When does the line get crossed?

Came across this article on Channel News Asia on ‘sharenting’ and while what was shared is not rocket science, what was listed struck to me for more than half the time, I’m guilty of whipping up the phone to document that milestone or to capture that moment as a memory.

Embarrassing and risky: When parents share too much of their children online Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/embarrassing-risky-parents-share-much-children-online-sharenting-11596622

We are in an era where access to information (thanks to technology) is so easy. So much so, we sometimes go overboard with the information and take for granted the privacy of ourselves and our loved ones. The information that we are giving people access to by revealing parts of ourselves online is something that I am also guilty of. Through blogging, I found a space and outlet to share more about the things that I love and enjoy doing. However, that space can also be opened to scrutiny and judgement from people who don’t really know me. There’s always that risk.

Penning my thoughts on this and hope that I will always try to remain conscious of not to cross the line with sharing of too much information.

 

Half for you, Mama

We celebrated Mother’s Day a week ahead of the actual occasion as one can imagine it would be quite crazy to secure any decent restaurant reservations over the actual weekend. The Man brought us all for Japanese and we brought the little one along with us in tow (equipped with all her art materials).

Don’t want to jinx it but she’s at a lovely age now where she can actually eat her meals properly, enjoy the food that’s dished out in front of her, engage in actual conversations with us and the chef as well as sit down to do her craftwork/ colouring/ drawing if needed. We try to refrain from using technology devices unless really needed. To be fair, about 1.5 – 2 hours is all that she can probably take if we are dining out.

The omakase dinner that we had at Ishi was lovely and we really enjoyed the freshness of the sushi and sashimi that were dished out in front of us on top of the wine and sake that the Man ordered. The ending to our meal was a slice of musk melon that the Bub had much earlier when she finished her rice. I knew she would love another piece or two of the melon so I saved my last piece of the melon for her. She was coughing so we didn’t want her to have too much fruit as well.

What she did next really touched me.

She thanked me for the piece of the melon that I had given to her. Then she used the fork and cut the piece of melon into half. I initially thought that she was going to have them both but she fed me the melon with her fork and proceeded to finish up the remaining piece. “I share half with you, ok Mama?”

I must have teared up a little when she fed me with the melon. Such a precious thought coming from my little one. I hope she remains this way – little and pure. 🙂

Decluttering

Last December, the home improvement/ reality show that was the talk of the town on Netflix was ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’.  I caught an episode of it while checking out what’s new on Netflix and was intrigued with the whole concept of decluttering.

Inspired on what it could possibly do to my lifestyle of impulse buying and my love for shopping, I decided to do a ‘Marie Kondo’ on my wardrobe. After 7 years of living in our home, there is so much stuff that I have accumulated and not worn/ used. The wardrobe is bursting at the seams even though I always complain I have nothing to wear. While I do give stuff out or sell some of them away, I know that I have yet to realise my potential of getting rid of things that I don’t use.

It was a daunting task but I was determined to reduce the amount of clutter I had especially in the cupboards – behind those closed doors. While I didn’t have the courage of taking all my clothes and piling it on our bed. I think that may result in greater decluttering after getting a shock of how much I actually have. I did set out small goals by clearing one wardrobe at a time. That to me felt a little more manageable. P.S: It also acheived the same effect seeing how much clothes I have lying on the floor. Had a headache thereafter wondering how am I going to get pass this all?!

Dividing my clothes into a stash to either be donated or given to friends. Friends of my stash were pretty pleased with what was given to them and for me, I’m just glad that the clothes were either re-homed or put to a good use. I also felt extremely guilty for spending so much on stuff that I think I will use but never got round to using. It sent shockwaves on how impulsive I really got on spending and to really think about whether I truly needed the item before just buying it. I also made a conscious effort to wear the things in my current wardrobe at least 3-4 times a month now instead of taking out the item and then putting it back again thinking “I’ll save it for later!” I realised later never quite came and said item was left in my wardrobe for years. Multiple said items by 10 to 20 pieces.

After I cleared out and downsized my clothes wardrobe, I decided to move on to my wardrobe which houses my prized possessions – bags! I had to be brutal and asked myself if the bag really sparked joy. After I identified which bag sparked joy and which bag didn’t, I decided to sell them at some unbelievable price or gift them away. It was hard… hard because I had to let a luxury item go at a price that was a fraction of the orginal price that I paid for. When I shared this news with a friend, she thought I was going bonkers. It is, to be honest, but I figured if I wasn’t actively carrying the bag in the last 3-5 years, what are the odds of me carrying the bag again in the near future? Probably and possibly nil. So with that mindset, I again brutally cleared a good 20-30% of my bag stash in exchange for good old hard cash.

