. I tell you, this was the turning point!

I was left with no other options but to give diet change a try. I cut away her favourite bread and Man-Tou (buns) for just a week. Remember the stubborn patch on her left foot? That enlarged patch, can be angry at times and also can be blistering. In just a week of no yeast in her food intake, that patch miraculously got better, the blisters dried up and it was no longer angry. It was just like back to the normal state but more on the dry side. You have to believe that "You are what you eat".  I have already cut her off from dairies, seafood as well as some fruits, you can read the list here. Hence, with just the yeast and some new found food allergy off her diet. I was really happy to see the huge improvement. Finally, I saw light at the end of the tunnel !! Vera was doing great with the diet change.

I was told to bring down all of the possible creams which I am using it for her for energy testing as well and phew, much to my relief, all of them passed. Another cream I used was Young Living's Boswellia Wrinkle Cream, the dry patch on her left foot was smoothened out with just two application.

Shenton Clinic
Blk 498, Jurong West St 41
#01- 464
Singapore 640498
Tel: 65654442

I have to admit that it is really challenging when it comes to preparing her meals with the limited choice of food she can take. Some mummies were exasperated when I told them to cut off dairies. Most will tell me"No, my child cannot do without milk !" Remember there are other alternatives, you have to know that dairies are acidic in nature and it will not benefit the flare at all. Go for oats or rice milk, remember to read the labels too. No added sugar does not mean that there is no sugar. Look out for Sucrose or Fructose on the label. If you did see this on the label, give it a miss. I am currently giving Oatly to Vera and got some Oats drink in tetra packs for her to bring to school.

Due to the distance, arranging time to go all the way down to lakeside for further tests seemed is pretty challenging as Vera has now started school. It is impossible to complete all the tests in just one hour as they are broken up into different segment.

What I did next, was again through reccommendation. I brought her to Naturopathic Therapies Clinic and had her hair sample sent it for an allergy test. Dr Saravanan gave me the report 2 weeks later and part of the findings were, she was indeed tested positive for some allergens of which some of them were already off her diet. Vera could benefit further with the following health support tips he gave.

- Improve Digestive Health
- Promote Detox
- Improve Immune Health
- She may progressively avoid all food that are tested positive.
- Avoid all foods and supplements that may contain yeast.

Apart from food, Vera was also found to be allergic to Echinacea, house dust, dust mites, certain chemicals in antibiotics likes Trimethoprim, Erythromycin, Acetyl Salicylic Acid, Lovebird and Parrot feathers. Even droppinngs of certain animals and two ingrediets commonly found in beauty products like Ethylene Oxide & Formaldehyde. Again, this reminded me to read the labels !! Even sugar and the type of oils were being tested.

I was told to use Rice Bran Oil / Coconut Oil/ Ghee clarified butter. She was tested positive to be allergic to: Peanut oil/ Canola oil/ Peanut oil/ Sunflower oil / Palm oil and Olive (Refined) and to give Vera Molasses if she has to take sugar. For these half a year, sugar has been omitted out from her diet. I usually gives her fresh fruits and her meals to be cooked using fresh ingredients as much as possible. To be exact, she is on a Vegan and Sugar diet (Gluten free, Dairies-free, Egg-free and Wheat Free) This is one of the meals I have cooked for her using Quinoa.

Dr Saravanan had also taught me how to remove the  food allergens graudually by block. First, list down the list of food to be removed from the diet. One block is equal to seven days. For a start, you remove one food for a week and slowly add on the second food on the second week. at the same time, you continue to wean off the first. You add on gradually as such that the body will not go into a state of shock if you remove all at one go.

Getting to know and removing the food allergens out from the diet, requires great deal of discipline and determination. Frankly, it's not easy but it is DOABLE! I saw the improvement personally otherwise, she would not have been able to start school in January!

Naturopathic Therapies Clinic
1 Coleman Street, #03-20
The Adelphi
Singapore 179803
Tel: 68365615

Basically, if you are searching for a non-invasive and drug free solution, you may wish to go to these 3 doctors. Do share with me if you have recommendation of other doctors who are into natural healing.

You have to know that healing by food is from inside out. If you think that by just using good skincare products, that is only providing external support. You have to start from working from within the body. If you have no clue about what are the food allergies your child might be having, these are the few which certainly make a difference; Yeast, Dairies (cows milk, butter, eggs), Soy, Seafood and Sugar.

