Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gin & Jacqie How do you Organize your Bag Contest RESULTS

Nice and pleasant surprise this morning - I am one of the 10 winners for the above-mentioned contest!
And the prize is.....

Gin & Jacqie Bag Organizer (Tropical series)

Just what I need! Good news to end this year with! For full results, visit Mombloggersplanet.
To read my winning entry, click here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Photographer in the house

On Christmas Day, we were in church in the morning. Had  a scrumptious lunch there as well. Before leaving for church, Evan opened one of his pressies. It's a camera we bought..... something like the one Diego (Nick Jr) has. It's from Fisher Price : Kid Tough Camera (RM199.90 special price for Robinson's cardmembers. N.P. RM429.90!). Once Larry loaded the batteries, he didn't stop taking photos of everyone and everything! Even I felt like I was a celebrity - with all the bright flashes!

We went out to Bukit Bintang on Christmas nite for dinner. Was supposed to meet up with my brother & family & my parents as well but the traffic was so bad they couldn't find a place to park at Pavilion and so no choice but to eat dinner separately.

Evan brought along his camera and took some shots.

After dinner, Evan went to my brother's place to stay for 2 nights. He took photos of baby Jay Han.

Here's a photo of Aunty Sokyi - my SIL taken by Evan.

Another photo taken by Evan at the Pavilion. The resolution is not very high plus Evan is not very steady so the pics didn't turn out sharp.
At least the camera is something to redirect / keep him out of mischief! 

He's watching too much TV nowadays and we've decided to terminate our Astro subscription. For the past month, it's only 1 hour a day of screen time so no point paying RM55 per month to Astro to watch 30 hours of TV.
We are also trying to keep all his pirate toys, superhero toys etc  and replacing with other toys which do not encourage 'fighting'.... He does have a tendency for that so it's gonna be cold turkey for him....... Plus more fun outdoor activity for him as he's the active type.... too bad weather not so good now, otherwise he would be swimming but for now he gets to go to play gyms.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Adori Graphics Christmas Giveaway RESULTS

The Christmas Giveaway organized by Adori Graphics was just over and Louise was very efficient in announcing all the winners! I took part in 20 giveaways and won 3 of them : favicon, large blog button & sidebar photo frame. Decided to order to a custom header for my blogshop from her (cost GBP10) at the same time (too bad I didn't win the custom header). So, Little Red Reading Nook will be having a NEW look soon next year once Louise completes my order.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Blessed Christmas to one and all!

Here's wishing everyone a very blessed Christmas! 
Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season! 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas crackers

I made some Christmas crackers using  ELC's Make Your Own Christmas Crackers DIY Kit. Never cracked one before nor ever had any idea I could make some meself!
We were at Bangsar Shopping Center for dinner at Dome Cafe last night. Evan was at Jungle Gym for a solid one and a half hours and we went window shopping. The Mothercare store there is the flagship store and it is indeed huge! Mothercare now stocks products from ELC (Early Learning Centre) and their Christmas items are currently on 70% discount. The crackers kit caught my eye and it wasn't expensive at all (RM11.70 after discount) and looks like fun!
I brought the kit to work today and managed to make all 6 crackers in between seeing patients (no worries - didn't pull out any wrong teeth!)

The kids 'playing' with the crackers..... quite hard to pull/crack them! Only Larry and I managed to crack 2 of them already. Evan seems surprised with the cracking sound and with the 'rice biscuit' that popped out from the cracker! By the way, the biscuits didn't come with the kit but I added them myself. The kit only contained some stickers/jokes/paper crowns. Nevertheless, quite a fun kit to put together and now I know how Christmas crackers are made!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TwoPixel Photography Anniversary Giveaway

Evan & Marissa are both wearing new outfits from Gymboree for Christmas! I dressed them all up for a photoshoot..... complete with Santa hat & headband..... grabbed my Canon and fired snapped some shots....

