Good Bye Forever, 2014!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This year has simply zoomed by too fast. One moment, we found out that we were pregnant in 2013.. and then the next moment I was already in the labour ward giving birth. By then, HALF a year has flashed by... and the next thing I know?

I'm sitting down here thinking really hard what are the more memorable things I've done for the year.

There are so many things I've learned this year as I reach the end of my twenties. Some things, I wished I learned it sooner, but I'm mostly thankful that it is not too late for me to learn.

I've also been actively recycling and donating, which really makes me feel very good. I not only enjoy a clutter-free house, I get to share with others things that I've been blessed with.

Most importantly, I've started on "psychological detox". It's a term I coined it myself actually ahhahahaa but like its name, I'm trying to remove bad thoughts in my head. How does it work?

Well.... I try to see the good in every person and every situation. I try. Of course, it is almost impossible to apply across the board because sometimes, certain situations, like the recent aviation disasters / ships sinking / people dying.. what kind of positivity can I derive from that right?

But for other minor situations, like when both kids crying simultaneously, or when I am pushing the pram halfway and I get caught in a downpour with no umbrella, or Alexis waking up at 5AM for three consecutive days... being positive really helps me a lot in dealing with the problem instead of feeling helpless and angry and all negative.

Dealing with negative people is slightly trickier because there are people who simply deserve a high-five... on their faces. But I try. I try to look at their good and even if they don't have, I try to focus on more superficial things like "well at least they have nice eyes".

It helps, you know. I feel like I have lesser hatred towards people I truly dislike, which is good for MY mental well-being, right? What's the point of poisoning myself with all the negativities when they don't die from it lol.

Anyway, here are my 10 memorable happenings of 2014!

1. I became a mummy of two


Putting this at #1 because it is certainly the BEST thing that has happened to us in 2014! Being a mother of two for these 4 months had certainly taught me to be more tolerant, more patient, more loving to my family and friends.

2. We did up a playroom for the kids, all by ourselves!


Another memorable project taken on by both the husband and I. This was taken in July, but now, five months later, it is filled with even more toys! Nian bought Dylan another set of Lego & FirstBike for Christmas, while I bought him 2 story books. Along with some small toys we acquired over the months, the toy room is officially full.

No more toys for a very long time ok! :)

3. We transformed Dylan and Alexis' bedroom



Transforming our laundry room into the kids' bedroom has been on our minds ever since we completed the toy room in July 2014. We were very blessed to have the folks from Dulux to sponsor us in our painting, their bedroom is so cheerful and happy now!

Also because of this collaboration, we spent less than $600 on this room makeover. Handmade bunting & hot-air balloons are the main decorations of the room, followed by hand-cut circus stickers & circus wall decals (bought from Taobao at only S$5 for all!) are dotted around the room.

The main purchases were the Ikea NORDLI drawers ($460), which gave us the much-needed storage space in our sparse house, along with Ikea's KURA bunk bed (bought from Carousell at $120, retail price $269) which Nian lovingly hacked.

4. Ventured into alternative medications


In August this year, I started to look into natural, alternative medication for the family because I'm really tired of relying on medications all the time, especially on Dylan and Alexis, who are simply too young.

I'm not saying that I'm gonna eradicate medication from my home, of course not. There are days when we really need that paracetamol and cetrizine, but there are other days when we have a nagging blocked nose, yet not serious enough to pop a pill.

So I started reading up on essential oils and its benefits and this is what I have some 4 months later lol. Most of my collection are for its anti-bacterial properties - like Purification and Thieves (the reds in the picture), which I would apply/diffuse when one of us is sneezing/coughing. It kills the germs in the air.

Then I have an array of Greens - Eucalyptus that I swear by when there are cough/sneezing/runny nose as well, followed by Gentle Baby & Peace and Calming to calm down my super hyper Dylan before bedtime. I also like Peppermint! I mixed it with water and cleaned my store with it and my usually smelly & mouldy store is no longer mouldy now. :) It is also powerful in bringing down slight fever.

I love these oils and I think I enjoy pretty good benefits on it, but I think my hubby is still not very convinced hahaha. He thinks it is a placebo effect, but my kids haven't been to the doctor's for quite a while already leh!

I also tried Lavender on a cut, a few days back. I cannot conclude its efficacy though, but I think it clots the blood pretty quickly. I was bleeding so much when I accidentally sliced the tip of my finger while preparing dinner. So horrifying wtf. It is the third day, it hasn't fully recovered yet, but it definitely less gruesome.

5. Spent time on family gatherings

Mother's Day dinner in May

Alive Museum in July

River Safari + Zoo trip in June

Family takes the first place this year and I am really glad that my in-laws are very game in going out for outings after outings. This year, we've been to the zoo, River Safari, Alive Museum, Gardens By The Bay and Christmas party at my sis-in-law's place together. I really, really appreciate times like these where the cousins can hang out together.

Cousins are just like siblings, so I hope they will always have fun with one another, even when they grow up.

