Super Mum Needs Super Power, I’m Powering Up with Blink around my Home

I tried, and I think I did pretty well. But I know it could be better.

The Super Mum tag wasn’t self titled, friends and people around me is always shocked to know I am juggling everything from family, home and work without help. It had been very exhausting and many times I wanted to throw in the towel. Enough of having 1001 tasks to take care of every day. I cannot be the Super Mum, I needed extra pair of hands to help.

When our part time helper who came by once a week to help clean the house told me she will be returning home for good, I knew this was a sign. The sign to rethink how I can better coupe with the multiple responsibilities around the house.

I didn’t want to have to worry if the laundry is full and needed for wash, I didn’t want to worry if my family has clean house to live in, I didn’t want to think about what dinner to get home after work and rushing home in time so my family wouldn’t have to wait for their unhealthy MSG filled meal.

I outsourced.

I have never liked the thought of having a stay in helper, because the family is worried we will not be comfortable sharing our home. But I needed to so I can focus on the more important things, time with my kids and work.

It didn’t take us long to find the one. I found her in the first group of helpers shortlisted, she was the first that got my attention. With three times experience in Singapore, children all grown up and at a mature age; I knew right away she’s the one.

Preparing for arrival

Being the first time employer for a helper who will have to stay home alone most of the time in the day, I wanted to be able to check on her and the house when I am out. I needed to get cameras for the house but I really don’t like unsightly cables running around. I needed a wire free solution.

Blink is my solution

It was a kickstarter project and now marketed by Aztech, I saw it first on Chester’s blog and then on Zitseng’s. If you want to know the how-to and tech specs, please click on the links to read, because this is the Mummy C talking not the techie gadget Claudia.

Blink camera starter set
The Blink camera is super small, light and wire free! I can place it anywhere around the house.

Because of the wire free and easy setup, I was able to very quickly connect it via the Blink app and our home wifi, and I’m ready to go. Stick it anywhere around the house with my trusted 3M tape and I can monitor what goes on around the house anywhere I am.

Not a surveillance camera

I have to highlight that this camera isn’t an around-the-clock surveillance camera. It doesn’t watch over your home all the time and it doesn’t record looping or non-stop videos. Blink is a home security and monitoring system – it can be armed to detect motion where it will send an alert on your mobile app and record a pre-determined video clip based on your setting. When that happens, the camera will also illuminate which may give the person or thing that caused the motion to jump!

Like a baby monitor

I use the Blink camera like a baby monitor for the house. Whenever you want to check on your baby, you check on the monitor, this is the same. When I want to see what’s my helper doing around the house, I tap on the mobile app, turn on the camera and watch. I can also turn on or off sound capturing from the camera.

Can you spot Blink?

Easy add-on camera

Each Blink camera has a view angle of 110-degree, I can view 90% of my living room when it’s placed in the centre of the room but I needed more than one. I’m going to be getting two more Blink cameras to add-on to my setup at home so I can have access to an all-round monitoring when I am not home. One Blink camera outside our rooms so I can see what’s happening inside, and one more (armed) from inside the living room so I can monitor who’s going in and out of the house during the day.

The Blink camera on the right and the “brain/heart” of the system on the left.

With a super helper and our super monitoring cameras, I think I am able to do more super things because I now have better control and system for my home and family. Next up is to build my super team at work to power up my super power!

Blink Aztech starter kit is selling at S$188, each additional camera sells at $138 each. Find out more on Blink Aztech website.

Backup Photos in Your Mobile Phone, Else It May Be Lost One Day

A Mummy pleaded for help to find her lost iPhone which she left at IKEA’s nursing room, not because the iPhone is expensive. It’s the photos in there that is too precious to lose. I totally feel her misery, but if I were in her situation, it would be less painful, because I’ve always set my photos to be backup automatically once I’m connected to WiFi.

lost-iphone-precious-photos

Backup photos from mobile to flickr

That’s what I’ve been doing with all photos taken on my mobile phones, iPads and even cameras. I’ve lost all photos from my dating days with my husband because the external hard disk died on me. Ever since I’ve backup all my photos on flickr.

flickr provides 1,000GB of FREE storage space and gives you a lot of useful features to make photo taking and sharing a breeze. Download flickr app from your app store or play store and login to your account. You can choose to automatically backed up all your photos whenever you are connected to wifi network.

