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Mrs. Beautiful Skin 2016/17 Blogger Mom of 2 Beautiful Angels Wifey Fitness Instructor Happy & Contented

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 To 17_New Year Resolutions & My Dreams Come(ing) True

This here is me at my most natural & relaxed state; just a normal day doing my Mummy-duties, taking care & bonding with Baby F. and just being a Mom with no make-up & dark eye circles at the comfort of our home. If you've been following me, you'd know that the last couple of months have been cra-zy busy for me and now that I'm looking back thinking about all the things I've done this year - it has been super fulfilling!! My life has been rather packed with milestones throughout the last couple of years, I think since I was in my mid-20s? Every year I get to do different things and every year has been flying pass in a blink of an eye - you know how they say that time flies especially fast when you're enjoying yourself, this is an example but it's way too fast.. soon I'll become auntie liao.. *pffffttttt***... >.<

Whatever it is that I have unlocked in my life, achieved or not (yet) achieved, succeeded or failed... I have never once regretted about my choices in life b'cuz I believe that things happen for a reason, in the way and order in which they were intended. I am happy with my life and would not want to change the sequence of my past as it defines and dictates how I am today and the opportunities that came by. I see failures as a chance for learning and a challenge to get up to be a stronger person. Of 'cuz I have my weaknesses like everyone else and definitely need to constantly keep learning & improving myself, 'cuz as my Dad always says; learning never stops and we keep learning even when we're old. Having a positive mind keeps me motivated & being able to get to new tasks & milestones keeps my life fulfilled & happy. I feel blessed and contented everyday just being alive. : ) 

Anyway, enough of my deep thoughts already... As a personal reminder to myself of what I did in 2016, here's just a little diary for me to keep and look back in years to come.

1. Getting Better At Parenting

This here was me last year, a very pregnant me along with hubs.

And this here was us, taken early this year at House again as a family and yes I love their Pumpkin Salad that's why I frequent this place. Last year I got "promoted" and became a Mommy in September; I gave birth to Baby F. not really knowing what to expect as a new Mom. Well I'm sure everyone in the house didn't quite know how things were gonna be like as a new Mom/Dad/Grandma/Aunt but we were just gonna welcome this little one with open arms and embrace the new journey. I sometimes hear new expecting Moms say they're nervous or afraid they'll not be able to cope with having a new member in the house, how to be a good parent, or how to manage time between family and work. Looking back, I think we parents will try to do anything we can to make things work. So even how tired or busy we get, we'll always find our way out and eventually become better at parenting. So just keep calm and go with the flow b'cuz stressing does not solve anything nor make you any happier.

2. Celebrating Special Occasions As a Family

Chinese New Year Eve 2016 - wearing our brand new PJs and Baby F. got her very first red packets under her pillow.

Our first Valentines Date.

Celebrated Mother's Day with our matching outfits to attend SuperMom's SG50 Jubilee Baby Bash @ Marina Square.

Unlocking yet another milestone - Baby F.'s first birthday. One year ago on this day I was in the hospital pushing and panting, this year we hold her in our arms singing her a first birthday song. Such sweet memories. That was also my first time planning a birthday party for anyone at all, all on my own - effort max!

These were just some of the occasions we celebrated as a family this year. Life starts to feel a whole lot different after having our own family. Everyday seems to pass faster, we tend to smile more often, and occasions feel much more meaningful as a family. Looking forward to more celebrations in years to come. 

3. What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Look at this poor baby - Baby F. was at her peak of being unwell in April 2016. She started crying non-stop and all day long, refused to take her milk and didn't pee much. We suspected her of having UTI so we took her to A&E to have her checked out. I heard from my Mummy friends how babies who've been diagnosed with UTI would have to have a tube stuck into their urethral hole (literally) for Catheterization (test for UTI) to be performed. One Mummy friend shared her horrible experience with her son having to go through the painful process of Catheterization and her baby was screaming in pain throughout the test - this got me soooooo scared & worried b'cuz one of our options for her treatment was to go through this exact same thing. I called hubs & cried, b'cuz I was so stressed knowing he would object as I knew he didn't want to put her through the pain. But on the other hand I was worried sick that she doesn't get well b'cuz she was already taking very very little fluids for a few days and she had already cried till she lost her voice and had little energy left in her - imagine not eating & drinking, not sleeping well when sick, and total lost of voice... I was heart-broken. In the end, hubs let me make the decision and we went through with Catheterization. Surprisingly, she didn't cry through the process - even though I wasn't in the treating area to see it happen b'cuz I didnt have the guts to, her aunt was there to see her through. But after that I was so so so relieved. Baby F. was unwell for more than a week in total, and I had to baby-wear her to sleep every night else she couldn't fall asleep. It was a tough time 'cuz I still had to go to work every morning even though having to deal with all the sleepless nights. I lost 4kgs that week - that really goes to show how much we parents suffer when our children gets sick. It was a tough week but we got through it. And I thank God for keeping us all safe the rest of the time - Amen.

