Featured Mommypreneurs

Featured Mommypreneurs
Featured Mommypreneurs

Contact Me

Contact Me
Contact Me

DIY Busy Bag Ideas

DIY Busy Bag Ideas
DIY Busy Bag Ideas

ANNOUNCEMENT

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. :)

 

 

CooperVision’s Biomedics® 1 Day Extra contact lenses


CooperVision. Contact lenses.

I'm happy to learn that CooperVision is one of the world's largest manufacturers of contact lenses. Upon being introduced to CooperVision, I decided to try their Biomedics® 1 Day Extra contact lenses.

I'm an occasional contact lenses wearer and I prefer dailies for convenience sake. The one important criterion that I look for before purchasing contact lenses is comfort. I want my eyes to stay naturally comfortable.

Benefits of Biomedics® 1 Day Extra:
  • 55% water content
  • Comfortable lens wear up to 11 hours
  • No-hassle convenience – no need to deal with the cleaning and storage hassles of conventional contact lenses
  • May be beneficial to patients who suffer from allergies

More info: http://coopervision.com.my/contact-lens/biomedics-1day-extra

I have the chance to try out Biomedics® 1 Day Extra contact lenses and I find them comfortable enough to wear during office hours and when I need to attend functions.

If you are an existing dailies wearer or if you are new to wearing contact lenses or if you want to upgrade from your monthly lenses to the convenience of dailies, you can sign up for trial lenses for FREE.

From now until 30 April 2014, CooperVision in Malaysia is offering a special trial promotion whereby you can sign up for CooperVision's Biomedic 5-day supply of trial lenses.

Click http://coopervision.com.my/trial-lenses and get yours today!

For more information about CooperVision, check them out on their website: http://coopervision.com.my/ and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coopervisionmy

Note: Product was provided by the company for review purposes. However, this has not influenced my thoughts and opinions about the product in any way.

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Butternut squash versus pumpkin


Have you seen a butternut squash before? It's a bell-shaped fruit with yellow skin and sweet orange-yellow fleshy pulp. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin.

And it's more or less triple the price of a pumpkin. Hahaha. Half a fruit as seen in the photo above costs RM14-15 (bought at TTDI wet market).


I buy both pumpkin and butternut squash to make puree for my baby to try. I'm not sure which one he likes more, so for that kind of price, I might as well just stick to pumpkin. :D


Some say butternut squash puree tastes creamier than pumpkin. Personally, I feel that butternut squash is tastes less starchy. Both purees are orange in color. However, butternut squash does have higher calories per 100gm and higher dietary fiber as compared to pumpkin.

 So far, I have prepared these butternut squash purees for baby:
  • Butternut squash with pear puree - steam and blend together
  • Butternut squash with yellow sweet potato puree - steam and blend together
More combos ideas: apple, pumpkin, ripe banana, carrots, grated cheese (8mo onwards)

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Non-baked Japanese steamed cupcakes


Success on my first attempt! So happy! I follow the instructions from a recipe done by a nutritionist mommy, Jennifer Lee (see photo below from her book). This recipe is good for toddlers, children, and adults too.


Note: I double up the ingredients to make 10 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, beaten (room temperature)
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (I don't have vegetable oil or grapeseed oil at home)
4 tablespoons banana puree (I use one medium ripe banana)

How to:

1. Sieve flour and baking powder. Add in molasses.
2. Beat egg, yogurt, and oil. Add in banana puree.
3. Mix into flour until combine.
4. Spoon the batter into 10 cupcakes holders.
5. Steam for 15 minutes.


Yummeh!


I use a stainless steel steamer with glass lid.


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Some of my nursing tops


I love nursing tops. I don't mind wearing them every single day, whether at home, at work, or while shopping with the little one. I have peace of mind knowing that my baby can access his food easily. :)

The types of nursing tops are neckline access, empire access, hem-lift access, side seam access, vertical-front access, and drop cup access.

Empire access - lift empire band to access nursing openings. This is my favorite type. See how many I bought from Buroo Buroo Closet - Nursing Wear.


Nursing singlet in grey stripes with plain grey underlay. Just lift the underlay to breastfeed baby. Fabric is extra stretchy for maternity and there is elastic gathers on the hips to flatter the post-maternity tummy.


Black V-neckline cotton lycra nursing singlet that comes with an attached white underlay tankini with elastic hem. Just lift the underlay to breastfeed baby.