"Marissa, stand here, Evan, EVAN! Stand here! Hold hands!"  

*click click*

"Say Cheeeeeese"  

"Look here look here look here, LOOK HERE!"  
*click click*


As you can see.... the photos are quite bad decent (I've taken worst shots than these!) but they don't quite make the cut to be portraits hanging on the wall or even in an album......
So either I need chain up my two kids or photoshop the snapshots. Obviously this is a job for the professionals from TwoPixels Photography and the best thing is they are giving away an outdoor photography session! 

No more sore throats from yelling at the kids to pose
No more blurry or fuzzy images (my son is hyperactive!)
No more quite decent photos but absolutely lovely ones all compiled in an album
No 'missing' family members as ALL of us get to be in the photos

Interested to take part in this giveaway? Full details here
Happy 1st Anniversary to TwoPixel Photography!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Countdown to Christmas Give-away by Adori Graphics

True to the spirit of giving this Christmas, Louise of Adori Graphics is organizing an awesome give-away during the entire month of December! It's a prize everyday until Christmas. She will be giving away a customised blog background, a customised blog header, a custom twitter background and much much more absolutely fabulous stuff to make your blog/blogshop webpage look great! I sure am hoping to win some of the prizes so I can a do complete make-over for my blogshop Little Red Reading Nook!

So if you are also interested to join this give-away, be sure to check out her blog!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Decorating gingerbread cookies

This was something interesting so we decided to enrol Evan for the one-hour fun workshop at Fit for 2 Cafe Bangsar Village II. Fees RM20 and everything fully provided!
Debra Lee (Owner of the cafe & famous fitness guru) conducted the workshop. It was held at the cafe itself on a Thursday afternoon at 4 o'clock. She demonstrated how to pipe the icing onto the cookies and decorate the cookies with the various sweets & sprinkles.

Evan trying his hand at decorating a gingerbread Christmas tree cookie

Here he is decorating a gingerbread man. I took the opportunity to decorate a gingerbread girl too.

His finished masterpieces! They not only looked good but tastes GOOD as well! Evan ate a cookie right after decorating it. We get to bring back all the cookies that we decorated! plus even stand a chance win a RM200 dining voucher at the bijoux group of restaurants when we submit photos of Evan's creations. Very nice and pleasantly conducted workshop. Only 4 participants and their parents.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Customised Felt T-Shirt Give-away RESULTS!

Received an email from TiniHani regarding the customised felt t-shirt give-away.... good news!
My name was the first name to be drawn from about one hundred entries! Only 4 lucky winners who will each win a customised tee shirt of their choice.
Wowww... am very pleasantly surprised..... now can't wait to receive the prize of a gingerbread man tee shirt for Evan.
Read more about the contest results here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One and a Half

Marissa is now one and a half years old - time flies!
My little diva is now more and more DEMANDING - whenever she wants something, she will keep insisting on it until she gets it. Cannot take 'finished' or 'no more' or 'no, no' as answers....ouch.
She pretty much loves dressing up - especially in dresses and she likes to twirl and swish her skirts around. She doesn't mind me clipping up her hair or placing a hairband on her head....but then again.... she won't be wearing it for long. Each time her hairclip comes off, she will bring it to me and request that I place it back.

Marissa is wearing a custom made headwreath & holding a handmade wand from Pretty Roses for Pretty Girls

She loves to be photographed and likes to see the photos taken of her (aiyo.... her mommy's photography skills is somewhat lacking....which is why I prefer to let professionals take her pictures!)
Anyway, she can feed herself quite well with a spoon and drink water/milk out of a cup. She can speak in sentences now albeit short ones only - nothing very complicated.

She also loves to bug me/hubby or her grandparents with her favourite sentence : "reads book, reads"
And she will say it with a book in hand, usually tailing me around the house when I am busy with some housework. We could read the same books again and again until I get tired of it (not her!). She's got so many more books - and her favourite ones are the pull-tab/lift-flap/interactive books eg Maisy by Lucy Cousins. Even Evan has been reading his sister's books!

