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Bare Nuhcessities

Bare Nuhcessities
Bare Nuhcessities

Activities for Preschoolers

Activities for Preschoolers
Activities for Preschoolers
© Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates 2007-2016. Powered by Blogger.


I have launched a series of blog posts called Featured Mommypreneurs in collaboration with mommypreneurs (i.e. mommies entrepreneurs). Let me know if you're interested to join me to feature your products / services. :)



Creamy Tuna & Cherry Tomatoes Veggie Pasta

Veggie pasta used in this recipe is from Foodies with Love, a homegrown healthy homemade dried veggie pasta brand.

(Serves 2 kids under 5) 

1/2 cup shell veggie pasta by Foodies with Love
1/2 cup spiral veggie pasta by Foodies with Love
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 can tuna flakes in extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup cherry tomatoes
220g (half a bottle) Classic Marinara Sauce by Foodies with Love
Pasta water (from cooking the veggie pasta)
1 tablespoon cream cheese

How to: 

1. Boil water in a pot and pour in both types of veggie pasta. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Drain the pasta; remember to keep aside a bowl of the pasta water.

2. Drain the oil from the tuna can into a frying pan and heat it up over medium-high heat. Add in chopped onion and garlic, then stir fry until fragrant. Add in tuna flakes and stir for a few more minutes.

3. Add in cherry tomatoes, Classic Marinara Sauce, some pasta water, and drained pasta. Mix all ingredients until well combined.

4. Finally, stir in cream cheese and simmer until sauce thickens to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: I don't add extra salt and pepper because this meal is for my kids (20-month old baby and 5-year old boy).

5. Serve!


Rice Cooker Version "Claypot" Chicken Rice

Cooking nowadays is super easy and fuss-free when I use my Philips Avance Collection Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker. It's my favorite gadget in my kitchen!

Today, I want to share about my "Claypot" Chicken Rice which I've cooked by using the "Casserole Rice" option.

Rice Cooker Version "Claypot" Chicken Rice

(Serves two adults + 2 toddlers)

1-2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or any vegetable oil
One-inch old ginger, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
700g boneless chicken thigh, cut into pieces
5-6 dried Shiitake mushroom, rinsed, soaked and sliced
2 sticks lap cheong (Chinese dried sausages), casing removed and sliced 
1 & 1/2 cups multigrain rice, rinsed and drained
850ml to 1L water (including water used to soak dried mushrooms)
1 tablespoon chicken stock powder
2 stalks spring onions, chopped

Seasoning for chicken and mushroom:
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, or any vegetable oil

Seasoning for rice:
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

How to:

1. Marinate chicken and mushroom with ground white pepper, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, and grapeseed oil. Set aside for at least an hour.

2. Heat up grapeseed oil (or any vegetable oil) in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add in chopped ginger and garlic, then stir fry until fragrant. Stir in the marinated chicken and mushroom mixture and cook until the chicken pieces turn more white than pink.

3. Add in lap cheong and stir everything until evenly combined. Transfer them into the rice cooker.

4. In the same pan, add in rice and stir fry for a few minutes.

5. Transfer rice into the rice cooker, add water and chicken stock powder. Switch on the rice cooker and select the "Casserole rice" option and press start. The timer will set itself to 1 hour.

6. 10 minutes before cooking stops, the rice cooker will beep. At this point, add in spring onions and mix everything well.

7. When the rice cooker beeps again for the second time, it means cooking is done. Dinner is ready to be served!

8. Serve it any way you like, with or without garnishing is fine.

Share with us your photos too if you have tried cooking this recipe!

Happy cooking!

How Bare Nuhcessities will change your knowledge about baby skincare products

I'm 100% sure, after you read this blog post about Bare Nuhcessities, your knowledge about baby skincare products will change.

Let me summarize the philosophy behind the formulation of their product range for you.

EWG Green

Now, this is a very eye-opening point. I've never heard of EWG. So, I looked it up. EWG stands for Environmental Working Group - an American environmental organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals and the likes.

Now, try this. Check the rating of the baby body wash brand that you're currently using on your baby via the EWG website.

If the brand itself isn't listed on EWG, take a look at the list of ingredients on the bottle. Check the rating for EACH individual ingredient and their related health concerns, if any.

Remember, if the list includes several ingredients with moderate or high hazard ratings, an accumulative amount here and there in the long run will cause harm.

For the longest time ever, I really thought fragrance is a necessary ingredient in any bath product. Guess what, fragrance/parfum has a rating of 8! Oh my goodness! From now on, I'm not going near any brand that includes fragrance in its ingredients list.

GOOD NEWS is Bare Nuhcessities product range ONLY contains EWG Green ingredients!

