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The East Coast is among my favorite places to hang out in Singapore. Wide open green spaces, the ocean front, paved paths for scenic bike rides, playgrounds, restaurants/cafes, and areas for picnics are all part of what the East Coast has to offer. It's a great hangout spot for kids and adults alike. Which is what led me to the idea of having my birthday party there a few months ago. I booked one of the picnic grill spots and threw a BBQ party. We had a great time and the party was a success partly because the location was just so great. A lovely breeze and a romantic view of sailboats bobbing in the ocean in front of us were the perfect props to the party. Being by the beach allowed the kids to be happily occupied with playing in the sand while the adults could get their time together. In addition, I had hired a BBQ-er and ordered a variety of different foods (veg and non-veg) through HungryBBQ.com, a great service if you're looking to outsource the messy job of BBQing food yourself. Someone comes and takes care of everything from setting up the grill, cooking the food, and cleaning up so that you can focus on the main task at hand - socializing with friends without the burden of cooking! Everything went off perfectly. Something to consider next time you're planning a party! :)

Moving on to the pictures...I'm sporting a boho chic look here with my hat (purchased from a hat store at Haji Lane), my tasseled Rebecca Minkoff cross body bag, and my Urban Revivo top (read about this relatively new brand here and how I love it!). I got here just in time to catch the sunset and it was beeeautiful!
Urban Revivo top | Gap jeans | Shoes from Charles & Keith | Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bag | Hat from street shopping at Haji Lane | Gorjana bracelet

Amongst the biggest challenges for many working moms is making time for exercise. There are always too many reasons and excuses to fall back on, such as a hectic schedule of juggling work and kids that demands so much of your time and energy. And the less time you get for working out, the more guilty you feel. It’s a vicious cycle. Am I right? Yep, I’ve been there and I don’t like it one bit. So I came up with a simple solution that works well for me. Start small. I decided to take a piecemeal approach to exercise. While making time to have an hour long workout may seem daunting, a short “bite-sized" workout (as I like to call it) always seems so much more doable. Ask yourself, can I make time for 20 minutes of exercise in my busy day? The answer is yes! 

Aaptiv is an app that I’ve found super conducive to my “working mom workout” needs! It’s an audio fitness app which offers various types of workout programs. What I like about it is that it includes the voice of well-known, professional trainers directing your workout and motivating you against the backdrop of high-energy beats. So whether it’s a cardio workout, a deep stretch, yoga, marathon training, or strength training that you’re looking for, Aaptiv has it all. I got attracted to it for its prenatal and postnatal workouts led by pregnancy guru and founder of FitBump, Kira Kohrherr. Aaptiv has these stroller workouts which you can do anywhere – your home, outside, or in the gym. They are all about 20-30 minutes long. To ensure that I lose as little time as possible, I quickly change into my gym clothes, roll out my yoga mat, put my baby Arjun on the bouncy chair in front of me, and get started one of the stroller workouts in my own living room. Super easy set-up and no time lost in commuting to the gym. This is how I’ve been getting my bite-sized workouts with the voice of a trainer that keeps me going. I honestly find it so effective and easy to fit into my day. As moms, we all know how you can’t always plan everything out. So whenever I see an opportunity to squeeze in a short workout, I do it. Sometimes it’s in the morning before work, other times in the evening. I aim to do these short workouts 3-4 times a week and while I may not always succeed, I feel glad knowing that I’m incorporating at least some level of fitness activity in my life! Postpartum fitness is a long journey and we all have to start somewhere. 

So what are you waiting for? Give my “bite-sized workout” idea a try and see if it works for you! Start off, start small. If you’re keen to try Aaptiv, download the app on your phone and use code BURPEES for a free 30-day trial (the app already gives new users a 7-day free trial). Good luck, busy mamas!

*We all know that everyone's pregnancy and post-pregnancy conditions are different. So for the maternity workouts, please be sure to consult your doctor first! 

Dress and shoes from Urban Revivo | YSL Purse | Sunglasses from Cole Haan
Guys, I think I've found my new favorite store in town. Have you visited Urban Revivo? I had never heard of this brand before I passed by its newly opened location in Plaza Singapura recently. It's actually a brand that started in China and is making its way across other cities in Asia. The store itself is huge and kind of reminded me of ZARA in terms of its setup, displays, and style sensibility. After trying on tons of stuff, I bought clothes for going back to work after my maternity leave and also some casual outfits. Case in point, this floral dress and yellow lace-up flats pictured below. I love the bright colors of the outfit against this whimsical mural. After all, I'm a sucker for color! 

As someone who travels often for work and for leisure, I have my packing routine down to a tee. One of the ways I make packing simple is by having a makeup/toiletry bag ready with all the essential travel-sized items. This way, everything is ready to go and I don’t need to think twice about whether I forgot to pack my lipstick, moisturizer or toothpaste.