Emerald nursing tee with pale green underlay. Just lift the underlay to breastfeed baby.


This black knee-length nursing dress has side seam access. Just lift the seam aside to breastfeed baby. I wear a shiny metal belt to add some style.

These are not the only nursing attires that I have. I think I have close to 15 nursing tops - mostly empire access - in all sorts of colors I bought from different online shops.

Oh by the way, I still wear a nursing bra beneath the nursing tops. :D

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Baby has two bottom teeth!


10 days ago, I blogged about my boy's one and only tooth. Now he has two bottom teeth! Some friends talk about the need of cleaning baby's new teeth, so I Googled about it.

As soon as baby's teeth start to come through, you can start brushing them. Use a baby toothbrush with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste. The easiest way to brush a baby's teeth is to sit them on your knee with their head resting against your chest. More info here.

So, I got baby Luke his first "toothbrush" - Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush for Infants (Newborn to 12 Months). I haven't really set a brushing teeth routine for him yet. I just let him hold and teeth on this toothbrush for fun.



Description:
  • Safe and bendable
  • Dental-hygienist mom-invented
  • Gently massages gums and teeth
  • Develops good oral hygiene habits early
  • Easy to grasp "A-Peel-ing" banana handles
  • Flexible material decreases risk of mouth injury
  • Non-allergenic, 100% non-toxic highest quality silicone
  • BPA, latex, and phthalate free
  • Dishwasher and freezer friendly

Directions for use: Wash banana brush before using. As with any toothbrush or teether, never leave child unattended during use.

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Chicken thigh porridge - rice cooker version


The rice cooker is the most fundamental and versatile kitchen appliance in my house. I can basically cook anything in it. I have cooked soups, many times. Two Sundays ago, I tried cooking porridge. My next plan is to use it as a steamer for my long awaited steamed cupcakes. Muahahaha!

Okay, now let's talk about my chicken thigh porridge - rice cooker version.

Ingredients:

Four handfuls of rice grains
Two chicken thighs, leave skin on
One medium red onion, sliced
Four pips of garlic, crushed
8-10 slices of ginger
A handful of spring onions, use the white ends
Salt and pepper
One sachet of chicken stock powder


How to:

Wash rice, add water, and turn on the rice cooker's power. I add in an extra cup of water. Make sure the switch is turned to "Cooking", not "Keep Warm".

Rub salt and pepper on chicken thighs and leave aside on for about 15 minutes.

Then, put the chicken thighs and the rest of the ingredients into the rice cooker, close the lid, and wait until the switch pops to "Keep Warm". Keep the lid closed for another half and hour.
 

Done and ready to serve!

You can garnish with chopped spring onions if you like. :)


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Baby's organic rolled oats porridge with mashed avocado


Baby's food journal:

This time, it's organic rolled oats porridge with mashed avocado.

Cutting and storing an avocado is pretty simple. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise around the seed. Once cut, twist and separate the two halves. Wrap the half with the seed intact in cling wrap and store in a ziplock bag in the further part of the fridge where it is the coldest. Eat it the next day. For the other half, I cut the avocado into cubes for easy scooping.

Here's a good reference page with illustrations: How to Prepare and Store Avocado

Why avocado? Avocados nourish your baby as they are rich in in protein, fiber, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, and zinc. The fat calories in avocado are of the heart-healthy variety (no cholesterol, monounsaturated fat), but they do increase your calorie count. That being said, avocados also contain desirable Omega 3 fatty acids and are free of sodium. For a developing, growing baby, the type of fats and the caloric value is a good thing. Particularly, avocados are often recommended as a food for babies, who are aged about 6 months or older and who are experiencing slow weight gain. More info here.


Why rolled oats? Oats - usually known as oatmeal or porridge once prepared - are one of the most nutritious grain cereals you can buy. Oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber, protein and the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and B6. They also provide iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and phosphorus. More info here.

I buy a bag of BMS organic baby rolled oats and grind the oats into fine powder form before storing them in an airtight container.



I prepare the oatmeal (porridge) by whisking one tablespoon of oats powder in boiling water. Then, I add in the prepared/scooped avocado cubes and puree them slightly with a blender.



Baby decides to feed himself but he points the spoon to the wrong end and spills green goo everywhere. It's like a war zone! :P


About an hour later, I manage to coax him to drink some plain water (which he hates) from his new sippy cup. He decides to fling the cup on the floor the moment he tastes water flowing from the spout. Hahaha!


