Calling All Clean Freaks and Insect-Phobes!

[SPONSORED POST*] I’m pleased to share some good news with you! First up, The Pleasure Monger has been appointed one of the Ambassadors of Our Lifestyle Shop. It wasn’t a tough decision to agree to Su-Lin’s invitation because we genuinely love the products that we have been sponsored by and purchasing from the shop; some of the products, I have been using for over two years ever since F was born as I endeavour to keep our exposure to toxins to a minimum whilst keeping our home clean, safe and insect-free. Second, the festive season is just around the corner and the store is offering some pretty amazing Christmas bundles for all you clean freaks and insect-phobes like myself!

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Just two of my favourite products!

The bundles are permutations of four of my favourite products that I use to keep my home clean and insect-free, and now is a good time as any to stock up on these babies!

1. ‘Deck the Halls with Clean & Merry’ at $79.90

The bundle consists of:

- One KONK® I HH Flying Insect Killer (one of the most effective and safest insecticides known to man, and I have been using this for more than two years ever since F was born, to keep our exposure to toxins to a minimum while killing those pesky insects such as roaches and mozzies)

- One B-Sanitized™ (a simple one-step solution for environmental protection against viral, bacterial fungal and mould contaminants, and yes, we used this to contain the spread of HFMD after F got infected at school)

- FREEBIE: Receive one SafeHands® Hand Sanitizer (Unscented) for free when you purchase this bundle

- Enter cleanmerry during checkout to enjoy this promotion!

2. ‘Jingle Bell KONK’ at only $126

The bundle consists of:

- Three KONK® I Flying Insect Killer Refills (used in the KONK® I patented Automatic Air Guard Timed Release Mister, it regularly releases metered doses of KONK® I, providing consistent, 24 hour round-the-clock protection against these flying and crawling insects, keeping your loved ones safe)

- FREEBIE: Receive one KONK® I HH Flying Insect Killer for free when you purchase this bundle

- Enter jinglebellkonk during checkout to enjoy this promotion!

3. ‘Santa’s Christmas TWIN pack’ at $199

The bundle consists of:

- One Automatic Air Guard Timed Release Mister

- Two KONK® I Flying Insect Killer Refills (used in the Mister, it regularly releases metered doses of KONK® I, providing you consistent, 24 hour round-the-clock protection against these flying and crawling insects, keeping your loved ones safe)

- FREEBIE: Receive one KONK® I HH Flying Insect Killer for free when you purchase this bundle

- Enter twinpack during checkout to enjoy this promotion!

4. NEW: ‘Wishing U a SafeHands Christmas ‘ at $59.70

The latest product to grace the inventory of Our Lifestyle Shop, the SafeHands® Hand Sanitizer is non-toxic, non-drying, non-flammable, non-irritating and alcohol-free. You’d be glad to know that it is the only hand sanitizer that kills MRSA, VRE and C-diff. Our Lifestyle Shop has rolled out a new bundle which consists of:

- Three SafeHands® Hand Sanitizer (one each of Unscented, Cucumber Mint and Clean Linen; my review will be out in January 2015)

- No promotional code needed. SImply click on this link to purchase.

All offers are valid until 31 December 2014. Don’t forget to enter the promotional codes when you check out to receive the bundles with the freebies that come with it! Now, go load up your shopping carts!

Something Right

I don’t know about you but these days, there will come a moment everyday, however transient, when my heart goes all frail on me and I wonder if I have even done anything right. I have always been very self-critical; it hasn’t always worked to my advantage but as I grew older, I learnt to harness the ability to find fault in everything I do and turn it into motivation for excellence. And it paid off in my studies and career (or whatever I used to have before I became a mother). I excelled in everything I worked on, and the grades, appraisals, anything that was telling of a report card were apparent indicators of my best efforts. It was easy to know that I did my best, and I thrive on knowing that I gave my best efforts.

But…parenting is NOTHING like I have ever worked on previously. Don’t get me wrong…I have never once thought parenting to be a race. I don’t seek to be the best mother in the world. I simply wonder if I have done enough for my child because everyday, something is bound to happen that makes me feel like I could have given more to the being I am nurturing. And surely, this being is way more important than any of the silly exams or projects I have  undertaken in the past?

My everyday could look like this:

F is playing independently or reading in our living room. I look up from whatever I am doing, and I am suddenly consumed with guilt as I realise that I haven’t taken her to the playground to run with wild abandon for weeks just because I haven’t been feeling well enough to do so. 

