AudSlave

Glamping in the city with Castra

I feel like I’m giving a media interview writing this blog post cos I’ve answered the questions so many times! hahaha.

But like all Colony spaces we build, it’s become a tradition for me to blog about the story behind it, and the process.

So a glamping site on our rooftop is an idea that came out of nowhere wtf.  It had a few mothers actually – reasons that gave birth to the idea hahaha.  Firstly is that part of our space at Star Boulevard came with the entire rooftop.

And the rooftop is nice one ok!  No concrete and metal things sticking out anywhere.  Unless you count the pergolas lolol.

When we were first building the offices below, we already wondered what we could do with the rooftop.  We toyed with the idea of building a rooftop bar (too done, and we were too low for the view to be outstanding anyway and a glass domed ballroom (too expensive, too heavy cos gotta build foundation for the glass roof and walls) among others.

In the end we left it but Fatty was always thinking of ways to maximize the rooftop space.  We already kept one section of the rooftop (the one with the view of the Petronas Twin Towers!) specially for small events like ROMs but the rest of it how??

One day, Fatty just randomly came up with the idea of a glamping site on the roof wtf.  I honestly don’t even remember how he even said it already.  But I know that there were many things we were pondering and this idea seemed to solve everything.

One, we were looking for ways to up our game.  We always go back to our mission which is to give people new and wow experiences when it came to work.

Two, we wanted to use up the space in a relatively light and easy way in case we had to reinstate everything at the end of our lease.

Three, we had received feedback from our guests and friends, one from Vivy who told me that while our meeting rooms are awesome, they can be a tad too formal especially when she wanted her team to break out and brainstorm between discussions.  So…. an informal, relaxed, yet private area that can be used for hanging out or work discussions?

Say no more.

As the idea of glamping in the city formed amongst us, I googled for ideas and got to the New York W Hotel rooftop glamping site.

I had seen travel bloggers post this before and I was very inspired to come up with something equally wow.

Hui Wen’s (of Soiree Lab!) idea was for our glamping site was to not be the same, but to complement the look and feel of what we had downstairs.  Our theme of New York Tribeca incorporated lots of rich, tactile materials, and we wanted to evoke that same luxurious feeling on the roof.

So we played around with different patterns and textures of fabrics.  We focused on soft, light furnishings because after all it’s a tent wtf and we wanted the space to be flexible to suit different uses of the space.  So think lots of cushions and poofs, cozy rugs and wicker furniture.  Everything would be easy to lift and move at a moment’s notice.

To bring the outdoors feel into the tents, we selected rich, earth toned colors.  Shades of browns, reds and cream, interspersed with pops of green in potted plants.  All to evoke a rich warm feeling hehehe.

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This was the space before we built it up!

Quite nice already right?

But see the low grey brick wall ahead?  It was dividing the space into two units actually damn inconvenient wtf.  Also the ground level there was split so it’s lower than the grassy area.  We had to knock down the wall, fill up the ground so it’s level, and hack the bushes away. :X

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Tadah!  We cleared away the vegetation, redid the landscaping and built a little paved pathway to connect the two “units”.  And installed our two beautiful white tents!

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This is the BBQ area.  Yes we have a stone sink, a proper BBQ grill and even a curved stone bench!  All grilling tools and dining ware are provided.  So if you choose to do barbecues here, all you gotta do is bring your meat wtf. Hahahaha

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One of our tents!  So we have two tents which are laid out for slightly different purposes.  This is the baby making bedroom tent!  The other tent is laid out more like a lounge, for hanging out or holding discussions.  However, both tents can be adapted quickly to sleep 5 people a tent!

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A peek into the bedroom tent.

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Here’s what it looks like inside!

See that tall wooden box?  The aircon unit is inside lolol.  When we came, we were all stunned cos we didn’t realize just how jarring it would look in our beautiful tent.  It was plastic white and black lol.  So Jason from Jarsche Design Studio constructed a wooden box to hide it.  It doesn’t block the cool air! lol.

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Mirror and clothes rack (not shown) to style yourself and hang your clothes for stay overs!

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The devil is in the details.

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I love all the different textured cushions Hui Wen found!

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Another view of the stone bench.

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These metal pergolas came existing with the space so we repurposed them to fit hammocks (and deck chairs)!

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On the lawn we placed crates and cushions for a picnic style dining table.

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And this is the lounge tent!  Personally this is my favorite tent but I can’t tell why hahahaha.

Note the poofs and movable furniture pieces.

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An aerial view.  The low couch on the right can be converted into a bed!

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Another view.

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Details~

Anyway there were lots of mistakes we made la, it being the first outdoor space I’ve worked on.  Everything is at the mercy of weather elements so we had to be very careful.  The tents are 100% waterproof but once I left the tent without sealing it off properly, and the next morning it was flooded cos of the rain. :X

Another time the umbrellas fixed to the little cafe tables blew off in the wind, and one of its spokes snapped. :X  It comes with a weight to weigh it down and we chose a 7 kg weight, thinking it would be enough.  It wasn’t lolol.

Since we built a bathroom up from scratch – yes got hot water and a comfy, lux shower lolol – we forgot important things like an air vent hahahaha.  Also a latch for the door which would keep swinging in the breeze.

It was also our first time installing Wifi routers and electrical cables outdoors!  We also installed strings of fairy lights across the whole area which are beautiful but also gave me a minor heart attack once when they shorted during an event wtf.

Being an outdoors space, maintenance is much higher.  Before we run tours or events, the team runs up to set up the space, put out the cushions and open the tents.  The hammock and cushions, while waterproof need to be cleaned very regularly to avoid dirt or mold gathering.  The Star Boulevard team have taken to keeping a change of clothes at work in case they get caught in the rain while on duty at Castra. :X  It’s a way more tedious job than maintaining our usual coworking spaces for sure.

But it was very interesting building the space la!  I think everyone agrees cos so many people turned up for our launch party cos they wanted to check it out and the response has been amazing. T____T

If you wanna check it out, you can too!  You can just walk in to Colony @ Star Boulevard and ask for a kepoh tour we don’t mind hahaha.

And if you’re looking to book the space for a party with your friends and family, or for company events sure! (Even more suitable now with covid 19 cos open air, hot so virus cannot live wtf, and don’t need to travel out of KL to get here hahaha.)  We are running an early bird 50% off promo for the first 10 bookings.  Last I heard 5 have been taken up.  Our website is HERE.

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AudAngry AudBirthdays

On turning 35

Yesterday I reached peak auntie-dom.

(I tried for five minutes to think how to describe what a Malaysian/Singaporean “auntie” is to people who aren’t from here and couldn’t wtf.  The best way to describe an “auntie” is I guess a slightly older woman, but age matters less than the behavior wtf.  An auntie is usually good at life hacks, especially related to household or budget related matters.  They are especially good at finding shopping deals, maximizing discounts, manuevering their way around supermarkets, cutting lines, and prone to scolding and nagging wtf.)

So as I grow older, I notice myself picking up some auntie tricks here and there (except cut lines omg I would never do that).  And yesterday I must have peaked because I “out-auntied” a 60 year old auntie.

I was waiting in my car at Fighter’s school with a couple of my friends and our kids for Fighter to finish school to pick him up.  Suddenly, as is usual with my stomach, cramps kicked in and I realized I really needed to go.

My friend Michelle told me there was a toilet next to the school guardhouse that I could use.  I hurried over to the friendly guard who told me I was welcome to use the toilet.  There was someone inside the bathroom so I waited until a man in a blue shirt exited the toilet, and I rushed in.

I hadn’t been in there for long when I heard a lady’s voice holler, “HELLO!”

Enter Transporter Auntie.

Now Transporter Auntie is one of the supporting cast in the daily ongoings of our Big Little Liars-esque lives lolol.  You know the school drop offs and pickups, the friendships with other moms, the play dates…. minus the domestic abuse la hahaha.

