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who am i

Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Saturday, January 31, 2015 @ 11:25 pm
The Importance of Date Nights

Dear Blogger,

Never underestimate the power of date nights. This is coming from a mother of 4 young children, who works and studies too. Also, a wife of an often-travelling husband.

Date nights are more than just going out with your spouse/partner. It's a ritual that involves dating rules such as dress codes, social etiquette and conversation dos and don'ts.

Normally, when we go out with the children, my dress code is a fine balance between looking good and comfort. Stilettos are usually no-no with kids. They're just too painful and impractical running after the children. I've seen some mothers do that, and I would seriously like to learn from them.

On date nights, high heels are a must! Unless the date venue is a place that involves sand, skates or some sporty activity. I wouldn't go all out into evening glamour, but it's usually more than what I'd dressed on normal days.

The thing with date nights is that you're supposed to take it as if you're going on a date with someone special. Going to the supermarket with your spouse/partner isn't a date. Not the kind of date that I meant anyway.

It's supposed to ignite that feeling of excitement and "happy anxiety" as if you're going on a first date with that guy or girl you've had a crush on. Remember that time long ago when you'd spend hours trying to get the outfit and make-up right before you go on a date? That's what date nights are supposed to be!

In the beginning, it was pretty much a one-way thing. I'd be the one spending a lot of time dressing up while the mister simply put on jeans and tees and worse of all, sandals. After constant "encouragement" to get him to take date nights more seriously, he took more effort in his presentation. Now he styles his hair and wears shirts or at least, polo tees. He puts on shoes too!

How do date nights help in marriages?

  1. They're an excuse to buy that gorgeous dress or vamp it up with that MAC cosmetics.
  2. It's a bonus to spend a few hours with your spouse/partner without children.

  3. Dining is a more peaceful affair.

  4. You can forget being a mom (or dad) for that few hours.

  5. You can engage in some PDA without having to explain to your children what you're doing

  6. You can talk about your wild past, again, without having to explain to your children.

  7. It makes you feel young!


All these translates to keeping the flame of passion alive. Oh so imperative in a marriage as it ages over the years.

How to get started?

  • Pick a convenient day of the week for a date night. The usual would be Friday nights.

  • Choose an activity e.g. Dinner, movie, dancing... Or it could be a surprise!

  • Look forward to the date night by reminding each other with loving (or naughty) text messages.

  • Go out and have fun! Try not to criticise.

  • Be committed and make it a weekly routine. (It'll become a habit after 4 weeks.)



Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 11:46 pm
Thirty-four

Dear Blogger,

So this is the last night of my 34th year. Tomorrow, I'll be in my mid-30s. Wow! Another milestone! Not sure I'm feeling good about it. A woman in her mid-30s is like at her peak isn't it? Will it then be downhill all the way after that?

Tonight, hubby suggested that we should celebrate my birthday earlier since I've a class tomorrow night. Therefore, I won't be able to hold any celebrations on my actual birthday. It didn't matter to me anymore. Today... Tomorrow... What's the difference??? I'll still be 35!

So, he bought me a chocolate fudge cake. It's really for the children actually. Children and birthdays are like bees to honey. Children don't care who's birthday it is as long as there is cake to eat and candles to blow.

I thought that was it when first, my helper surprised me with a present! She gave me a camisole and cardigan set. That was so thoughtful considering that she's still paying her agent fee loan. I must remember to buy her a gift for her birthday.

Second, hubby super surprised me with a new iPhone 6! I haven't gotten a chance to buy it myself because it seems to always be unavailable at the telcos. I don't know how he did it but I'm not curious enough to know. Some times, ignorance is bliss. Oh boy... He's sure going to be rewarded for this tonight. Hehe!

Here's to 35! Bring it on baby!

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Monday, January 26, 2015 @ 9:52 pm
Going The Extra Mile

Dear Blogger,

Today, I did something good. Something that most people in my profession would consider too much of a hassle. Today, I went the extra mile (the GEMS course I attended wasn't wasted).

What happened was, two of my students brought home each other's school bags. They only realised it when they were on their way home. I found out about it when they have already reached home.

Now, most teachers would just take note and be more attentive next time. Not me. I felt that being the class teacher, it was my responsibility to ensure that my students brought home their own bags. My conscience kept bugging me to go to their homes and swap their bags. I could have just ignored my conscience but who am I kidding. My conscience would have nagged me to my grave.

So I contacted their parents, apologised and told them that I will come over and exchange their bags for them. Luckily for me, the students didn't live too far away from each other. Even luckier for me, I have a car.

At the end of it all, the parents were thankful and I was happy. Not for any rewards or commendation. I'm happy for doing the right thing.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015 @ 10:09 pm
How To Finish Reading A Book

Dear Blogger,

I seriously can't remember a time in my 30s that I actually finished reading a book. It's funny because when I was much, much younger, I was considered by people who knew me as a bookworm. I always had a book with me; anywhere and everywhere.

