My 32nd Birthday | Burnt Orange

I couldn’t have asked for more this birthday. I had my dearest friends join me for a relaxing, long lunch at Burnt Orange in Mosman. The weather was just perfect for it, as well.

Life’s journey is amazing. This year was the first time I had to book high chairs and pram spots for my birthday! In the past, I was practically the only one with a kid whom I would leave with my parents while I enjoyed my birthday celebrations with friends who had not started families. This year, almost everyone had a child (if not, two!).

When you take a moment to reflect, this is life and the amazing experiences it blesses you with. Thank you, Jesus, for blessing me with all that you have in the past 32 years and such a wonderful birthday!

Burnt Orange is the perfect spot for family-friendly long lunches. The food is absolutely amazing. There was a huge selection of salads and healthy lunch optionss. My BFF got me the Strawberry & Watermelon cake from Black Star Pastry, which I had been dying to try for a long time. Even after the cake, I still wanted to top up my sweet tooth with the Eaton Mess dessert on the menu. Sadly, we ran out of time for our lunch booking and didn’t have time to order dessert. Oh well! This poses the perfect excuse to go and have lunch again. The staff were very friendly as well. According to well known sources, the Watermelon cake is very challenging to cut. The restaurant staff did not seem to have any problems cutting it into the 12 pieces we had asked for. Well done!

I was showered with the perfect gifts. My friends just know me too well. They were all very practical things; I love practical gifts. They ranged from health products, yoga gear, soy candles, organic skincare etc.

The rest of the day was spent with the IBF, at the cinemas and a Korean dinner.

I ate twice the calorie allowance but I don’t feel guilty at all! It’s my birthday and I’m allowed to let myself go once in a while, right?

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How To Be Compassionate Without Draining Yourself |Healthy Living

I’ve always wondered why I seem to attract ‘negative energy’. Well, not in a sense that I’m a negative person but more so that it seems I’m everyone’s Agony Aunt or the go-to person for depressing matters.

Over the years, I’ve found that I do get affected by the emotions that others share with me.

And my biggest problem? I don’t know where to draw the line and say, ‘no’, when I can’t cope. So, I’ve ended up letting others’ negative emotions affect me and instead of finding ‘compassion’ ( for myself as well ), I take in all the emotions until my emotional sponge is saturated with a particular depressing person/friend and when it becomes too much, I just shut off and distant myself away from him/her. And when I say ‘distant’, I mean a loooong distance whereby I avoid him/her for an extended period of time until I have recovered or until I have forgotten about how he/she made me feel. Most of the time, this doesn’t work because I would have exhausted myself by then and the ‘depressing friend’ has absolutely no idea why I decided to abruptly abandon him/her.

Now, I came across this article that was shared on Facebook. Gosh, could I relate to it??

So, it’s not just me after all ! I’m so thankful for this article by Judith Orloff and the tips it offers to what it describes as ‘empaths’, like me….

I feel like there are some easy management mechanisms that I need to adopt from the article.

Why I’m not a “true yogi”

Jo Lau:

Can’t agree more!

Originally posted on Yoga & Joyful Living:

I’ve come across an article that cheekily asks:

Are you obsessed with yoga? Are you a true yogi?

If in doubt, some guidance is being offered (as any psychologist will confirm, the person affected by an obsession is usually the last one to realise, so yes, we’re being thankful here!). Please, peruse with me the list that left me in a state of shock and inner turmoil. Why?

Well, as it turns out, I’m not a true yogi at all. Not a bit. I’m feeling awfully sorry for myself just now, but I’m working on it. Promise.

This bike must belong to a "true yogi".

This bike belongs to a “true yogi”. How can you tell? Read below.

So according to the list, to become a true yogiI should do the following:

  • Tuck my non-toxic yoga mat under my arm every time I leave the house. Sorry guys, but I practise at home. Every…

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Jojoba Oil & Rosehip Oil | Pregnancy Tips

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I’ve gone through a whole tube of KORA’s Enriched Body Lotion and I still absolutely love it. Today, on my way to David Jones to replenish my supply, I stopped by Mr Vitamins ( I love this place for all their range of organic products, ranging from beauty & skin care products, to food, to cleaning products ).

And there, I picked up a bottle of JoJoba and Rosehip Oil for a total of around $40.

Price-wise, it’s probably slightly cheaper than KORA but the difference is not huge. KORA’s Enriched Body Lotion RRP’s at $49.95 for the same volume. But I do think you need more lotion than oil for each application.

I’ve just taken a shower and applied a mixture of both oils to my growing belly, which has really started to stretch beyond my comfort levels.

Verdict?

