Monday, March 31, 2014

Happiness is..

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family.

Ethan with PhoPho and AhKong

Ethan with PhoPho

With cousins

With his eldest Yiu-Shern korkor

"Family is not an important thing. It's everything." - Michael J.Fox

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Is it even possible...

Is it even possible for someone to be this sad and cute at the same time? *melts*

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Penang. Malaysia - Food Paradise

Penang is home to one of the country's finest cuisine. It is well known as a gourmet's paradise with people from nearby countries travelling all the way here to satisfy their taste buds.

Penang has a mixed culture of Chinese or various origins, Malays, Indians, Mamaks or Indian Muslim, Eurasians and some Thais. These ethnic groups have also merged within the Malaysian ethos and plays an important role to the culture and food.

And satisfying my tastebuds is exactly what I have been doing for the past 3 days upon reaching my beloved hometown. 

Dim Sum at Cititel

At Sin Lee Hin Coffee Shop, Tanjung Bungah

Laksa from Farlim

Nasi Kandar from Tanjung Bungah Tuesday night market

Home-cooked meal
And all these are just the beginning! Yummy!

I'm sure all Penangites living abroad miss the food here as much as I do, and will only trully understand that this is definitely not considered overindulging.

And I'm sure Ethan is also enjoying all the exotic flavours straight from his milk!

Penang, Malaysia - Safe & Sound

It was a long flight from Cape Town to Penang, Malaysia.

Cape Town - Dubai - Kuala Lumpur - Penang

With 18-hour flight and another 6 hours layover time, it was indeed exhausting for both baby and me.

Daddy missing Ethan already
Ethan's very symmetrical pointy face - and some newborn scabs on top of his head still waiting to peel off

It is a blessing that Ethan was so well-behaved. He barely cried, spending the whole day sleeping and chatting most of the time. I can see though he is tired as he was woken up a lot by the pilot's announcement or when the crew served food and drinks.

Sitting on the aeroplane seat

However, he didn't fuss at all as he was amazed with the lighting in the plane and entertained with many things to look at. He was so contented sleeping my in arms, and being carried in the Boba Carrier during transit.

So contented in the baby carrier

We arrived safely and happily greeted by the grandparents and family.

With Phopho

With KongKong and his cousins

Everyone in Penang was so happy so see him, and he is enjoying the joyous atmosphere that sometimes he looked a bit shocked with all the noise...haha (like the picture above).

Before I end the post, a last picture of the happy & friendly baby!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

And we are off tomorrow!

Hahaha, that must be the roundest baby face I have ever seen. Yes, that is Ethan's temporary passport and we are flying, TOMORROW!

It must have been the quickest flying decision I have ever made, all in less than one week.

Friday I decided to go back with Ethan - besides visiting my family while still on maternity leave, I could also renew my passport and license.
Saturday whole morning was spent standing in the queue to apply temporary passport for Ethan.
Then it was booking a good priced flight.
Tuesday I went to collect his passport, confirmed the tickets.
And now Wednesday today is packing day.

It has been surreal. I am full of mixed feelings.
Excited to be going back home.
Worried if baby is going to be fine in flight.
Sad that Ian can't go with.
Guilty that I am taking Ethan away from his daddy and Oupa and Ouma.
Grateful that Ian, Ouma and Oupa has been so supportive and excited for us.

Flying alone with a 3 month old. Hmmm...Lots to blog about! 

Wish us luck xxx

Monday, March 17, 2014

Love to Dream Inventa Sleeping Bag Review and R100 Discount Giveaway

Love To Dream is finally in South Africa!
With Ethan sleeping every night in Love To Dream Swaddle Up Lite since birth, I practically jumped excitedly when given the opportunity to try on the Love To Dream Inventa Sleeping Bag! 

Front and back packaging

It was perfect timing, as at 3 months old, Ethan is now discovering his hands and does not like them to be tucked away anymore. I was so sad to have to pack away the swaddle, and was looking for the right sleeping bag as I believe it is much safer than a blanket, giving me a peace of mind at night.

The packaging has lots of information, yet simple design. It tells you of the sizes (4-12 months or 12-36 months), tog weighting (0.5, 1.0 or 2.5) as well as all the sleeping bag features and other important information such as togs and temperatures.

Upon opening the package, I was glad to see the design and colour of the sleeping bag, which to me, is in good taste. The combination of light grey, blue and white as well as the background design is very suitable for both boys and girls. The material is soft and comfortable, absolutely perfect against a baby's skin. Its silky, soft bamboo lining and filling is breathable, hypoallergenic and makes baby extra snuggly! 

The lovely Inventa - front view

There are a few sleeping bags in the market but none with this innovative feature, allowing you to regulate your baby's body temperature by opening a zip to reveal the breathable mesh ventilation. This cooling strip appears on the front as well as on the back of the sleeping bag, to accommodate both back and tummy sleepers. So thoughtful! 

Left - Ethan with the zipper mesh open ;  Right - Close up of the mesh

This Genius Cooling System feature is most useful for South African weather where it is hot early evening but gets much cooler closer early in the morning. I usually put Ethan to bed at 7pm, leaving the front strip open and when he wakes up for feed at night, I will zip him up if it's cooler without having to wake him up. A must mention as well, is that the zips are the hidden type ones and of very high quality, so it looks very tidy and kept hidden well under the zip covers. 

Ethan with the zipper open early in the evening ; Ethan kept warm and snug with the zippers closed

Awesome quality of zipper

The Inventa also have this very handy feature of a back and front travel slot so you can put your child into a car seat with 5-point harness through without having to take them out of their sleeping bag. It is particularly useful during cold nights when we Ethan was already fast asleep in the sleeping bag and we have to travel in the car. These slots even has velcro to keep them closed so baby's legs won't slip out! I did tell you they were thoughtful..