So our usual routine is to go to school early and park and wait, cos parking is really tight there.  We park in a little lot and Transporter Auntie goes there as well.  She’s known for shouting at people especially drivers wtf and for claiming a certain spot under a tree is hers cos “she always parks there”. Hello Auntie, you pay for the space meh? Got your name there meh? Anyway, I digress.

I didn’t reply because she didn’t knock on the door so I didn’t know who she was shouting at.

She hollered again, “HELLO! WHO IS INSIDE?”

WTF.  I replied calmly that I’m using the toilet.

“WHY SO LONG ONE!?”

Can you believe she started shouting at me from then, forcing me to answer to defend my dignity wtf.

She asked what I was doing inside WTF.  What else! Eating lunch meh.  I didn’t reply cos it was none of her business???

Then I heard her telling people outside, “She’s doing big business. Big business” WTF seriously I don’t know whether wanna laugh or cry wtf.

I could hear a man reply, “what to do, people gotta use, they gotta use la.”

I was so indignant that she went around telling people I’m pooping that I shouted back (while I was still on the toilet bowl ok), “Auntie! What I’m doing is my business but if I’m not out means I’m not done la!”

I then overheard her telling someone that I cut her line WTF.  That she was queuing up when someone talked to her so she went over, and then I entered and cut her.  Dude, it’s not cutting a line when you’re not even lining up for god’s sake.  I was so offended that she was falsely accusing me I yelled back that I didn’t cut her line and she wasn’t even there when I was.

She continued shouting at me!  She shouted that there’s a long line of people waiting, the bell is going to ring any minute now and the toilet is not only mine to use.  I shouted back that if she kept going, I’m going to stay inside longer WTF.  I was burning up then, I was so mad.  She shouted, ok good then you’ll be late to pick up you kids (wtf damn childish) and I shouted back equally childishly, so what if I’m late at least it’s not my job, unlike her wtf.

I furiously scrubbed my hands at the sink and yanked open the door.  Outside I saw a short line of people with the auntie at the front.  She turned when she saw me and said triumphantly, “There, there.  Come out already.” OMG the nerve.

I marched up to her, jabbed a finger in her direction and yelled, “Auntie, you are the rudest old woman I have ever met!  What’s wrong with you?  Why do you need to keep shouting at me when I’m in the toilet!? What do you think I’m doing inside? Sleeping?  Obviously I will come out when I’m done la!”

I must have been really angry because an older man, third in line, threw his hands up, and said, “Sorry sorry.”  Hahahahahaha.  I said, “I’m not talking to you, uncle! I’m talking to that rude auntie!”  I think maybe he was the man who replied her but he didn’t really say anything terrible.

I stormed off to my car to get Penny and told Sieu Ee and Michelle what happened.  School was out by then so we took the girls and walked back towards the school gate.  I passed the auntie again, now talking to another mother and I was still raging.  I went up to her again and repeated angrily, “Auntie, I’ll say it again.  You are really the rudest old lady ever.  I don’t know what’s wrong with you.”

Something changed though, and she turned to me with her hands up and said “Sorry sorry, it’s just that my urine was coming out’ WTF dude.  I was slightly mollified so I said “Please don’t ever do this to anyone else again.”

After I picked Fighter up at the gate, I had to pass her again.  This time she came up to me and put her arm around my shoulder and said, “Young mommy, don’t be angry okay. Auntie didn’t mean it.”  By then I had completely calmed down and was feeling slightly bad about scolding her the second time so I said okay okay.  And in the few days since then, we’ve been friendly saying hello to each other hahaha.

I don’t know why she changed so quickly from antagonistic and rude to apologetic and friendly.  Maybe she realized she was wrong.  Maybe nobody had ever spoken to her that way before and it got through to her.  For someone who used to scold other parents and drivers for even the smallest things, it was a huge improvement.

But that was the story of how I’m so auntie, I “out-auntied” a more senior, experienced auntie lolol.

I wrote this post because this week I turned 35.  Some of you have been reading this blog since I was… 19 and that’s insane.  That’s 16 years ago and nearly half of my life!

Age is catching up.  So many things I used to take for granted in my youth I noticed the differences today.

A month ago, I found my first silver hair (!!!)

My thinning hair problem was probably caused by age as well.

I have sun spots (small but they’re there).

I have crow’s feet at the corner of my eyes when I laugh.

Double eye bags appear under my left eye when I smile.

My ankle sometimes pops when I turn it a certain way.

I’m still quite thin but my arms have lost the certain gangly, coltish look that accompanies teenage limbs.

My cheekbones are sharper and my face slightly more angular.  My cheeks are less round.

I had migraines (but not anymore since I’ve been going to a chiro)

I now visit a chiropractor regularly wtf.

I have occasional pains and aches – wrist pain, neck pain, dunno what pain.  Some of it is due to my bad habits no doubt, but mostly due to age.

McDonald’s is still comfort food to me, but I don’t love it the way I did 15 years ago.

I have newfound appreciation for vegetables even more than lot of other foods now.

I read way more non fiction now, because I do like learning new different things.

I used to sleep till 12 pm every chance I got.  Now I prefer waking up early so I have more time for stuff.

I am more confident of my opinions and my values.

I am better at asserting myself.  See scolding Transporter Auntie incident wtf.

I have a clearer sense of myself.  What I’m good at, what I like, what looks good on me.  (and I have more $$$ to buy the things I like hahaha.)

All these little physical, mental and emotional changes add up to make 35 year old me today.  I may have aches and fine lines, but I am also the fittest I’ve ever been in my life.  I who never exercised finally gave in after too many naggings from my gynae (cos I will apparently be at risk of heart disease due to my preeclampsia) and I realized I like it.  I am taking care of myself much more than I ever did in my 20s, partly because I know I don’t have youth to fall back on anymore, but it’s so worth fixing whatever physical ailments I have.

I am older now, but I’m still pretty young and healthy.  I have no major health issues or chronic diseases.  Maybe how I feel will change as I age even more and start getting weaker but I have to say, I like being 35.  I used to be so scared of getting old because I’m very vain wtf.  But I’ve hit what I used to think of as “old” and I don’t feel half bad. 🙂  What I may have lost in sheer youth I make up in joyous experiences, new knowledge, self assurance, and even some wisdom. It also helps that I don’t look my age I guess LOL.

Bring it on, time!

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Audvertorial

How I got my hair back with Beaulife Clinic

A lot of people have been DM-ing me about my hair loss journey (actually should be called hair gain journey la wtf) cos I’ve been mentioning that I’m doing a hair loss treatment with my aesthetics sponsor Beaulife Clinic.

I didn’t want to post anything much until I completed the treatment which for me took about six months!  I’m guessing everyone’s treatment would take different amounts of time depending on the treatment and the seriousness of the case.

So I completed mine sometime late last year and just didn’t have time to sit down and write until now!  So here it is.

So long time followers would know that I’ve always had fine and thin hair; it’s a genetic trait from my mom and my brother Ooib has it too FHL.

It probably doesn’t help that I color my hair very frequently too wtf.

Sometimes people would ask me (luckily I’m not too thin skinned wtf) if I was experiencing hair loss problems just cos my hair was so fine.  My answer would always be no, I just have very fine hair.  Because it was true, I never noticed any drastic hair loss or changes in my hair, it had been flat and fine my whole life.

Until about a year ago.

Until now I’ve never noticed any distinct hair fall, so it must have happened very gradually.  To this day I don’t know the reason but very very slowly, my hair started to thin.  It got to a point that even I noticed it, although I was in denial for a while.

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Especially obvious in this damn Colony toilet hahahahah.  My hair was short so there was nothing to weigh it down but it remained flat.  And if you look at my parting, it was HUGE.  I had already flipped my hair around a bit here so my parting is not a straight line (volume trick wtf) but you can still see it.

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Another pic from my dark days wtf.  You can see that I styled my hair and curled it and everything — yet it remains super flat on top hahaha.  I compensated by taking pics from angles where it wasn’t so obvious.

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But boh pian when people take candids lolol.  I was at orientation in kindergarten here and you can see the light shining off my bald spot wtf.