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Baby's snow peas puree


Baby's food journal:

This week, it's snow peas puree.

I buy a packet of snow peas from TTDI wet market. After soaking the pods for about 20 minutes, I open the pods and scrape out the peas. Then, I steam the peas until very tender before pureeing. I get about 30ml of pea puree. Before feeding baby, I add a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil.


I keep the broken pods for my dinner. :)


Dinner is beef stew with white radish, butternut squash, and snow pea pods cooked in slow cooker. Just before I switch off the heat, I dilute one tablespoon of corn flour and pour into the stew. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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Green papaya soup with ikan tenggiri (mackerel)


This is the third time I cook green papaya soup. Finally I manage to get a really GREEN, green papaya from TTDI wet market. I bought the previous two "green" papayas from a fruit seller. The papayas have orange-colored flesh instead of the supposed white flesh. This time I buy the green papaya from a vegetable seller instead.

Previous soups:



Ingredients: A small green papaya (chopped into cubes), a handful of dried red dates (soaked for 15 minutes), a few slices of ginger, 1 block of ikan tenggiri (mackerel)

I put all ingredients into a liter of water and cook in the slow cooker for about two hours.


Ready to serve. Here's to more milk!


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Baby's organic millet powder porridge with pumpkin puree


Baby's food journal:
This week, it's time for organic millet powder porridge with pumpkin puree.

Why millet? Millet is rich in B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and is even considered a good protein source. Millet grains are usually used to cook millet porridge (after soaking for a few hours). I use millet powder because it's easier and faster to prepare. I can either add boiling hot water or cook it for a few minutes only in the morning.

I buy half a pumpkin and cut it into six slices (with skin intact). Then, I store them in separate ziplock bags in the fridge. Every morning, I take out one slice, cut into cubes and steam before pureeing.

I prepare the millet porridge separately by mixing one tablespoon of millet powder with three tablespoons of boiling hot water. 

Then, I mix both millet porridge and pumpkin puree together. Finally, I add a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil.


Baby enjoys his meal! Look at the mess. :)

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Finger puppets for baby


My mother-in-law bought these pretty finger puppets made from colorful felt about 10 years ago! They are still in pretty good condition and perfect to be worn on our fingers as we tell short stories to entertain baby Luke.

But, this baby currently prefers grabbing the puppets and shoving them into his one-toothed mouth. :)


There are five of these finger puppets, and they somehow represent our little family - papa, mama, baby, grandpa, grandma. Nice, right?

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Power-packed breakfast with banana & egg pancakes


Last Saturday's power-packed breakfast was banana and egg pancakes.

Blogged previously: Banana & egg pancakes

Ingredients: Two ripe bananas, two eggs, two tablespoons of black sesame powder, two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil

Note: Makes four mini pancakes



Slice bananas into a bowl. Break the eggs. Mash bananas and mix well with egg. Add black sesame powder and virgin coconut oil. Mix lightly.

Heat up cooking oil in pan, scoop mixture into pan, give it about 20-30 seconds, flip, and it's done!


Serve with a cup of cold milk and high fiber muesli!


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Cooking white radish with beef soup in thermal cooker


I bought a 5.5L thermal cooker, with the hope that on days I'm really busy, I will be able to cook soup and stew easily and with much less hassle. I have a slow cooker too but sometimes, I don't have time to wait at least 2 hours for my soup to be ready.


Meals will be ready in 3 simple steps: 

1) Put ingredients into the inner pot.
2) Cover and simmer ingredients for about 10 to 20 minutes.
3) Place the inner pot inside the thermal cooker and close the lid.


So, I cook my first soup - white radish with beef soup - with the thermal cooker by following the steps.


First, I put lean beef chunks, chopped white radish, ginger slices, and a liter of water into the inner pot. Then, I cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes over the stove. Finally, I put the inner pot inside the thermal cooker and close the lid.

After about 30 minutes or so, the soup is ready to be served!


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Teething!


Babies vary as to when, and in what order, regarding the arrival of their little 'pearls'. However, generally speaking, the estimated arrival timeline of baby teeth is:
  • Bottom two central incisors: 6-10 months
  • Top two central incisors: 8-12 months
  • Four top & bottom lateral incisors: 9-16 months
  • Four top & bottom canines: 16-23 months
  • Four first molars: 13-19 months
  • Four second molars: 23-33 months
Total: 20 baby teeth in the span of more or less 33 months (almost 3 years).

