A Relaxing Laid Back Day – The Giddy Tigress Way

On public holidays, we try to steer clear of crowded places like the malls, cinemas, tourist attractions and the like.  However, we love to spend time together as a family but at the same time we need to find ways to incorporate some personal pampering on our own too.  How do you make your kids part of your “me-time”?

Last Monday was such a day, so let me tell you how we did it…

In the morning, the kids had their swimming coaching session at the pool, so we took the opportunity to play around the slides in the pool area too, after the coaching session.  It was some good exercise and fun, because Daddy got to take the littlest one up and down the slides while Mommy enjoyed the “baking in the sun”….. NOT.  It was definitely scorching hot by noon, so we packed up and left by then.  Thank goodness we remembered to stay cool and hydrated with Izumio hydrogen water… felt so much better after downing a pack or two.


After a quick shower for all of us at home, we drove out for a quick and easy lunch at a nearby coffee shop.  Then Daddy took care of all the kids while I left for a 1-hour massage session.


This has been our arrangement every 3-4 months on the average.  Since we do not have extra help with the kids, we take turns going for our massages.  Would be awesome to get a massage together with your spouse (like a couples massage, y’know..) but since we cannot afford to do that yet…this will have to do.  The masseuse commented that my shoulder muscles felt very tense and knotted, so she concentrated on that part.  Getting a massage now and then really helps relieve the stress and everyone could certainly do with one every now and then.  Good stuff (except I am rather ticklish…but that’s my own problem…haha).

After my massage I drove back and then it was hubby’s turn for his massage.

That day, I decided to book a pedicure with a home manicurist/pedicurist.  It was a first time for me, and since my daughter had been asking for a session for a few weeks now, I decided to give it a go.  After all, I could still have all my kids with me at home whilst I had the pedicure!  Sure beats doing it in a mall with me having to worry about kids running around everywhere!


The session was very thorough, and both Mommy and daughter are very happy with the pedicure.  We will definitely book her again in future.

How did you spend your recent holidays?

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Diary of a Meal-Planner-Wannabe (Weeks of Jan 11 – 15 & Jan 18 – 22)

I’m doing a two-in-one post for the meal-planning post this week.  I realize I have been lagging again, so please forgive me… Well, things on the homefront seem all right.  It looks like I have the laundry under control now too, but I still need to find more time to do more spring cleaning and decluttering.  Ooooh…and curtains need to be laundered before the Chinese New Year too!

Anyway, here’s what we did, meal-wise for the past 2 weeks.  How is it going on your end?

Jan 11-15


Lunch: Peanut soup with pork ribs served with steamed rice.

Dinner: Peanut soup with pork ribs (from lunch) and rice; yellow curry chicken (non-spicy version so the kids can enjoy it too).


Breakfast: Ran out of easy breakfast options like bread, so I woke up 30 mins earlier to make tuna burritos.

Lunch: Leftovers from dinner the night before.

Dinner: Soy sauce pork belly (Tau ewe bak), Carrot radish stir fry with cuttlefish (Jiu hoo char – a firm CNY favorite) served with fresh lettuce and steamed rice.  I froze half of the jiu hoo char I made so I can serve it next week too!  Yes, we can freeze jiu hoo char for up to 2-3 weeks I think.


Lunch: Had burritos again: tuna burritos and jiu hoo char burritos.  Surprisingly good!

Dinner: Leftover soy sauce pork belly from last night.  I was looking for a simple recipe to cook with potato leaves and Google led me to my very own Masak Titek post!  So I decided to make a reinvented version of Masak Titek with potato leaves, milk (instead of coconut milk) and carrot chunks (instead of sweet potato).  Left out the shrimp because I did not have any available.


Lunch: Lotus root soup with steamed rice.

Dinner: Lotus root soup from lunch, ginger sauce chicken with mushrooms, baby bok choy stir fried with oyster mushrooms, steamed rice.


Lunch: Pumpkin rice with leftover lotus root soup and ginger sauce chicken.

Dinner: Out


Jan 18-22 (foresee an inactive cooking week ahead because we didn’t go to the market)


Cheat day – bought wan ton mee for lunch and ate out for dinner.


Lunch: Homemade mushroom soup, egg and pumpkin fried rice.

Dinner: Mushroom soup from lunch, ginger sauce chicken, leftover jiu hoo char from last week (remember I froze it then?)


Lunch: Ginger chicken with rice

Dinner: Ordered pizza


Lunch: Simple pasta salad, leftover pizza from last night.

Dinner: Steamed white snapper. dragon beard stir fried with fish cake, steamed rice, leftover pizza for kids (2 slices).