After 5-10 minutes, after the oils have been absorbed into the body, my skin feels so much better. It’s like having coconut water to quench your thirst. My skin is supple and hydrated.

The only downside is the smell. Obviously, it doesn’t have the sandalwood and citrusy smell that the KORA lotion has. But this is 100% organic and raw. Can’t get any more organic!

For pregnant mummies out there, I recommend this as an alternative to, or to be used in rotation with, KORA Organic’s Enriched Body Lotion.

Epic Fruit Salad | The Exotic Version

How to stand out with your ‘bring a dish’? Always choose the fruit platter. Not only is it very enjoyable to shop for the fruits and steal a few pieces when you’re making the platter, it’s always the one dish that almost everyone would eat, I find.

How to stand out?

I like to throw in some exotic fruits like longan, lychee, jackfruit, starfruit, mangosteen, etc… Think tropical!

Apart from that, make sure there’s plenty of melons and berries. They’re always a winner.

I always make sure I line the salad with melons and pineapple, followed by pineapple, then kiwis and strawberries. Lastly, throw the blueberries and grapes on top and scrap on a 2-3 passion fruits. Always refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.

Today’s epic salad for a casual dinner at Seth’s friend’s.

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Seth’s First Excursion | Calmsey Hill Farm

It brought tears to my eyes when I sent Seth off on his first ever excursion experience. I don’t quite remember my first excursion, apart from the fact that my parents couldn’t afford to send me to school camp in year 5 when we were going through rough times. But even if I did, I’m pretty sure my mum was not sending me off on the bus with tears in her eyes.

It was just so cute to see Seth wake up earlier than usual, dress himself and gobble down breakfast quicker than any school day because ‘he didn’t want to miss the bus for the excursion’. I had packed him his little backpack, with a raincoat, sunscreen and little snacks for the day. Awww… That little backpack….

Yes, I’m very melodramatic…. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to be so involved with his little Kindy life!

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Baby Shower Tips | Carol’s at Sheraton at the Park

It’s probably fair to say that I’ve earnt the title of ‘Designated (last minute) Baby Shower Organiser’.

It does seem that I’ve gotten more and more familiar with throwing these little showers. I can’t say I throw the best parties but you know, if you don’t know who to call at the very last minute and don’t want to make a huge fuss of it all, I’m best at throwing the mediocre memorable celebrations. Ha!

This is the 3rd baby shower I’ve thrown in the past 2 years and although it doesn’t sound like a lot, I’m sure there are more to come. As long as the crowd is different each time, the games sheet works wonders. They are the 3 simple games that people love and add spice to the event.

1. Fill 4 nappies with baby food. For each nappy, give players 4 options to choose from. The photos of the players smelling the nappies are always the best!

2. Get a nice big roll of ribbon or baker’s twine. Pass it around and get everyone to cut the length of their guess on the mum-to-be’s belly circumference. Give them labels to label the string. Get mum-to-be to measure herself. Then, compare who was the closest. It’s hilarious to see how non-mums somehow think the bellies are the size of obese giants! The mum-to-be also gets to keep that string as a keepsake!

3. This is a bit unconventional and you might need to think twice about playing this, especially if the mother-in-law is there! PORN or LABOUR it is called. Print out several photos if porn faces mixed with labour faces. The trick is to print them out in black and white so that the make up on porn stars don’t give it away. The most popular game by far! But watch out when pulling those photos. I did them late after work in the office and gosh, did I get some looks when I forgot to turn the volume of my laptop down!

Lastly, for keepsakes:
1. Simple Bon Bonnières, like pink/blue and white M&M’s in tiny jars
2. A keepsake scrapbook where everyone on the day gets to contribute.

For anyone who is fishing for simple and do-able ideas, these were the sites I used:

Custom Stickers and Jars for the Bon bons:
Pink Frosting
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You can also get jars in Kmart – $3 for 4

Scrapbook for keepsake book from Kmart – $5.50. This one is great because you can pull the individual pages out from the plastic sleeves so that everyone can write at the same time rather than having to pass the book around. Comes to 10 sleeves with acid-free paper. Additional sleeves at $3 per 10.

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M&M’s to fill Bon Bon jars:
Candy Bars Sydney
They deliver within 2 days if metro Sydney! That really solved my last minute problem.

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Alternatively, if you are after something a bit different to fill the Bon Bon, try the Mini Gems from The Cookie Man. The guests loved these.

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Last but not least, I love these adorable Sashes for Mum/Grandma-to-be:
The Baby Shower Emporium

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Thank you, Carol, for having me a part of this wonderful celebration of yours. I can’t wait to see your little one!

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