Babies might be facing some, if not all, of the following symptoms during teething (a tooth moves towards the gums and cuts through):
  • Chewing and gnawing own fingers and anything they put into their mouth
  • Drooling much more than usual
  • Irritable, cranky, and clingy
  • Might wake up crying in the middle of the night
  • Mild fever (below 38°C). Note: Some pediatricians rule this out
  • Runnier poop than usual (not diarrhea)
  • Nappy rash
  • Drinking less milk and/or eating less solid food
  • Tender and swollen gums where a tooth is about to cut through

My boy started excessive drooling when he was about 4 months old. About two weeks later, he was in a frenzied state of gnawing everything but preferred chewing my fingers. This lasted for quite a while. He had mild fever once. He was super cranky and clingy several nights for as long as I can remember. I bought an amber teething necklace for him when he was 5 months plus. His drooling reduced noticeably.

One day, he turned 6.5 months and his FIRST lower incisor cut through! Woohoo! I think the second bottom tooth is following soon.

Suggested remedies for teething:


Here's my first baby tooth!



2

Decoding baby's poop


Baby Poop Quiz

1. Within 24-48 hours of being born, babies will take their first poop. Made up of ingested amniotic fluid, hair and skin cells, and intestinal secretions, what is this first poop called?

- Zirconium 
- Meconium (Correct!) 
- Albumin
- Lanugo


2. If an infant's poop looks like a combination of mustard and runny cottage cheese, and has a mildly sweet odor, what does it mean?

- Indigestion
- Too much water
- Breastfed (Correct!) 
- Virus

Note: Here's a visual guide for breastfed babies' poop.


3. What has your baby been eating if his poop has a strong, sharp odor and is the color and consistency of peanut butter?

- Formula (Correct!) 
- Cow's milk
- Peanut butter
- Bananas


4. The consistency, color, and smell of a breastfed baby's poop can change based on what mom has been eating.

- True (Correct!)
- False


5. Sometime between six and 10 months your infant's poop will become firmer, smellier, and darker brown. Why?

- The intestines have become longer
- Stomach enzymes have matured
- Seasonal changes
- Solids have been introduced (Correct!)


6. An exclusively breastfed four-month-old hasn't pooped in a week - totally normal, or is baby constipated? 

- Totally normal (Correct!)
- Baby is constipated

Note: Some breastfed babies poop once every few days or even once a week. This is not a problem (not constipation) as long as your baby's poos are soft and pass easily.

However, your baby's poop routine may change:

- when you introduce solids
- if he is feeling unwell
- when he starts to take fewer feeds


7. Baby's poop is hard and looks like pellets. What could cause this? 

- Constipation
- Too little dietary fiber
- Dehydration
- All of the above (Correct!)

Note: How to know it's constipation?

- Your baby seems to have real difficulty in moving his bowels.
- Your baby's poos are small and dry, like rabbit droppings; or they may be large and hard.
- Your baby seems irritable, straining and crying when he does a poo.
- Your baby's tummy feels tight to the touch.
- Your baby's poos have streaks of blood in them. This can be caused by tiny cracks in the skin, called anal fissures, caused by passing hard poos.


8. Around what age do babies typically develop awareness and control of their bowel movements?

- 9 months
- 18 months (Correct!)
- 24 months
- 36 months


9. Why would a baby have frequent, watery stools?

- Too much water
- Viral or bacterial infection (Correct!)
- Overtired
- Behavioral issue


10. Bloody poop in baby's diaper can be normal, so only call the pediatrician if it happens all the time.

- True
- False - Always call the doctor if you notice blood in baby's poop (Correct!)

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Steamed onion juice - for cough and phlegm


My baby was down with cough and phlegm last month. I learn from this blog post about steaming an onion and get its juice to relieve cough and phlegm.

Get one of those big red onions (not shallots) and cut them into eight quarters. Steam for about 10 minutes. You should be able to get around 20ml of onion juice.

It's recommended to give only one teaspoon (5ml) of onion juice to 6-month old babies. This remedy might not be suitable for young babies below six months.

I only gave one teaspoon to my baby and he didn't really like it, hahaha. You might want to give this remedy a try if your baby has the early stages of cough and phlegm.