Lunch: Bought barbecued pork rice

Dinner: Out




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Decluttering Project: Kids’ Craft Table

I have several “dumping grounds” in my home where I am ashamed to say that I conveniently dump things and make it messy.  Then I forget that I dumped the stuff there and the mess just keeps growing.  Hence I’m making myself tackle these “dumping grounds” as often as I can…hopefully one location per week…declutter and get it organised.

It would be easier if everything can be tossed out but it’s harder than it looks.  Definitely.

Anyway, I decluttered the kids’ craft table last week.  Yes, my kids have a craft table.  How lucky huh…

This is actually a repurposed baby crib.  We bought this crib when we were expecting our first child about 10 years ago, but when we came back from the States with baby no.3, we shipped the crib we bought from US, and so this first crib was not being used.  Hubby (ever the “throwing away” type) suggested we throw the crib away, but I saw this excellent idea on the net where the crib was repurposed into a craft table and decided to give it a go.  That was about a year ago, and the craft table has been well used by the kids.

Look at how messy it is…


I started by taking every single thing off the table.  Important key to start decluttering: Always start on a clean slate.

I then wiped down the whole table and started to sort and corral everything into groups.  Groups of brushes and painting equipment, groups of markers, highlighters, colored pens, tubes of watercolor, poster colors, papers, crayons etc.

I also made use of these fabulous containers purchased recently from Ikea.  Very helpful and neat too!


The entire project was finished in about half an hour, right before the baby woke up.  And I even had time for a quick shower!

Loving these Ikea containers that store almost anything!  If you have kids in your home, get some of these, seriously!  They come with lids and are super useful!


We use them for crayons, color pencils, paints, and I have a couple on my dresser for makeup stuff like lipsticks, blushers and so on too!  More on that later…

But anyhoo…here’s what the craft table looks like now.. I’m loving how neat it is, and how inviting it is for the kids to get imaginative!  I’m thinking of adding a whiteboard somewhere too…. 🙂


And of course, here is the before and after of this decluttering project:


Now, what shall I declutter next….???

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Diary of a Meal-Planner-Wannabe (Week of Jan 4 – 8)

I know, I know…I’ve read all about meal-planning and the wonders of how it helps to set the pace for the week, how it helps mothers stay organised and all.  However, I have never managed to get it to work for me.  A good friend of mine was seeking for meal plans and grocery lists just last week and yet another one proclaimed that she already had her meal plan sorted out for January!

Where does that leave me?

Well, I decided to try out a simple meal plan for the first week of school for the year.  It was going to be just a trial run and I wanted to see how well I could keep to it.  I was going to allow myself to be flexible but yet try to get meals prepared in an organised manner, and hopefully by putting it down for the whole word to see, it would spur me on to stick to the plan.

And oh yeah…I managed to get some fruits for the whole week too, one of them were these succulent and juicy champagne grapes….they were teeny tiny but so good!!  And seedless!!!



Lunch: Mcdonald’s takeout. Yeah I know…kill me already.  But seriously, it was because the kids had their swimming coaching session  in the morning and it was the most convenient lunch on our way home.

Dinner: Orange chicken (recipe), Dragon beard vegetables stir-fried with roast pork served with steamed rice. Yay me! 🙂


Lunch: Chicken and pumpkin porridge; leftovers orange chicken from dinner last night.

Dinner: Soy sauce pork belly a.k.a. my kids’ favorite, apple and pork ribs soup, leftover orange chicken with steamed rice


Lunch: Chicken and pumpkin porridge leftovers; leftover soy sauce pork belly

Dinner: ABC soup (tomatoes, onions, carrots, potatoes), leftover soy sauce pork belly.  I have been cooking double the amount of soy sauce pork belly for the past 2 weeks, because it really does taste better on the second day.  Plus it saves me the time and effort to cook one dish on the second day.  Score!!


Lunch: Chicken and pumpkin porridge; chicken pie (bought from store cos chicken porridge tak laku :P)

Dinner: Chicken cacciatore reinvented, served with spaghetti.



Lunch: Leftovers from chicken cacciatore with spaghetti.

Dinner: Almost starved to death while waiting for my man to come home.  Will probably cook dinner on Friday next week.  For the record, we had Tex-Mex food that day.

And there you have it.  Not too bad for a meal-planner-wannabe, wouldn’t you say so?

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I’m Back … Putting the Past Behind with Hope and Gratefulness for a Blessed Year Ahead!


First of all, I would like to wish one and all a very happy blessed New Year!  We had a lovely time together, just family…but maybe this year, we’ll eat in on New Year’s eve instead…hahaha.

The past 3-4 months have been a difficult time for me.  I’m sure some of you must have wondered if I had retired from blogging altogether.

Well, I have not.  And I hope to be able to keep the blogging momentum up and running as soon as I can possibly can.  Actually, this post was supposed to have gone out before the year 2015 ended, but alas, I have been so bogged down that I have not had the chance to complete the draft.

