Congratulations to Pastor Dewrena Bhagoutie, the 1st winner of The Alese Awards- for beautiful souls!!!
We’re all truly inspired by her contributions, and are very pleased to give this unsung heroine the appreciation she deserves! Nominated by Amos Isiah Jaglal, see the original post here>>>https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=682579128456398&set=o.793710750644397&type=1&theater
(221 likes: Friday May 30th 2014 at 11.59pm GMT)Special homage to all our other Alese nominees, you are all truly “beautiful souls” and we thank you for your good works and benevolent contributions to humankind. You remain our heroes!!!:
+ Ebi Kelvin George (nominated by Jus Jodi)
+ Riaz Ali (nominated by Arlena Mohammed Ali)
+ Emiliya Ramoutar (nominated by Rufat Ahmadov)
+ Ahsrama Agui (nominated by Shivani Petal Seemungal)
+ Kemba Radhay (nominated by Kwesi-Paul THomas)
Thank you all for your wonderful participation and support in this venture! Stay logged in for our next Alese Awards installment!
“I nominate Pastor Dewrena Bhagoutie ………….. my pastor, mentor and spirtual mother.
~ she wakes up everymorning at 3am praying for our church and those in need.
~ she would go from siparia to debe to st madeline to barrackpore to credos and mondeablo giving out hampers
~ she has counseled many together with her husband Pastor Joel Henderson Bhagoutie
~ full-time mother, intercessor and pastor
~ she would stand up for those who are too quiet to speak
~ she would stand up to those want to take advantage of others
~ she has a heart for the widows, orphans, and the poor, offering help to them anywhere and anytime …………”
The first two have already been answered on this blog, so here’s my response to the third…
Preparing for baby: what to pack for the hospital for nursing home
FOR YOU MUMMY-TO-BE’s
3 night dresses/ dusters (easy to put on and take off. Use button-down or zipped-down ones for ease of breastfeeding)
5 Comfortable, whole-cut under wear (cotton preferably)
Going home outfit
A rubber shoe/ slipper/ clogs (this may come in handy especially if your water bag gushes)
1 pack Maternity pads (have extra packs at home)
Nursing pads (it’s easier to buy the boxed disposable types)
1 pack of wipes (for hands and face! not your sensitive lady parts ^_^)
Favourite soap/ body wash/ Face-wash
Lip balm (believe me, this’ll come in quite handy…)
Favourite cream (chose your favourite, relaxing scents—it’ll prove to be quite therapeautic)
Toothpaste & toothbrush
Comb/ hairbrush/ hairties
Makeup (if you think you’d be able :P)
Fluffy, comfortable slipper
Disinfectant spray/ wipes
Cell phone and charger
Camera (charged or with batteries)
Soothing music (pack a pair of headphones and your fav music player, ipod or whatever; at some point I’m sure it’ll help calm you)
Ipad/ kindle loaded with your favorite apps or e-books
Calming oils/ febreeze/ fragrant plug-ins (skip if you’re not into these scents…for me it worked wonders!)
Birth plan (Just in case your doctor forgets)
Journal/ Books to read/ Bible/ Spiritual Books
Thermos and easy pack milo
Healthy, doctor-approved Snacks
Plastic bags for dirty clothes
Travel Bag/ Mobile Suitcase
(Pack separately in baby bag/ large ziplock bag)
1 pack Newborn Pampers (I prefer Huggies or Pampers)
All in ones
Receiving cotton blanket (no frills or fringe)
Baby wash/ soap
Baby mittens/ hand socks
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Make sure you have your infant car seat already strapped in the back seat of your vehicle. Most laws mandate it!
These needs will vary based on your what your birthing center or hospital offers. It’s important to find out before-hand what willl be provided for you, and to get a copy of the center’s packing list (most places may already have one prepared). Tailor this to suit your needs and pack away!
And finally remember to prepare your new baby’s space at home, and have all the little one’s and your needs at hand. For the complete list of things to get in preparation for baby, check out:
Inspired by and written for my dear cousin Susan and that delightful little bundle in her belly <3!
As a first time soon-to-be Mom or Dad it’s a pretty overwhelming task when shopping for baby’s needs. These newbie expenses can get pretty high as initial baby setup for those with in the mid-income bracket jobs usually cashes in at $1,540 USD or $10,000 TTD! Add a rough estimate of $12,000 TTD for those of you who opt to deliver at private hospitals and the exorbitant construction costs of any remodelling that may occur. And remember, these are just preparation costs…imagine what happens after baby is born!
Now, if you are excellent at budgeting, don’t mind just the basics or iffy’ brands, or have access to decent hand-me-downs from friends and family, these figures would be considerably less. But for the rest of us over-planners, baby expenses are a pain! And the reality remains that we would always want the best for our kids.