Next, let me share a little on Skincare products. If you recalled reading my bloody and weepy post ?

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast, remained as my top favourite. It is non-steriodal and I highly recommend it for skin with open wounds. The only cream which soothed her open wounds without stinging and it really heals broken skin fast.

Creams which I bought and I will usually read the labels first. For sensitive skin like Vera, I prefer to go for skincare that are:
- Hypoallergenic free
- Fragrance-Free
- Alcohol-Free
- Colorant- Free
- PH balanced
- Parabens- Free

Apart from my own concoction of oil blends, I bought Curel Moisture Gel Lotion to moisturize her dry skin too. I like the cooling sensation and it is non oily. It does not leave the skin feeling sticky or uncomfortable given the humid weather in Singapore.
If you are sleeping in an air-conditioned room daily, Curel Moisture Cream is much thicker. I would think it is great to bring it along if you are travelling to a cold country.

Curel body wash too has became part of her daily skincare. If you have watched on TheAsianParent Facebook Page as well as on Curel Singapore Facebook page on production of a mum fighting eczema, yes that's us.

Before we were selected to shoot the ad, I have already finished using a number of bottles for Vera. It has integrated into part of her daily usage. I am glad that I am able to share my experience with them. It was our first time doing a shoot and the experience was awesome!

Thank you for reading through this lengthy post. To the parents out there, be it your child or you, yourself is suffering from eczema, I really do hope that this post is of use to you. Remember, it will get better if you are discipline enough to step out and make the first change in the diet. Don't give up ! 

Share this along with anyone whom you think may benefit from it. Am not an expert, am still learning along the way. It's also a trial and error phase for me until I came to this stage where I finally know how to manage it better.

Do share your eczema management with me too if you are also into natural healing. I will be so glad to learn more about it.

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Sunday, March 19, 2017

APS 11th Junior Squad Meet 2017 - ATTITUDE that matters

Currently, Xav is in Endurance - Station 8 in APS Swim School. We have been there like 3 years? Alot of friends asked me why I would not want to look for a nearer school but chose to travel all the way down town. We decided on this school because of the small number ratio of coach and students. It's 1:4 ratio attracted us. In terms of safety and the amount of attention the coach can give. I will still prefer this small, comfortable group.

Since last year, he was selected to undergo extra trainings to train up his stamina for time trial. If he could pass the time trial, he gets to join the competitive team. The journey was not easy, trainings are about clocking mileage, building up of stamina, fine tuning of strokes and endurance. By the end of the trainings, he would be so exhausted that he could just fall asleep when we were taking a train back home, all the way from ACJC back to Sengkang.

Unfortunately, after three months, he did not managed to pass the time trial. But I was glad that the school has offered prep classes to continue to train the kids. I did not want Xav to be demoralised and gave up just because he could not pass the time trial. He continued to swim intensively for 4 times a week, including his formal session on Sundays. These three months, we were actually rushing from school back to home, have a quick lunch and headed to the pool straight and thereafter rush back home again to do homework and do dinner. I barely have any time for him to do my revision. Oh well, we made the choice didn't we ? I told him, it may be tiring but he has to learn to manage it.

His first meet was in 2013! 14th March 2017:  Xav took part in APSC 11th Junior Squad Meet 2017.

We signed him up for some events to allow him to gain some exposure and confidence. We knew that he still has a long way to go to reach the stage where he should be. But like we told him, it's not about winning or losing but it's the ATTITUDE that matters. As long as he has go all out and put in all of his best effort, it's good enough. I want him to build up his resilience and endurance, be it in the trainings or in his academic journey.

He did not manage to emerge in the top 3. But from his usual timing of 1:30s, after months trainings, today, he did well ! He clocked and gave himself his new record timing:

Boys 9-10 50 LC Meter Breaststroke: 1:08.36 (Placement 5th out of 16)

Boys 9-10 50 LC Meter Freestyle: 1:04.04 (Placement 8th out of 13)

I have to tell him that it's very encouraging to see the big improvement in his timing, especially when he is weaker in free style but his timing was better than breast-stroke! A big pat on his back for biting the bullet and not giving up despite having to juggle his trainings between his school work, classes and homework. Well done, Xav !! Keep this spirit going! Mummy is sure that you will break this record of yours soon !

Congratulations to those who have made it to the top 3 and to the swimmers who were sporting enough to complete the race, a big pat on all your backs as well for the great sportsmanship and  #nevergiveup spirit. You heard us cheering and applauding for all of you? Carry on swimming and do not give up! One day, you will outdo yourself and make it there !