Goodbye my pretty unicorn Chanel bag! I really did love you!

As a result of my brutal destashing and selling off a prized unicorn bag that was pretty sought-after, I manage to squirrel just about enough for the above two bags in PINK! Super pleased and hey, I needed a small reward too right? 🙂

New Zealand – a little something for everyone!

This is a re-cap of our annual family holiday that we took in 2018. YIKES! I know.. but it has been a crazy couple of months, with work at the Company and then work at MAPL (retail peak season), it’s like I finally got a chance to take a short break on my own and just chilling on ME time when the Bub goes off to bed.

But blogging has always remained close to my heart, so here’s an attempt of putting down the memories as I clear my back-log of photos/ posts.

Why New Zealand?

When the Man asked where we should go for our annual trip, I suggested New Zealand. Mostly because if we didn’t want to go back to Europe and a trip to the US with a young kid does sound quite daunting. New Zealand was a country I had wanted to head back to for friends with young kids who have been there do give it a thumbs-up for being close to nature. Also, I visited New Zealand when I was a teenager and it would be nice to go back to visit a country and see the changes that it has undergone in the last 20 years.

For our trip to New Zealand, the Man decided to use a travel company to plan our family holiday. We knew most holidays in New Zealand are self-drive but driving on holidays are also quite stressful – planning the route, making sure that the hours on the road are not too long for the driver, rest-stops, etc – the Man didn’t want to deal with this. I wasn’t going to be a good navigator, so we decided to leave the planning of our holiday in the good hands of the people who knew the ins and outs of the country instead.

As for the itinerary, we did have a couple of things that we wanted to incorporate on our holiday, such as golf for the man as well as sight-seeing for both me and the Bub. Because the Man and I are both big on wine and food, we wanted an itinerary that would be curated to suit our needs.

What we did as a family?

We couldn’t quite call it a holiday in New Zealand if we didn’t visit the Hobbiton Movie Set tour. This was done on Day 2 of our holiday where we didn’t quite adjust to NZ time yet and was horribly late in meeting our guide. The weather was also very deary and cold. We needed to be out at the set for a good 1 – 1.5 hours and so we braved the rains/ winds, dressed the Bub as warm as possible and decided to put forth our best smiles for the camera.

The tour coupled with anecdotes from our guide made it very enjoyable. We did catch Lord of the Rings and could associate with a couple of familiar scenes from the actual set. The Bub was probably tired from the cold so the Man did his fair share of weight-lifting as we meandered around the tiny set.

Fun fact! The Royals were also in town when we arrived in New Zealand and we visited some of the attractions before they did.

We (or least I) get a thrill out of saying ‘We did it first!’ before the Royals did. The Redwood Treewalk at Rotura was very enjoyable as the weather was cool and being up in the trees felt pretty surreal. The kid was also very adventurous in being the first to complete the tree-top walk. Competitive indeed!

Day 4 of our holiday, we took a private boat-ride on Lake Taupo where we experienced Taupo’s crystal clear waters. We sailed past the famous Maori Rock Carving which is only accessible on the water and it’s a must-see in Taupo.

We also opted to fish while on board as the area is protected and to fish in the lake, a special license must be obtained. Thankfully the weather cleared up quite a fair bit and sunshine greeted us as we both tried our hand at fishing.  The Bub also wanted in on the fun and was a tad disappointed when the fish she caught got away. We had to pacify her a little and tell her to try harder.

What we did in Queenstown:

In Queenstown where we spent the remaining 5 days of our holiday, we took a chartered plane ride to visit the famed Milford Sound. It was very beautiful admiring the alpine scenery and rainforest from the top. I think what would have made it more enjoyable on the almost hour-long plane-ride is if it could be accompanied with commentary or some music. The Bub was obviously very soothed by the ride that she fell asleep almost immediately after the plane took off. We were supposed to do a cruise back into town but because the weather had been bad while we were there, it was cancelled eventually.

We also enjoyed the Ben Lomond High Country Station private tour that saw us on an ATV zipping in and out of the countryside while stopping by to say hello to the thousands of sheep that were grazing on the hills. The little one enjoyed this up-close-and-personal touch with nature very much and was super thrilled by how the ATV could maneuver through tiny roads and river streams.

