Staying Sane

May: Parties, Heels & Lace

partayThe marvelous month of May turned out to be much, much more than I anticipated πŸ‘

This coffee date earned me 3 invitations to all-wives-only get-togethers that did wonders to my soul. Of course, they were a bit challenging to work up to, not just because as a SAHM with a small baby I have difficulty finding time to even get a decent shower every day, but that I’m also an introvert whose default mode is a preference for solitary activities.

Nevertheless I noticed that these get-togethers energized me so much that I felt like treating myself to some heels 🀣 🀣

Out of all the urgent things that my wardrobe needs RIGHT NOW, I focus on my feet (which is not the first time) 🀣 Well, for one they’re so easy to dress up, they don’t have flab to skillfully camouflage with cut or color!

I bought them for special occasions (or just for walking around the house when I’m feeling sassy πŸ˜‰πŸ˜†) since I’m always scrambling at the last minute for what to wear whenever a special occasion pops up. I guess the vague plan is to work from the bottom up as far as updating my wardrobe is concerned πŸ˜†

I also finished a huge lace doily. Is it still a doily if it’s that huge? I think it’s earned table cover status πŸ€”

Channeling my inner home decorator ….

This house, although spacious and I love its location, is old and old fashioned. It’s got paint chipping off a few of its boring white walls, the furniture is ugly & uncomfortable (but they came with the house and they function 🀨), and it only has windows on one side so it can get hot and gloomy during daytime. I am grateful but resigned. 😏

— digression:

We can’t do any remodeling because it’s a “staff house” that comes with my husband’s expat package, rented long-term by the company to house any given foreign employee for certain periods of time. We can only request for repairs and maintenance; re-painting walls would fall into that category but we have a baby so we’re not very keen about that at the moment.

— end of digression:

Anyhoot, I decided no harm could come from letting my colorful personality shine now that I’m no longer pregnant & sleepy! So …

We had an A/C unit installed in the living room to counter the heat, I then claimed one of the boring walls with some frames, & put a carpet on the floor.

living room

And now this is where the family loves to hang out, including the baby 😍 It gets really cozy in the evenings when only the lampshade is on, there’s a good movie on TV, and a huge bowl of popcorn is being shared 😘

The kitchen also needed some color so I was truly pleased that a simple yellow tablecloth could make such a huge difference!

yellow happy

What else …?

Oh yes, I did read a book, just need to finish a few more pages, but it’s technically done so I can rake this up to a May finish as well:

May read

And the reason why I’m taking so long to finish this book – which is a lovely read by the way πŸ’˜) is because right after the pineapple table cloth, I went right in with my knitting needles for a racerback tee:

racerback tee

This is the back portion of the tee. I’m working on the front portion now alternating work on another project, a lace crochet pullover. I don’t know, I guess I’m just on a creative roll right now 😁

And that, my sexy friends, was May for me πŸ’–

How about you guys, what did you do in May?

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Staying Sane

What Could You Buy That Could Help You Make the Most of Where You Live?

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Author Melody Warnick asks a very smart question that immediately resonated with me:

~ What could you buy (or borrow or rent) that would help you make the most of where you live? ~

For me the answer is the 2 outdoor chairs that you see in the above photo 😊

I make no secret about the fact that I LOOOOVE to spend time under the wide open sky in the evenings. I used to just stand or walk in circles looking up at the wide, astoundingly beautiful night sky, say my prayers and feel grateful & content. Evenings are usually cool and breezy making the personal time even more pleasant.

A few weeks ago I had the brilliant idea to buy those chairs and, now my evening musings are even that much more delicious πŸ’– At times my husband joins me, at times my eldest, but mostly I’m alone.Β  And sometimes, in the late afternoons, I also do my crochet outside thanks to these inexpensive chairs.