By now my bald spot/big parting/lack of volume was really bothering me.  So to hide the fact that I was balding…. by getting hair extensions.

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Looks nice right!

There is nothing wrong with extensions; in fact, Number 76 and Hikky do a fantastic job and their extension quality is 100.  But extensions may not have been the best idea for the problem I was facing.

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See?  My bald spot was still shining and glorious wtf.

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The lighting here is better but trust me, it’s still there celebrating. wtf.

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My parting was really obvious!  My fringe wasn’t really parted very severely but you can see my parting all the way from the back to my hairline.

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My parting was pretty messy here so there’s no straight line, but instead you can see my scalp through my hair wtf.

In looming desperation, I contacted Beaulife Clinic.  I usually do facials and the occasional Botox with Beaulife and I’ve always been very happy with the results!  But they do a whole range of other things as well, and hair problems is one of them.

I can’t find any photos taken then but I did a consultation with Dr Leong who told me that in addition to my hair loss, I was probably having a scalp fungal infection too FML.  He prescribed a medicated shampoo which fixed it pretty quickly, and then he drew out a six month PRP treatment plan for me.

PRP therapy stands for platelet rich plasma therapy.  The doc basically takes my blood, spins it in a machine, extracts the platlets out of my blood and injects it into my scalp to stimulate hair growth.  I didn’t notice any more hair fall than usual but I suspect that my strands of hair were just getting thinner and less dense?  So the PRP is supposed to address that.

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After my first session of PRP. (you can actually see my scalp all the way from my forehead to the back of my skull wtf.)

After 1 or 2 sessions I noticed that my hair fall increased!  I freaked out but Dr Leong assured me that was normal, it was my hair cycle accelerating, and my old hair was dropping out because the follicles were starting to regenerate to produce new hair.

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Because of the numbing cream that they massage into my head before the injections, my hair is damn gross hahaahha after my sessions I have to go straight home to wash it off.

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Here’s a picture of the top of my head taken right before PRP started.  I have a parting wtf but because my hair was so sparse, it looked like my parting was just branching out all to the sides.

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This photo was taken after my last session of PRP.  My parting is still pretty distinct, but at least there are no more “mini partings” branching out from it anymore.  The width of it also looks reduced.

But the biggest difference is how I look from the front.

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I think this was halfway through my treatment …. so maybe 3 months in?  My hair had grown longer so I removed my extensions.  (One thing about my hair is that although its damn thin it also grows damn fast wtf)

At this point I didn’t see a difference yet.  My hair looked bouncier here cos of the lighter weight and it was blown out, but it was still definitely thin.  If you look closely you can still see my scalp.

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This was the second half of last year, I think I had maybe 1 or 2 treatments left.  The change was very gradual so when I took this photo I didn’t think that there was a difference.  But now when I look back, my hair already looked fuller!

I did my last PRP session towards the end of the year and for a while I wondered what to do next.  My hair looked about the same to me, maybe not as sparse anymore but I felt the difference was negligible.  I wondered if I should continue the treatment for a while more.

It wasn’t until our family trip to Shanghai a month after I finished PRP that I really noticed a significant difference!

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Us in Shanghai Disneyland.  My hair definitely looked fuller and had more body now.

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Here.  In case you forgot how my hair used to look wtf.

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This was taken on our cruise off Shanghai.  There’s a direct overhead light shining on my head so the parting still looks big but look at the hair around it on the top of my head!  Due to the lack of volume, my hair was always flat against my skull, but now you can see that the hair on top is puffing up nicely just like normal people. T______T I don’t remember the last time my hair had this effect, even with a blowout.

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Another picture on the same day.

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Compare to nine months ago before I did my PRP.  I seriously had no hair LOL.

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The next few photos were taken a few weeks after I noticed the big difference. Puffy hair on top T_______T

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Under bright overhead lights.  My hair looks so voluminous already!

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Very satisfied with the results! So grateful to the Beaulife team for helping me with my hair loss and self esteem. T______T

I blogged this cos really a lot of people have been asking me.  I’m not sure what other questions you have but let me try to answer what I think people would like to know.

How do I know PRP is right for me?

The best way to know is to go for a consultation with a certified, experienced doctor.  I went to BeauLife Clinic and consulted with Dr Leong.  He said PRP for hair growth generally works very well for women with Female Pattern Hair Loss, which is what I looked like I had.  It’s basically when hair follicles weaken, so hair that grows out drops more easily, and grows out finer and shorter.

He was right. 🙂

How much is it? How long will it take?

This depends on how severe your case is and how many sessions you will need.  The figure will be RM2-3K onwards at Beaulife.  I’ve been to many different aesthetics clinics in KL and find Beaulife the most reasonably priced.

 

Does it hurt?

I’m not that good with pain and it does hurt la.  This is with numbing cream too mind you.  It usually hurts more on the sides of my head and near my hairline.  But I guess if you have higher pain tolerance you’ll be fine hahahaha.

What should I expect in terms of results?

I would say be realistic.  PRP is not a hair transplant and it will not do magic.  However, it will strengthen your hair follicles so it can reach its full potential to grow stronger, thicker and longer hair.

Do I need to repeat this treatment?

I’m not a doctor but I understand that usually female or male pattern baldness is caused by genes or hormonal imbalances, which are not problems that will necessarily go away. So I’d say there will probably be times where I’d have to go back for a booster too.  Please check with your doctor about this.

If you have any other questions you can leave me a comment or DM or just contact Beaulife!  Their Instagram is @beaulifeclinic.

AudBaby

Report: First week of primary school

Nearly wasn’t gonna blog about this but I need to!  In fifty years, my goldfish memory will thank me wtf.

So the kids have started school since the 6th of January.  First morning was a mix of excitement, apprehension and nerves…. for all of us!  Yes even Mommy wtf.

The next two years are going to be horrible for school runs cos they’re in different schools! Here’s my routine:

7:30 am Fighter starts school so I have to drop him safely before that
7:40 am Penny starts her school (so I have to rush over to her school)
11:30 am Penny finishes school
1:00 pm Fighter finishes school

It’s horrible congested with parents and their cars so instead of sending Penny home after I pick her up and driving out again, I’ve decided to just pick Penny up from school, drive over to Fighter’s school to get a good parking spot, and just wait for him to finish.  We hang out in the car, I stock it with snacks in case she’s hungry and prepared a lot of Disney movies to watch on our car TV hahaha.  We usually wait an hour but it’s less stressful and less driving time for me.

So anyway first day!

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Kids on the first morning!  Very excited….

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In the main hall before they disperse to their respective classrooms. Still all smiles~

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But once enter the classroom he started getting nervous and eyes turned red lolol.  I can imagine how nervous he was though, sitting in a new classroom with new kids around him waiting for a strange teacher.  The reason why he was reluctant to leave kindergarten was cos he wanted his old teacher, and I know how important teachers are to kids this age!

In fact, the whole class was unusually quiet for a group of six and seven year olds!  I think all of them must have been very nervous poor things hahahaha.

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On the first day they allowed the parents to stick around and check on the kids at recess.  I signed Fighter up for school meal plans so he would have a reserved seat.  It was muffins and Milo that day so he was very happy hahahaha.

It helped that Fighter’s kindergarten friends’ mothers and I booked the whole table together so they could sit with their old friends!  Fighter was delighted and exclaimed, “Mommy I got to see all my old friends!”

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He got to see his girlfriend SY (who’s in a different class this year) too hahahaha.  She saw him when school ended and dragged her mother over so she could say hi to him hahahaha.

(Oh ya let me say that I think I wracked up don’t know how many kilometers that day wtf.  After I dropped Fighter off at school, I took Penny to her school.  Made sure she was ok, then turned back round to Fighter’s school for a parents’ orientation talk.  Then I waited to check on Fighter at recess.  Then I rushed back to Penny’s school to take her home.  And then drove back to Fighter’s to pick him up. I should be an Uber driver wtf.)