I guess my reading appetite lessened with the popularity of smartphones and tablets. It wasn't that I stopped reading altogether. It was just that I moved on to reading from a different format. A format that was concise and didn't take up too much of my time.

It's ironic isn't it? Reading a book is supposed to feel pleasurable. But I haven't had much pleasure in reading a book. Not sure if it was because I haven't found a really good book to actually want to finish, or that reading isn't really a priority in my busy life.

I've been telling myself repeatedly over the years that I would like to read more and finish a decent number of books for the year. As you can see, those aren't really good goals. They're not SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. So for this year, I would like to finish reading 1 book a month, and that makes 12 books a year. That's a decent number right?

But how do I go about doing that??? It's always easier said than done. That's why I've compiled a list of strategies that I've Googled.

How to finish reading a book:

  1. Find a book that captures your attention (duh!).

  2. Read the synopsis and first paragraph of the book to ensure that it's the book you want to read.

  3. Schedule a reading time at home - I usually schedule it as my downtime prior to sleeping.

  4. Carry the book everywhere you go, so you can easily whip it out while waiting e.g. in the train, at bus stops, at the clinic.

  5. Remove technological distractions i.e. smartphones and tablets. (Tough one I admit!)

  6. Reward yourself when you have finished reading a book.



Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 @ 10:53 pm
Hanging Out With My Baby

Dear Blogger,

Today, I spent some time with the little one before we fetched his older siblings from childcare. We went to Parkland Green, that new chillax enclave at East Coast Park. I'm not sure if the establishment is managed by NParks or a private company, but who cares as long as there are ample free parking. Free parking is like an endangered species in Singapore.

There are several F&B places to wine and dine or simply drink coffee while reading a book (or doing your homework). None that is halal-certified though. Not that I know of anyway. There are also sports shops that major in skateboards, skate scooters and bicycles. There is also a laser tag play area that seems to be popular with secondary school boys.

At first I thought I just want to chill at Starbucks. It's having a 1-for-1 promotion from 3pm to 7pm. Since Imran was way too young to be drinking coffee, I thought I might as well check out what Parkland Green has to offer.

We found Pick Me Up Cafe next to Killeney Cafe. It's not as cheesy as it sounds. It's got a nice family-friendly vibe; probably the small children's slide and rocking horses gave me that vibe. It's a typical cafe with cakes, coffee, sandwiches and salads. I was going to order the chocolate cake but I was swayed by the variety of yogurt gelato that was on display. Good choice! Healthy and delicious!

But best of all, it was the time I get to spend with Imran. He was kind of feeling lonely ever since his second sister went off to childcare this year. He only has the maid and my father-in-law to give him attention. That's why he's always excited to see me home.

I could see he enjoyed the time spent with me too. He didn't need the stroller. We just walked and walked. I carried him sometimes but he walked most of the time. He didn't ask for his milk bottle and he didn't throw tantrum. I think he knew he's having his mommy's attention all to himself.

You know. These are the moments where you can't recreate. If you miss it, you miss it. No turning back. I'm glad I made the right decision to work half-day. I didn't need to be a full-time working mom anyway. It's a pity that Ipy can't share these moments with me. But that's the sacrifice he has to make so that I can enjoy these moments. That's life my dear husband.



Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 9:07 pm
Currently...

Dear Blogger,

LISTENING: ... to the whirring of the ceiling fan in my bedroom, and the regular cries of "Mommy...Mommy..." from my children.

LOVING: ... the softness of my new pink bed sheet.

THINKING: ... if I should buy the Groupon offer for Hotel Clover staycation.

WANTING: ... something decadent and chocolatey.

NEEDING: ... a luxurious, pampered, spa resort vacation.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 10:52 pm
Freedom... To Be Responsible

Dear Blogger,

Do you think freedom is overrated? Or is it misused? Or even abused? Freedom, or more specifically, freedom of speech, has been in the news recently after Charlie Hebdo was brutally attacked by Muslim extremists. For those who have been living in planet Zazoo for the past couple of weeks, Charlie Hebdo is not a person. It's a satirical magazine based in Paris that prides itself for being indifferent to diversity e.g. race, religion, gender. Basically, it makes fun of everything. The more politically incorrect, the better.

To me, killings are a dime a dozen in global news. What made the attacks on Charlie Hebdo front page news is the loud cries of terrorism against freedom of speech! Nevermind the fact that the magazine has published cartoons that have offended people from different walks of life, not just Muslims mind you.

Personally, freedom of whatever is great! I treasure what freedom that has been bestowed on me through my country's constitution; namely freedom to an education, freedom to marry whoever I want, freedom to earn a living and freedom to practise my religion.

But this rally cry for freedom of speech has become noise, and it's getting annoying. What does it mean to have free speech? What does it mean now, in today's context?

