How to host an epic birthday party, the new normal way

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Small K turned 6 this May and it coincided with Singapore's Circuit Breaker, in line with containing the whole Covid situation. 2 months prior to the circuit breaker, I was still planning on which cake to get him and had even ordered in little gifts for his friends. But ALAS! when the news came, my heart sank to the pits of my stomach. How is my little boy going to get an epic party? If you know me long enough, you know that I will only throw big parties during crucial years like 1st month as well as 6years old. Six is significant as it marks the end of his preschool, the end of those chubby cheeks, and the start of a new journey. I had to make it memorable. His older sister had the most epic DIY Alice in Wonderland party 2.5 years ago, so how can I not do likewise for my little boy? Crestfallen, my heart broke. Distressing news came in shortly that even home bakers and confectionaries had to stay low. WHAT? NO CAKES? This was bad. I quickly packed my feelings and told myself that perhaps I could bake him a cake. I'm no baker and to be honest., I suck at it in fact. The only cake I could probably bake was a no-bake cheesecake. However, guess what? Cream cheese is a commodity these days and I could not find any!

Not willing to be defeated by the situation, I was determined still to make things as grand as they could. So here's how we hosted our new normal birthday party at home!

THE ONLINE ZOOM PARTY

Things aren't compromised. The highlight for his party was a 30minutes online magic show by Singapore's favourite magician, Mr Bottles! Imagined Small K's joy when I shared the news with him. He was feeling like bubbles in soda water. A magic show online was exactly what I needed to tame 30 children. This was such a perfect plan. I mean how else was I able to mute all 30 chatterboxes erm, I mean adorable children? I certainly can't handle a crowd of 30 or more should this had been an offsite party. Imagine rambunctious shrieks of 30 children running amok at a party! I don't think I can handle that well. Nothing would engage children other than a good magic show. It was pure genius for Mr Bottles to come up with this alternative. And engage was exactly what he did for the full 30 minutes. Laughter reverberated through my walls even though his friends were all seated comfortably in their homes. Fascinated, the little ones were all transfixed, gazing at the sight that lay before them. They stared in wide-eyed wonder each time Mr Bottles whipped up a new trick. Small K was particularly enthralled by Mr Bottle's little pet bird and the song was etched in his mind till today.  All of us were thrilled to bits by the world of magic. A quiet joy filled my heart as I saw how the kids squealed in delight. That twinkle in Small K's eyes was something I would not forget. The boy was so keyed up about the magic show that he refused to sleep unless I replayed the whole party for him. Nice that ZOOM has a record function and all was videoed down for FREE! I needn't get a videographer or a photographer for the event!

Beaming from ear to ear

Bursting out into laughter every other second


Some of his little friends. So happy to be able to get everyone online! No headaches, no limits!

Small K has been singing "I am a bird" every single day for a week after his birthday!

Love it that Mr Bottle's tricks aren't the usual run in the mill, pull a bunny out of the hat kind of tricks.




Got him our favourite Oreo Cheescake from @catandthefiddle. So happy that the ban on confectionaries was lifted shortly before our big day!


Singing song and cutting the birthday cake with all his little friends. Memorable.

THE DECO & GAMES


The boy decided on the theme -- PJ mask. Ok, that's easy! Much more stuff available compared to what the Big sister had wanted 2.5years ago. Being stuck at home all day meant that I had more to manage and do. Cooking and chores were the least to say. I had to work from home and yet find time to prepare his props. Fortunately, the nature of my work allowed me to multitask a bit and I was snipping away his props as I conducted my work via ZOOM. I knew I had to create a nice backdrop for him, as that was going to be our virtual backdrop. He wasn't gonna have any standees or a dessert table like his sister and that ate me up so much. 

I made did a few game stations with the intent of giving him the entire package as well as sneaking in a bit of learning fun. Learn through play is after all one of my mottos when it comes to teaching kids. He was spoilt for choice and was eager to do all the stations in a day. However, we ran out of time and had to split the activities over two days. 



crack the code


punch a prize and before you get a prize, you'll have to do something. *evil grin*

Told him to spell my name backwards and he wrote the word 'MOM' in this fashion! Hilarious

 Quivering with excitement, he did a "Punch a prize" game to earn his birthday prizes. Evil mommy here had to include some literacy tasks before he could get that prize! But, there were no complaints, the kids were simply fired up.