At the end of the first day I asked him how it was.  He came back a bit red eyed because apparently he wanted to go to the toilet after recess and his English teacher gave him an “angry look” wtf.  And he said she’s like “CCTV cos she stands outside the class and stares inside” WTF.

Two days later though, he announced, “Me and the English teacher are getting on better” hahahahaha as if they were in a fight like that!  Cos apparently she’s been playing games with them in class so she’s in everyone’s good books now wtf.  And he said “Time passes so fast now school doesn’t feel that long anymore.” Which I take as a very good sign cos time flies when you’re having fun right!?

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Other anecdotes:

I got a call from a strange number one morning.  Picked up and it was Fighter’s teacher, Mrs P calling to tell me Fighter fell down on the way to the canteen (why am I not surprised wtf) but he’s okay and they’re putting medicine on his leg and he’s fine to continue at school.

I asked him when he came home and he told me he was fine too!  He said he didn’t even cry, although there were tears in his eyes hahahaha.  And that Mrs P said he was very brave.  I was surprised and asked him, did she say it in English or Chinese?  He said Chinese, and I was even more surprised – does he know the Chinese word for brave?  Cos that’s not a super basic word, in fact I can’t even remember how to say it in Hokkien wtf.  He said yes, it’s yong gan and I was suitably impressed wtf.  I went, “Wow you know the word for ‘brave’?” He was all casual and said, “Yea I heard someone say it a few years ago” wtf my son I am in aweeeeee.

He also happily told me they were playing word games during Malay class where the teacher wrote words with blanks and the kids had to fill in the blanks correctly.  And Fighter got “segi tiga” correct and won points for the boys to beat the girls LOL 20 points to 10 ok hahaha.

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I’m so happy that he’s off to a good start!  And also very impressed that the class teacher was caring enough to call me and update me!  This is normal in kindy but I completely did not expect it in public primary school.

During another talk, the school also told us that not only there will be no exams for the first 3 years (as per the education ministry’s directive) but they also intend to focus not on rote memorization but in teaching the kids how to think and to develop their characters.  I’m really very pleased!  Cross fingers Fighter will do well.

And that was our first week of school!

AudParenting

Fighter doesn’t want to eat animals anymore

When your kids are four and six, you think you know them and roughly how life will be for the next fifteen years or so.  Then life throws you a curveball wtf.

This year for Christmas as usual we are back in Penang to celebrate with Fatty’s family!  On Christmas Eve, we went out to a Japanese restaurant for dinner.

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We had a nice corner of the restaurant to ourselves, the food came very quickly and was placed in pretty dishes along our table.  Everyone was chatting and eating, and we were having a nice time.

The saba shioyaki (grilled mackerel) arrived and my mother in law used her chopsticks to pluck some fish to offer to Fighter.

Suddenly, Fighter burst out wailing.  I didn’t even know how it happened, I was busy checking Penny’s bowl for fish bones.  All I knew is one moment there was peace, the other, Fighter was sobbing profusely. O_O

Between hiccups and sobs, I figured it out: He didn’t want to eat the fish because he just realized the fish was an animal that died so we could eat. T_______T

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Said fish wtf.

I was completely perplexed.  Sure, most of the time we help him cut up the food on his plate, but we also eat Asian style dishes most of the time where food is set out in its whole form – whole fish, even suckling pigs or whole ducks.  I’m very sure he’s seen it before.

So he either didn’t notice it before, or he never made the connection until now.  Whatever the reason is, he was bawling in the middle of the table, horrified and distraught at the thought that animals were dying for us.

Now this was an issue that I’d never given any thought to in my life until this year.  I gave up beef when Fighter was born cos I was praying for his recovery and return from the NICU.  For the same religious reasons, my parents and brother go Buddhist vegetarian – which is essentially vegan but without even onions and garlic – on the first and fifteenth days of every month.  I try to follow but don’t successfully nail it every time wtf.  Because garlic and onion damn hard to give up wtf.  But when I’m eating alone or I have a choice, I either grab a vegan meal or try to stick to fish… so, pescatarian?

My reasons are more to do with the impact that meat eating has on the environment though and not so much the moral impact of what humans are doing to the animals.  But here was my son, making that moral connection on his own.

Fighter was inconsolable and I could tell his grandparents were equally confused and frustrated.  So I brought him out of the restaurant and found somewhere quiet to sit down and talk to him.

“Fighter, can you tell me what you’re feeling?  You’re sad, aren’t you?”

Sniffling and hiccuping, he blurted, “I’m sad…. because…. the fish had to give up his life…..and he cannot live happily in the sea…. with his family and friends…” Then because the thought was unbearable, he started crying again.

Wowowowow out for Christmas dinner and suddenly gotta delve into deep topics like this wtf.  I can do this!

I wiped away his tears (and snot) and said, “You know, we eat meat because it gives us strength [sic] to live and protein to grow, especially for children.  But a lot of people feel the same way as you.  They don’t want to hurt animals too.  Like Grandma and Grandpa don’t eat animals on some days of the month.  That’s called being vegetarian.  We can keep talking about this.  If later on you still don’t want to eat animals, we can talk about going on a vegetarian diet.  But that means if you don’t eat animal protein, you need to get your protein from other food.  You need to learn to eat other foods you don’t normally like.  Like tofu, beans or mushrooms.  And more eggs.  Can you do that?”

He nodded earnestly.  And because I didn’t have a tissue, I wiped his nose with my fingers and wiped it on the chair WTF #shitmom

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And we went back into the restaurant.

…to find that in our absence, Penny had eaten all Fighter’s portion of the fish wtf.  Obviously not too bothered about the fish dying wtf.

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Still very upset.

He ended up eating garlic fried rice and tamagoyaki for the rest of dinner.

The next day, we had hotpot lunch where he stuck to soup, ribbon pasta (?) and vegetables.  For dinner he had rice with green beans and eggs.  Every time I ask him, he says he still feels a bit sad.

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With his egg and beans wtf.

I know if I convince him to eat meat, he will.  But I don’t want to at the moment because he’s developing his own moral compass.  I want him to figure out on his own (with some guidance from us of course) what’s right and wrong and build his own values. Children naturally have so much empathy and I believe it’s important to support and encourage it, not tamp down his empathy.  And I’m so proud!  That he made the connection, that he empathizes with the pain and suffering of other beings, and that it’s affected him enough to want to make a stand.

And since yesterday I’ve been googling for meatless recipes to make for him wtf.  It’s further complicated cos he starts primary school next week!  I’d been planning to make him simple bentos but most of my ideas involve meat of some kind wtf.  So if you have any good vegetarian recipes to share please do!  Or if you have any similar experiences, I’d love to hear from you too. <3

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Penny comforting her brother who’s “still a bit sad”. Hahahahaha.

AudBaby AudParenting AudSappy

Fighter graduates kindergarten!

It actually happened a month ago la wtf.

And it was the biggest event of November for me. T_____T

So leading up to it, Fighter would tell me now and then that he was worried he couldn’t remember the moves for his graduation performance wtf.  And I gently laughed it off each time, chalking it up to Fighter’s slightly anxious personality.

But then the day came…. and I didn’t expect to be overwhelmed with all these emotions I didn’t know I’d feel!

Photos first.

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Penny and her friend Kiesha (whose brother is Fighter’s classmate) running around like the princesses they are wtf.  This was before the ceremony started, when all the six year old graduates were in their classes, trying on their robes and caps.

After that we had to leave the very important graduates and go into the auditorium to wait for the ceremony to start.  There was a speech or two, some singing and then they started announcing the classes and giving out certificates of graduation from kindergarten!

I knew it was gonna happen – duh, why else would we be sitting in that auditorium wtf – but it still hit me right in the gut: my son is graduating kindergarten. T________T

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Look at this little boy. T3T All grown up and accepting his graduation certificate like a little man. T3T  Shaking hands with people some more.  Did I teach him how to shake hands. T3T

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He looks so proud, and if anything, I was even prouder.