6. Bought my first LVs!



I've a very, very small collection of branded bags. The first one I got myself was a YSL clutch last year and that was about it? I've always wanted a bag from Louis Vuitton, simply because I've always marvelled at their superior workmanship.

My friends will always tell me how lasting their bags are and I've always lusted over their colourful epi leather goods. This year, I was very lucky to have bagged a key pouch and Noe, both in beautiful epi leathers, from the husband.


7. Celebrated our 6th year together


Went back to our usual spot this year for our 6th anniversary. La Cantina, Changi Village Hotel, quiet times, beautiful room, cycling and walking by the park... totally my type of celebration.

To many, many more years together!

8. Dylan had his first HFMD episode


Just as I thought I've been through almost all common illnesses with Dylan, we were hit by HFMD earlier in the year. Dylan contracted HFMD from his classmate over the Chinese New Year and developed blisters and ran a fever when we were in Australia.

Unlike the usual HFMD, Dylan's blisters were all over his knees, with almost nothing on his soles and only one wild blister on his finger. We almost couldn't recognise it as a symptom to HFMD if not for the centre informing us when we got back from the holidays.

9. Experimented a lot of different dishes

Cooking and baking has always brought me a lot of joy, so I am very thankful that my hubby has given me a well-stocked kitchen + easy-to-use appliances. With the oven, air fryer and my favourite pans, I managed to try out different recipes this entire year. These are some of my more interesting kitchen works!

I look forward to whip up bigger storms in the kitchen next year. ^-^

10. Visited Melbourne!!!


Australia is one of my favourite countries in the world and I am so glad that Nian is willing to fork out a couple of thousand dollars to bring us there with my family. I'm also thankful that he volunteered to drive us everywhere when we were there.. this holiday is so enjoyable because of him.

I'm thankful that he always makes sure that he brings us overseas at least once a year, even though he doesn't have much of a wanderlust himself.

Thank you for giving me my greatest love - travelling, as much as you can. :)

***



1. Put in more effort and secure more shows to host

Verdict: DONE!

This year, I've been very blessed to work with a lot more events companies. The usual companies I work with have been really generous and kind to me and I've been having shows for consecutive weeks and months in the year. All these blessings they have given me has made my staying at home more manageable.

2. I hope to be fitter this year

Verdict: Not done

Because I was pregnant for a good 8 months of the entire year, I haven't been exercising a lot, so I wouldn't say I am fitter as compared to last year. Thankfully, the bright side is that I've lost all my pregnancy weight, and more. I am 5kg lighter than I was the same time last year so it is not too bad, I guess?

3. Be a better mother

Verdict: DONE, and will continue to do so!

As I slowly ease into motherhood, juggling between two children & housework is gradually becoming easier. I lose my temper lesser, I try to nurture my children more... and I am slightly more hardworking than I was last year.

At least, I will wake up in the middle of the night to change both kids' diapers now. :p


- For bringing us a healthy, happy baby and keeping our other older baby, Dylan, healthy and happy too.

- For blessing us with such a smooth year. 2015, please bless Nian with smoother days at work, a big pay raise + bonuses, healthy + happy family, more events for me to host and sincere friendship.

- For giving us yet another fantastic year at Hello Lobang! We set up our retail site, reduced waiting time and communication errors, gave discount codes to our fans... It is not a big time business, but it keeps us going. I hope Hello Lobang will be even better in 2015.

- For giving me so many wonderful collaborations with wonderful brands such as Dulux, Zalora, Contours Express, Oriental Spa, Sofzsleep, GROHE, Bio-Essence, Heart Springs Spa, Neutrogena, TK Trichokare, Be*U Shoes, Pampers, Biore etc. Thank you so much for believing in hellomrstan.com & thank you to Sample Store for managing and pitching hellomrstan.com so well. I look forward to another great year of collaborations!

- For letting me work with one of the best PR agencies. Working from home may bring me so much lesser money, but I am thankful for all the kindness, the flexibility, the love from the office. I'm thankful that they include me as part of their family even though I only see them probably thrice a year maximum lol.

***

Resolutions

Our resolutions this year will be...

1. To increase our savings by another 50%

2. Always be kind and positive

I shall try to always be nice. If someone is nasty or negative, I will stay away from them and their drama. I will not associate myself with negative people who always victimise themselves, bitch among themselves and always looking for chances to put people down. I will try to empathise and learn how to appreciate little things even more.

3. Make an effort to be environmentally & pocket-friendly

i. I shall hone my sewing skills so that I can save money by making our own cushion cases and pouches, mend torn clothes so that we don't need to throw away/send it to the tailor.

ii. I shall always remember to bring my recycle bag out whenever I go shopping so that I will reduce the amount of plastic bags I bring home.

iii. I shall cook more often to ensure that my family has healthier meals.

2015 - The year when I hit my Big 3-0.

This year will be really great. I know it. :)

P.S. I'll be hosting a countdown party at Jurong West! Jurong West dwellers, see you if I see you!

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