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Do not dwell

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.” – Voltaire

On tumultuous evenings like the ones that have come to tarry these past weeks, I seek solace in the works of Voltaire. Witty, satirical, and controversially blunt. If a person should have a favorite philosopher (nobody should be hard pressed to pick one), mine… will be him.

In search of my harbour, I can only pray that a better morning comes, unburdened and free.


Sad, sick cat

2 weeks of sinusitis, 9 days of muffled hearing, 5 days of ear pain, 2 days of swollen red eye, and 1 day of fever, in that particular order. What a trying start to the new year. I medicated, napped, and woke up feeling sad. I thought about Paul. So I came online to read some of his old haiku pieces. 8 years. The familiar words still stir up yearning and curiosity from the depths of my belly. You are missed, very much, more than you know.


Nail Avulsion

At the beach

Two weeks ago we spent a fun-filled day at East Coast Park. We built sandcastles, played tennis and kicked ball. When we returned to the car I stopped in mid-track because there was a sudden sharp pain in my left big toe. I bent down, inspected it and spotted a small black plastic splinter-like object near the fold of the nail which was removed easily so I thought nothing of it after that.

A few days after, the nail fold area turned red, swelled up, and was basically a pain in my… toe. You know how nurses love to self-diagnose, self-treat, and self-medicate? Well that’s what I did. I expressed whatever exudates (pus) I could daily. I also religiously soaked the toe in chlorhexidine solution.

After one and a half week of somewhat bearable sufferance, I caved and went to a trusted friend who is a GP to make sure that I wasn’t going to die from a toe infection. He got me started on antibiotics as a optimistic first choice of treatment because we all know how unpleasant the other option would be – SURGERY.

But it didn’t get better.

So I went to Mount Alvernia’s 24h Walk-in Clinic and was advised to get to the root of the problem with a minor outpatient procedure with a referral to an Orthopaedic specialist.

The process is supposed to be relatively quick, simple and painless. You get an injection to numb the toe, the offending nail (or part of it) is removed with surgical pliers, and the nail bed is “explored” to remove debris (if any).

Before Avulsion

Waiting for procedure

// This was how it went.

The Doctor injected the base of my toe with local anaesthetic (LA), waited a few minutes for it to work its magic so that he can work his. He pinched the tip of my toe with a toothed forcep and asked if I could feel that, and I reply with a yelp (that means yes).

So there was more of wait, pinch, LA not working, inject more LA, wait, pinch, inject more LA. I got a comment that my big toe was unusually “resistant” to the LA. I apologised on behalf of my toe.

The Doctor proceeds to yank out half of my toe nail with surgical pliers, forceps, and scissors. I felt the full effect of it and wore a brave silent grimace while colourful words exploded in my head.

Then he began to explore. There was digging, poking, prodding – this was done when I was mostly sensorially intact. Then I could hear the forceps scrape against something repeatedly, every movement triggering more unkind words held back through gritted teeth. The Doctor smiled and said, That’s your bone.

After Avulsion

After traumatic avulsion

To say I was traumatised is a gross understatement. On a side note, I think I have an unhealthy tolerance for pain to the extent of being a lil’ BDSM 😑


The cure for anything

At the beach

The cure for anything is water – sweat, tears, or the sea.

I first read this quote many years back at a period in time where it felt like I have lost everything important to me, and its meaning resonated with me deeply. Until today, this advice stands true.

When I feel lost and blue, sitting on the beach helps me put things in perspective. I could sit for hours. It’s not a happy place. It is where I can go to be sad by myself for a while, and then the waves and breeze will lift me like a kite. Then I soar. And I simply accept wherever the winds may take me.

Life Uncategorized

Our Papi

My Papi

Isn’t she a beauty? Our friend borrowed Papi for the week as a prop in their wedding photoshoot. This was taken at One Marina, picture courtesy of their photographer.

I got Papi last year as a birthday gift from my husband. Unfortunately I’m not very adept at cycling, so I rode on her for a meagre 3 times. Pretty basket, eye-catching cream colored wheels, lovely leather seat (frequently conditioned with leather lotion). We also invested in a really good Yepp child seat in a funky lime green color!

Cycling and Fishing trip

There. Taken during my first or second ride on Papi. Pictorial proof that I am a terrible cyclist… 10 minutes into my ride and hello new injury. Up till today, the scar on my leg serves as a reminder of my love-hate relationship with Papi. Not that it’s Papi’s fault though! It’s not you, it’s me. ?

So now that we have moved to a cosier (smaller) home, we have decided to sell and rehome Papi. If you are interested do drop us an email!



Riding the Korean Wave


I had my hair done recently! After the birth of my second one, those sleep-deprived nights really depleted my mojo. I was so busy caring for our kids I barely took notice of myself, simply bunning my hair up to keep it out of poopy diapers. My make-up pouch has ceremoniously collected a thin layer of dust, and my face hasn’t seen a drop of moisturiser in the past 2 months. Because we like to leave our main door open to welcome in the breeze, our neighbours have been treated to the daily sight of a disheveled mom. Not pretty.