And then, to my disbelief, Fighter proceeded to sweep up two prizes .  One was for ting xie/ejaan/spelling – every week they do a spelling test for either Mandarin, Malay or English and those with the best scores are awarded a trophy.  I think Fighter missed a 100% once or twice but evidently still good enough to get a trophy hahaha.

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Fighter had already told me he was getting two prizes, but he forgot what the other one was for.  His details sounded too vague to believe so I didn’t hahaha.  So yea I was so surprised when he picked up another award – for oustanding performance!  Honestly I have no idea what “outstanding performance” means cos suspiciously, they’re all boys LOL plus there’s already a top 3 in class.  This is a separate category.  I feel like “outstanding performance” actually means most improvement which I am very  happy about!

Fighter is the least naughty kid ever but I think he improved cos he used to cry a lot last year hahahaha.  His teacher Ms Ho said he got so much better this year plus he’s apparently hands down the best behaved child in class so that could be it wtf.

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Back in the classroom with his beloved Ms Ho, and Ms Photo Ruiner of the Year.

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My darling,

I am and have always been so proud of you but I didn’t know how much until I saw you walk on to that stage and receive your prizes.  I cried then, because I was so proud and honored to be your mother, and I also cried a little because every step you take feels like a step away from me (even though it shouldn’t.)

Every day I see you maturing and growing more and more independent.  You are sweet to your little sister, adore your father, and you are so forgiving of me when I am clumsy and accidentally hurt you or spoil your things wtf.  You are so independent now, going about your day, busy with your plans of play, and making your small decisions.  Yet at night when I put you to bed, you pull me close, snuggle against my arm and whisper “I like this mommy.”  And I am the center of your world again.

I didn’t have any notions when I got pregnant with you, but if I did have any, you would have blown them all wide open, the amazing little person you are.

I will cry again on the first day you start primary school, but if you ever read this, please know how much I love you and am proud of you.  It is a privilege to raise you (and Penny) and to watch you grow into the wonderful man I know you will be.

Love, Mommy.

(shit I write this own self want to cry again WTF)

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Here’s a vlog I made of that big day!  So glad I captured it — such great memories. <3

AudSlave AudSocialButterfly

Wedding fair at Colony

Hello!

Just an update on er myself wtf.  Since I always update about the kids I have to remind myself this blog is actually called Fourfeetnine hahaha.

So we’ve launched our fifth location, at Star Boulevard in August.  My job before this was primarily to design and build new centers and we’re actually done for the time being!  We’re going to focus on building up and stabilizing all our centers for now which essentially means I’m out of a job lolol.

So my job scope has changed a bit.  Luckily I still have a job wtf.  Since my background was advertising and social media, I’m going back to marketing (and sales) cannot escape wtf.  Star Boulevard is our biggest and newest center, so the priority was to promote it as much as possible. This is where I come in.

The truth is, I left marketing years ago cos I was very disillusioned with the industry wtf.  It was interesting and exciting and creative but eventually I got to a point where I didn’t see the point.  Advertising is basically fluff wtf.  :X After every campaign is over, it’s gone and there’s nothing to show for it.  Most of the time, you can’t even directly correlate sales to the ad campaign, and even if you can, clients don’t always share this information with agencies (which is where I worked).  In the end, I left because I felt like I was working so hard for nothing tangible in results.

So I was dreading going back into “marketing”.  I don’t know if it’s cos Colony is our own thing, or because I’m doing different things now but I’m quite enjoying it!  We have very capable heads of marketing and sales so I don’t need to do daily operations.  I do the fun things!  Like networking and forming relationships with our guests, and inviting over friends and clients (or clients who become friends wtf) to check out the space.  I’m a very clear extrovert so all these is not really work to me hahaha.

One special project that we worked on this quarter though was a wedding fair!

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See, we created this big beautiful (if I may so myself wtf) space that for the first time in the history of our spaces, is big enough to hold not just corporate events, but intimately sized weddings!

We’ve actually had enquiries before for weddings but none of our event spaces have been big enough to host a wedding…. until now!  Based on a round table configuration of 10 pax each, it can fit max 2o tables but I think 15 tables is a more comfortable number la.

It’s our first time going into this new industry so we’re very noob at it.  But it’s fun la because weddings!  So to kind of introduce our (little) ballroom and tell people that, “hey you can have weddings here too!”, we decided to throw a wedding fair.

The ballroom isn’t very big after all, and I hated the idea of a big ass mass produced wedding fair with booths.  So instead of a typical fair, I envisioned an event which upon walking in would feel like a whole wedding in itself.  We wanted couples to walk in and see the place done up as how a wedding would, and be able to envision their own wedding at Star Boulevard, down to not just the decorations but also canape and dessert setups, and a designated bridal suite.  We would have have only a select few vendors of each type, and these wedding vendors would be people who focused on creating unique, custom experiences for their couples, not churn out fast fixed packages for max profit.  Basically vendors I believe would share our values. 😀

The entire event flow would be exactly like a wedding.  A couple coming in would register at the registration table (like in a wedding), then our team would tour them around the space.  The ballroom would be done up on both sides in a wedding like way

It was my first time organizing something like this and honestly I’m not very organized la wtf.  Big big thanks goes to Sam and She Mun, our heads of sales and marketing, and their team for handling so much, so competently based on (sometimes) vague directives wtf.  They really made the whole thing happen.

Before further ado, here’s the list of the vendors we worked with:

Decorators:
Pathway Events
Soiree Lab
Whichkraft Projekt

Photographers:
Stories.my
Trees On The Moon

Catering:
Define.food

Baker:
Patisserie Rui

Photo booth:
Wonderbooth

Makeup artist:
MM Productions

Wedding shoes:
The White Atelier

Dresses/suits:
Topman (for men’s suits)
Armadale Weddings (for wedding dresses)
Lola Gowns (for evening gowns)

Without further ado! Let me spam a lot of pics wtf.

Some behind the scenes shots taken with my trusty Huawei before I move on to the nicer professional photos…

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Me taking ootd in front of Pathway’s giant mirror lol.

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Penny supervising the setup of Soiree Lab.

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My hair! Done by Maggie Mah of MM Productions.  Damn nice ok and she didn’t even use much hairspray but she secured it so well that I slept on it and woke up and it was still the same LOL.  So I wore my hair like that the next day again WTF.

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Maggie and Lumi!  The reason why we were all getting makeup done is because the whole place was already styled up so nicely so we decided to get it some friends to come and shoot and get some nice shots in.  Fatty and I did one with the kids too as flower boy and flower girl!  Photos in another post probably wtf.

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Snuck a picture of Careen doing her girl boss thing in the bridal suite.  As part of our wedding package, we designated one of our Luxe Suites as a bridal holding suite for brides and their entourage to get ready/touch up.  For the wedding fair though, we hosted our preferred partners like The White Atelier for customized shoes…

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Armadale for wedding gowns…

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Lola Gown for evening dresses and photoshoot dresses… And of course MM Productions for makeup and hair.

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Here’s the setup done by Pathway.

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And me with Povy and Derrick who rushed like crazy to make it in time for the shoot thank you guys. <3

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Vincent of Trees On The Moon, one of my favorite photographers at his little corner.

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And Grace of Stories.my whom I’ve always wanted to work with, at hers talking to a guest.

Now for the nice photos!  These were taken by one of our team, Lucas, and wtf, his photos so nice they look professional. T3T

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What greets you when you walk in – our reception table and a feature of our collaborators.

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This is Whichkraft’s setup on our rooftop. So perfect for ROMs T______T  This layout seats 40 but by extending the chairs on the side, we can fit a maximum of 70 people.

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With the Petronas Twin Towers as your backdrop. *swoons*

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Designated seating. ^^

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One last look before we say goodbye and head downstairs to the actual ballroom…

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Pathway Events’ setting!  One side of our ballroom is a brick wall while the other is coated in concrete paint for a old, industrial look.  I love how Pathway tweaked their colors and featured amethyst and maroon shades, which contrasted beautifully with the grey walls.

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Table setting.

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Another view.

