What makes a good fitness instructor

Sports and fitness are not taboo to me. I started martial arts at a very early age and had many opportunities to represent my schools for various netball and athletics competition at national levels. Let’s also not forget my incredible weight loss journey where shredding off more than 35kg after pregnancy messed up my hormones to a whole new obese level. So, it is no wonder why I needed someone with great capacity to push me above and beyond my abilities. 

I did a lot of running, went for yoga and Zumba classes with different instructors but none of which could bring the mojo out of me. I still felt dissatisfied and was hungry for more. And then there was Piloxing. I fell in love with it immediately after my first class. This super high intensity workout which combines Dance, Pilates and my favorite, boxing, pumped me up and gave me the much-needed adrenaline to burn my calories to maintain my weight at a healthy level.

I stumbled upon Rasidah’s piloxing over the net and decided to try out her classes. I was sure that I could put up with whatever she had to offer. Master Trainer for Piloxing Singapore? She can’t be any different from the rest. Gosh! I was wrong! So wrong! 

Rasidah is PASSION, DETERMINATION and DEDICATION. She walks the walk and practices what she preaches. She roars in class, fun and entertaining altogether. She creates a sense of community and camaraderie within her class. 

Rasidah inspires me so much as she is probably one of the most ambitious women I have ever met. A loving wife and mother to 3 beautiful children, she is incredibly talented and her work ethics are insane. This lady is amazingly awesome. She supports her sisters and together we are unstoppable!

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Nutella Marble Cake

I was getting really bored at home, fasting and basically hibernating all day which is not really productive for me at all so I figured that I should try something new. Let’s bake some awesome goodness!

Thank heaven for YouTube tutorials and Google Recipes. Being a baking idiot, I actually found that it was really easy.

IMG-20170605-WA0000-01Let’s whip some!

20170605_130907-01My very own super moist Nutella Marble Cake 😉

Not bad for a first timer, aye?

Penang, Malaysia

Due to some changes in the work schedule and as a last minute decision, we decided to pack our bags for a short getaway.

If you read about Malaysia, you will come to know that it is a huge country with lots of beautiful beaches and places of interests. You will never get bored, run out of ideas on where to go or what to eat.

Since we towed the kids along, we checked into Bayview beach resort in Batu Ferringhi.

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We were on cloud 9

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Isn’t it obvious why we chose this hotel?

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The not so traditional family picture. Getting all comfy.

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Child’s play area at the hotel

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Bug caught a picture of the storm that was rolling in.

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This restaurant is located just opposite the hotel. The staffs were really friendly and the food served was really good too. Price of food were also affordable.

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You cannot miss the Gurney Plaza in George Town

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Our first chendol of the trip. Chendol is a traditional dessert popular in Southeast Asia. Made of coconut milk, rice flour jelly with pandan leaves juice, topped with shaved ice and palm sugar. Yums!!!

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Gurney Paragon, just a few steps away from Gurney Plaza. I simply love the architectural design of this building and truly  wished that we had more time to check out this place.

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There is a huge indoor play area for the kids in Paragon itself. It cost us RM6 for each child for the whole day!

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We managed to visit the infamous Chowrasta market in George Town to get some goodies home.

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Our 2nd yummy chendol of the trip. This was really, really good. The queue was long and we had to eat by the roadside. The thickness and sweetness of the chendol was just right, we could have just finish it all in just one gulp! So thirst quenching!

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We were recommended by an Uber driver to have our nasi kandar here (famous Penang delicacy). Check out the queue!

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Up close of what nasi kandar looks like. You can choose whatever dish to go with your rice. They basically serve everything in one plate.

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We met a wonderful Australian couple who happened to be in same hotel as us. We talked and got connected and eventually, they took us out for a seafood dinner at Long Beach hawker place. This is their 2nd trip to Penang and they really love it there. We had a lot of fun hanging out with them. It is always a pleasure to meet new people.

Seafood at long beach was yummy. The prawns were juicy and the fish was really good. But we were not impressed with the customer service there.

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Enjoying the pool area during a hot afternoon.

Rest assured if you are travelling with kids, there area a lot of entertainment for them there. You just need to do your research, be humble and ask around if you can’t find anything. The people there are more willing to share information with you.