So, as I said before, the past few months have been a difficult time for me.  I was overcome by stress earlier on, but in true “supermom” fashion, I did not realize I was in a vulnerable position, and as such, I did not recognize it as stress.  It is only now that I am in recovery mode that when I look back, I know that I had been incredibly stressed then…albeit without my knowledge.  My body fought back naturally but there came a time when my body could not defend itself anymore and so succumbed to stress.  Had I realized I was stressed, I would have been able to manage it better and prevent the avalanche of incidents happening.

Anyway, in late September, I contracted a bacterial infection called impetigo.  It usually affects eczema sufferers with broken skin, because the bacteria can then enter the bloodstream through the broken skin.  However, in my case, I know that I definitely did not have broken skin, so I was confused about how I could have gotten it…until I learnt that it also affects those whose immunity is compromised due to high stress levels, for example.

My infection was so serious that I lost the use of my hands while they were recovering.  I was initially treating the infections with natural alternatives, however, this takes longer…and while the healing was happening, unfortunately the infection spread to my little baby daughter too.  This in turn caused more stress for me, and subsequently the infection got worse…so I had no choice but to get antibiotics treatment for both of us.  This included topical steroids.

I was so depressed really.  I still find it incredibly painful and difficult to look at those photos of my infected hands, even now.  I couldn’t cook and couldn’t clean and could hardly even drive!

So after that incident of impetigo, I healed but not long after, had a sudden flare-up of eczema on my hands.  This, I knew, happened because I had applied topical steroids when I had impetigo, and the flare-ups were my body’s natural reaction to ridding itself of toxins. I braved myself to fight this spell.

However, little did I know that it was a really bad one that became worse and worse as time wore on.  I had breakouts everywhere on my hands, even on the back of my hands where I have never had any problems before.

I had to go back to those days of wearing band-aids on my fingers to prevent the pain of the cracks and bleeding.  This really got me down and pulled me even deeper into depths of depression.

Sometime in November, I suppose because of my state of stress, I fell sick and developed a very high fever over the course of 3-4 days.  The feverish spells came with chills and sometimes went up to as high as 40+ºC.  It was a very trying time for me and on day 2 of the fever, I woke up with hives all over me as well.  Both my hands were swollen to the extent that I was not able to move my fingers.  I was in too much pain…I had to resort to steroids again.

It was a mean and vicious cycle.  I knew I had to break it but I just didn’t know how yet.

The doctor recommended a blood test to rule of dengue fever.  I will be frank…a part of me wanted it to be positive for dengue so I didn’t have to take antibiotics.  Crazy I know…. anyway, the blood test came back negative for dengue and the doctor prescribed antibiotics.   Slowly I got better and better, but the stubborn eczema flare ups on my hands were still persistent.

I decided then that I was going to heal it all now with natural means, no matter how hard it would be: Izumio internally to flush out whatever remnants of toxins from the drugs, medications and steroids, and externally, I used essential oils coupled with a hand moisturizer liberally and religiously.

I found out that my hand eczema condition is called Dyshidrotic Eczema, typically it manifests itself in times of…you guessed it….STRESS.  Dyshidrotic Eczema symptoms are small itchy liquid-filled bumps that itches more when you scratch and scratch.  I had them all over the back of my hands and on my palms and fingers too.

It was embarrassing to show my hands to people so I preferred to be home most of the time.


During my healing, I had other factors causing me stress too.  I discovered a termite infestation in my kitchen!!  We engaged a pest control baiting service, and had 2 baiting stations placed: 1 in the kitchen and 1 on our main door frame.  However, 2 weeks later, I discovered another termite infestation site in the dry kitchen.  Termites just give me the ickiness…Just thinking about it makes my hands itchy and I can’t wait to get the whole termite colony dead!  Thankfully, the last update a few days ago by the pest control team was that the colonies would be eliminated by the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Other things attributed to the increase in my stress levels during the past few months as well.  I was leading a team project where there was severe lack of communication and accountability.  Let’s just say that I was extremely glad that the project is now over and done with; and I’m also thankful for the handful of people on that team who went the extra mile to make sure the project was completed.

This year, I’m going to try my best to not let stress get to me.  Yes, I have mouths to feed and yes, I have things to clean up, but I’m going to take it easy and just try my best.  I’m going to focus on God being the center of my life and surround myself with love for my family.  I’m going to put my home organisation plan into place as soon as possible and hopefully that will help me feel more relaxed.  I’m going to focus on helping others but I’m going to also remember to help myself.


To everyone, I wish you a fantastic year ahead.  Don’t forget to take time out for God, for your family and for yourself.  May you enjoy what the New Year brings and look forward to plenty of blessings ahead!

I hope to blog more often too, so please do come by and say hello! 🙂

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