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Patisserie Rui has been making our family’s cakes for years and I asked Rui to come onboard for our fair cos she’s reliable and her work is beautiful.  And I don’t even like cakes but Rui’s cakes are the only ones I’ll eat hahaha.  Her dessert table to complement Pathway’s setup blew me away though, I hadn’t actually seen her desserts and pastries before.

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Rui designed two different dessert tables  – for Pathway and Soiree Lab and little birds were the common denominator hehe.

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This is Rui’s dessert spread for Soiree Lab who went with a blush pink, pale blue, slightly Victorian vibe to their decorating!

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Omg these wedding cakes are love.

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Ngawwww.

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Soiree Lab’s centerpiece.

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Soiree Lab’s pretty bridal table chairs.

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Main table setting.

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A little nook SL set up.  For photo purposes I presume, and also so you can grab a cookie off the wall that comes with their contact info hahaha.

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Stories & TOTM.

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With a lot of couples looking through their stuff!

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Some of our partner photographers’ works.

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Hui Wen doing her thing.

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The canapes by Define:Food!  Maybe cos Define is our F&B partner but also cos their food is consistently good, they are like comfort food to me now. T3T  Thanks Define for nourishing us throughout those two days.

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I a sucker for salmon wtf.

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Photobooth setup by Whichkraft Projekt who although they do everything now, used to be balloon specialists!

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What would a party be without these two?  (And macarons wtf.)

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OH YA had a lucky draw too wtf.  The grand prize was a free wedding venue on any date of the couple’s choice, plus a bridal makeup package by MM Production. Congratulations guys!  Honestly they looked so stunned when I called their names that I didn’t know if they were happy to win WTF.  I think they were la ha ha ha *nervous laugh wtf.

So there you have it — our first wedding fair at Colony!  I really enjoyed the event actually – it was fun and turned out gorgeous and ran well, even though I blundered my way through it wtf.  It’s really thanks to the sales and marketing teams la what would it be without them wtf.

If you’re interested in enquiring about a space for your wedding/party/meeting/workshop/whatever hit us up!  Here’s our website or you can just email me or leave a comment here. <3

AudBirthdays

Fighter turns six

Okay la he’s been six for a month now so I’m obviously very late wtf. But I want to blog about his birthday party cos I ownself think it’s very creative! No thanks to me wtf.

So for months before, Fighter had been asking me for a birthday party. I layan only cos it was months away and I thought he might eventually forget about it.  I damn lazy organize a party la ok hahahaha.

But no!  Three weeks before his birthday he was still narrating to me details about his dream party wtf.  He even decided on the theme, which was Roblox, an online gaming platform he’s obsessed with.  The games are user created so there are like hundreds and you just choose which game to enter and play.  (Apparently it’s something like Minecraft but I wouldn’t know, having never played either wtf.)

So in a mild panic, I called up the resources I had at hand wtf.  Luckily I’ve been a mom for six years now so I have some contacts already.  (Mom life hack: keep the number of every single baker, party planner, clown, magician, caterer you come across in your life wtf)

We already launched Colony Star Boulevard recently so woot free venue!  No brainer really.  Naturally I got the catering from Define.Food who gave us extraordinarily yummy food for a kids’ party lol.

And for entertainment, I hired our phonics and reading teacher, Minn.  She’s @sieuminnn on Instagram if you wanna look her up and on the side, she organizes party activities for children.  For Penny’s 4th birthday earlier this year, we had a Moana themed party.  Her friends are mostly three to four year olds, so Minn planned different stations of hands on and sensory play – from catching fish, to making blue slime, to sensory play with blue jelly.  Her friends’ older siblings also played for hours!  It basically kept the kids occupied, the parents relaxed, and I think it was a much better investment than a clown or magician who performs for half an hour. :X

Anyway for Fighter’s Roblox party I told Minn that his favorite game was called Natural Disaster Survival where duh you run around the city and avoid natural disasters wtf.  He likes those kind of things la!  He’s very interested in natural disasters and cities so it was no wonder wtf.

So Minn came up with such ingenious ideas that combined all his interests! Her main idea was that an hour before guests arrive, the party would already start for Fighter and Penny.  Because together, they would “build a city” before his friends came, which would encompass the city part.  Then when his friends got here, they would all then act as “natural disasters” as called out by Minn – hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes – and destroy the city together hahahaha.

I loved the idea because not only would the kids be learning about erm natural disasters, they’d also be working together to rebuild the city afterwards, and they got to expend their energy in a fun and creative way knocking down the city!

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Hired a balloon specialist to put up some balloons and signs!

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Roblox cake from Patisserie Rui in Mont Kiara.  F*ck fondant cakes la I always go for cream now cos fondant may look good but it’s so disgusting and there’s always so much wastage!  Rui did such a good job with this Roblox butter cream cake.

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So this was an hour before the party.  Minn spent weeks collecting old cardboard boxes to be used to build the city.  So we spent an hour assembling boxes so Fighter could plan and build his city.

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Minn also prepared paper cups for them to build with!  Fighter’s pyramid damn nice and meticulous ok!

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Penny’s one.  Not as meticulous lol.

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Fighter called his city Jude City hahahaha.

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Both of them even built an entrance to Jude City!

Each building was labeled with a name too: school, office, condominium, hospital, and so on.  Fighter and Penny created the buildings based on what they imagined each building type would look like.

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Besides that, we had a Roblox avatar making station.  Before starting, kids could make their own avatars using satay sticks, marshmallows and candy.

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And we also prepared a Goodie Bag Design station – for children to draw and name their own goodie bags….

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Because prior to that, we’d hidden little goodies and snacks all around the city for the kids to find!  Minn prepared a list of goodies that they’d have to find and they could keep all those in their bags.

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Fighter welcoming his friends to his party with a speech.  He really not shy ah I love it!

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Explaining the rules of the games to his friends.

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Penny and her friend Kiesha hehehe.  They were classmates last year but got separated this year cos Penny changed schools.  Reunited again next year though for kindergarten!

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Searching for her goodies.

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And telling her friend where to get the good stuff hahaha.

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And then it was city destroying time!

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Look at this boy damn happy hahahaha.

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OMG.

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Why she going all Street Fighter hahahahaa.

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Hahahah the kids had SO much fun pretending to be disasters.

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After that they had to rebuild for the next round…

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The amazing thing was how they put their heads together and collaborated…

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To produce way more impressive structures than we adults could have.

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Look at this!

And after they’d set up a new city, they knocked everything down again.  Repeat 1000 and they had a blast every time!

 

 

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While the grown ups indulged in Define.Food‘s buffet!

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They did an all new menu for us and it was so good omg. Creamy chicken potato pie, Salmon kale salad, Honey mustard, Penne wagyu bolognese and Oriental baked white fish.  I didn’t have the penne cos it’s beef but I heard really good feedback on everything!  Even the kale salad was good dude. Kale wtf.

So you know, if you’re considering throwing a party at Star Boulevard (we take bookings!) you know the food is gonna be good hehehe.

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Penny and their baby cousin.  She loves babies and she carts him around like he’s her baby doll hahaha.

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On the left is Uncle Nantha, our company driver and dispatch.  Penny loves him and calls him her Baby FHL hahahahaha.

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All these lovely children. <3

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When you cannot reach, all you gotta do is ask for a hand hehe.  I’m posting a lot of pictures of the kids building cos we grown ups were really fascinated with the kids’ tenacity in building (and destroying wtf) and creativity.

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We also had empty alcohol boxes, pizza boxes and egg cartons as supplies hahaha.

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Tired from building and destroying hahaha.

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One last picture.

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These four are very proud of their creation hahaha.

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Mochi is still a mochi.

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Then cake cutting time!

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Happy sixth birthday my darling beautiful boy!

Every day that passes you get smarter and smarter and slightly more annoying cos you know how to debate and I cannot brush you off anymore wtf. Hahahaha kidding!  You amaze us every day with what you know, while your personality continues to be compassionate and loving.  It’s a pleasure being your mommy.