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Mama & baby quizzes


Mama quizzes 

1. What's Your Mom Personality? 

Result: You're an Attachment Mama.

You're up on the latest recommendations from Dr. Sears, and enjoy snuggling with your baby in the family bed. You're a firm believer in baby wearing, and quickly react to your baby's cues so he always feel secure.


2. Which TV Mom Are You? 

Result: You're a modern yet sensible mom. You keep up with trends you feel like following, and ignore the rest (platform shoes? don't think so!).

Often, you're the most rational head in the family - including your partner! And when all hell breaks loose, you know exactly how to cut through the nonsense. Still, you're not a killjoy - you encourage your kids to have fun. But they definitely know who's boss.

The Bottom Line: Your parenting style is based on open communication, discipline, and reasoning.


3. What's Your Mothering Style 

Result: Your type is: ISFJ - The "Tender Loving Care" Mother.

"I want my children to feel they have an ally, someone who knows them completely. I want to be a haven for them."

Gentle and kind, the ISFJ mother provides her children with generous amounts of tenderness, affection, and the comfort of daily routine. Her aim is to "be there" for her children, physically and emotionally. She is sensitive to their feelings, offering closeness, understanding, and quiet support.

Loyal and devoted, the ISFJ mother has a strong sense of duty and consistently puts her children's needs first. She delights in taking care of the little things that matter to a child, making each one feel loved and special.

To provide her family with security and warmth, the ISFJ mother tends to the practical and domestic, aiming for a smooth-running household and an attractive home. She also observes and conveys the value and importance of family traditions.


Baby quizzes

1. Baby's Personality Quiz 

Results: He will be very intelligent. Although he is very bright, his shy nature may keep him from reaching his full potential. He is conservative and reserved. You can anticipate a very organized person. In fact, his need for organization is borderline compulsive. He will be the type of person that can't put things off until tomorrow because it will drive him crazy.

In school, if he is given a group project he will slowly take over the project. He doesn't like things to be done incorrectly and if he can't have it done his way he will get frustrated. He doesn't like to be criticized and he has a bit of a superiority complex. If he is angry with you, you will never know. He keeps things to himself but may be secretly vindictive.

He will most likely go to college. He will pursue a job that makes him feel important. He is a hard worker but he may be slow at getting his job done because of his need to check and recheck his work. He may choose a career in electronics, engineering, accounting, aviation, or pharmacology.


2. What's Your Baby's Personality? 

Results: Your baby is: Fickle Frankie.

Today, he wants to be held all day. Tomorrow, he'll cry if you even try to pick him up. What worked yesterday does nothing today; that's the way of the fickle baby. "Sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, always cute" could be his motto. There's nothing wrong with knowing what you want, even if what you want changes by the minute.

The good news is, he'll learn to speak soon enough so he can give you a head's up. The bad news: You're going to fly by the seat of your pants until then. Hang in there, mama!

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Baby's first porridge - purple sweet potato with ikan tenggiri (mackerel)


I have started my baby on vegetables and fruits purees - sweet potato puree, apple and pear purees for the past two weeks. Now that he's 6.5 months, it's time to introduce rice porridge into his diet.

So, my mom-in-law cooked purple sweet potato porridge with ikan tenggiri (mackerel).

Choose a small purple sweet potato (you can use orange sweet potatoes if you like). Wash it clean. De-skin and cut into small pieces. Choose a quarter of a block of ikan tenggiri, wash it clean, and cut into small pieces.

Soak a handful of white rice in water for about 20-30 minutes to soften the grains. Drain and put aside.

Note: Some mothers recommend other grains such as millet, quinoa, and brown rice. I will try brown rice when baby is older a bit.


Boil water, add in rice, sweet potatoes, and fish over medium heat. Keep stirring to break up the grains faster. Off the heat after about 40 minutes and put aside to cool down. Then, blend the porridge in a blender to get the consistency you want (thickness based on baby's readiness).


Finally, I store the blended porridge in mini Tupperware containers (about 40-50ml each) in the freezer.

Starting this week, baby is having porridge for lunch and fruit puree for snack during tea time. The rest of his feeds (including midnight) are still breast milk.

On weekdays, I will transfer one porridge container and one fruit puree cube from the freezer to the fridge to defrost the night before. The next day, I will send both to the babysitter. On weekends, I will prepare fresh meals for baby and store the rest (one week's worth) in the freezer.


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