Their senses were probably awakened the next day when I announced that they could create Sticky Splat which was what we would know as SLIME. Their faces flushed with such aura of joy. It made me feel that all the late nights were worthit. 


Papa bear also played his part. I made him captain of our obstacle course. I mean afterall, we are talking about the PJ mask who would go into the night and save the day right? We also did a small treasure hunt. Exhilarated, the kids dashed all over the house in search of the clues. 



So happy after finding all the clues!

He was learning about nouns and adjectives, so I thought, why not infuse it into our game? *evil grin again*

To qualify as a night ninja, you need to know how to decode. So a "crack the code" game it shall be.

THE GIFTS








I had planned to order in his favourite dish for that day -- CRABS. But things had to be shelved as we were blessed with so much food that day! From more than a dozen donuts & a truckload of curry puffs from a lovely online friend, to a special delivery from Aunty Nat which covered our dinner. We were so touched, no words could express our thanks. Desserts coming from Aunty May and Aunty Angie also put smiles to the birthday boy's face. Pure happiness was welling up within him. He felt like a superstar that day. Not to mention all the gifts which came, including a nicely timed one from Aunty Ashlyn which he proclaimed to be epic. He commented, "Why is everyone sending me food today? is it because they know I like to eat and would like me to be fat fat?" Yes baby. That and because we are so blessed and you are so loved. 



Aunty Celine and Aunty Cindy also surprised us with not one but two cakes. So thoughtful of them to keep Big K in mind. In addition, they got me covered for breakfast the next day as well! I was so filled with gratitude, I could cry! While having our weekly Circuit Breaker @celine_tan_ x @deeedeedee13 x @themishmashmess Zoom workshop later that day, the duo even surprised Small K with a birthday song (complete with Ukulele accompaniment) and got in cakes for everyone! The children were cramming forkfuls of adorable cakes from @littlehouseofdreams into their insatiable mouths even before they swallowed the previous bite. All these over ZOOM! How cool and memorable is that?

POST PARTY BIRTHDAY DINNER


One of Small K's favourite food is Crabs. This boy enjoys seafood as much as his mother. I simply had to gift him a claw or two. That was in fact what my parents did each year for my birthday when I was younger. We often went to the club and feasted on my favourite Sri Lanka chilli crab. With the circuit breaker, I was initially bummed that we could not have the luxury of dining out at our favourite joint. But a quick search and I found 8crabs! Freshly cooked Sri Lankan crab delivered to me in an hour! They are the only company in Singapore using grade AAA premium Sri Lankan sourced wild crabs. This is as opposed to most restaurants which farm their crabs. Most breed their crabs in confined space and this caused the crabs to be stressed. When stressed, they produce ammonia, which is a sign of decomposition of seafood! As a result, most restaurants use highly fragrant gravies to cover up the ammonia smell. 



This wasn't even the largest size available and look how huge it is!

I am very particular about the freshness of my seafood and I must say that I found no such ammonia smell in the crabs from 8crabs. To ensure freshness, their crabs are caught, flown, prepared and delivered to you within 12 hours. Usually, I would go for chilli crabs because that's usually the safest bet, but I decided to give the salted egg a go. No regrets! The gravy was so sumptuous, it had us licking clean our plates! In all honestly, I am not a huge fan of salted egg stuff. I find them a tad overpowering in most cases. But, this dish proved otherwise. Not a single drop of the gravy was left! We drank them all! Even Big K who is not a fan of seafood, was asking for a bite. The delivery was also commendable. I had requested for our food to be delivered between 7-8pm. And at 715pm, I dropped them a text, half expecting them not to reply promptly. Within 5minutes, a reply came, informing that our delivery was picked up and on the way! They apparently have a one driver to an order policy across their 12 kitchens island-wide so that they can uphold their promise of One Hour Crab Delivery. No wonder the food arrived warm and not soggy! This is totally life-changing! To be able to enjoy our crabs in the comfort of our homes! No more need for looking unglam whilst eating those crustaceans at a restaurant. I'm pretty sure this wouldn't be the last time I order in seafood!



So just like that, my little boy turned 6. I'm really quite emotional over it. 6 is an age when they turn into a big boy overnight. Would I still be able to sing silly songs with you? Or cuddle up with you each night? Would you still be a sweetheart and kiss mama every morning when I am still in bed? Oh somebody please pass me the tissue! It feels even more emotional this round compared to when Big K turned six. On to the next stage of adventure my dear boy. 
Happy 6th Birthday! May you be 快快乐乐 each and every day, just like how we named you.