Or this:

F is ill. I have been trying to coax her into drinking more water but she refuses every attempt. When I finally get some fluid into her, she lets the fluid dribble down her chin and breaks into a cheeky smile because that is apparently funny to her. I lose my temper and tell her off for doing so. She looks at me with tears welling up in her eyes and tries to hug me. I dodge her attempt to be close to me and go on to clean up the mess rather angrily. As I calm down, I feel like a downright lousy mother as I realise I should have been more patient and that I should have held my tongue and accepted her gesture of apology.

These are just two of the infinite permutations on how I feel that I have let my daughter down. And I have been struck by this guilt every single day ever since she was born. Have I done anything right? There isn’t a pat on my back to make me think otherwise. And it’s not like parents are routinely entitled to pats on the back. In fact, criticisms inundate my everyday, and it’s up to me to filter them and take up the constructive ones, but it is just so darn difficult when I doubt myself to begin with. On good days, I shrug the guilt off and know that it is okay that I tripped up. On bad days, like today, I crumble.

This evening, as F clung onto me tightly with her head buried in my chest for our bedtime prayer, I took in her baby scent and am reminded of how small a person I am and yet, how much she needed me, and how much she needed me to be BIG. I asked God to help me become what I can never be without Him, to help me do something right, and I broke into sobs mid-prayer. It was then when F drew her head back away from my chest and looked at me with so much love and concern in her eyes that I knew my prayer was answered in an instant.

“Mama, you want tissue?” She asked gently, yet earnestly as she stroked my face and nodded to urge me to go on and take a piece of tissue.

And there and then, I thought, of all the things I have done wrong, I might have done one thing right.

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Designer Bags for Cheaps Up On My Shop

Hello everyone! Apologies for the radio silence here; I have been busy de-cluttering our home now that the end of year is here and am pretty overwhelmed by the mammoth task! A lovely outcome is that I have been giving away some stuff and selling some others for cheaps, so the hoarder in me feels better on seeing my pre-loved items go to better homes. Over here, I am offering some designer bags (all in excellent condition as they are barely used/never been used) at massively discounted prices. Think Kate Spade diaper bag for S$260 (down from S$600+) and Salvatore Ferragamo bags for S$700-800 (purchased at S$2300-2500) each. Please hop on over here to have a look! If you know someone who might be interested, or if you are keen to get hold of almost-brand-new bags for cheaps, please let me know at beapleasuremonger AT gmail DOT com. Thank you!

The de-cluttering is still work-in-progress, so watch this space!

The Things Faith Says #2: She Doesn’t Share Food

We were having a much-anticipated steak dinner at Chophouse (which turned out to be a real disappointment) in Sydney about two weeks ago and Faith’s main course of fish and chips had arrived sooner than ours.

M and I were famished and started picking off the mountain of fries on her plate (which we were sure she wouldn’t be able to finish), when Faith frowned at me, pouted her lips and exclaimed, “Hmmph!”

We were a little taken aback as she has always been okay with us eating off her plate, and in fact, is quite generous with sharing even her favourite foods. I dropped the fry immediately out of surprise.

Me: Faith, can Mama have a French fry, please?

Faith (in all seriousness that made M and me snort with laughter): This is Faith’s fries. Mama order your fries, okaaaayyyy?

Me: HOKAAAAY. Sorry, dear. Mama will not eat your fries, okay?

Faith promptly nodded and went back to demolishing the mountain of fries. Mama and Papa continued to battle hunger until our cardboard steaks arrived.

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How Faith feels about sharing food.

P/S: We thought that it was a one-off, because she was back in the spirit of sharing food after that meal, but today, she refused to let me have another piece of kaya toast for breakfast and claimed it for herself, saying, “This is Faith’s bread.” Well, at least I no longer have to finish her leftovers!

I Can’t Say No to Pretty Jewellery

I have a love affair with Pinwheel Jewels, a multi-label designer jewellery online boutique. I really do. You know how my hands are glued to the phone whenever I get some me-time? Well, a lot of those times, I’m stalking Pinwheel Jewels for the latest prettiness to add to my growing collection of accessories. And when I do, I tilt my phone away from the unsuspecting husband, so he doesn’t catch me ogling at yet another pretty thing that he doesn’t quite get.