She can sort of 'count' from 1-10 and enjoys singing. She can't sing an entire song as yet but she sings snippets of songs..... eg..... E-I-E-I-Oooooooo    Moo..... Moo..... (from Old MacDonald had a Farm).

She absolutely loves her brother Evan to hold her hand whenever they are out at the shopping mall...
"Kor Kor, hold hands", she will say while stretching out her hands to her brother. Unfortunately this brother of hers very rough and sometimes he tends to pull her along when they are walking!

Her personality is different from Evan. When Evan was younger, we used to bring him for Gymboree Play classes. He would be running around and wanting to do his own thing (he still likes to do his own thing..... I don't know when this will stop!) but Marissa will listen attentively and follow instructions during Gymboree Play or Music classes. So I think she will be obedient in kindergarten next next year when she turns 3 unlike her very restless brother! Ok.... enough of comparing them..... they are after all different persons with different personalities. Both growing up at their own pace with lots of God's grace!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How do you Organize your Bag? Contest

According to my trusty Oxford Dictionary of Current English,
Organize - v. give an orderly structure to, systematize

according to every female's understanding.....
Bag - n. a must-have accessory in every lady's wardrobe used to carry personal belongings or simply anything that needs to be carried around that which might be useful while on the go, because you just never know when you might need it.
So the burning question is.... how do I put stuff in my must-have accessory a.k.a. bag or BAGS in a proper or systematic order?
For the record, I've got lots of bags - for different purposes e.g. the green velvety clutch bag to match my green party dress, the large and roomy shoulder bag for grocery shopping, the serious black document bag for seminars, the trendy and cute ladybug diaper backpack for a day out with the kids, the super sturdy bag trolley bag for travelling,  etc. etc. etc.

I follow a few key principles in organizing my bags..... and by coincidence they all start with the letter 'D'..... and here they are in alphabetical order-

1) De-clutter
I do not keep anything that I do not need in my bags. In fact, I usually stash away receipts or flyers in a separate compartment in my bag or purse. In this way I just empty the contents of that one particular compartment when it's time for me to go through them. Then I junk all those unwanted stuff and keep the important ones. This certainly makes life easier and saves time. Especially important for a busy mom like me.
I also take time to check through my bag's contents and throw away 'long forgotten' stuff e.g. a moldy lipstick or used tissues that just adds on to the extra weight that you unknowingly have to lug around each time you go out.

2) Designate
I designate certain locations or pockets in my bag for certain items. For example, my handphone will always be in my 'handphone pocket' right in front of my diaper backpack as it is easily accessible there. So whenever I need to get my phone, there's absolutely no rummaging in the bag looking for it especially when it's riiiiiiiiinging incessantly! So designate, designate and designate..... I cannot emphasise this more! Designate a fixed place for your handphone, keys, wallet/purse and baby's favourite toy, as these are items which are always needed fast - and I mean really FAST!

3) Design
This is actually the MOST important keyword in bag organization. I purchase bags with functional designs that help me organize my stuff. Subcompartments help keep the essentials in order. My diaper backpack is one of those bags with lots of mesh pockets and zippered compartments and it's great because I carry all sorts of things around whenever I go out with my kids.

A shortcut to effective bag organization is a powerful combination of all the 'D's I mentioned i.e. a bag organizer. BAG ORGANIZER??? What's that??? To the uninitiated, the following pics will enlighten you.....

Gin & Jacqie's Organize Jacq Bag Organizer


Switching handbags will be such a breeze and everything will be so organized!

Organize Jacq Set (1 medium & 1 small bag organizer)

I sure would LOVE to own one Organize Jacq Set by Gin & Jacqie! It would certainly help me de-clutter as I can designate a compartment for 'stuff to go through later' and the design is so practical - 11 compartments in total!