How CoolSculpting gave me a bikini bod!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


At the beginning of treatment with Halley Body Slimming Clinic, I set my aim at achieving a bikini body! If you haven't read it yet, here's the link. Yes, I envisioned myself gravitating towards the crash of waves, prancing confidently like a frisky mare in my bikini. Splashing in the cool waters, being part of the backdrop for the canoes that were plying up and down. 

I thought it wasn't possible and that I could only sit by the shores in my oversized tee and watch the waters ebb away rhythmically as the tide came in. But when I met Dr. Terence Tan from Halley Body Slimming, he gave me confidence that he was able to shape me up! He told me that statistically, we can freeze away up to 25% of fats due to CoolSculpting. He confidently assured me that I was able to see the curves after CoolSculpting. In case you are new to this, CoolSculpting is a non-invasive, non-surgical, no downtime fat reduction. It is the only US FDA-approved fat freezing treatment that uses the concept of cryolipolysis to freeze and destroy unwanted fat cells. Afterwhich, the fats will be discharged from the body naturally. 

Dr. Terence Tan sure did not lie! After a mere 6 months, my body fat did indeed go down! I commenced my first treatment in September and during the most recent visit in March, the below was my result




My waist circumference went down from 84.7cm to 77cm! It was actually 74.5cm during my last visit in November 2019 but it was either due to human error (likely) or that I had been eating too much during Chinese New Year hence the slight increase. Nonetheless, I can officially announce that I have dropped a size! My weight did not fluctuate too much. There was a loss of approximately 2kg which wasn't too significant. Prior to all these, I went on an epic trip to America and Canada in December and if you had seen how I had feasted over on my Instagram account, you would have been disgusted! Think American portions! So yes, all the loss is due to CoolSculpting

If you need more convincing, here are my before and after shots







I literally sang my lungs out (at home of course lest others think I'm looney) when I saw the images! I was jubilant! It was as if sunshine followed me everywhere! 

How many times have you looked at magazines and envied the model's figure? I'm definitely one of them. It's no crime to want to be slimmer. I don't want to be skinny because it will render me haggard. If you lose too much fats, naturally your skin will sag. That's not a tradeoff I'm not willing to sacrifice. Plus CoolSculpting is great as it allows you to choose where you'd like to freeze your fats! It isn't only targeted at your tummy. It can be your arm or even your double chin which you may freeze! I want to be svelte! I want my clothes to fit better. I want to be able to swim with my kids in my bikini without feeling self-conscious. And now I can! Look at the photos below and see my transformation.


At a recent wedding on 14 March 2020.

Another wedding attended on 7 Dec 2019

The picture on the left was taken in 2019 June. I was so conscious, I had to throw over a dress. In the picture on the right which was taken on 15 March, you can see that my abs are beginning to show!

As you can see, clothes fit me nicely now. I feel great carrying them off well. In fact, I have been getting a lot of great compliments for looking more shapely and slim. I went one size down too! I am so motivated to go on a shopping spree! Oh, and of course, I am going to the beach in my bikini! A great option amidst the Covid-19 situation! Sun, Sand, and picnic mat, here I come!






Disclaimer: All photos are property of www.themishmashmess.blogspot. Please seek permission before reposting and give due credit when doing so. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products/ services. 

Review: Plushopedic Memory Fluff Pillow by SLEEPWIZ

Monday, March 9, 2020

Many people think that the mattress is the most important factor in getting good quality sleep. Well, it is. However, when it comes to sleep quality, the right pillow is just as important as your mattress.

I haven't been sleeping all that well ever since I got discharged. Things got slightly worse when I had to be confined to bed as much as possible. I couldn't do much but lay down. I didn't exactly lie flat and this gave me really bad headaches. The next few nights were intense due to the headaches and body aches. Then I realised! My pillow! I was using the higher and firmer ones which I had! You see, I have a total of 4 pillows on my bed. Two were my older ones while 2 new ones were gifted by the good people at SLEEPWIZ. I am a regular user of high and firm pillows. It didn't really occur to me that it was probably the cause of my neck aches and headaches. I didn't really bother whether my spine was going to be misaligned whilst using those pillows. I only wanted to sleep. But unknown to me, the misalignment was creeping on me. I have been having stiff necks and I simply attributed them to stress. Stress is inherent of course, but we can certainly relieve it a little with the right pillow. So back to my story about having massive headaches in the last couple of days whilst in bed. Realisation struck that I had the two pillows from SLEEPWIZ. I immediately switched to them and the next day, my headache was alleviated. Of course, you may say that it could be because I was less stressed or that the headaches naturally would go away. Well, I waited for three days and it didn't seem to diminish. I guess only time can tell if the pillow is the true reason behind it. But I believe it is a strong contributing factor.