It’s not hard to understand why I’m infatuated with the store. I’m a woman. I like beautiful things. But I’m unfortunately neither fashion-forward nor willing to spend on racks and racks of good-looking clothes to look put together or remotely interesting. Let’s face it. I have always been fairly unadventurous with my dress sense. But as I get older, and naturally vainer (motherhood may or may not have played a part in upping the ante), I start to pay a teensy bit more attention to my outfits and I find that accessories are the most cost-effective, versatile ways to pull any look together. It wasn’t always the case, of course. When my daughter was younger, she would pull at my earrings, necklaces and her bum would sit right on top of the arm parties I tried to get going on; accessories just didn’t work for either of us. Now that she is a little older, I’m welcoming pretty jewellery back into my life with open arms. I usually have four or five easy-to-wear pieces that I don in rotation; I find that these are enough to keep my outfits interesting and to make me feel a little more chic without burning a giant hole in my pocket, as opposed to spending on tonnes of clothes.

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Gemma necklace by Meredith Hahn

I had already purchased two necklaces from Pinwheel Jewels this year, the Gemma necklace by Meredith Hahn and the Taner Pave Bar necklace by Gorjana, and both pieces have earned me lots of compliments! I particularly love the Gemma necklace for how smooth the pendant feels and how it has a good weight to it. It does not feel cheap at all, unlike the truly inexpensive (think $30!) alternatives that I had previously purchased from other vendors. It looks good on its own, but I am also dreaming up ways to layer it with longer, complementary options, such as the Cori lariat necklace, also by Meredith Hahn. An early birthday present for myself, perhaps? *hint hint*

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Taner Pave Bar necklace layered with the Aurora large necklace, both by Gorjana

The Taner Pave Bar stole my heart with its simplicity, and yet it stands out with that tiny bit of bling embedded across the length of the pendant. I like wearing this on its own for a daintier look, but there are ways to jazz it up a little. For my recent trip to Sydney, I was hard-pressed to travel light as the weather was slightly cold and we needed to pack boring but easy-to-match layers. Lianne, founder of Pinwheel Jewels, kindly had me pick out two pieces (Aurora large necklace by Gorjana and Skipper necklace in gold by Shlomit Ofir Jewelry Design) to accessorise my otherwise plain outfits, and just look how pretty the Taner Pave looks with the Aurora large necklace!

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I also loved pairing the Aurora large necklace with a pre-layered piece that I had purchased from another store. The possibilities are endless!

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Skipper necklace in gold by Shlomit Ofir Jewelry Design

Travelling with a kid inevitably means that we often started the day late in Sydney and rushed to leave the hotel. On those days, I was thankful to have the pre-layered Skipper necklace with me and instead of brainstorming ways to layer my accessories, I simply pop the Skipper on and  chic is me! An absolutely fabulous piece to add to your stash, if you ask me.

PROMOTION FOR MY READERS:

Now, here’s a sweet deal for you (and for me…I might just buy myself a couple of birthday gifts…). Get 10% off a minimum purchase of $100 with the coupon code PLEASURE10 (not valid with other coupon codes) from now until 30 November (ends 2359h)! The end of the year is coming, and everyone needs some pampering, so I’d say reward yourself with a piece (or two) of prettiness. For those of you who are getting married, the bridal collection is TO DIE FOR. I wish I had these options when I got married!

*I was gifted the Aurora large necklace and Skipper necklace in gold. No additional monetary compensation has been received and I do not stand to gain any commission arising from sales using the discount code given to my readers. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products/services. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored service/items, should I find the products/services unsuitable.

You can now shop online at Pinwheel Jewels! Like Pinwheel Jewels on Facebook for more updates!

The Things Faith Says #1: On Loving Us

I should have done this a long time ago, when Faith started having properly hilarious and startling conversations with us. Well, better late than never, so here goes (and I sure hope to keep this up with my busy bee schedule!)

Papa: Faith, do you love Papa?

Faith: YES!

Papa: Do you love Mama?

Faith: YES!

Papa: Who do you love more?

Mama (softly chiding Papa): What a question to ask her!!

Faith: FAITH!

Mama: *dumbfounded*

Papa: GOOD ANSWER.

Faith: You love Faith?

Papa and Mama (in unison): OF COURSE!

Mama: Papa and Mama love you very, very much, dear.

Faith (gives an approving nod): Thank you for everything. Amen.

There and then, we burst out laughing, and sat wondering where the time has gone and if our little girl is growing up too quickly.

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Look Who’s Got New Wheels?

Parents endeavour to give their children the very best, and I am no exception. As a mother to baby Faith, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks.

In the series ‘I Have My Eye On‘, I share my favourite finds for my little girl.