If you would like to join me in my quest to win THE bag organizer set, look no further - just follow this link for the full details on how to acquire this set for yourself.

To view more of Gin & Jacqie's collection of fashionable, practical & functional bags, click here.

Flamingos are PINK, Elephants are GREY
Organize your BAGS the Gin & Jacqie WAY!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Customised Felt T-Shirt Give-away

After I stumbled upon Lynn Craft's blogshop, I found out about this other give-away by Tini Hani. So.... well, why not take part? Hani accepts orders for custom-made felt appliqued tees.

I sure would love to win one of her creative craftwork for my 'lil prince. A yummylicious & cute gingerbreadman on the tee would be perfect, plus his name : Evan. 

Interested to join? For contest details, click here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lynn Craft 1st Give-away

Marissa's hair has grown longer and thicker now. Previously, whenever I clip her hair, the hairclip will just not stay put and falls out even with the slight tug.
Just recently, I purchased a set of cute Halloween themed hairclips from Gymboree as they were on clearance. Tried them on Marissa and they look great! She also has a pair of smaller sized snap clips purchased looooong time ago but one of them got misplaced/lost. Whoops!
So in anticipation that her hairclip collection will be growing (with her growing hair!), I am hoping to get a custom-made hairclip organizer for her. Coincidentally, I stumbled upon this crafty blogshop : Lynn Craft which is currently having a give-away until 20th December. The owner of Lynn Craft is giving away 2 items i.e. hairclip organizer & 1 set of hairclips. I wish I could be crafty enough to come up with felt creations but if you ask me I would rather win one!

If you would be interested to take part in this give-away or order your very own hairclip organizer at a very affordable price, just visit Lynn Craft at this link.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This is the way I brush my teeth, brush my teeth, brush my teeth!

Marissa likes to brush her teeth by herself - just like her brother. We usually bring the kids to our bathroom to brush their teeth every night before sleep.  Evan brushes with toothpaste but Marissa is still getting acquainted with the toothpaste's funny taste. The both of them get to brush to their hearts' content then, Larry and/or yours truly will finish up the job for them. It's only brushing once every night. Haven't started brushing in the mornings for them (too many things to get done in the mornings!)

Some general tips for parents who are having battles with their kids with regards to toothbrushing....
1) Let them choose their toothbrush when out shopping. There are lots of toothbrushes with cartoon characters eg Hello Kitty, Spiderman, Mickey Mouse etc
2) Let them hold their toothbrush or even play with it.And while they are distracted with theirs, try using another toothbrush to brush their teeth.
3) Resort to some form of bribery/rewards program
4) Start the habit early and don't forget to make it fun!
5) If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again
6) If brushing is still very difficult make sure you control the amount of sugary food intake.  Ditch the bottle filled with formula milk. Kids tend to suck on it for longer period and sometimes use it to soothe themselves to sleep. Introduce a cup as soon they can drink from it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Tree

We decided to set up a Christmas tree this year. It was our very first Christmas tree - in fact, it was the first Christmas tree for everyone in our family.
By the way, Evan is holding a gingerbread man from Coffee Bean. It's his favourite snack during this time of the year.

Since he's into gingerbread men, I've decided to decorate the tree with what else but gingerbread men! I made the gingerbread men myself with cardboard & self-adhesive rhinestones. Not too difficult but a little time-consuming. Made a total of 8 men. Bought 6 rolls of ribbons from Metrojaya and Parkson. Wanted to 'copy' Metrojaya's style of decorating their trees with yards and yards and layers or layers of ribbons. Speaking of Metrojaya, we bought the tree from there (the last one!) for RM55.90. It's the smallest one standing at 4 feet tall.

We also bought a dozen candy canes from Cold Storage Gardens. Evan insists that we must place a star on the Christmas tree so I bought a gold star topper from Cold Storage too.