 

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Here!  Remember how much you love me now in five years time when you become a teenager and start throwing teenager tantrums LOL.

Love, Mommy.

[Oh yea I’m not just saying this cos Colony is our company, but our event spaces are perfect for parties – birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, etc. Star Boulevard is especially so cos Define Food is right there as an available caterer, and their food is consistently yummy.  So if you’re looking for a private party space, leave a comment, DM me on Instagram or email or just head to colony.work to enquire!]

 

 

AudDesign AudSlave

Behind the scenes at Colony @ Star Boulevard

Hello!!

After every Colony is completed, I make it a point to blog about the whole renovation process and the idea and story behind it.

You can read about the other spaces here:

Colony @ KLCC
Colony @ KL Eco City
Colony @ KL Sentral
Colony @ Mutiara Damansara

So this blog post is for you, Colony @ Star Boulevard. *points gun finger wtf

(in case you’re wondering where it is, Star Boulevard is on Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, directly opposite KLCC and the Petronas Twin Towers.)

So this one. I’ve never cried for a building project but there’s a first for everything. *brave smile wtf* This is our fifth center so by right, I should be used to handling building projects now but for some reason, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  I have some experience under my belt, but I learned that you can continue to make new mistakes lolol.  I made so many mistakes.

I won’t write in detail cos too much to say lol.  But we had so many problems. Delay for 3 months (when each Colony is completed from start to end in six months).  We had different business goals  and products in mind for this location and we struggled to find a way to maximize the usage of the space.  We struggled whether wanna build a mezzanine or not cos we have double height ceilings here.  (Sometimes I feel like the bigger the space and the more possibilities, the more problems you have.  Better give me some limits and I work with those hahaha. ) I struggled with building management.  I struggled with more mansplainers oh god there are so many.

But we also had so much talent on our side.  For this Colony, we worked with Alex and Michael of 161 London, a London based design firm that specializes in ultra luxe property designs.  The kind you see you feel like you’re stepping on money hahahaha.  But seriously their designs are mega glam and gorgeous.  Alex is a uni mate of Fatty’s who saw the work we’ve been doing on Colony and wanted to design one project for us.  So we gave them our flagship location.

To support 161 (and what a huge support they turned out to be), we had Katrine of Hoe & Yin.  161 is based in the UK so obviously it wasn’t feasible to have them on site every day for six months.  So Katrine (who’s done three other Colonies) stepped in.  She took Alex and Mike’s key designs and ran with it, designing and adding on more areas and elements to produce a cohesive integrated space.  She had a tough job I knew, because which designer would voluntarily take on another designer’s idea and execute it hahahaha.  But she did and did it well.

And then I also had my beloved Hui Wen of Soiree Lab to help with the styling.  I was blown away by her work on Colony @ Mutiara Damansara so I last minute pulled her in to Star Boulevard.  And she didn’t disappoint!  All her little details and handiwork pulled together the space until I wanna cry hahahaha.

The design

When we surveyed Star Boulevard initially we were already so impressed with the blank space hahaha.  Double height ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, tons of natural light.  It didn’t come without its own drawbacks though – because our ceilings were so high, costs to do things like partitions and air conditioning etc increased accordingly.  Basically everything doubled la cos the height is double.

I initially wanted to do a mezzanine some more ok.  But DBKL rejected our application LOL story of my life.  In retrospect, it worked out for the best cos I think a mezzanine would end up taking away from the gorgeous ceiling height.  Plus save money wtf.

So I wanted a design theme that would make the most out of what the space already had.  I settled on something I call At Home in Tribeca (I am really making things up as I go wtf).  So Tribeca in Manhattan, NYC, used to be a commercial hub with shops and warehouses before a lot of its buildings were converted to residences and artists’ lofts in recent years.  Beautiful old brick buildings still stand though so my inspiration for Colony Star came from this.

I modeled our design after how I imagine a home in Tribeca would look – structural elements of exposed brick, steel beams, and timber floors.  But I also visualized that someone living in Manhattan would have some money at their disposal hahaha.  I imagined a person who maybe comes from old money whose furniture and knick knacks would look somehow rich and lavish, of quality, yet older or more vintage looking.  And nothing too flashy because when you’re used to having money, you don’t care about showing it off. Lol.

Without further ado wtf, revealing Colony @ Star Boulevard!

 

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Welcome from the main doors! wtf.  We constructed two solid timber doors, inlaid with glass and decorated with carved curliques at the bottom (not seen in picture).  The doors open up to a corridor made of white wood …stilts? I don’t know what to call them hahaha with flowering plants flanking them.

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And the corridor leads right up to our main reception/concierge!  Hello Alan and Nurul!

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Is it gorgeous or is it gorgeous. T3T  In keeping with the design theme, the reception table is made of cement, marble and gold.

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Here’s our lounge area which we call The Library!  The stuff of my dreams can you believe how pretty it is T_____T

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Another angle.  Photo a bit dark but my lazy ass can’t be bothered to edit this is already the second time I’m writing this blog post ok WordPress didn’t save my first version boo. T_T

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This photo wall came from Katrine! (who filled up all the gaps with finesse hehe). I super love it, one of my favorite areas.

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And this might be the most amazing thing Hui Wen sourced for us – a real drum that we are using as a side table!  Also, note the paisley and floral print patches that adorn our leather couches.  I imagined the leather furniture as family heirlooms and rather than throwing them out, the owner just patched it up lovingly hahahaha.  I love how quirky and vintage the sofas look.

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The beautiful embroidered cushions are sourced by Hui Wen too.  We finished off the look with leather trunks that serve as coffee tables and Persian style rugs.

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Initial idea was to completely fill the bookshelves with books (library duh) but I think it’s nice to have little gaps to peek through to the restaurant area!

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And this is our restaurant area!  Define:Food is our restaurant partner and we have a full kitchen here which means not just snacks, but freshly cooked hot meals and great coffee, thanks to their fancy coffee machine hahaha.

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I’m not lying when I say their food is good!  The truffle fries is my weakness bye waist line wtf.  They also catered for Fighter’s birthday party and we got so many positive comments.

They are a fully operational restaurant and they’re open to public and walk ins!  Don’t need to be a guest at Colony to enjoy their food.  Define’s opening hours are:

Monday to Thursday – 10am to 6pm
Friday & Sat – 10am to 10pm (open for dinner!)

To make a booking, you can call 011 3769 1163 (Rizdwan).

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The bar.

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Our conference room!  This is our biggest yet, and seats twenty.  At night when Define:Food opens for dinner, this can be converted to a private dining area!

Our function rooms are always named after explorers, pioneers or trailblazers so this conference room is called Da Gama.  And our other meeting room is Austen because there must always be a female trailblazer included in every Colony hehe.

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Our kids room is called Lightyear hehehe geddit.

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And this! *deep breath wtf* This is our event space slash ballroom.  This was actually a later addition to our plans we I literally went on Pinterest and said let’s do this wtf.  We went with interlocked timber floors, and hacked out the cement to expose the red bricks in the walls.  All balanced out with huge gold chandeliers.

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A cosy sitting area that can be used as a holding area or cocktail area hehe.

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We also installed foldable partitions to divide the space so it can be used in creative ways!

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For guests who have access cards we have a private entrance for them so they can enter straight to their workspaces without walking through the cafe and ballroom.

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Our open working area!  This is for people who don’t need an entire private office, so you can book by seat.  The inspiration for this is an outdoor courtyard, complete with Mediterranean style tiles and creeping vines.

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Assorted glass lamps. <3

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And these are our signature Luxe Suites!  As always, our Luxe Suites come with fully adjustable ergonomic chairs and tables.  Tables come equipped with phone charging capabilities and height can be adjusted to even up to a standing table!

Every suite is smart controlled via Google Home, and comes with a sitting area, a flat screen TV, a minibar and fridge, and snacks.  Personal butler service is also available.