If we get an opportunity to travel to Penang again, we would get a room somewhere in George Town as you can see, we travelled everyday to town and it takes a lot of time. Uber or Grab is definitely the way to go there. Don’t go taking taxis as it will cost you more and trust me, you do not want to bargain with the drivers. The Uber/Grab drivers are friendly so feel free to just ask them if you need any information. Don’t expect too much of customer service over there though. There’s still a lot of room for improvement.

Just good parenting?

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My eldest boy who will be turning 11 this November has had a mobile device in his possession for a couple of years now as I wanted him to easily communicate with me, his dad or the authorities in case of an emergency and also to gain access to the internet for its educational value. But Bug and I also knew that by providing these tools opens the door to a bunch of potential problems.

He has recently added some of his friends to his contact list and they have been communicating through WhatsApp. There is no simple answer to the question on whether I should read his text messages. I feel that he should reasonably expect some privacy as he is mature and that my interference will send a negative message to him by in the form of trust. But at the same time, he is still a child, and I have to step up and not get confuse about my role as a parent and that is to keep him safe by keeping an eye on his daily activities while I still can and giving him the best advises possible.

So I found out yesterday that there are a couple of girls having “crushes” on him. And they were telling him how they feel about him. My gosh! I did not have this privilege of getting myself heard when I was a child. I can’t even use the house phone to talk to a boy! So unfair! This is all new to me. It was really funny. My son being him, straight with no emotions, just told these girls that he doesn’t wish to talk about the “crush” topic or else he won’ be texting them ever again.

So my advises for him this morning was to respect others even when he is communicating with them over chats. Never to hurt anyone regardless of their attitude towards him. Be nice and stay focus in class. Life has so much to offer us. And this is just the beginning.

He did asked me though if I read his messages. Well of course I denied it. Just told him it was purely motherly instinct 🙂

The Silent Wife

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by A.S.A Harrison

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman

Image courtesy of http://www.overdrive.com

Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She lies to settle score. He decided to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that cant be made, and promises that wont be kept. Expertly plotted and reminiscent of Gone Girl and These Things Hidden, The Silent Wife ensnares the reader from page one and does not let go.

Verdict: 2.5/5

The Silent Wife claimed similarities to Gone Girl, which, to my opinion is not true. I was flipping pages feeling really disappointed. By the time I got halfway through the book, Todd was still not dead, yet. It was a big mistake to compare The Silent Wife to Gone Girl. They are completely opposite. In Gone Girl, there was a murder at the beginning of the plot and you have no idea how the victim disappeared and why but in The Silent Wife, you already know what is going to happen right from the start, no mystery to it.

But I do feel that the main characters of this book are interesting. Jodi is calm and cool on the outside but suspense simmer around her constantly. She is a psychologist by trade and she knows herself deeply but as you progress deeper into the book, you will learn how complex she is. Todd is so self centered, will never see how his actions impact others.

I am not crazy about the ending either as I find that it was really predictable. But nonetheless, I will still watch the movie once its out. So please, go read it if you enjoy psychological thrillers like this. This is just mild crazy for me but it might be super twisted for you. Enjoy!

The Mad Sailors

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Bug decided to take me to my favourite place in Singapore (Arab Street) since I was in PMS mode. I wanted to have fried western food so Bug suggested we go for a good ol’ English meal. So we decided to have a go at The Mad Sailors.

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Picture courtesy of themadsailors.sg

The Mad Sailors is located right smack in the middle of Haji Lane. The cool contemporary cafe is decorated with padded sofa benches, wooden tables and floorboards, books, posters and dim warm lighting which makes you feel so welcomed and at home. We were greeted by a sweet lady who I think really loves what she’s doing. She was all smiles and warm which gave her customer service a plus. The cafe was almost full downstairs but we were too lazy to go up to the 2nd floor which we were told by the way, was more cool for the hot weather and there were also more seats. We decided to get a small little corner seat by the window. We truly enjoyed the ambience.

Our food took awhile to arrive, which we didn’t mind at all. We were so entertained with the atmosphere in the cafe, people watching and we had our kiwi-lime and mint drink that came in this cute green bottle.

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I wished I had brought the green bottle home. Imported directly from the United Kingdom! Kiwi, Lime & Mint at $6.50

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Beautiful Golden Fish & Chips $20.00

So it was Haddock Fish & Chips in housemade batter served with fresh slaw for us. This is sooo good! The best Fish and Chips we’ve set our tastebuds on! I promise you! The fish was fresh, and although the serving doesn’t look that huge a portion, the fish was really meaty! And yummy!