Will take a nice shot once there are presents filled up at the bottom of the tree. So far, there are 3 gifts there and they are all for Evan!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A moment of fame

About a week ago, I received an email from a reporter/writer for Kosmo! newspaper. She wanted to interview me for her weekly blogger column. I was kinda excited cos.... never been interviewed for newspaper before (although I've appeared in the press before a couple of times but those were not interviews)
So on Thursday morning, Larry brought Marissa out for Gymboree & Evan went to school.  The photographer arrived promptly at 10:30am while the writer came 20 minutes later cos she was actually waiting for the photographer downstairs!
Anyway, they proceeded with taking the photos of me and the books...... plus me and the laptop.
Then the photographer left and the interview proper started.
Everything ended within half hour.
The article was published today 25th November 2009..... and yikes! a big photo of my messy condo unit in the background! They could have cropped it a bit la..... Then........ they got my name wrong..... (this happens frequently so I don't mind it at all :P).
OK, read all about it here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sponsorship drive

Anyone interested to sponsor or loan children's outfits for Hospital Ampang Family Day Kids Fashion Show?  For more here

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Parents-Teacher Day

We were the first to see Evan's class teacher today for the PTA. We talked about Evan's progress in school for the 2nd semester. Happy to note that Evan has improved in his art & craft and takes a very keen interest in it. Teacher Esther says Evan is always very focused and can follow all instructions during art & craft. OK - that's good news but Evan can be 'busy' day-dreaming' too when other lessons are going on. He also tends to be focused and pays more attention to lessons when he's isolated from other kids who tend to disturb him & in the end, they all will be playing with each other! Hopefully he will be in a class with quieter boys & girls next year and hopefully he'll be 'influenced' by their behaviour!

As for his exam results - a few mistakes here and there for Chinese (84 marks) & careless mistake for Math (96 marks). English was 88 marks. According to Teacher Esther his blends need brushing up as he's not so good with it. If you ask me - I am confused as well - I leave the teaching of blends to Larry (I am in charge of Chinese, you see.....). So it's extra Chinese 'lessons' during the school holidays. We will most probably be enrolling Evan in the After School Program next year. According to Teacher Esther, the program runs from March to November and the cost is approx RM400 monthly. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Partee Time!

It's Evan's last day of school at TJC for 2009 and it's PARTY time again! The theme for the party is GARDEN. So I figured out that Evan can be a garden himself!Ahem... something different from the usual fruits, vegetables & insects costumes. It will be 'costume' from scratch.....

He's got green grass on top of his head..... vines covering his body..... tatoos of insects on his arms.......

Ants crawling up his face......

A handful of flowers & dragonfly too.....

Woke up extra early today to prepare Evan. I used hairgel to spike his hair & set it with a hairdryer (with some help from Larry). Then I sprayed the neon green hairspray all over. I used the washable tatoo gel pens to decorate his arms with insects & bugs. The ants were drawn with a marker pen.

I had actually made some leaves with green paper & wires but I had some difficulty with getting them together to form a U shape or even some sort of shape. Then, one day while shopping, I stumbled upon a florist and enquired within for artificial leaves. They only had one type so I purchased a bunch of them twisted them into a U-shape. Then added a few flowers here & there & a dragonfly. Secured the vine over Evan's neck and tucked it under his hoodie with safety pins & tied both ends of the vine with ribbon which went into the kangaroo pockets in front.

Oh and by the way the bright hoodie tee is from Gymboree. Evan wore a pair of dark brown tights from his Peter Pan costume and his pair of Scooby Doo dog sandals. I also tied 2 daisy flowers on his wrists and attached a butterfly to his hair.  It's kinda glittery and feminine so I sort off hid it behind. He brought a bouquet of Batik flowers to school as a gift for his class teacher (he had given her quite some headache over the course of the school year.....)