Balanced Microbiome

Bare Nuhcessities places a lot of importance on healthy skin microbiome. A healthy skin microbiome protects us against infection. The aim isn't for a temporary/superficial recovery, or with withdrawal side effects - but long term. Here's a very good article about skin microbiome.

Only Necessities
Anything applied on our baby's skin would need to be broken down by their new/underdeveloped organs. Gosh, I've never thought of this. So glad to know Bare Nuhcessities insists only necessities are added into their products.

Natural Ingredients

NO parabens, synthetic fragrance/parfum, preservatives, SLS/Sulfates, PEGs, mineral oils and the likes.

Preservatives Free

NO preservatives! Bare Nuhcessities' products contain natural essential oils that help preservation besides giving a refreshing scent. Their packaging size corresponds with the product's lifespan, which means you can't find huge 1L bottles that are supposed to help you save money. The bigger the bottle, the more preservatives are added. Get it?

Now, let's see the products one by one. You can purchase them online via their website.

Bare Bubbly Baby Wash

Foamy bubble bath for baby sans SLS! I'm shouting Hallelujah!

The mild, safe and natural foamy bubbles are sugar-derived and non-drying. Contains shea butter and niacinamide to moisturise and promote filaggrin growth, to help develop a strong skin barrier.

Includes natural active ingredients plus Chamomile, Frankincense and Bergamot essential oils for healing properties and refreshing scent. Oh yes, I do love the refreshing scent that's so calming and soothing.

No coloring! Can you see the clear liquid in the bottle?

Bare Balancing Baby Lotion

This lotion contains probiotics, botanicals and oats to help reduce inflammation and restore skin flora, encouraging a balanced microbiome and strong skin barrier to protect against aggressors.

I'm prone to heat rash, same goes to my toddler. So I've been lotion-ing him every night after his bedtime shower. Best applied within 3 minutes after patting dry.

Includes natural active ingredients plus Chamomile, Frankincense and Bergamot essential oils for healing properties and refreshing scent. Oh yes, I do love the refreshing scent that's so calming and soothing. A change from lavender for once. Haha.

Creamy lotion. Now you see it, now you don't!

I'm not a lotion person my entire life because I hate that yucky sticky feeling that won't go away. Most lotions also contain fragrance that irritates my poor sense of smell.

This lotion, however, could be absorbed pretty well, leaving behind a refreshing scent that goes away soon after.

Bare Barrier Baby Balm

This balm soothes sensitive skin by helping to build a strong skin barrier. Contains shea butter and safflower derived linoleic acid and hydrating botanicals to calm, including Magnolia bark, traditionally prized for its anti-inflammatory properties.

I'm applying a thin layer of this balm on my toddler after the lotion, especially when his heat rash spreads to his entire back.

Good as diaper or nappy rash balm if necessary. It's considered edible so if you're using it as nipple balm, it's pretty safe. A mommy friend mentions she uses it as lip balm too. Sounds pretty versatile!

Bare Calming Oat Soak

If you're having a newborn baby, this product is highly recommended! We actually don't need to use soap on newborns. So, these mild, safe, and natural no-rinse colloidal oat soak bags are a great replacement for soap when you bath your newborns.

Or if your baby has dry skin, these oat soak bags give a protective layer to lock in moisture and prevent dryness. You can give your baby gentle rubs with the bags while bathing him.

Just soak a bag in the bath tub for 10 minutes. Then use the plant fiber bag to gently massage. No rinse required.

Bare Natural Dry Wipes

Eco friendly, plant based DRY wipes, 100% biodegradable, certified free from harmful substances, great for sensitive skin.

Now, I can hear you asking, "DRY wipes? Why not wet wipes?"

Sure, I can tell you why NO wet wipes.

First, wet wipes contains chemicals. Second, wet wipes are usually made of polyester, a common allergen. Third, wet wipes contains synthetic fragrances. Fourth, wet wipes contains paraben, the most commonly used preservatives.

Not convinced yet? Read this article: Why Dry Wipes

Bare Natural Travel Wipes

For the sake of convenience, Bare Nuhcessities also came up with travel wipes! They are actually dry wipes, compressed into small coin-sized tablets!

Each packet of travel wipes comes with a tube, so when we're out and about, we just need to bring the tube filled with little travel wipe coins. Isn't that amazing?

By the way, you can use these as your make-up remover wipes too!

Compressed dry wipe coin.

Add water and see it grows!

 I've been using this to wipe my toddler's mouth and hands after he's done eating. So much safer than preservatives-laden wet wipes!

Do try out Bare Nuhcessities and let them know your experience!

My baby's journey of The Wonder Weeks

 What are Wonder Weeks?

Wonder Weeks are periods when your baby experiences growth spurts during which your baby is extra sensitive and can be very cranky, clingy, and crying more frequently.