Having the right pillow plays an important role in supporting our neck, shoulders, head, and spine. If your and neck and shoulders don't get sufficient support, it will put your spine and body out of alignment, leading to strain and discomfort. When used correctly, pillows will alleviate or prevent common forms of back and neck pain. We spend a lot of time with our pillows. I mean we do need at least 8 hours of sleep right? (Ok, probably I need less in my case). So imagine 8 hours on a pillow that is not right for you! The damage could be detrimental in the long run. 

There are several types of pillows in the market. Honestly, it confuses me when I go pillow shopping. They include:

- Feather pillows
- Down pillows
- Memory foam pillows
- Microbead pillows
- Buckwheat pillows

So which is the best pillow? 

According to Dr. Alissia Zenhausern, NMD physician at NMD Wellness of Scottsdale, as far as the best pillows for neck pain are concerned, he suggests "a more rounded pillow to help support the natural curvature of your spine," as well as pillows made of memory foam or feathers! There you have it! Memory foam! words from the expert adapted from an article from FORBES.

So there you go! The best type of pillow is made of memory foam. And that was exactly what SLEEPWIZ sent me! Their Plushopedic™ Memory Fluff Pillow is filled with an interlocking cross-cut memory fluff that conforms to your neck and shoulders, creating a buoyant and supportive experience cradling your head! Unlike conventional memory foam or classic pillows, the Plushopedic™ Memory Fluff Pillow feels soft and plush, just like a giant marshmallow as it absorbs your head like those pillows in the luxurious hotels! Moreover, the fillings can be easily shifted around by hand (in contrast to the traditional fixed memory foam), enabling you to fluff and re-fluff your pillows into your favourite shape, perfectly fitting your sleeping posture!




In all honesty, when it first came to me, it was all rolled up and flat. 


I was skeptical.

I thought to myself, how good can this flat thing be? I am used to high, rigid pillows. I opened it up and it fluffed up! It was still considerably flatter than my existing pillows and I was still not quite convinced. However, it was love at first sight for the hubby who has always loved his pillows a little lower. He can't comprehend me. When I think of memory foam pillows, the first thing which struck my mind was that it would be contoured, hard and ergonomic.


This Plushopedic™ Memory Fluff Pillow is nothing like that. It's fluffy! I decided to give it a try. I had a feel of its memory foam and it was little foam cubes packed in the pillow. really unlike the traditional ones which feel like it is one big piece of foam. The durable memory fluff is said to maintain volume and support for years and years, unlike the traditional fiber fillings. This pillow contains special memory fluff fillings which sink more in the center where your head rests, while remaining comfortably supportive under your neck where you need it. Some say that memory foam retains heat hence lead to discomfort. But I experienced none of that with Plushopedic™ Memory Fluff Pillow. Mind you, I was doing a mini confinement where I didn't have the fan blown at me. Can you imagine how terrible if the pillow were to be a heated one? Super -breathable Coolmax pillow protector allows airflow throughout the pillow, keeping you cool and fast asleep throughout the night. It is made with good ventilation and does not have that chemical smell which is emitted by products when they are brand new. 

While I still miss my rigid pillow, I do not want to endure the stiff necks that come along with it. I believe that in the long run, the Plushopedic™ Memory Fluff Pillow will do good for my spine. If you spend 7-8 hours a night in bed, that would be approximately more than 2500 hours a year! Hence having the right pillow is an investment! The husband's review of the pillow, needless to say, was good. He sleeps on a mattress on the floor at times (poor guy) and needs a soft pillow. This, to him, was a good in-between. Not too soft and neither was it too hard. As for me, I have been using it for close to a month and I haven't looked back. My headaches seemed to be kept at bay too. 








If you'd like to sleep well with SLEEPWIZ, hop over to https://pillows.sg/ to give it a try today! Psst, they are having a very good discount (50%!!!!) and free shipping within Singapore right now!

Disclaimer: All photos are property of www.themishmashmess.blogspot. Please seek permission before reposting and give due credit when doing so. We were given 2 pillows for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products.
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