Freedom of any kind, is a basic right of humans. But freedom is only worthy when it's respected. Ironically, freedom is given when it's regulated, by rules, social norms and even moral obligations. We have rules. We have social norms. It's arguable that we may even have morals.

To the ISIS-backed, narrow-minded (probably brainwashed too) gunmen, there will always be criticism of Islam. There will always be somebody who will draw caricatures of our prophets. There will always be some blasphemous insults spoken by someone out there.

You know what? They don't affect me! I am not judged by these people! My faith is to The One and Only Allah and his Messenger, Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h! Not to these puny men and their actions!

To Charlie Hebdo, as tragic as it was, let this be a lesson learned. With power, comes great responsibility. I don't approve of you reprinting the same cartoons that caused the brutal attacks in the first place. The cartoons you published may just be satire to you, but they may hurt some people out there. You may not care, but these people may be someone close to you. Are you ready for the consequences? Are you willing to be accountable? You may argue that freedom of speech cannot be compromised. That same argument could have been addressed in another way, a less offensive way, a less hurtful way.

The Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, once said, "People demand freedom of speech as compensation for the freedom of thought they seldom use". How apt.

Je ne suis pas Charlie. Je suis Responsabilité.
(I am not Charlie. I am Responsibility)


Sincerely,
modgurl.


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Friday, January 16, 2015 @ 9:49 pm
Half-day Hardship

Dear Blogger,

I'm still getting used to the new work with its different philosophy and culture. I'm trying to get used to not working at home. This is a hard habit to break.

I'm trying not to succumb to the seductive power of the bed when I get home after lunch. That is really hard. I am so not an afternoon person. Many things will not get done in the afternoon.

I have yet to open up any of the textbooks for this semester. There is this scary-looking tome called "Singapore Business Law" that is still in its packaging. Not to mention the management accounting I have to self-study for the exam re-sit.

I'm beginning to think maybe this half-day work may not suit me at all. Either that or I'm just too weak-willed to resist temptations. I really do hope by next week, I'll get my act together because I have tons of things to do!

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2015 @ 11:12 pm
A Piece of Halal Hong Kong... in Singapore

Dear Blogger,

Today, after work, hubby and I went to One KM, the new mall in Paya Lebar, for lunch. Initially, hubby wanted to go to Geylang Serai, but I wanted to check out the new mall. One KM is now where Lion City Hotel used to be. It's right across the road from City Plaza and Tanjong Katong Complex. Can't miss it because it looks super new as compared to the other old buildings in the vicinity.

I've heard it to be quite the place for halal dining. The mall has PappaRich, Fika Swedish Café and Bistro, Heavenly Wang, Butter Studio and Streats Hong Kong Café. The last of which was where we had lunch because I've been craving for dim sum for quite awhile.

Normally, if I wanted Dim Sum, I would go to Tang Tea House at Simpang Bedok. Since it was raining this afternoon, parking within the dining destination was essential. So off we went to Streats Hong Kong Café at One KM.

We arrived way after lunch time, so the restaurant wasn't packed with diners. The peace and quiet were just nice for us. The restaurant's decor was different from other Streats' restaurants. It was modern but pleasant. I like the simple touches of the knick knacks on the open shelves in the middle of the restaurant. The window seats overlook the streets where City Plaza was. Nice to spy on people at the busy cross-junction. LoL!

Since I was starving, I ordered the hotpot seafood set with "Ma La" soup. It's a spicy soup braised with dried chillies. The spicy soup was really comforting in the cool rainy weather. The set came with either rice or noodle. The noodle being Nissin noodle. I chose the noodle because I thought I had to eat rice for dinner.

The hotpot was not too bad. I said I was starving. I finished off the plate of large prawns, mussel, fish slices, straw mushrooms, lettuce and egg tofu but I wasn't able to slurp all the soup. I wish it had more seafood than vegetables, but at about $15 per set, I guess I shouldn't expect a seafood spread.

I wanted to eat dim sum didn't I? So I ordered the pan-fried chicken dumpling and salted egg custard bun (can't remember the exact name on the menu). The salted egg custard bun was really yummy, but I thought the same bun at Tang Tea House was tastier. The dim sum menu here was also not as extensive as at Tang Tea House. I don't know of any other restaurants that serve halal dim sum. If you know, do let me know.










A photo posted by @modgurl on






Sincerely,
modgurl.



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Friday, January 02, 2015 @ 9:42 pm
Back to Bus(y)ness

Dear Blogger,

I have been working over the new year getting my classroom ready. But it's still not ready. Nothing was pasted on the wall, and I'm running out of time. Children will be coming into their new classroom next Monday! Scream!!!

Birthday chart has to be redone, thanks to the a**hole laminating machine that ate up 3 of my pouches. Theme board not done. Cubby labels not done. Communication books not done. Lesson plans... Oh... I don't want to think about lesson plans now.

Nevertheless, I CAN DO THIS!!! I HAVE TO DO DO THIS!!!

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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