There are ten Wonder Weeks in the first 20 months of a baby's life and can last anywhere from three days to a few weeks.

  • Wonder Week 5 (Leap 1 - The World of Changing Sensations): starts around 5 weeks and usually lasts 1-7 days
  • Wonder Week 8 (Leap 2 - The World of Patterns): starts around 8 weeks and usually lasts 3-14 days
  • Wonder Week 12 (Leap 3 - The World of Smooth Transitions): starts around 12 weeks and usually lasts 1-7 days
  • Wonder Week 19 (Leap 4 - The World of Events): starts around 15 weeks and usually lasts 1-6 weeks 
  • Wonder Week 26 (Leap 5 - The World of Relationships): starts around 23 weeks and usually lasts 1-5 weeks
  • Wonder Week 37 (Leap 6 - The World of Categories): starts around 34 and usually lasts 3-6 weeks 
  • Wonder Week 46 (Leap 7 - The World of Sequences): starts around 42 weeks and usually lasts 3-7 weeks 
  • Wonder Week 55 (Leap 8 - The World of Programs): starts around 51 weeks and usually lasts 3-6 weeks 
  • Wonder Week 64 (Leap 9 - The World of Principles)
  • Wonder Week 75 (Leap 10 - The World of Systems)

Wonder Week 5
(Leap 1 - The World of Changing Sensations) 

At about 5 weeks, your baby will begin to take the first leap forward in his development.

New sensations bombard your baby inside and out, and he's usually bewildered by them. Some of these new things have to do with the development of his internal organs and his metabolism. Others are a result of his increased alertness—his senses are more sensitive than they were immediately after birth. So it's not so much the sensations themselves that are changing, but rather the baby's perceptions of them.

Signs to look out for: Cranky, clingy, crying, may nurse around the clock, difficulty sleeping

What to do with baby: Increase skin-to-skin; cuddle/hold more often; walking, rocking, patting, talking, singing; babywearing

Wonder Week 8
(Leap 2 - The World of Patterns)

Sometime around 8 weeks, baby begins to experience the world in a new way. Expect the fussy period associated with this update of baby's brain around seven to nine weeks. There might be an increase in 'The Three Cs' – Clinginess, Crankiness and Crying.

Baby will be able to recognize simple patterns in the world around him and in his own body. He may discover his hands and feet and spend hours practicing his skill at controlling a certain posture of his arm or leg. He'll be endlessly fascinated with the way light displays shadows on the wall of his bedroom. You might notice him studying the detail of cans on the grocery store shelf or listening to himself making short bursts of sounds, such as ah, uh, ehh.

Any of these things—and a whole lot more—signal a big change in your baby's mental development. This change will enable him to learn a new set of skills that he would have been incapable of learning at an earlier age, no matter how much help and encouragement you gave him.

What to do to help: He'll need lots of contact and reassurance while he goes through this period. Watch for cues he's becoming over-stimulated, and offer extra breastfeeds and cuddles to help him relax.

Wonder Week 12
(Leap 3 - The World of Smooth Transitions)

In the lead up to Leap 3, baby may sleep less, wake more easily and settle best when you hold him or use a baby carrier. He'll fuel the rapid brain development with more breastfeeds and will also seek comfort at the breast. Around 10 weeks or 11 weeks, there is a significant increase in babies' head circumference, a sign of the increased mental development about to occur.

The jerky, reflexive movements of the newborn are disappearing. The movements of his arms and legs are less spasmodic. He can turn his head from side to side, with his eyes and ears tracking sound and movement. Baby is developing awareness of what he sees before you feed him and may begin to show excitement or frustration as you position him near your breast.

What to do with baby: Introduce toys with simple sounds and bright colors to engage his interest. Reading him simple stories with rhyming or rhythmic words and singing gentle songs will capture his attention and he will respond to the changing tone of your voice. More tummy time to encourage the lifting of his head and mobility towards rolling from tummy to back – typically occurring between 2 and 5 months.

Wonder Week 19
(Leap 4 - The World of Events)

One of the highlights of this leap is the ability to conceptualize sequence of events, i.e. grab toy, inspect toy, put toy into mouth.

Sleep regression is another highlight. My baby has a messed up nap time schedule nowadays. He just doesn't want to nap or he will wake up after a 10-minute cat nap. Night time sleep is still pretty okay with stretches of 3-4 hours before waking up to nurse.

This is a rather tough leap with baby being extremely fussy, cranky, clingy, you name it. That's because he's improving in so many areas! He has really good neck control, good upper body strength, and is better at sitting up with support.

He's also very responsive to what's happening around him and significantly more vocal and interactive. He can grab/swipe at toys with both hands too.