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Amazingly wicked Fried Mars Bars with Ice Cream $14.00

This one up here is definitely a sugar rush goodness. Not for the faint hearted. You’ve got to be all crazy for sweet sugarly desserts to go for this. It’s simply delish! Cool on the outside, battered warm and caramelized mars bars on the inside. I couldn’t finish this on my own no matter how much I love desserts. The serving was huge! We love this. Really packing on the calorie.

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Yummy – Yums Yums!!!

Verdict: 3.5/5

It was one of the best food adventure we had this year… Well, we are still in the month of January. We love the atmosphere in the cafe, the food was great, pricing goes well with the food, service was wonderful! Yes, we will return again for sure! Gosh, I miss the haddock fish and chips already!

Check them out at:

http://www.themadsailors.sg

How to get there:

24 Haji Lane

Singapore 189217

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday – 1100hrs to 2200hrs

Friday – 1100hrs to 2300hrs

Saturday and Sunday – 1000hrs to 2300hrs

Contact:

+65 82482853

Please make a reservation for a table to avoid disappointment

ask@themadsailors.sg

On Being a Stay At Home Parent

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It has been almost a year since I left my nursing job. The truth was, Bug and I had been considering this idea since a couple of years before after we had our 2nd child but we never got to execute it. We were faced with the dilemma on how to manage the boys after we had our 2nd one. I had to return to work after 4 months of paid maternity leave. We do not have much options on childcare. I was not keen to send my baby to childcare at an early age due to some personal experiences. Basically, we were doing this on our own.

We had people close to us saying that it wasn’t a good idea if I were to leave my very secured job. What was I to do being a SAHM (Stay at home mom) at a very young age. How it was going to affect our finances since I was earning quite well, how tough it was going to be for Bug to work on his own in a country like this, where everything is so expensive. We didn’t get the support we wanted. And so we put the idea aside and got a helper instead.

Having a stay in helper (better known as maid here) was really a roller coaster ride for us. It was definitely not the best choice. It was the ONLY choice. We were going through some really hard times. Having to juggle work, family commitment, the children needed us more, I was trying to find time for myself to do other things that I had to, Bug was doing his studies after work, having to care for the helper who is supposed to ease your load but instead was giving us a lot of issues to deal with. So after much discussions with Bug and  thinking it thoroughly, without consulting anyone at all this time, I followed my heart.

Being a stay at home mom has been a very worth while experience not only for me but for Bug and the boys as well.

I spent more time with my family. I used to have to leave home for as early as 0630hrs to make sure I get there on time for our roll call and will only get home by 1800hrs. I had to rush through preparing dinner (my helper doesn’t do the cooking. I prefer not to due to hygiene purposes). I didn’t have much time with the boys and by the time I get to sit down with them, I was dead tired.

I actually like not having to go through all the stress of having to do everything to be successful. I think many women are pressured into feeling that they must be both a mother and a career woman to be successful in life. This is absolutely not true. I wake up everyday be there for my boys and that makes me feel really contented. And I worry less about their well being too. Bug really appreciates it as he gets to fully concentrate on his career and plans to further his studies again soon.

We are spending much lesser now. I get to save on the electricity bills, water bills, cut down on the marketing expenses and learn how to budget myself. I used to spend money like the way I waste water. I am still learning the difference between needs and wants everyday. I also learnt not to judge someone by the things they wear or carry, or how they look or what car they are driving in (we are travelling by public now. If you know how expensive a car is in Singapore, you will understand why). This is truly a humble journey and I believe I am becoming a better person because of it.

These are just some of the things that benefits me in being a homemaker that I can think about right now. I am not saying that it is all good. I still face ups and downs sometimes and there are a lot of negative points in being a homemaker too. I am living life the way I want it to be and that makes me happy and fulfilled. Be honest, ask yourself what you really want in life. What makes you happy. If you are happy working for you and your family, then that is your journey. But if you think that you want to stay home and be there for your family, then do it. Either way it is not going to be easy. But life is unpredictable. Make full use of it. Live life to the fullest. Never regret your decisions. Be happy. Be truly happy. This is what every parents deserve no matter how you get there.