How about you? What’s your answer to the question? πŸ™‚

 

Better Pictures 2018

It’s Time To Get Started On 2018

Hi everyone! I’m still here, in case anyone’s noticed 🀭

I’m still living life in 2-hour sleep-deprived increments and experiencing post partum hair loss as we speak (eeeek!).Β  But I’m doing quite well under the circumstances.

So what’s new?

Among my goals for this year is to take better pictures and to (finally, finally) use my DSLR as I go along.Β  I’ve always wanted to improve my photography skills and I bought the thing to seal the deal – you know, very much like buying a treadmill or a lifetime gym membership to affirm the veracity of your intentions πŸ™„

However, after leafing through its manual like it was some distasteful magazine, the DSLR turned into a pricey paperweight, gathering dust as the limelight went back to my ever handy, lightweight & uncomplicated iPhone. (Which reminds me of my treadmill which also became a pricey clothes rack & laundry hamper station, but I digress… πŸ™„πŸ™„).

2018 will be a year of ‘more doing and less hair twirling’ for me though so the DSLR has been exhumed and together we will be bonding over some photography courses this year. To help get me started, I’ve decided to do WP’s Photography Developing Your Eye 1 course rrrright now.

The 1st assignment is to get oriented with your camera (gulp!) and to take a photo representation ofΒ  what the word “home” brings to mind for you. Right away I think ~ hmmm, how fitting for someone who is all but home!

However, it didn’t take long for me to decide on a subject: our living room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Okay, I do know that you’re supposed to take pictures with the light behind you, but that view just wasn’t as nice as these ones so …

I chose our living room because it’s one of my pet projects in my quest to making Batam work. I love this space because it is sunny and airy, and I want to build on this by turning it into something cozy and fun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I still have a long way to go [because I get distracted] and have only managed to add everything else that’s not the black couch, the 2 black sofas and the square table. (Unfortunately, they come with the house so there’s nothing I can do about them). On a good day I’d put a few of my potted plants here and there but I was too lazy to get them for this shoot so you’ll just have to do with fluffy-huggable Anais and Mr. Piddles instead 🀭

So anyhoot, this space represents the concept of home for me. Familiar, pleasant, comfortable, fun.

(1 down, 9 more to go πŸ‘Š) πŸ€ͺ

Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

Lessons from 2017

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A friend from home recently told me she was feeling depressed. She was doing an end-of-year review and was feeling morose about the year that wasΒ πŸ˜• Which got me thinking about my own experience of 2017 ~~ hmmm, certainly not bad and definitely with a big bang 😁❀️

The good thing about having a blog is that it makes a year-end review quite easy. Even if you didn’t blog everything, the posts will be enough to jog your memory. So here are my take-aways from 2017 (in no particular order):

1.Β  Man plans, God laughs.

2.Β  Create happiness within your own 4 walls.

This applies to everyone but is especially true for expat SAHMs.

3.Β  Happy people are good people. Good people are not always happy.

4.Β  Community (really) matters.

And I’m talking about the village of support you create for yourself in the shape of friends, neighbors, your go-to hairstylist, even your favorite book store. Let’s just say this is one thing I didn’t know I missed until it was gone. Unfortunately, I still have to find a way to fix this (if there is one!).

5.Β  Never under-estimate the power of retail therapy on not-so-busy weeknights (or wherever the malls are open till 9 or 10 PM).

Much lesser people makes the whole process unhurried and, actually pleasant.

6.Β  Schedule a real change of scenery from time to time. (As in, anywhere but on this island)

Short reason: so that problems don’t seem larger than they are.

Long reason: otherwise idyllic, the sleepy atmosphere of this place (that permeates everything) can drive me nuts at times 😏

7. Dress and make yourself up for the day, even when you’re just staying home.

This includes taking a shower before 10AM otherwise, good luck with the humidity! πŸ˜„

8. Let the breadwinner earn bread the way he wants.

Everyone is just happier that way.

9. Have fun marking the passage of time.

Set goals, take on projects, schedule stuff in your calendar to look forward to, and then blog about it.