I have more than 25,000 photos and 900 videos backup from my mobile phones and tablets in flickr.

backup photo flickr

Backup on Google Photos

Because I very kiasu, I also backup my photos on Google Photos. In case one fail, there’s another backup mah! This works the same and does the backup automatically after you set it up once on your mobile phone. Google Photos also auto generates animation, slideshows and collages from your daily photos and you can choose to save those you like or edit them too.

All you need is a Google account, and yes it’s FREE too! One thing I love more of the Google Photos is their search. Because all photos are auto backed up I don’t get to tag or categorize them for future search. However for Google Photos, you can type words such as “birthday”, “food” and
“family” and their image recognition will do it’s magic! Really amazing stuff, search Google Photos on your app store/ play store.

There are also other paid backup solutions you can use. Acronis provides data backup and protection solutions for home, office and enterprises. They charge a yearly subscription where you get 50GB or 1TB of space where you can backup true image of all your digital content and devices. Meaning, you can backup you computers too with Acronis. This is ideal for those who want to backup more than just photos and videos. Find out more on their website.

Also make it a habit to print out the better photos once a while. Nothing beats flipping through pages of memories with your little ones and look back at how much they’ve grown over the years.

Hope the mummy gets her iPhone back.

Keeping Baby Clean – Simple Steps & Tips for New Parents

Bathing a baby may be one of those many things that new parents worry about before their baby arrives. Throwback to 6 years ago, when I was carrying my first born, Ayra, I googled for guides on bathing a newborn, searched for baby bathing videos on YouTube and also attended pre-natal classes. And guess what?

When it was time to bath my baby (the real one not the doll from pre-natal class) for the first time, my mind went blank! Before that day, I was able to instruct and guide my grandma and mum who were helping bath Ayra the first week. I was able to clearly remember what to do and the 101 things needed to be setup etc. But once you actually get down to it, you forget all books and videos and just focus on the amazing bonding experience with you and your newborn.

If you’ve never bathed a baby before, here are the list of things you need to prepare. (I’ve previously shared a comprehensive shopping list for new parents.)

Diaper napkins/ Cloth diapers/ Disposable diapers – depending on your preference.
Changing mat – so you don’t get your bed sheets wet each time you change your baby.
Cotton balls – to clean baby’s eyes, baby cord before it drops off, and baby bottom.
Baby wipes for the poo/pee clean-up before shower.
• Soap free/ Gentle baby shampoo – we’ve used and trusted Cetaphil for many years up till today.
Baby moisturizer – baby’s skin needs to be moisturized so pick one that’s gentle to baby’s skin.

cetaphil-baby-skincare

Baby bath tub – recommend getting one with stand so you don’t have to squat down to bathe the baby.
Baby bath towels – we invested in nano fiber towels for our girls since birth because they are soft and fluffy, and its lint free. We are still using the same batch of towels from 5 years ago.
Baby wash towels  – which are also the same nano fiber towels, they come in many sizes.
A basket to hold all the bottles and wipes etc so it’s easier to carry and store them. Most of the time you’ll be operating with one hand since the other will be cradling your baby.

Now that you have the necessary stuff ready, we move on to the what and how to clean your baby. And thanks to the Cetaphil Baby Experience, a recent workshop on childcare, I am able to share the following how-to guides with you.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR BABY UNATTENDED

NEVER LET THE WATER CONTINUE RUNNING WHEN BABY IS IN THE TUB

  1. Ensure the windows are closed and the fan turned off before removing any clothes from the baby. I even had my door closed too so the baby won’t get any chill drafts during shower.
  2. I also prefer to use a room with a connecting toilet to bath the baby, so everything is nearby and to minimise moving around with a naked baby.
  3. Before bringing the baby to the bath room, clean the baby’s eyes, ears and face with cooled boiled water and cotton balls. Do the same for baby’s belly button.
  4. Clean the baby’s bottom with the remaining water ensuring all residues of pee and poo are cleared, this is to ensure the bath tub water does not get contaminated.
  5. Fill the bath tub to about 1/4 with lukewarm water, which is not hot to touch with the inside of your wrist.
  6. I use 2-in-1 shampoo and shower wash because it is easier to manage when bathing a baby. I will drop some of it into the water and use a wash cloth to clean the baby’s hair and body.
  7. I will talk and sing to my baby in the shower to distract her and keep as much eye contact as possible. This also gives assurance to the baby, letting her know that you are there and she’s in good hands.
  8. When the baby is washed and cleaned, wrap the baby with a soft big towel immediately
  9. Place the baby on the changing mat (on the bed) and towel dry quickly but gently.
  10. The first thing I do is to ensure the bottom is cleaned, moisturized and put on the diaper immediately. You never know when the baby decides to pee or poo! Accidents do happen, so be prepared.
  11. Apply moisturizer over the face, neck, arms, body and legs.
  12. Put on clean clothes and you’re done!

