Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Honey, I really need a bigger closet, please…

I just made a blog entry about smart shopping, and boy… If I could only apply that to myself… on Fashion shopping. See, I'm so bad at fashion shopping, because I always think not once, not twice, but thrice when buying a clothing or any jewellery. And when I have made up my mind, it's either: a) they have run out of my size (which could be an M or XL or even XXL, depends on my body parts), or b) the items I want has just sold out. Or in other times when I don't think too much on something, I would buy stuff like a long glittery silver skirt that only looks good in the shop's mannequin but definitely will make my bum look one extra size bigger ( like my bum is not big enough already…).

A couple of weeks ago when I went to Bangkok (and boy, it was a heaven for shoppers), I went to places that were mentioned in shopper's paradise bible. But what did I buy? A pink rock-star-style shirt that's too short (again, not good because bum is not covered), 3 tights that are all too short or too small (those skinny Thai people!), 2 summer tops that are too revealing, and a gold summer dress that's too 'Goldie' (I didn't even dare to use it for a high tea event last weekend). Good buys? Yes. Wearable? No. To be part of unused-closet-collection and wardrobe closet filler? Definitely.

Have you seen this beer commercial where the homeowner shows her girlfriends a walk-in closet on her housewarming party? Well, if only I could have one walking closet like that then this problem will likely be solved. Because I could just throw in all my fashion items since I developed my fashion awareness 13 years ago, and I could have a huge collection of clothing that probably would fit an entire village in Malacca. Of course, if those villagers are willing to wear a 10-year-old extra-mini skirt from forever 21; or a 15 year old bohemian top from banana republic. Or, I can just make myself a personal fashion museum of unique-cum- weird and wonderful fashion taste. But anyhow, I have to live with the fact that there will be no walk-in closet , at least until the next 5 years -unless my cat's neighbour suddenly died and the owner becomes so sad he just left and leave his condo for me, THEN I can build my walking closet – the only problem is my neighbour doesn't own a cat.

So, instead of bragging about a bigger closet, or a closet filled with unused items, I'm thinking of to just be self-assured and wear them all, for the sake of 'reduce, reuse, recycle' concept. So next time you see me with a too-revealing top or a too-mini skirt, please don't be surprised, I'm just trying to force myself to be a smart shopper. (Blaaaaaaahhh).

Friday, 12 June 2009

Smart Shopping

In recession days like now, not only fashion-shopping budget needs alteration, grocery shopping too. You'll be amazed at how much you can save up. Some are tips I found on the net and some are based on my own experience.

  1. If it's cheaper, buy non-perishable-every day-use items in bulk.

    This includes soaps, toothpaste, sugar, shampoo, oil etc. Even baby diapers. Some bathing items or toothpastes sometimes come in packet of several bottles/ tubes with of course, whooping discounts.

  2. For meat, veggies, or chicken, (if you feel like it though) buy them in frozen form. I know a hypermarket than sells frozen chicken for 4.5 SGD…. For FOUR pieces of chicken! Yes the chicken is a bit small, but I think it's worth it especially if you only have a small family (and it's Halal too). Some hypermarket sells 1 kg bag of frozen mixed vegetable, I even found one hypermarket that sells frozen RAW SPINACH (though it's quite difficult to find them).
  3. Why buy things in bulk and frozen state? To cut your (yes, I know you!) almost-daily trip to the supermarket. You see, each time we go to a supermarket we'll ended up with at least one item that fits into the category of so-called "useless buying." Like a pudding mix, or cake concoction that rots in the deep corner of kitchen shelf. So…. Fewer trips to supermarket, less useless buying … more savings. Capish?
  4. Rearrange your kitchen shelf and food storage shelf to be observable. Once your food storage is visible and organized, you'll know which items you need to buy and how much. So you won't buy the wrong item, buy too much, or too little.
  5. Need some household items but short of budget or just need some semi important stuff? Buy it in a two dollars store instead of a hyper mart and you will cut some cost. In Singapore, you can find this kinda store in 3 or 4 malls throughout the island. Yes, I know some of you will laugh at me when you read this.

    "Shopping in a two dollars store? C'mon! It's all cheap stuff!" Yes, it's true, it's cheap, but cheap doesn't mean it's not functional. Buy things here that are functional and unnoticeable. Most of the stuffs in the store are of good quality, but STILL you have to keep your eyes on. For example, you can buy some freezer bags in here but check for one with good material with more than 12 bags. Some boxes only contain 10 or even 7 freezer bags, but if you're lucky you can find a box with 20 freezer bags.