How did I survive? Barely. And now, with two pre-schoolers, it’s even worst.
But I’ll give you this No. 1 tip for pre-baby shopping. Simple. Practice restraint. Restrain yourself from purchasing any and everything, I mean it! Ladies you know us, when we head into a baby store, we just go gaga-googoo! Make a list (or use the one below) and stick to it. And especially with first baby, you could depend on baby-showers and the kindness of well-wishers. I know it may sound like a dastardly dependent or a “scrubbish” mentality, but it’s the solid truth. The people around us are generally kind folks, and our gift-giving culture helps give us a help-out during the start of new facets of life, especially for pregnancy and weddings!
My thrift suggestion? In times like these, never say ‘no’ to a baby shower. Make up a gift registry for baby, or even simply circulate a list amongst your circles about the things you need. Believe me, with the kindness of the human spirit permeating the souls of most, you’d be surprised about how many people will come to your aid (unless of course, your track record has proven you to be scrooge incarnate!).
And what exactly should be on that list of things to purchase for baby? Here are my suggestions for all you first-timers out there based on my experiences and obsessive research. 😛 (Mind you, this is an exhaustive list that may be classified as both needs and wants, but attempts to take into account, every possible relevant item)
CLOTHING AND RELATED
Leggings or pull-on pants
Wearable and Swaddling Blankets: soft cotton with no frills or tassels
Rags/ burp pads: as soft as possible
Bibs: preferably with no strings (get the ones with fabric adhesive)
Navel pad (if you deem this necessary)
Towels: preferably hooded and as soft as possible
Crib bumber pads
Small pillow that helps reduce SIDS
*Heavy or light clothing depends on your own climatic needs
Baby Powder (Johnsons’ and Johnsons ‘ Cornstarch preferably or original/ baby Amens)
Baby Oil (Johnsons and Johnsons Corn preferably)
Bottom butter (if chafing occurs. Petroleum Jelly could also do)
Baby Shampoo (gentle: tear free and hypoallergenic)
1 Bottle of Methylated Spirit (To clean the baby’s navel- recommendations may vary according to your paediatrician)
Wipes (gentle and hypoallergenic)
1 Pack of Cotton Balls
1 Tube of Desitin Cream (In case of Diaper Rash / Heat Rash)
1 Bottle of Glycerin (To clean the Baby’s Mouth/Tongue)
1 pack of Newborn Diapers (only one initially; larger sizes as times go by. Look for the navel- protection feature)
Large and Small Baby Bags
1 large Umbrella
1 baby carrier
Bath Tub and no-slip pad for tub (if your budget affords it, buy the ready-made infant tubs and then switch to larger one later on)
Padded and waterproof Changing Pad or Changing Table (if preferred)
Diaper pail and liners
Pram/ stroller (preferably with sack)
Baby bassinet (personally find this a waste of money. Babies grow out of bassinets very quickly)
Car seat (preferably ones to last until toddler days)
Crib (better if it is a convertible crib-playpen or crib-bed)
Waterproof mattress pad
Night Light/ Lamp
Baby cubby/ cupboard/ chest of drawers (for clothing and accessories)
High chair (eventually)
*I’m a strong supporter of breast-feeding. However I acknowledge that this may not always work out so the following are for those who need it
Breast Pump and accessories
Baby Bottles (look for good brands that could help reduce colic and that are BPA free: eg. Avents or Dr Brown’s…personally, I had extremely good experiences with Avents as the wide nipple aided easy feedings)
Bottle steriliser or clean pot for boiling parts (I strongly do not recommend sterilizing tablets because I believe in the organic steam and hot water instead of harsh chemicals)
Thermos (make sure your water is baby-friendly and from a good source)
Bottle warmer (some prefer microwave use)
Bottle drying rack
Sealed container for parts
Safe detergent for washing parts
Formula (only if absolutely necessary- consult with paediatrician)
Baby food maker
*Safe material and BPA free everything!
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Medicine cabinet & general first-aid supplies
Pacifiers (look for orthodontic ones with covers please!)
Anti colic/ gripe water
Infant Panadol (for fever)
Baby nail scissors or clippers
Soft-bristled baby hair brush
Teething gel (safe)
Soft toys (please pay attention to age-group! – 0-3 months)
Baby journal/ memento book
FOR MOMS POST-DELIVERY
Packs of Maternity pads
Nursing pads (it’s easier to buy the boxed disposable types)
Warm/ Cold Compress
Sitz bath container
*This list is for general and natural birth moms. Those who birthed via Caesarean would have other particular needs based on doctors’ orders.
So there you have it! Daunting isn’t it? But hey, well-wishers to the rescue right, right?
I wish you all Happy shopping!