Since, the first few times a baby is bathed by different pair of hands, the baby and the bathing process may not be as comfortable or familiar. But don’t give up if your little one isn’t enjoying bath time yet, it takes time for both of you to truly enjoy the bathing experience.

For those of you who missed the Cetaphil Baby event, there was a live baby bathing demo. Lead by Ms Kang Phaik Gaik, senior lactation consultant at Alvernia Parentcraft Centre, Mount Alvernia Hospital, the demo shared helpful tips on how to bathe newborns. You can learn more about the correct and safe way of bathing newborn babies and massaging them with the video.

Hope this sharing is useful for new parents and parents to be!

Hope this sharing is useful for new parents and parents to be!

If you would like to find out more baby caring tips and be kept in the loop for future events, join Cetaphil Singapore on Facebook and sign-up for their newsletter.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Cetaphil.

Photo Organisation 101 – Backup with My Passport Wireless

As I grow older (and wiser) my memories of the past, even if it was just a few weeks back, is blurred and almost forgotten. That is why I capture almost all of these memories in frames. Photos and videos on my iPhone and my Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II both combines to too many gigabytes of precious memories I would NEVER want to lose. So I backup, backup and BACKUP! Yes in multiple devices, online and offline. Because I have lost almost all the photos and videos of 2010 and earlier due to a broken external hard disk drive, I never dare to just have one copy of these.

I have a systematic flow for backing up, storing and use of my photos and videos. I thought this would be something useful for parents like myself, I’ve decided to start this new topic which I will cover photo organisation tips and tricks, from how to go about protecting your digital assets, to how you can create a better flow to organise the photos etc. Today I shall start with one of the new toy which is on my to-buy list of gadgets – Western Digital My Passport Wireless portable hard drive.


Thanks to the good people at Western Digital, I got to learn about this probably a must-have for geeky mum or mom like myself. WD My Passport Wireless built-in SD card slot is the key feature that attracted my attention. It allows you to transfer photos and videos from your SD card any where any time so that you can keep on shooting say when traveling.

One of my backup process now is to plug in my SD card into my macbook then drag the folders of photos and videos into an external hard drive for backup. With WD My Passport Wireless, the process can probably be speed up a little. (Won’t know exactly how fast till I try it out myself.)

Other features of the WD My Passport Wireless includes:

  • Wireless save, access and share files (an even internet connection) with multiple devices at the same time.
  • Rechargeable battery that gives up to 6 hours of continuous video streaming and up to 20 hours of standby time.
  • Share and access files securely from your tablet and smartphone with WD’s My Cloud mobile app.
  • Wi-Fi password protection for all important files on the drive.
  • Ultra-fast USB 3.0 for faster file transfer of data.
  • Stream media to connected devices.
  • Use it as a Wi-Fi hub to share out internet connection with multiple devices.

You can find out more about WD My Passport Wireless at www.wdc.com/mypassportwireless.

While Mummy learns about the features of WD My Passport Wireless, Ayra got her hands into baking her own cookies at little House of dreams.

My Passport Wireless drive is available at selected Singapore retailers and online at the http://wdstore.com. 1TB drive will cost you S$299 and the 2TB at S$399. Anyone wants to buy one for me? Mummy’s birthday is in July ok. Thanks! smirks

Why Should One Consider a Double Stroller – Review of City Select 2014 by Baby Jogger

Before No. 2 arrived, I was looking out and considering to purchase a double stroller. I eventually did get the Contours Tandem Stroller when Zara was about 3 months but sold it off after using it twice. It was just too bulky to go out with.

We ended up using a single capella stroller to fit both of them when Zara was able to sit up on her own.

Ayra and Zara on Capella Stroller

Which was super dangerous! I seriously do not encourage anyone to try this at all.