4. Getting Back On The Fitness Track

I've been into fitness & nutrition for a couple of years already ever since I decided to make big changes to my lifestyle, and determined to keep this healthy lifestyle consistent. I was still exercising and keeping my diet balanced during my first pregnancy. I remembered jogging until I was 2 months pregnant and I stopped not b'cuz I wanted to, but b'cuz I started having pregnancy coughs that was quite bad I had to stop running. I think my immune system was low during that period of time that I caught the flu bug pretty often, it became almost a monthly thingy. B'cuz I was constantly coughing, I couldn't run so I tried swimming one day. I haven't actually been swimming for years already and when I picked it up again, I was amused b'cuz everytime I was under the water, my cough would stop regardless how bad they were. Not only that, I felt really comfortable swimming and I didn't at all feel tired. I started off swimming a few laps each session, and eventually I swam for an hour each time - awesome. By mid 2nd trimester, I started going back to the gym again b'cuz I was feeling better and by then my flu routines were more or less gone. But b'cuz of the break in between, I had to taper down my weights and slow down my entire regime. I continued gym-ing until I was 7 months+ into my pregnancy b'cuz I started developing pain in my left hip. I was having this syndrome called the PPP aka Posterior Pelvic Pain, and is supposedly not an uncommon thing in pregnant women (you can read more about it here). There was no cure nor medication for this syndrome and would only go away on its own after delivery. I could barely walk normally (I had to limp-walk) so I raised the white flag and stopped all the work-outs there & then. I think exercising to keep fit & healthy is important, but my priority was to keep myself & my baby safe.

After giving birth, I started doing some postnatal workouts on my bed during the confinement period. It was all light exercises, basically those to help strengthen my pelvic & ab muscles in a very very light manner. I had Diastasis Recti and I wanted to progressively strengthen my core muscles again. Just a quick intro on Diastasis Recti; it is a fairly common condition of pregnancy and postpartum in which the right and left halves of Rectus Abdominis (ab) muscle spread apart at the body's mid line fascia, the linea alba. In layman terms, my ab muscles were literally split in two (you may click here to find out more on this condition) - it was fascinating to feel the split abs yet somewhat gross thinking it had split up.. LOL! I only started hitting the gym again about approximately 2-3 months postpartum but I took things slowly. Ever since I've became a Mom my gym sessions have been less intensive b'cuz as much as I wanted to regain my fitness, I wanted to do it progressively and not burn myself out b'cuz I still had to serve my little Princess & go to work all in a day. Looking at my progression pictures, I would say it was slow (did not manage to get more packs) but definitely steady (at least some definition!). I'm missing my flat tummy already and at the same time enjoying the perks of having a baby bump, and I'm definitely looking forward to get them abs back after my next delivery! My biggest motivation is hoping that I can inspire Mummies to get positive, fit and healthy like me - that's my goal b'cuz I can see and feel all the changes in my life after acquiring a healthy lifestyle. Def want to spread this good vibes! ; )

5. Getting Married Again (Twice)

Hubs & I actually planned our life together in an unconventional way where we planned for a baby first, then get married along the way, and only to hold our wedding customary after the delivery of our baby. The story of why we wanted a baby first is quite long and I'm not gonna share it here - you can try asking me in private and I may just share it with you? Hehe. Anyways, we decided to only to hold the customary after delivery b'cuz we didn't wanna rush to it during a short period of time and I definitely didn't wanna go thru such tedious events during my pregnancy. We had our pre-wedding photoshoot taken in Taiwan, Kaohsiung late of March this year and it was done by Cangai Wedding. We had a package with them for our pre-wedding photoshoot as well as the gowns, makeup, flowers, etc. for the actual day wedding. Both of us loved the service provided as well as the pictures taken. I did blog about Cangai Wedding a few months ago, you may check out my photos here.

First we had a casual wedding lunch with my family & relatives in Taipei.

Then we came back to Singapore and had our simple customary done a few months later.