Evan & Joseph at the carpark before leaving for school

Evan & Joseph in TJC (This photo and the one below : courtesy of Joseph's Mommy)

The kids had a blast in school. Some kids were dressed up but some just came in T-shirts/normal wear. Evan told me he had fun with his friends.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Little Update

Just a little update on this little girl.... Marissa will be 17months old next week. She's getting more and more talkative now - can pair a few words together to request for things that she wants.
eg "dirty! wipe!" if porridge spills on the floor or her bib

She's also more and more independent - prefers to feed herself/dress herself....but of course.... she still needs help. She will duly inform me whenever she does her poo-poo in her  disposable diaper and demands to be changed into a fresh one (I've been rather lazy with the cloth diapers.....cos gotta rinse/wash/launder/dry/fold/store and extra extra work if she does big business in it).

She's grown taller although still petite to me - can still fit into Gymboree 9-12months clothing. 12-18mos clothing fits her just nice. She likes to sing/dance/clap/do action songs. She's now into reading her brother's picture books and playing with her brother's toys (basically it's Thomas train/Bob builder/Robots). She also loves to play pretend with Evan. They team up as chef & waitress in a restaurant and Hubby & I get to be the customers.

Me in my carseat - only for one-way.... the return journey? I need to drink nen-nen so get to be carried by mommy

One of her favourite activities is go 'walk-walk'. She likes stickers, scribbing with magic pens (on paper!) and climbing up & down the furniture. She also loves flipping through the photo albums..... which are fast becoming like 'kiam chai'..... which reminds me that I am planning to submit a photobook in by 16th November..... 40% discount promotion......... hope to get it done soon or else..... just skip it and wait for next promo....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Weekend

We attended Gymboree's Halloween Party cum Gymbo's birthday at Tropicana Mall on 31st Oct. Marissa was considered too young for the party but we brought her along as well. Both of them wore their Gymboree skeleton pajamas. About 10 kids & their parents were present.

The party started at 5:30pm and the format was more or less like a typical Gymboree Play Class. Even Marissa who was standing at the sidelines wanted to participate in the fun.

First up the kids had a craft session whereby they made Trick or Treat Bags. Everyone was seated on the parachute. After that, the kids went around climbing and jumping and searching for pumpkins. They had singing and dancing and bubble fun as well. There was also a special appearance by Gymbo the Clown. One of the girls was scared stiff of Gymbo......

As for Evan, he was scared of the gorilla! The Gymboree instructors were dressed up in costumes as well eg bat, cat & um...gorilla. They did a special dance performance to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Evan stood at a distance to watch.... with his friend whom he referred to as "Jester" - see pic below.

There was a pirate captain, vampire, wizard, transformer robot and a handful of fairies. Evan went up to one of the fairies and said "Hello princess - I Love You!"

After all the fun activities we adjourned to one of the rooms for makan. All the kids had McDonald's Happy Meal. Some mommies prepared finger food. They had nice Gymbo napkins & party plates. Evan nibbled a bit of fried chicken & nuggets. He drank orange juice and had some jelly. Everyone went home with a Gymbo helium balloon.

We went to Toy R Us for awhile as it was strategically located just 2 doors away from Gymboree. After that, we hopped over to Santini for dinner. We were already half-full so we just ordered a caesar salad and a smoothie. The kids were eligible for free kids meals as they were in Halloween costumes. Marissa enjoyed her wild mushroom soup entree and kept asking for "more! more!". Evan ate some of his spaghetti alfredo but just the pasta only but not the sausage. Marissa refused to eat her grilled fish. For dessert, they had vanilla gelato. All the waiters were dressed in scary costumes. The restaurant was also decorated with spooky stuff. At the end of dinner, Evan took a photo with our waiter.

Took a pic of Marissa at home.....

On 1st Nov, we went out for dinner again at Fish & co. 1 Utama.  No free kids meal this time though

1 Utama had some Halloween promotion and there were booths put up. So now all the fun is over and it's time for kindergarten exams.....