All in all, this trip to New Zealand saw us bond as a family and allowed us or rather me to fully rest from the hustle and bustle of city/ normal life. I really have been so worn out with work and it was good to just to not do anything and just turn in early to let the body rest.

I’ve only just scratched the surface on what we did on our holiday! Will probably try to find time to blog about where we stayed and what we ate in a follow-up post! Till then, dreaming of our next holiday already.

 

The bitter pill to swallow

The Man’s travel which largely incorporates work and golf has been punishing and he has been zipping in and out of the country. Coupled with my work plus business, the only time we possibly spend with each other is the waking and resting moments of the day. With our anniversary just round the corner and endless work dinners, I didn’t think we would even make it out to celebrate. Not that I am whining, over the years, we just accept and make do with what we can.

So the dinner at our fave restaurant started with the best of intentions but went horribly wrong as I went on to pour out my feelings to the Man because you know, I just wanted a listening ear, some advice on how to sort out my problems and really, to move on. I was emotionally and mentally drained from all that has been going on but it was taking a toil on me, because I know that I can’t do anything much about it.

The conversation went horribly wrong with me in tears as I stared at this Man across the table who vividly reminded me of my dad when he got angry. The flared nostrils, that frustrated look on the face and the fast-moving hand gesturing that almost signaled that of flipping the dinner table over. At that instant, I morphed into a helpless woman and I stood up, walked away after taking a couple of deep breathes. I knew this was not how we wanted our evening to turn out. I also knew that he didn’t want to behave the way he did but he was probably exasperated with having to tell me time and time again the solution. I would have reacted probably better if it was down in a more amiable tone but perhaps with age, there isn’t time nor patience left when dealing with an adult who’s probably experiencing mid-life crisis.

But the lashing did wake me up, it was brutal and a bitter pill to swallow but perhaps I needed it. I can’t change the problem nor the people (because no one can and will change unless they want to) but I can surely change my behavior since I am in control of that. It’s not easy but I know I will be able to do this ultimately. I will be okay.

How did 11 months go by?

Well, pretty much in a flash if I may add. I can’t quite believe that 2018 is almost coming to an end and this year, my blog has remained largely inactive as I turned to Instagram to share more of my musings. At my peak, I’ve had over 4,000+ followers and I did want to achieve over 5,000 followers before the year ended. But then, one day, it struck me that I was just churning out content on Instagram for the sake of attracting new followers. The perks that came along with collabs and product sponsorships were definitely an attractive part of the package but I didn’t know if I wanted that.

While Instagram is a quick fix for blogging, the world of Instagram felt mind-boggling. As its name suggests, there was a need for instant gratification and validation from people who may or may not know me. It became a double-edged sword. I wasn’t comfortable revealing parts of my life to the people who don’t know me or who think they know me. Well, why give them food to fodor? I didn’t want the validation from people who think they know me. So one evening, I decided to cull my list of followers. I must say that my fingers hurt real bad after looking at my list and manually deleting the people who I didn’t know. No offense really but I just wanted a platform where I can share bits of myself openly without people talking behind my back. Well, like it or not, that’s life but I can limit how I want to share bits of my life.

So 2018 has been a year of revelation. One that I had struggled with – in my jobs (juggling a flex-work arrangement along with my business) and my friendships (hard to mix business with pleasure, but I’m learning along the way). My darling child continues to be a constant source of joy in my life and my husband, my constant source of hard truths in life.

Another month or so to wrap up 2018. It will be a crazy couple of weeks as the retail scene ramps up. But well, I’ve just gotta push on!

 

 

Leadership insights

Read an article recently and it reached out to me. So just wanted to list down what was shared on key tips and lessons to being a good leader:

1) Have a very strong conviction – Believe in yourself. Everything starts and ends with you.

2) Lead by example – In management, we say words like ‘walk the talk.’ You can’t say something, and then do the opposite.

3) Have a holistic and integrated vision – Most of the businesses are people-driven. You are as good as your people. So everything should be centred on that.

4) Learn to embrace discontinuity – All of us love great results; it is definitely a high. But leadership spirit is about taking the good, the not-so-good and the bad in the same spirit. That’s the test of a leader.

5) Commanding your field with an eye of wisdom – Wisdom is not competence, or knowledge, or skill. It is something over and above that. Wisdom means that you, as an individual, take a backseat.

6) Work harder than everyone else – If you are a leader and leading by example, you must work really hard and learn constantly.

7) Be an inclusive person – Not just from a gender point of view but with everything else in our daily lives.