And finally we held our wedding banquet with all our family members and friends to celebrate our love and witness our special moments. Months of planning and nervousness for the actual day was all over just like that, now we're only left with memories (and photos) to follow us till we grow old. : )

6. (Finally) Getting Our Very Own Home

I decided to take a short career break so I could get busy with all the planning of our life events - I was officially a "Tai-Tai" (aka wealthy woman who does not work - LOL!) from end of May 2016. There was just so much decisions & planning to do when it comes to home renovation, especially since we didn't have any ID to help us with. I've been moving from house to house for many years and each time when I move in, I had to kinda re-deign the place. With that kinda experience, and lucky that I'm quite a creative & aesthetically-prone person, coming up and matching designs was an easy task. The only thing was really all these planning is really time consuming! The break came in really timely.

But of course when the house started to look all put together, the satisfaction was greater than the time lost. We finally moved into our new home after months of planning and renovation, and we are proud to be the owners of our new home. I've been moving from house to house for the last decade and never once had a place to call home in the last 10 years - now sitting in my office chair in my own home, I'm happy that now I have this place to call my home. And that is all thanks to my ever hardworking hubs. Love you! :-*

7. Going For Our First Long Trip Together - 
Traveling to 7 Countries For Our Late Honeymoon

Hubs & I traveled for our late honeymoon to Europe for a 16-day tour. It was our very first long trip together and probably the last one for the next few years until our kids grow up. It was also an opportunity for us to spend time together as a couple since being parents of a young baby/tott doesn't quite allow us the luxury to spend quiet times together let alone any intimacy, hahaha.. 

We conquered 7 countries in 16 days, made some new friends within our tour group, bought some expensive handbags, climbed the snow mountains together for the first time, para-glided in Switzerland, indulged in lotsa good food & drinks, last but not least - brought a baby home (which was made in Amsterdam). >.<

8. Joined My First Official Pageant 

Before my honeymoon, one of my Mummy friends tagged me on Facebook to join the Mrs. Singapore World 2016/17 pageant. One look at her tag I was laughing but soon I started to consider it seriously. I joined a casual Mummy pageant last year when I was 8-9 months pregnant and brought home some attractive prizes as a 1st runner up. I found the experience rather exciting and I thought why not try out an official pageant? I went for the auditions, got straight into the finals and went for my honeymoon. Came back and had my very first public appearance as a finalist for the pageant on the very same day as my birthday.

I remembered the very first time on stage doing (short) public speaking, I was soooooo nervous!!! And especially b'cuz I was contestant number 1. I have major stage fright but I always try to conquer this fear and it was definitely a challenge. I think besides the little screw up I had trying to impress the crowd with my interview, I look rather calm and composed in this picture eh? Tell you, I was terrified!!! Haaa!! 

Along my pageant journey I found out I was pregnant, but I was still in the early stages of my pregnancy so I remained hushed about it and carried on with every activity & event we had to go through for the 3 months. I was feeling fatigue & nausea and I still went for our 4-day swim wear photoshoot in Bintan. Lucky my baby-belly was not obvious at that time otherwise I'd have looked terrible in my bikini. There were nights the other ladies started partying and I was so tired but tried my best not to be a spoil-sport. I can't imagine if I wasn't pregnant, I'd definitely be the one to instigate the drinking sessions & wild dancing! Ha! 

After 4 days of vouge-ing, we've got our cover photo for our magazine. Look at all the Diva Mamas!

8.1. Dancing & Performing In-front Of a Live Audience After 20 Years

The last time I ever danced or performed a dance in front of an audience was when I was in Primary school; that was like 20 long years ago? During the pageant we had a talent segment and it was definitely another challenge for me (and I'm sure for some of the ladies as well). I didn't exactly score well in the talent segment but at least I did a pretty decent dance and got over my fear for being on stage. Many of the ladies did really well, I would say alot of them are truly talented - or maybe also really hardworking!

Kudos to us for overcoming our fears and cruising through this challenge together.

8.2. Giving Back To The Community For The First Time 

I've always wanted to help out with community services and voluntary work but never knew how to and also never had the chance to. Joining this pageant was also a chance for me to finally get to give back to the society. I would like to thank all my family & friends for supporting me and giving generously to the ones who needs more than us and all the other kind donors who helped out their friends along side with me during this fund raising project. Look at all the rations we brought for the Society For The Aged Sick - so happy we got so much to give just by lending a helping hand. Not only that, it was a day filled with warmth & joy just seeing the old folks happily watching the performances we prepared for them. It was truly a nice feeling. : )

8.3. Making New Friends

I was expecting to come to this pageant to make new friends but I didn't expect that we could bond with each other this well and everyone was so so nice. I really enjoyed every event we went together and all the different stages of the pageant we went through together. Even though this was a competition, we supported each other sincerely and was happy for each other. 