Another interesting bite (I say own self one wtf) is every suite is named after a former colony!  Above is the Georgia Suite.  We customized the wallpaper in every suite too, to reflect its name.  Georgia is famous for peach orchards so those are peach trees in view hehe.

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The Hong Kong suite has koi fish and chrysanthemums!

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My favorite is the India Suite cos of the gorgeous elephant, tiger and peacock prints.

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Hummingbirds for the Jamaica Suite, cos that’s the national bird.

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The Kamerun suite.  Kamerun is actually the German spelling for Cameroon cos it was  German colony.  It’s known for bananas.

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These are our phone booths.  Meant for people who need some privacy to make calls. ^^ Styling is Hui Wen too.

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And last but not least, our rooftop!  Wanna get married with this view? *eyebrows wiggling wtf

Hahahaha seriously I think it would be perfect for brand launches and ROMs before heading downstairs for food and more celebrations hehe.

So we’ve always hosted brand and corporate events at our spaces but this is the first space that is suitable for hosting smaller weddings and solemnizations.  We are done building new locations for the year, so for now I will  be switching roles actually, and focusing on opening our market towards weddings.  Which is super fun and appeals to the idealistic side of me haahaha.

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So if you’re getting married, look us up for more info or to book a tour!  Don’t let me wait until these two get married WTF. Hahahaha.

Until next time guys!

 

AudParenting

How to make a homeless care kit

When Fighter was quarantined with the flu a few weeks back, I kept Penny at home too just in case she’d actually caught it too.  At some point, Fighter was better already and Penny was perfectly fine so I had two preschoolers going slightly stir crazy at home.  I started googling for indoor activities, thinking we could do some arts and crafts at home.

I came across this idea called “homeless care packages”.

They’re basically little packages filled with items that would be very useful to a person living on the streets.  We live in the city, so very often we see homeless people sleeping around our neighborhood.  The critters have also noticed them and asked us about them so I thought this would be a great project that we could do together.

Before we had kids, Fatty and I used to occasionally volunteer at a soup kitchen in KL.  I blogged about it HERE.  The soup kitchen would organize trips with volunteers, usually at night.  Donors would supply foodstuff like packets of rice or noodles, some fruits, snacks and water and we would travel around the city and disperse them.  We stopped when the kids were born – I guess too busy with midnight feeds and I forgot about it also.  Recently I thought of rejoining these trips but then I also heard that they’re doing very well and packed with volunteers!  So this is also the perfect way to do something else to help!

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I told the kids about my idea and asked if they wanted to help.  Fighter immediately said he wanted to but Penny frowned and said, “No. I want to do arts and crafts.”

Me: “We can do arts and crafts too!  We won’t do homeless kits today anyway cos we still need to go out and get some supplies.  You want to help me and Koko?”

Penny: “No! I wanna do arts and crafts!”

Me: “But listen Baby. Don’t you want to help people who are poor?  They have a very tough time cos they don’t have a house or anyone to take care of them.’

Penny: “No.”

Me: “Next time if Mommy and Daddy are not around and lots of bad things happen and you have no one to take care of you and no house to live in, wouldn’t you like someone to help you like we can help these people now?”

Fighter: *nods earnestly*

Penny: “Nope. I don’t want.”

At this point I had a feeling she was just saying no cos she knew I wanted her to say yes. -_-

Me: “Fine.  You can play your own things and Koko and I will make the homeless kits.”

Penny: “Okay.  But Mommy can you help me open this box (of Playdoh)?”

Me: “No. Do it yourself.  Since you don’t want to help other people, don’t expect people to help you.”  My words were pretty mean, but I was super shocked and angry with her.  I don’t know when kids get better at thinking about others – is four too young?  But I remember Fighter at four was already very aware of people’s feelings.  I was angry with her not for lacking compassion, but for being so stubborn and for refusing to even help me when I asked.

Penny burst into tears.

I made as if to leave the room to join Koko in his room.

Penny cried and ran after me.

There followed half an hour of sobbing as she tried to get her emotions under control.  When she finally calmed down enough, I hugged her and asked, “Who takes care of you, Baby?”

Penny: *sniffling* “Mommy and Dada.”

Me: “Yes.  Why do we take care of you?”

Penny: “Because you want me to be safe.” Wah where did this come from why so self aware one lolol.

Me: “Yes but we also do it because we love you and want you to be okay.  Some people in the world have nobody to take care of them.  They have no money and no home and it’s very hard for them to be outside and feeling unsafe and hungry all the time.  It’s so tiring for them but it’s so easy for us to do something small to help them.”

Penny: “But I’m also tired.”

Me: “Not as bad as them.  If you’re tired you can always go to your bed and rest.  They don’t even have beds.  Where are they going to sleep if they’re tired?”

Penny keeps quiet.

Me: “We might be tired doing some work, but we are still better than them.  Next time if Mommy and Dada are not around, I hope there are people who will also help you if you need help.  That’s what we are doing now, just helping people who are more poor thing than us. Do you want to help Mommy help poor people?”

Penny nodded earnestly.

Honestly I still don’t know if she really understood what I was trying to say or she was just trying to please me wtf.  But I think at least some of it got into her head cos the next time she saw my parents, she asked my mom, “Grandma, are you poor?”

Mummy Ooi jokingly said, “Yes, we’re poor. Why ah?”

Penny: “Oh ok do you need any help?  Mommy said we must help poor people.”

HAHAHAHAHAHA WTF.  Baby steps ok baby steps wtf.

Anyway, homeless care kit!

I googled for what we could include in our care kits and compiled what I thought would work best for our climate and environment.  Then I went out and bought the supplies.  All in all, they cost me around RM 100 for twelve kits.

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The kids making kits!  Advertising for Guardian here wtf #notreally #notanad lolol

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They did everything themselves with minimal supervision!  Unwrapping the packages, putting things into bags and counting and making sure they check off everything and put one of each into each bag…

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This is one of our care kits.  I used ziploc bags (not the most environmentally friendly option) but waterproof and reusable and pretty useful in general.  We put in toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary pad (very useful for women), wet wipes, a little packet of body wash.  The small white tube is lip balm which we made ourselves at home!  Cos I found drugstore lip balms very not worth it – around RM 15 each?  I went out and bought my own lip balm cases, beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter.  I think total cost less than RM 15 per piece lo for sure and I made enough extra for the kids to use too.

I also added a packet of biscuits.  Other options of food could be granola bars since they’re supposed to be high energy or high protein or something right hahaha but seems quite ang moh and elite I don’t know if the average person here can appreciate it hahaha.

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Here’s a list I made of things you could potentially put in too if you’re thinking of doing this!  Most of the items are sanitary products or toiletries cos I imagine if people had spare cash, they’d probably spend it on food.  Hygiene products are probably not high on their shopping list but goes a long way to making someone feel more “human” I think.  I mean I know *I* feel better after a good shower or brushing my teeth lol.  Plus I think if someone living on the street is trying to look for a job in the meantime, it would be so good for them to get presentable.

Our next batch I think I will also add in tissue paper, a plastic fork or spoon, and a bottle of water if it fits.

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The critters ended up really excited and happy to make these kits!  Big change from that day my big fight with Penny wtf.  We made about twelve of these and I planned to keep them in my car so if we’re driving around and happen to see anyone who needs it, we can just hand them one.

So remember I said we see a lot of homeless people around our house?  The other day we were on the way back from our condo pool when we saw a man sleeping at the bus stop outside our condo.

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So when we got home, we grabbed one of our kits, plus a spare package of biscuits, and the kids put both next to the sleeping man.  He didn’t stir or budge.  At night Fatty and I took a walk outside and we saw the man still sleeping there. O_O The care kit had fallen to the ground but he was still sleeping.

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But later on, when we walked back, he’d disappeared along with the biscuits and the care kit. I hope he took them with him and found them useful. 🙂

Showed the kids this pic and they worriedly asked, “What if he finishes using the toothpaste?” lololol then we give him again la wtf.

In my last post, I wrote about the importance of empathy.   I think this project is a good start to getting kids involved and not just talking to them about it. ^^