99.9% effective against the doldrums 😁

10. Break it down into bite-sized chunks.

Absolutely golden advice.

11.Β  Never run out of Re-Mag & Re-Myte supplements.

I didn’t blog about this but this has to have a spot on this list because the difference it makes is just too obvious to ignore. I have more energy, I sleep better, I am in a pleasant mood, I have better cognitive function, I even have more breast milk. When I was pregnant, I would experience those pregnancy-related swollen feet & ankles whenever I did not take these supplements.

12. Everything looks better arranged on a tray.Β 

(I absolutely love this one!)Β  I mean, seriously! Just give it a try! πŸ‘πŸ‘

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What about you? What are some of the lessons you learned in 2017? Let me know in the comments section, bet I can learn from you too πŸ˜ƒ ❀️

Home & Heart

Last Minute 2017 Goals

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Hi everyone! How y’all doin? πŸ‘‹

There’s only about 2 weeks left of 2017 and I guess everybody’s gearing up for maximum holiday enjoyment, right? Unfortunately for us, we have to stay in sleepy Batam for Christmas since the baby has no passport yet ☹️☹️ This really is a bummerΒ  for me who, unlike the eldest and the hubs who get a break from school and work, could really benefit from a change in pace & scenery.

Oh well, all the better to make up for this in 2018 then.

The urge to mope is very strong but I’ve chosen instead to end the year strong by doubling down on some goals for the remaining 2 weeks:

  1. Break-fast like a champion

This book said that if you find yourself procrastinating on a goal, chances are, that goal is too big and must be broken down into smaller pieces. So wise! 😏

For weeks now I’ve attempted in vain to do something about my diet (or lack thereof). I am saddled with post-natal weight (& cellulite! 😱😱😱) that I am anxious to be rid of. Unfortunately, all my strategies and tricks in the past just won’t work – sleep deprivation, breastfeeding and buying food from the outside (instead of hiring a nanny I chose not to cook instead) undermine my efforts.

But there must be something I can do, right? If only to feel some semblance of control?

My initial goal was to start cooking again so I’d have more control over what we ate.Β  But this is just not something I want to take on at this time with the baby basically running my day. Then IΒ  thought of cutting out carbs later in the day and well, anybody who’s breastfeeding probably knows how crazy that is. I think I thought of cutting out junkfood too but I don’t really eat that much of it so the move didn’t feel like enough …

Anyway, I finally had the brilliant idea of focusing on one meal instead, and doing that right. And since mornings provide the most self-control and sets the tone for the day, breakfast was a logical choice.

So the goal now reads: eat a solid breakfast before feeling ravenous every single day.

2.Β  Do Post natal abdominal-muscle-recovery exercises every Monday, Wednesday & Friday

I’m already past the 2-months waiting period for getting back to exercise and I’m rearing to go.Β  Luckily, I came across the idea of post-natal abdominal strengthening/recovery exercises before starting anything (well, this isn’t 100% true! πŸ€₯) or else I’d have set myself up for some self-inflicted damage.

I’m not a big fan of 1) slow exercises and 2) those that you do lying down, so this is a real challenge for me. But I want to get back to my original shape and this is standing in the way so … big girl panties on!

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3.Β  Seriously Bond with Eldest

I’ve been nagged by a feeling of having neglected my eldest since the baby’s arrival and still feel that I can do better in this area. A recent incident at her school (we’ll talk about this in a separate post) drove this goal to the top of my priority list.

Fortunately today marks the start of a 3-week school break which gives us plenty of time to bond. The bonding activities might be partially motivated by something juicy (like I said, I’ll tell you later!) but it’s there and I’m taking advantage of it.

So for these 3 weeks, Eldest gets a lot of spotlight.

 

Aaaaand yes, that’s all for now. Wish me luck! I better do those exercises while baby is still slumbering 😁 Updates in the next upcoming posts! Mmmwah! πŸ’‹