5-point-harness opening feature with velcro and studs

There's another good news. You can make full use of the Inventa for a long period of time with its generous length and Longa Shorta feature With the option of 4-12 months or 12-36 months, you can press the studs located at the bottom of the sleeping bag to shorten or lengthen the bag, making each size last longer because it can grow with your child. Currently I am still keeping Ethan in the 'shorten' version.

Longa Shorta feature

Ethan in original length ; Ethan in the Shorta setting

On the side are zippers to get a wriggly baby easily into the bag, or snug a sleeping baby quietly into the bag. A piece of fabric placed to be stud closed to protect baby from the zipper. These tiny details I <3 div="">

Side zippers and protective fabric

 With also the help of shoulder studs to fasten while the other slips on like a sleeve, easing baby into the bag while gritting your teeth is something of the past!

Shoulder studs

What I always do is placing the Inventa open like a butterfly on the mattress. Then once baby is asleep I put him down on the Inventa, slip his arm in the bag, fold it over, zip it up, and stud the shoulders. TA DA! And he stays asleep :D

If you want more information or demonstration on how Inventa Sleeping Bag works, view this video

I really, really cannot fault this sleeping bag. It's pretty and clever and very well thought of features. Retailing at R600, it is a bargain compared to other sleeping bags in the market. It seems to me like a lot of thought and time has gone into designing this practical sleeping bag for Mums and babies.

TO PURCHASE , visit Love To Dream South Africa's Website or Facebook page

Now here's one happy customer!

Besides the sleeping bag, Love To Dream also makes other thoughtful and innovative products such as Love To Dream Swaddles. For those who have been reading since Ethan was born, you might have realised that since he was a baby we used the Love To Swaddle Up Lite, which I borrowed from my sister.  He sleeps through the night 7pm - 7am (waking up only for feeds and falling asleep straight after), from birth! I believe the swaddle helped him to keep snug and comfy, in his favourite position as when he was in the womb. 

Now for the good news :

FIRST 20 READERS who order these awesome swaddles from with the code "BLISSFULLYPERFECT" will get R100 off the retail price. (Original price R500)

Grab it before it's too late! xxx

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Simple Pleasures - Ethan @ 13 weeks

 To know whether a woman is a mum, check their mobile phone;s photo gallery - Less selfies, more babies.

A person's priority changes once you become a parent. The smallest things that your little one do,  makes you  want to take 10 photos of the same pose from every single angle possible, shout it out to the world on Facebook.
I do still take photos of Ethan, Every. Single. Day.

I feel that our life is full of simple pleasures that we forget to enjoy, because we take them for granted.
It's good to remind ourselves when life seems flat and grey, take some time to think of life's simple pleasures.
These are mine !

Look at Ethan doing push ups!

He is now having itchy gums and wants to just suck and "bite" on anything he can get hold of! Here is him having a go at the muslins and even Sophie, albeit an albino one - that's another story.

Also, there's his bottles achievements.
It has always been a worry that he will not take the bottles of expressed milk when in the care of his grandparents. There was some difficulty at first, but he began to suck on them like a sucker fish from his dad, as well as his grandparents.

And lastly, he is now able to fall asleep in his car seat all by himself! Ok, only twice thus far, but no more fuss, just calmly sucking his Natursutten pacifier and enjoying his ride home. I'm so proud of you Ethan!

These little nothings that may seem insignificant to everybody else , mean everything to me.
And these are what makes my life pleasurable and keeps me going everyday.
It makes life worthwhile.

"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
- L.M Mongomery, Anne of Avonlea

Sunday, March 2, 2014

These are a few of my favourite things

Bet you sang the title :-)

It was perfect weather on Saturday. Sunny but not too warm. So we decided to visit a market that I marked down in my phone calendar since weeks ago but did not have the chance to go.

It is My Favourite Things Baby and Kiddies Market, held in Meerendal Wine Estate, Durbanville. It is a very small market, about 20-ish (correct me if I am wrong?) stalls. I enjoyed this smaller sized market for a change, as one usually gets bombarded with too many stalls in a market and ended up tired and confused, and need of a break after the outing. The size of this market was just perfect for a family outing, and very relaxed indeed.

The setup has a very friendly environment and person experience. We were greeted at the entrance of the market by Helena herself, and was given a welcome pack, complete with a wonderful big smile!

As quoted from her website,
"So many people contacted me with their amazing products and services, that in 2011 I started the My Favourite Things Baby and Kiddies Markets. The market moves to a different venue each time, making it interesting, unique and great for marketing your products. I love the fact that I can give exposure to wonderful child-friendly venues and incredible baby and children's products and services."

The market has a whole range of beautiful and special products, from kiddies clothings, blankets, diaper bags, soothers and many more. They are very reasonable priced, from clothings starting at R30! We didn't get any though as Ethan has enough summer clothings for now, and I am not sure how big he will be during winter. But I will definitely be back for some later! We did however bought a blanky cover-up from Bubs Starwraps (review up later!).

I personally think the market is very thoughtful setup-wise, having a small kiddies play and activity area in the middle of the market. Although Ethan is still so small, we really enjoyed watching the other children enjoying themselves while the parents relaxed after the walk around the stalls.

Here is Ethan, looking all grumpy since he could not join in the fun in the kiddy area.

What more can you ask for - breathtaking view from the market, overlooking picturesque scenery like this

If ever you feel like a relaxed Saturday morning with the kids, do try and give this market a visit!

The market will be held as follows :
Every first Saturday of the month at Meerendal Wine Estate, Durbanville.
Every last Saturday of the mongh at Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West.
More details at My Favourite Things Market