And just like that, he's 4.5 months old.

 Wonder Week 26
(Leap 5 - The World of Relationships)

Baby is beginning to understand distance – especially as it applies to things he wants, but cannot reach! Stretching, reaching and manipulating his body towards his goal are very satisfying when he achieves his goal, and incredibly frustrating when his goal is well beyond his reach. This applies to everything from toys, household objects and people: especially his mother!

As baby practices his vocal skills, you will find not only a range of sounds in his voice but also a range of volume! It can be startling when high-pitched squeals of delight first burst from your baby, especially if he was playing quietly just a moment ago and your baby loves your response to his unexpected sounds.

Games, stories and songs where you vary the tone, pitch and volume of your voice will also delight him and you can see him trying to reproduce the sounds you make. Pat your fingers against his mouth while he vocalizes and a new game will quickly become a favorite, as will blowing raspberries on his belly.

Wonder Week 37
(Leap 6 - The World of Categories)

Anytime during week 37-40. What is baby going through? This is the leap whereby baby is able to recognize that various things can be grouped or categorized together, each with distinguishing characteristics and properties, and a desire to explore them.

He is able to understand some words, recognizes his own reflection, plays games of peekaboo with himself, imitates others, expresses his moods, likes to play games, responds to music/songs, and is starting to practice crawling.

Wonder Week 46
(Leap 7 - The World of Sequences)

My 10.5mo little cheeky chili has been going through Wonder Week 46 for the past few weeks. It has been very challenging but wow omaigawd he has grown so much!

Google says Leap 7 is all about baby has begun to work out that things occur in a predictable order, so he's doing things less randomly, or persevering with one action before moving on to another.

Disrupted sleeping pattern: YES. He's in the transition from two day-time naps to just one, and it takes time to adjust. Two naps might be too many, and one might not be quite enough, which means he's unsettled and routines disrupted. Not only so, his day-time nap patterns are also disturbed due to increased mobility and mental development.

Google's advice: Adapting to change, and going with the flow while baby moves into a new pattern can be a challenge, but the transitional period is inevitable. By the way, this leap lasts up to 7 weeks.

Wonder Week 55
(Leap 8 - The World of Programs)

Known as the world of programs, this is the developmental leap where baby seems even more like a little person with his own way of approaching the world. This wonder week lasts up to 6 weeks. Omg.

What to expect and is already happening:

He cries quicker than usual, somewhat temperamental and can be unmanageable.

He's easily jealous and can be moody i.e. happy, then sad, then angry with no apparent reason for the change in his moods.

He wants to be around Mama/Papa all day long. He may cling to either parent to stop them from leaving or he may want to be carried all the time.

Breastfed baby will nurse more often because he wants to stay close to Mama. Sometimes, he just keeps coming back for "Mama refill" where all he seems to need is some brief contact with Mama before he's off again.

His napping and sleeping patterns are all over the place and he wakes up to nurse more frequently.

He's more mischievous i.e. trying to get our attention especially when we're too busy to attend to him.

He may have more temper tantrums and may go berserk as soon as he fails to get his way. Tantrum may happen out of nowhere, perhaps because he's anticipating that we may not allow him to do or have what is on his mind.

Wonder Week 64
(Leap 9 - The World of Principles) 

Leap 9 at Week 64 is described as the penultimate leap in The Wonder Weeks.

In a nutshell:

He can say and understand more words and syllables. I just heard "night night" from him last night. He can say pa pa, ma ma, ke ke (almost sounds like kor kor), bo bo and some other sounds to distinguish grandma from mama. He can also say na na (meaning banana).

He loves imitating others (facial expressions and sounds). This is very fun!

He loves doing the bless sign during prayer time before sleeping. He will bless everyone with his little index finger automatically when we say bless.

He has an ever-ready toothy grin and gives a cute wave of his hand for anyone who smiles at him. Oh uh.

He loves songs and cartoons. He absolutely adores Hi 5, Elmo, Bert & Ernie. He will rush to the TV when songs are being sung and start dancing.

His favorite dancing song is Elmo's: Happy happy dance dance! Happy happy dance dance! When we learn something new, we do the happy dance dance!

He's not a baby anymore!

 Wonder Week 75
(Leap 10 - The World of Systems) 

Wonder Week 75 = the tenth leap = 17 months. Toddlers this age get the new ability to choose how they want to behave.

Notable achievements includes increased vocabulary (understands and speaks more mono syllable words), crazily mobile and active, very curious, loves joining in when nursery rhymes are sung, and very game and eager to participate in new activities.

He's still taking his daily 2-hour afternoon nap. Top two canines are emerging. Can be quite clingy. Can play independently for a little while. Favorite shows are Sesame Street and Furchester Hotel.