We all trained & worked hard just to put up a great show during the grand finals.

One last photo together before we do our opening "Vogue" dance.

And the moment that we've been waiting for after working hard for the last 3 months -
The awards presentation & announcing of the top 10 finalists.
We were on the stage side by side for the moment of truth. Haha.. Sound so serious.

8.4. Achieved Rewards For Our Efforts

Although I did not manage to take the bacon home, I was very happy for all the winners and also for us to have journeyed through this special experience in our lives together. Every one of them was a winner in my heart and every one of them are beautiful Mrs. & Moms. I was sitting in the changing room waiting for the coronation results and true to my guessing, our Diva Mama Yus got the title of Mrs. Singapore World 2016/17. Congrats to you dear & I truly feel you deserve this title. I wish you best in the next one year serving your platform and representing Singapore for the international pageant.

I would like to congratulate all my pageant sisters who was crowned as the new Queens; Yusnimah the Diva Lady, Anu the gorgeous one, Josephine the big sister, Celine 大美女, and Adeline my pageant BFF - all the best for your future endeavors & for your international pageants next year! as well as to all the other sisters just for finishing this race together! Now we can all have a wonderful closure for the year 2016. : )

I here present to you Mrs. Beautiful Skin 2016 & 4th Runner Up of Mrs. Singapore World 2016/17 aka Adeline & my pageant BFF. I didn't manage to get photos with all the other winners b'cuz they were all too busy having their photos taken with their families & friends. And Yus def was the one who's most busy as she was having her first interview as the new Queen.

I'd like to thank Skinceuticals for awarding me the title of Mrs. Beautiful Skin 2016 and I am honored to receive it. As a beauty blogger, this really meant something to me. At least now I'm sure that I'm on the right track and my efforts for maintaining my beauty is being recognized. I am excited to try out more of Skinceuticals advanced skincare products b'cuz I'm confident with their brand - can't wait already!! Thank you Skinceuticals!

And our 3-month long journey through this pageant has come to an end. I'd like to thank ERM and all the sponsors for organizing all the events along the way and let us have this opportunity to experience something different in our lives, it has definitely been an unforgettable experience for me and I'm sure the same for the other ladies too. And also not forgetting my friends & family who has given me their biggest support along the way. All your encouraging words helped to keep the motivation up & high! Thank you!

8.5. And Keeping New Friendships 

Hannee, Adeline and I all dressed up for Halloween during our Bintan photoshoot trip - 2 Devil Girls & a Santarina.

Yus, Myself and Adeline as cutesy reindeers - attending the X'mas party organized by Bionn International.

And the very last event I had with the ladies - an X'mas celebration at ERM for gift exchange and time for feasting!

Our friendship is probably the best thing that I can take home with me from this wonderful journey and I hope that we may be friends for life. Cheers to more gatherings & wonderful times in future. : D

9. Jump Starting My New Business/Career 

One of the other reasons I took a short career break was b'cuz I've decided to pursue my passion & dreams of becoming a fitness instructor. I've been a fitness enthusiast for a few years already and I want to spread this good vibes to as much people as I can, to help those wanting to make a healthy lifestyle change and get fitter, as well as hoping to inspire other Mummies to regain fitness & a healthy body even after birth. As a start I got myself certified as an Aerobics Instructor and I'm in the midst of planning for prenatal aerobics classes to commence next year. I'm not sure how my business will take off, but I'm hoping for the best!

10. Having Another Baby 

Now that everything I had to do for this year is done, I can officially retire as a pregger Mom and take care of myself and the little one inside. Daddy can step up for more Daddy duties to Baby F. in the meantime. We actually discussed to delay our plans for baby number 2 till end of next year, but then things happened during our honeymoon and God decided to give us another baby as an early gift. Just let me enjoy this journey & the perks of being a pregger Mom again for now and let's see what awaits me in the coming year.

Hubs just asked me the other day what my new year resolutions are. I stopped making new year resolutions since a few years ago b'cuz I don't believe in them anymore and I feel a person can improve as a whole and not just changing one or two things about themselves. The only thing I'd like to accomplish in 2017 is to start my business and for my career & pregnancy to be smooth. It has always been my priority to take care of myself and to be healthy for my family so I can take good care of them too. Health is gold, lose it you lose almost everything. So whatever new year's resolution you may or may not have, here's to wishing all of you the pink of health and may 2017 be a better & more awesome year! Cheers cheers!! ; )

P.S. If you'd like to see my future posts, you can follow me on Facebook & Instagram.

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