And APSC Swim School, I must say I love the way you encourage all your swimmers and recognise their effort! We look forward to the next meet !

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Smart Kids Asia 2017

[ Media Invite] SmartKids Asia 2017 is back! Let's check out what we can expect !

Photo Credit: SmartKids Asia

Free storytelling sessions at the first-ever Storyland, trial classes for parents with children between 3-12 years old, Meet & Greet sessions with Pororo & Friends and popular characters from My Little Pony!
Photo Credit: SmartKids Asia

The newest edition to the show, SmartKids Asia Storyland will bring fairy tales to life. National Library Board, Singapore is on board as SmartKids Asia’s Official Storyland Partner, showcasing “A Fractured Fairy Tale” – a time where fairy tale characters and Spiderman collide, presented by their very own Junior Young Ambassadors (JRAs). Check out the timing for the various sessions and register for your FREE pass here:

Photo Credit: SmartKids Asia

Meet and Greet session with Pororo and Friends, featuring Pororo, Krong and Petty while My Little Pony will be featuring Apple Jack, Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash. If you did not manage to redeem the passes, do not be disappointed. Am sure the kids will be happy as long as they get to watch the performance at the hall itself.

Photo Credit: SmartKids Asia

SmartKids Asia Activity Area brings about hands-on activities specially crafted for parents and children from ages 3 to 12.

Parents can look forward to arts and crafts activities such as puppet-making, printmaking and even cake-pop making from partners such as Playeum, Spurbox (Our experience here) and more across three days from 17-19 March 2017. More details on

If you have no clue about what Playeum is about, you can read about our experience here and here for Spurbox.

Photo Credit: SmartKids Asia

I am looking forward to attend the series of bite sized parenting master classes! The Straits Times Parenting Masterclasses will share ideas, strategies, and tips that can support you in your parenting journey.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
Experts will present key topics covering positive psychology, inculcating critical reading skills in your child, understanding how the brain works, coaching your child in English, Mathematics and more.

These one-hour bite-sized sessions can either be taken as a single masterclass or a series if more than one topic present an issue that is close to your heart. Find out more on:

Photo Credit: SmartKids Asia

There is also a Colouring and Art Contest which the kids can take part. SmartKids Asia and Stabilo is holding a daily colouring contest for children in the younger age group 5-8 years old. All winners of the Colouring Contest will walk away with prizes more than $500 in total.

Dates are as follows:
17 - 18 March 2017(from 10am to 8pm)
19 March 2017 (from 10am to 4pm)

Visitors will also be entitled to one chance in the lucky draw with every receipt of purchase. Happening at 7.30pm, $10,000 worth of prizes will include a family suite at Amara Sanctuary resort worth $2,800, family passes to Bounce Singapore and many more.

Photo Credit: SmartKids Asia

Although the online registration for FREE Goodie Bags are fully reserved BUT you can still get it by queuing on-site by being the first 200 visitors of the day on 17- 19 March 2017.

For latest updates and events highlights, visit or .  If you are attending, don't forget to share your pictures and hashtag #ska2017

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

DreamWorks Day - 24th June 2017

If you are a big fan of Dreamworks Animation like us, you must have enjoyed watching Kung Fu Panda, on his journey, Shrek adventuring along side with his companions, Madagascar, with its trademark "Move it, Move it" Song and Toothless from How to train your dragon! Well great news for you! Because for the first time in Asia, these four cartoon families are coming together and making Dreamworks Day happen on 24th June 2017 !

Photo credit: Dreamworks Day

Get ready for a day at a Carnival filled with games, activities, food,  beverages themed after your favorite Dreamworks characters, and also a Fun Run which includes an 800 meters (Kids Dash) or a 5 kilometers route along some of Singapore’s iconic landmarks.

Choose from three different ticketing categories and entitlements packs. For those who are not so keen to run but would like to join in on this great day, opt for the carnival only package and receive an extra SGD10 coupon to be used at the carnival, on top of the event t-shirt and temporary tattoos!  

Photo credit: Dreamworks Day

Photo credit: Dreamworks Day

Photo credit: Dreamworks Day

Date : 24th June 2017, Saturday
Time: 16:00 - 20:00
Venue: Gardens By the Bay, Bay East Gardens

For Xavvy-licious' readers, you can get a 10% discount for 800m Kids Dash / 5km Fun Run when you enter the promo code DWXXAVVY-LICIOUS upon checking out. (Carnival only ticket not applicable) The promo code expires on Friday, May 26th, 2017. Wait no futher, Registeration starts now!