Now that it’s getting closer to Christmas (think parties!), I decided to “rejuvenate” myself a little while my husband takes over baby duties. I went to my usual salon at JEM where my favourite stylist Elva never fails to make me feel brand new again! Their Korean Wave package albeit a little pricey at $330, pampers you with hair treatment, c-curl perm, and a free bottle of Kératase shampoo. The entire process took about 2.5 to 3 hours.


Love the results! It makes the hair look and feel so voluminous, and it’s pretty easy to maintain if you have a hair dryer at home. Just flip the hair dryer on and aim it at your hair ends, while using a finger to twist your locks in a curl-out motion. Takes me 10 minutes, tops.

I really enjoy returning to Elva for my hair done every 6 months to a year. While I let her hands work their magic, we exchange life stories. The amazing part is that she could recall nearly everything we talked about during my last salon visit a year ago! Great skills, great personality – what’s not to love?

Are you looking to switch up your hair game too?

Jem Shopping Mall #04-55
50 Jurong Gateway Road, Singapore 608549

Make an appointment:
(65) 6734 7883

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Family Kids Life

Being a self-employed SAHM

Being a stay at home mom has its perks – I get unlimited cuddles with the kids, bras are optional, and if I should choose to remain in my pyjamas all day no one could care less. But I guess every mom is different. I know some mommies who are super hands on with their kids – a fixed time table, self-created learning materials, pre-prepared meals…the full works.

Me? I’ll probably go cray cray if it is just me, the kids, four walls, 24 hours a day 7 days a week!

Hence Aidan goes to childcare, and Amelie will start infant care when she turns 3 months old. It is hard to let her go so soon, but hey, I comfort myself with this premature quote:


Anyhow, knowing the kids are safely cared for at the childcare frees up time for mommy to get work done around the house and to generate some much-needed income from my home-based web design studio.

Have you ever felt like you are generating income simply to pay off childcare fees?

I recall when Aidan first started infant care, the damage to our bank account was around $1,400/month less working mother subsidy (-$300). Now that he is in Nursery 2 the fees are more manageable, ranging around $800/month less subsidy.

Just last month I was searching for infant care services (IFC) for Amelie on ECDA which showed that IFC now costs a whopping ~$1,900/month (PCF Sparkletots)!! There were the odd 1 or 2 centres whose names I have never heard of that offered their IFC at ~$800 but their location is too far from our place.

After subsidies, I will have to fork out $2,200 (Amelie $1,400 + Aidan $800). Thinking about childcare costs drives me up the wall. It seems more economical to simply hire a domestic helper (who will do the laundry and dishes, and watch the 2 kids as well), but we all know how hard it is to get a trustworthy, mature helper. Sigh. The kids need their grandparents! Unfortunately the kid’s 爷爷 and 外婆 are both working, and they plan to remain in the workforce for another few years.

To actually qualify for subsidies, you will need to be a working mom. Otherwise, be prepared to pay full rate! Since I am self-employed, I had to declare my working hours aka make a statutory declaration at the Supreme Court. If you are a freelance worker, working from home, or run your own business, make sure not to miss out on the subsidies!

How to Obtain a Statutory Declaration

  1. Download this declaration form and fill it out – don’t sign on the form yet! You will need to do this in front of the Commissioner.
  2. If you are lazy (like me) to print the form, just go to the address below and ask for a form to fill out on the spot.
  3. Bring your NRIC!
  4. You can make the statutory declaration at this address:

    Commissioner For Oaths Section New Supreme Court Building
    1 Supreme Court Lane
    Level 3M S178879

    There is no need to make an appointment. You can just walk-in to the customer service front desk and inform them that you wish to do a statutory declaration.

  5. Payment first: the statutory declaration will cost you $20. Cash and Nets only.
  6. You will be called into a room where you will verbally declare the contents on the form, sign, and you can keep the form and go.
  7. Submit statutory declaration to your child’s childcare centre for processing. I made a copy for my own safe-keeping. You should too! 😉


23 Jan 2019
Update: So I’ve heard from many fellow moms that the Commissioner of Oaths no longer offer statutory declaration for non-Supreme Court proceedings. As it turns out, you will now have to approach private law firms to get this done. I do not have a recommendation for private law firms but you can follow steps below on getting this done.

  1. Get a statutory declaration form — you may download a copy here from the Supreme Court website.
  2. Fill out the form with exactly what you want to declare. E.g. I am self-employed in X line of business and work X number of hours per month.
  3. Find any Commissioner of Oaths in a private law firm to affirm your statutory declaration.
  4. Bring any supporting documents, and your NRIC for verification. You will swear/affirm your declaration in front of the Commissioner of Oaths and sign the form. Your declaration is now affirmed.
  5. Note: You should be aware that knowingly making a false statutory declaration is a criminal offence under local law. Doing so may subject you to a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years and/or a fine. Don’t play play! 😱