201409 Combi Mega Ride review 3[SPONSORED POST*] My family and I have a love affair with Combi strollers. My brother bought two for my niece to suit their different needs, and I, having had the opportunity to steal my niece’s strollers for test rides, invested in one for F too. F has unfortunately outgrown the one that we have, no thanks to her unusually long legs for her height, and I was just about to run to the store to get a new one when Combi Singapore asked me if I would like to review their latest stroller, the Mega Ride (which just snagged an award from Mother & Baby magazine). Perfect timing!

I had a good look at its specs before committing to this review, because I really needed a stroller that fits F’s proportions nicely, one that will grow with her for another two years (at the very least), and I was very pleased to know that the Mega Ride Stroller seemed to pass the measurements test with flying colours.  So, I said yes!

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When it first arrived, I thought the stroller looked larger than the one I had and to be honest, I was a little worried about its size. The last thing I wanted was to lug yet another heavyweight around the island. Surprisingly, it is extremely lightweight at only 6.8kg, perfect for days out when I am all alone and have to hoist the stroller in and out of the boot whilst grabbing onto F with my other hand. True to the quality that defines Combi strollers, its light weight does not detract from its stability. The Mega Ride feels good on the hand,  and F rides safely and stably in it.

The Mega Ride stroller stands on its own when folded up, and is super easy to unfold, with its very smooth catch-and-release lock and one-touch release button. I have been taking F out alone in this stroller, and I had no trouble carrying a diaper bag, holding onto F (who often tries to wriggle out of my grasp) with one hand, and using my free hand to unfold or keep the stroller.

201409 Combi Mega Ride review 5It comes with a really large storage basket underneath the seat, which doesn’t bunch up in awkward shapes and hinder the unfolding and keeping of the stroller. I can put my gigantic diaper bag in it and still pop in two to three bags of groceries. Definitely more spacious than what I’m used to, and that’s a plus! I no longer need to use this function now that F is 2 years old, but the handle can be easily swivelled around such that the stroller becomes front-facing; this is perfect for younger babies who might prefer their caregivers in sight, and for parents who would like to keep an eye on the young ones. Again, the direction is very easily changed with the catch-and-release locks on the lower sides of the handle bar.

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What I love most about the Mega Ride is how incredibly smooth the ride feels. It is an absolute dream to push around with its mega wheels which are designed to cushion the shock from rougher terrains; it almost feels like the stroller glides on clouds or something, no kidding! I can only imagine how comfy one must feel sitting in it….lucky F! The front wheels are also superbly engineered to tackle sharp turns very smoothly. I have been travelling in and out of very busy malls and lifts, and often have to do sharp U-turns to get in and out of tight corners. I had no problem whatsoever swivelling the stroller around, and I could do so without lifting the stroller or hurting anyone in the vicinity. I have also had to hold heavy doors open with one hand while pushing the stroller through with another, and the front wheels make it so easy for me to change the direction of the stroller with my free hand just to get it through the door. All I had to do was to release the swivel lock on the front wheels to get access to this awesome function and if one prefers the stroller to travel in a fixed direction, you only need to lock it back up on the wheels. How convenient!
201409 Combi Mega Ride review 4I also love that the Mega Ride grows with the child. The designers have thought it through and added additional holes to thread the harness straps through, such that the straps still sit comfortably on a child’s shoulders as he or she grows taller. F is still on the lowest configuration, so yay, more room to grow into this stroller to get extra mileage out of it! 
P9134270One of my pet peeves of strollers is that they aren’t roomy or long enough for F, who has long legs for her height. On normal strollers, the back of her knees would fall off the edge of the seat at an awkward angle, and yet her legs are not long enough for her feet to get a grip on the footrest. I can only imagine how uncomfortable that may be for her, and I am happy to report that we don’t have this problem with the Mega Ride. Because of its extra-long seat, the back of her knees are still comfortably resting just before the edge of the seat, and by the time she grows taller, her feet will be resting properly on the footrest, so we won’t have the problems of her legs feeling the strain of inadequate support AND dangling in the air!

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The seat on the Mega Ride also reclines to an almost horizontal level, making it perfect for children to have a quick snooze in the stroller. The seat is very roomy and as it is extra-long, it is almost like the business class of seats for sleeping children! F is very happy to go on it most of the time, and particularly enjoys sitting in it like a boss, whilst pulling the sun-shade down to play peekaboo with us. My husband and I love that the ride feels so smooth over all sorts of terrains and even in tight situations, and that it is so easy to handle, yet lightweight and stable. No prizes for guessing our favourite stroller of the moment!

*I was gifted one Combi Mega Ride Stroller (in Prestige Black) to review. No monetary gift was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored items, should I find the products unsuitable.

Check out the wide range of Combi baby products on the Combi Singapore Facebook Page.