Or on days we know we needed both of them in stroller, we bring two with us!
Garfield Run 2014 - Our First Family 3KM Fun Run

When we had a chance to test drive the new City Select stroller by Baby Jogger, I jumped into the opportunity. And now Ayra has been asking for it after our two weeks trial! Had to try lots of tricks to get her to accept the ones we have at home instead. Super headache!

Still too big…

Let’s start with the not so favourable points of the City Select with extra seat attached.

  • It is still heavy. Sometimes heavy stroller is good, cause it means it won’t fall if weight is not evenly spread across the stroller. In this case, we are glad it is heavy and steady, as it gives us better confidence that the stroller can take the weight of both our girls.
  • Storing can be quite a headache. There wasn’t space in the store room at home for this so we had it left opened and stored next to our dining table during our 2 weeks experience with it. The girls use it as seats while watching movies on TV!
  • Getting in and out of lifts can be rather challenging, especially in a packed one. We try to take the cargo or fireman lifts in shopping malls when we were out in the City Select. Lesser crowd and bigger lifts.

5 Sep 2014 - Sisters Bonding Time

But it works…

The girls loved it and could stay comfortable in the stroller through an entire day of shopping, with no cries nor protect. I was rather shocked when we took them out in the City Select over a long weekend when we had to bring them out.

Napping in the City Select is not a problem for one or both of them, it just shows how comfortable it is for the child when they snooze off whenever they feel like it, without any effort.
5 Sep 2014 - Sisters Bonding Time

Shopping in malls with City Select is more manageable compared to my previous experience with the other double stroller. This pushes with ease, turns well and is able to fit between shelves in stores. Just to avoid stores like Watsons where things are stacked openly and can get quite cramp between rows of stuff.

7 Sep 2014 - Family Shopping Trip to Westgate Mall

I even managed a trip to the mall alone with both of them!
5 Sep 2014 - Sisters Bonding Time

Why you should get a double stroller?

Cause mums shouldn’t stop going out just because we have more than one kid! Owning a double stroller means more outing opportunities with the kiddos even when alone. Do get one with big storage space and easy to use locking system.

Such a stroller is great for those who do not drive and go everywhere with just the train. Unlike most of the other Baby Jogger strollers, you got to remove the seats before you can close this one. Not that ideal for those who need to ride in cabs and 100% a no go for those who need to catch a bus! Even if you drive, unless you have a super huge boot space, else the stroller is just going to take up the entire boot with little or no room for anything else.

The City Select with two seats packed behind the Toyota Rush…

With plans to do away with our family car due to the little use for it these days, and the convenience of the LRT and MRT right from our doorstep, we may just get one double stroller next year! Now that we’ve tried the City Select, hope to try out other options before we decide which to invest in. How I wish there was a stroller rental service in Singapore that rents out all of Baby Jogger strollers!

Points to consider when buying a diaper bag featuring review of LÄSSIG Green Label Neckline Bag in Denim Blue

The search for a baby bags, nappy bags, diaper bags or just a big kick ass bag that holds everything in place in finally over! Since Ayra came into my life, I have been constantly buying new bags, almost one new bag every other months for the past 3 years! Some either were too big, too soft, too bulky or too small to be THE bag for me.

Lassig Green Label Neckline Diaper Bag Review

Thanks to Lässig, this crazy bag search is finally over! I have finally found THE ONE bag that brings me to work, brings me to play with my kids and to almost anywhere I need to go. This awesome bag has got numerous awards bagged too, including the most renowned Red Dot Award 2014 for Best of the Best in the Product Design category. It is great that this bag is made of 100% Recycled Polyester!

Lassig Green Label Neckline Diaper Bag Review

Read more to see the full list of cool features in photos and find out why this bag falls into most of the points to consider when buying a diaper bag. Continue reading “Points to consider when buying a diaper bag featuring review of LÄSSIG Green Label Neckline Bag in Denim Blue”

Things To Consider When Catering A Buffet

Here’s another quick Mum’s Hack!

I used to run events and gathering very often when I was running my own company. Back then I was tempted to start a site to allow others to compare, review and order directly with the best caterers that fits their budget and needs. Of course, nothing was done as I was too lazy. Got to know about this useful site through a friend and it was at great timing as I was planning to throw a small party for my two girls.

Continue reading “Things To Consider When Catering A Buffet”