    Other stuff I recommend to buy here are storage or organizing boxes (see tips number 4), brooms and sweepers (but check the materials), and other organizing materials (cable and cords de-tangler, racks, small garbage cans, etc). But I don't recommend buying, for example, items of personal hygiene, like soap, toothpaste or face scrubber. For this kind of items, price talks honey.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

End Hunger, Walk the World, Spread the Word.

Since Daddy is away this weekend, Rania and I don't have any specific plan to do. So when a good friend of us friend, Korin, informed us about a Free Walk charity event by UN World Food Programme (WFP) called End Hunger: Walk the World, I certainly don't wanna miss it. So there we were this morning, arriving at 9am in F1 Pit Stop Building, me, a baby, a backpack full of baby food and milk with a yellow buggaboo stroller. At first, Rania liked the Walk, but she cried at the end of it because she just can't bear the heat. Poor baby, she looked red, wet and crying, totally not a good view. But she smiled a bit after she tasted the free Conello ice cream provided by Unilever. Ha ha.
But the point that I want to share is about the objective of the Walk. It is to make efforts to build awareness of child hunger and raise funds for the WFP. Hundred of millions children in fact go to bed hungry everyday, and almost half of them are girls, who do not attend school. So WFP raise some money through this programme to provide them with free meals at school and some food to take home to, with an expectation that their parents might be encouraged enough to send their children, especially girls, to school. I just read the website, that it takes only 19 cents USD to help a child a free meal at school, and with 34 USD, you can provide a child with school meals for an entire school year!

Although I did not give a donation directly at the event ; the crying baby just keeps me occupied, I plan to do it online. For more info you can visit http://www.wfp.org/schoolfeeding. You can donate via this this link http://wfp.aidmatrix.org/

Imagine, 19 cents for a free meal, even our afternoon tea cost 10 times more! And next time if your about to spend some 40 bucks on a fashion belt that will only add to your collection of one-time-wear fashion items, think about a year supply of food to an underpriviledged girl.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Giggle giggle

Rania's acts everyday just mesmerize me. I would record or make picture of them from my phone and play it before going to bed and just laugh over it with my husband. Including this one where she giggles over small stuff. We played it back to her and she just pointed the screen and giggled back, like she understood that it was a video of her!

I just cherish them at the moment because it's probably the last time she would act like that, because tomorrow, she might do the same act differently :D

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Kaypoh Aunties and Uncle

When I first saw the Kindness Movement Singapore commercial on TV a couple of weeks ago - about a girl who saw people do small stuff that helps others- I put a smirk upon my face. First because I think it's a unique campaign which I have yet to see in other countries. And second, because I believe this movement comes up just at the right moment.
Forgive me for saying this, but other than Hongkong, I experience most of my 'ungracious manner' nightmare(s) here, in Singapore.
Yes, almost 99% of people I met here in Spore are nice.
Yes, I do have met not so friendly people in other countries that I've visited, even in my own, Indonesia.
But here, in Singapore, those unfriendly gestures came from people that are supposed to help you. Take for example taxi cab drivers. My goodness, I can ask 100 people about any incidents involving cabbies and they would give 110 stories instead.
Other culprit includes Bus Drivers, Food Stall workers, Guard House officers and just this afternoon, a bathroom cleaner just made it into the list! I couldn't not believe it. Just this afternoon a bathroom cleaner literally SHOUTED to a friend who brought her baby in pram to the restroom "BABY NO THIS LEVEL, BABY LEVEL 3, BABY LEVEL 3!" So she, of course, explained that it was her, the mother who wants to go to the bathroom. So the cleaner, blushed, instead of saying sorry, replied back : "THEN QUEUE, QUEUE!" Which was actually a very foolish statement. Because there was nobody else in the bathroom!
Well, I discussed it with my hubby what to do should we encounter this kind of behaviour. In conjunction with the Kindness Movement (blaaaaah), I don't think shouting back would be the answer. I think what's best is to show them educated behaviour, talk to them in crisp - and not broken- English ..... and tell them ( as what I always do) : "Don't shout and be angry laaah, we're no foreigners here so we know the rules laaahhh."
Again, I'm happy that most of the Singaporean that I met are nice and genuine people, and some silly kay-poh aunties and uncles won't ruin my wonderful days here! :P