So here are a few of my recent favorite beauty-related things which I can’t do without when traveling:

1. A comprehensive makeup case: If you’re like me, you probably have a couple different pouches to carry all your toiletry and makeup needs. But how about consolidating them and getting a case that can fit everything? The Kinzd Travel Cosmetic Case is super roomy and able to fit all my makeup and toiletry essentials. I’m talking compact, foundation, lipsticks, toothbrush, toothpaste, travel size face washes & moisturizers, and the bigger bottles and jars! It also has a separate compartment for storing makeup brushes, pencils, and eyeliners. It’s an ultra practical and spacious carrier for all my beauty needs. For all my followers, use code KINZD30 to get 30% off this cosmetic case (available in other colors too) and other products from the website. It is also available on Amazon at this link

2. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: For day or night use, this cleaner is great for all skin types. I love how my skin feels light and fresh after using it. I even love the smell of it, a very spa-like essence, which makes me like this product even more!

3. Erborian Yuza Double Lotion: This is a Korean brand which I only recently came to know about. A liquid lotion that you put on your face as a moisturizer? Yup, and it works so well! Yuza is a citrus fruit from Jeju Island in Korea. This explains the fresh, cistrusy smell you get from using this product. This lotion moisturizes while still being light on the skin. Highly recommend this for use in hot, tropical climates like Singapore!

4. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: Let’s face it, I’m no spring chicken. This Estee Lauder product is a night serum that promotes skin renewal and fights signs of aging. I’ve been using it daily and I feel like it gives my skin a dewy glow in the mornings.

5. Nars Powermatte LipPigment: Forgive me for being a bit slow to jump on the Nars bandwagon but wow! This Nars lipstain is amazing, you guys! The color lasts forever….and I mean, FOREVER. I wore it in the morning before leaving for work and it was still on at the end of the day. Pretty impressive! And perfect when you’re traveling and can’t be bothered to carry a lipstick with you everywhere for touchups.

Do try these items out if you can, they're perfect for traveling and keep your face looking fresh and hydrated! Do you have any beauty-related items that you absolutely must have when traveling?

Pattaya is a well-known spot for local Thais and tourists alike. At just a 2 hour drive from Bangkok, this beach town offers the quickest getaway from the mad hustle and bustle of the city. I have memories of going to the beaches of Pattaya with my family when I was a little kid. Back then in the ‘80s, Pattaya was a sleepy beach town with clean sand and waters, good food, and a relaxed pace of life. Cut to 10-15 years later and the place had exploded with hotels, become crowded with truckloads of visiting tourists and locals, seedy bars and “lady boy” cabaret shows, and dirty beaches. Not a good scene. I had avoided going there in recent years.

By now you may be wondering – is this a travel post in favor of or against Pattaya? Don’t worry, I have good things to say! A few weeks ago, I made a trip to Pattaya with my family, including my two boys of course. We had heard that there have been attempts to clean up Pattaya’s beaches and turn its image around to become more family friendly. And indeed, that is what we found! We did a bunch of activities during our 2 night stay and had a lovely time.

Besides the obvious activity of hitting up the beach, here’s a look at the top 5 “non-beachy” and family friendly things I would recommend doing while visiting Pattaya: 

1.     Silverlake Vineyard: A vineyard outside of Bangkok? Why yes! If you’re headed to Pattaya, this vineyard with its Italian countryside feel are a definite visit along the way. We walked around the beautiful fields, did a wine tour, and enjoyed a lovely Italian meal at the restaurant there.

2.     Sanctuary of Truth: This is a temple located in the heart of Pattaya but you would never know it unless you looked it up. Only by driving through some inner roads will you find yourself at this awe-inspiring wooden structure by the ocean. Work on the temple was initiated in 1981 and is expected to be completed in 2050! As you walk around this temple, you’ll be struck by how every square inch of space is filled with intricate carvings depicting traditional Buddhist and Hindu motifs and images. You can also do elephant and horse rides around this area.

3.     Pattaya Sheep Farm: There is apparently more than one sheep farm in Pattaya but this is the better known one. If you have kids, this is a must-visit for them. Guaranteed fun in feeding the sheep, goats, and alpacas here! There are several other farm animals to see as well as a small park with scenes depicting well-known fairytales (think Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Rapunzel, Alice in Wonderland, etc). The sheep farm definitely makes for a great photo op!

4.     Art in Paradise: With one location in Bangkok, this Pattaya attraction is great to visit with family and friends (even more so with kids). It’s a 3D art museum with impressive artwork that creates tricks on the eye. The whole purpose is to stand in front of these images and take photos that appear as if you have been transported into a different place or scene. It makes for an exciting and interactive time! Make sure your camera or phone is fully charged because you’ll be taking tons of photos!

5.     Massages: Massage places are a dime a dozen in Bangkok. Same story in Pattaya. Find a decent looking spa or massage spot and treat yourself to a relaxing massage. Now it really feels like you’re on a mini-vacay!

There are several other places that seemed interesting which we didn’t get to visit. Here is a resource which we found useful for family-friendly activities in Pattaya: link here.