For more information, you can also visit Dreamworks Day social media sites:




About DreamWorks 
Over the past 20 years, DreamWorks Animation has introduced the world to a lovable curmudgeonly ogre, a noodle-slurping martial arts obsessed panda, and a bashful yet charismatic Viking hero and his pet dragon. Thanks to movies like Shrek, Kung-Fu Panda, Madagascar, and How To Train Your Dragon to name a few, DreamWorks Animation is recognized as one of the most admired family entertainment brands in the world. Dedicated to helping families dream and laugh together, DreamWorks creates and innovates 3D animated feature films, original TV series, and shorts, interactive media, live entertainment, themed experiences, consumer products, publishing, and trailblazing technology. Put all this together with DreamWorks Animations’ award-winning cast of artists, storytellers, and innovators, and, SKADOOSH – the result is a daily dose of laughter that comes to life across platforms, continents, and generations.

Disclaimer: we were given a pair of complimentary tickets for the pre-event shout out. No monetary compensation is involved.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

[Review] Beyond The Tiger Mom - East-West Parenting for the Global Age

Ever since I embarked on the journey of parenthood, at times I will get myself some books on parenting be it eastern parenting or western parenting. From all aspects, I would adopt some (but not all) approaches, which I deemed and believed that may work out for me in raising the kids.

Just to share a summary of what I am currently going through with Xav who is in P3 this year. I am kind of exhausted from my daily reminders, naggings, scoldings and screamings (to be honest, I felt like a complete failure here) to get him to be self motivated and start to be accountable for his own learning. Ever since P1, I have set an after school routine for him to get everything in place, I reminded him to learn his spellings and ting xie(s) early so that he does not have to stress himself out to learn them at the eleventh hour.

Being in the third year of official schooling, I am expecting him to show some initiative to do it on his own without having me to keep reminding and chasing after him to do it. To add onto those blood boiling moments, there were times when he sheepishly fished out his undone homework just right before bedtime.

In addition, he is ever so generous in giving his marks to his teachers for the careless mistakes made during his tests, which he just wanted to complete it fast without checking and hand it up so that he could do his doodling or reading. Incase, you may be thinking right now if am a tiger mom who expects 100% for all his tests ? Am telling you, am not an advocate of tuition centers when Xav can cope with his work. I do not send him for tuition just to make sure that he can ace those papers perfectly. I am satisfied as along as I know he has put in his 101 effort, did his best to his knowledge. But I have zero tolerance towards careless mistakes. 

My intensity of fury was at its peak when he lamented to my younger sister "Why do I have such a hard life ? Why do I have to work harder than other people ?" This came from him even after having to explain to him that daily revision is necessary because he does not have any tuition and I am giving him a few pages of each subject to practise so that he does not need to feel so stress revising when tests are approaching. The only tuition he is attending is Chinese, just to brush up his weaker areas like composition and comprehension which is beyond my ability to teach. As well as Science, which is something new for him. I really could not fathom why, especially so when the play time + rest time is triple to that of the revision time.

At wits end as I felt burnt out from the above issues, I actually spoke to his teachers and wanted to work with them to "fix" these negative attitude and practices. I was given an option if I would allow Xav to fail, or not. I believed perhaps 80- 90% of you out there are like me, if possible we would want our kids to perform well even though it is just a common class spelling, not to mention the continuous & semestral assessements. So are you willing to deal with failure of your kids, how do you deal with it and how do you achieve the balance? I am relieved to find that this was covered in the book "Beyond the Tiger Mom" written by author, Maya Thiagarajan.

In chapter 5 - Raising Resilient Children : How Do We Deal with Failure? Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset, Maya outlined the basic characteristics of each. I could see one or two characteristics of Fixed Mindset from Xav while I am right now trying to steer him towards to develop a Growth Mindset, which is definately going to take one further in life than having a Fixed Mindset. I want Xav to develop resilience, perseverance and humility. I have to totally agree with what Maya wrote on Achieving Balance: The Parenting Seesaw

"... while they need structure and predictability, they also need a considerable amount of freedom. Without structure, there's chaos and they tend to flounder; yet without freedom, creativity and imagination are stifled."

Followed by a list on Tips for parents on How To Help Your Child Develop a Growth Mindset. Of which this is one tip which Maya shared "Emphasize that learning is not easy, but it is satisfying and pleasurable. Help your child understand that learning is fulfilling for it's own sake, not just for the sake of a grade, and overcoming challenges through hard work makes learning more satisfying and rewarding."

In Beyond the Tiger Mom, you will learn how to:
- Help your child achieve maximum academic potential
- Train your child to expand his or her attention span
- Find the right balance between work and play
- Help your child see failure as a learning experience
- Learn how to raise tech-healthy kids

These are the contents covered:


This book offers research-backed suggestions on how to combine the best aspects of Asian and American parenting and education philosophies. The ideas are practical and useful ! Through interviews with hundreds of Asian parents and children, Maya Thiagarajan offers a detailed look at their values, hopes, fears and parenting styles. Woven into this narrative are her own reflections on teaching and parenting in Asia and the West. Maya synthesizes an extensive body of research to provide accessible and practical guidelines for parents.

Each chapter ends with a "How To" section of specific tips for Asian and Western parents to aid their child's educational development both inside and outside the classroom. I have to honestly say that which parents don't love such practical tips! If you are keen to read more on it, this book is retailing at SGD $24 (before GST) in all major book stores.

About the author

A global citizen, Maya Thiagarajan has lived and worked in India, Singapore, and the US. She earned a BA in English from Middlebury College and a Masters in Education Policy from Harvard University.

Maya began her teaching career with Teach For America, where she taught at a public school in Baltimore City for two years. She went on to teach high school English at some of America's most prestigious independent schools. After a decade of teaching in the US, Maya moved to Singapore and began teaching at The United World College of South East Asia (UWC).

Struck by the different approaches to education and parenting that she encountered in Singapore, Maya began to interview Chinese and Indian parents living in Singapore. Using her own experiences as well as the stories of parents whom she interviewed, Maya wrote a book titled Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age.

In addition to teaching and writing, Maya also conducts workshops for parents and teachers on a range of education related topics.

Readers can connect with Maya on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
To learn more, go to 

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Disclaimer: I have been gifted a copy of the book for review purposes. No monetary compensation is invloved and all opinions are of my own.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pulau Ketam - 吉胆岛

Looking for a short staycation or a relaxing day trip away from the urbans? I have an opportunity to stay there for a 3D2N when we went for filming for the upcoming Channel 8 - Fresh Farmers 2. Malaysians may probably know of this Island but I am totally clueless about it not until I set foot on the island.

About a 5 -6 hours drive from singapore, we took a ferry from Port Klang to Pulau Ketam (Crab Island).

Breath-taking views and I would use the word "Tranquil"to describe the place. Only sound of splashing waves and passing ships were heard. The pace of life on Ketam is slow and relaxing, people in the village were ever so friendly.

Try spotting the tiny crabs if you happen to be there.

Crabs spotting

They do not drive on the island. The mode of transport is only bicycles, either that, the people there mainly travel around by foot.

 If you love to cycle, there are bicycles for rental on the island. We paid RM 5 for a day.

Houses were made of wooden planks and on stilts.

For the rainbow lovers

It gave a really rustic feel, a great place to take pictures. Photography lovers, take note !

Beneath the houses, spot the mudskippers !

We saw bridges everywhere and they were used to connect to different areas.

Steep slopes too !
Steep slopes

Still waters

Such fun to have new friends around ! By the second day, they blended in and were having so much fun with each other, playing games, giving each other pushes on the swings and lazing around on the hammocks.

Exploring how to use a digital camera

I bet he wished that life can be like this everyday !

We continued to explore around the island, spotted an old school barber, with a bright, vibrant blue door that caught my attention.

Old school barber still exists !
A mouse trap with the tiny mouse trapped in it while the cat was keeping guard outside.

Tom and Jerry

Something which the city boys had not seen before, a mouse trap and a rat.

As I whizzed past the unsuspecting villagers' houses, they were all very friendly giving me a smile as I rode by.

Usually by the evening, fishermen will call it a day.

A fishing boat

Unload their catch and start weighing and sending to the market and eateries for sale.
Catch of the day

Stay tuned with me for the activites you can do on Pulau Ketam. At the moment, I can only reveal this much until the launch of Fresh Farmers 2.

Go for a seafood feast if you are in Klang or should you have a sudden decision to just drive into our neighbouring country during long weekends.

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

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