(Related list about packing for delivery coming soon!)
On becoming a parent, many of us experience the common phenomenon of lost-glamour. Gone are the days of glorious self-pampering, replaced now, quite literally by Pampers.
Relaxation becomes a novelty. Fabulous, flirty cocktails are replaced by hot, frumpy cups of comfort tea. Our ‘us’ cash becomes ‘their’ cash, and treks to our favourite fashion boutiques or indulging spas are now shelved in favour of supermarket runs and napzzz.
I have always advocated (and will still continue to do so) that beauty lies within and it is determined by your own self-confidence.
You can rock anything, once you feel like a rockstar. But in actuality, after years of total exhaustion, and feeling more like actual rock than a rockstar, I’ve come to the conclusion that we moms need our perkiness to be revived. We need to resummon our mojo, and dig deep for that inner sexified, (yes, I’ll say it)… MILF!!!!
My story? Remember Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? I moved from the ravishing but eccentric head-up-in-clouds Belle to become the scatter-brained and quaintly rounded Mrs. Potts…
As a young mother, I can quite honestly say that I had lost my mojo for some years. But, after hitting these uncharacteristic sluggish and low-confidence tides, I did some self-searching and found my mojo back; my way.
So, here are my tips for all you busy and undercover-sexy Mamas out there:
1) Pump yourself up mentally.
Maternity does not define you. You define you. Embrace your smexiness…stretch marks, cellulite, extra fat and all. Our post baby bods are curvilious, and the cool thing is that bodies are bodies. They’re all unique bits of art. And, as with all art, you yourself can form it into whatever you wish it to be!
Even being the semi-non-conformist that I am, I draw my line here and personally subscribe to certain social conventions. Like getting rid of all prominent manly facial hair.
If you’re anything like me, pregnancy would have altered your body, and hair would have begun to sprout up in the most public and unwanted places. Wax, pluck, shave, depilatory cream… just destroy it! And yes, follow up with that annoying maintenance. Some believe armpit hair is a choice… well girl, do whatever floats your boat! Again> it’s your own perception of what beauty entails.
3) Rekindle your make-up love affair.
I’m not a fan of overdone looks, but I’ll confess… I love the idea of using my face as a blank canvas and make-up as my palette!
If you have not the slightest clue how to begin, and don’t have the extra cash to enroll in professional make-up artistry courses; just google these two words:- “Michelle Phan.” https://www.youtube.com/user/MichellePhan
Or, if you adore the au natural way, go for it!
4) Invest in yourself.
Yes. I get it. With the addition of our adorable financial burdens :P, we are always broken. Think about it as mummy’s incentives, and put aside a little bit at a time, or simply get that significant other to pay for the entire thing! (Lord knows you deserve it!). Buttery body washes, sumptuous creams, trendy nail art, luxurious lipsticks…whatever turns you on ladies! Oh, and be sure to sexy-lingerie it away!
5) Be fabulous whenever, wherever and however.
Don’t wait for glitzy events because with our ram-packed schedules, you know they’re rare to find. Instead, get your glam on and do whatever will make you feel confident and beautiful. Simple things will go a long way! For instance, for my extremely short anniversary getaway, I ditched my usual flip flops and only packed my favourite wedges (a gorgeous pair with a black, floral, vintage design). I walked all over with them, even on sandy beaches, and I felt amazing!
6) Make your frizzle fashionable.
Find your own solutions. For instance, at my home putting on nailpolish without smudging is impossible, so I simply conceal the mess with a coat of glitter or Krackle, or (if it’s still wet) I press thumbprints on it (call me crazy, but it looks cool). I also let my boys muck it up when they’re being antsy, and then remove the excess polish around the nails to rock it as grunge (yeah, I’m cool like that :P).
Bad hair? The story of my life… Glam it up with fashionable hairclips or grabbers, or simply hide it with a super-chic hat!
7) Do a professional glam photo-shoot.
It is incredibly important to document your good-looks at various stages; you know for vain, historic legacy purposes :P. But seriously, when you’re feeling your frumpiest, taking a look back at your fabulous self can do wonders for your self-confidence!
So there you have it; generic but applicable tips about getting your groove back.
Now say this to yourself:
“I am (INSERT YOUR NAME HERE) and I am one shagadelic lady!”
Ok, so in late 2013, this ‘fat Mama’ (yes, my rude little boys call me that) got fully dedicated to getting back my pre-fit self with my smoking hot pre-baby bod (or whereabouts)>>>
And now to this…
It’s been nearly two months now, and I have indeed shed some pounds…how do I do it on a ram-packed, crazy-woman schedule you ask?
I multi-task to distract myself from the burn and the time drag.
Firstly, I make extra-time by sleeping an hour less. Getting up earlier is better, but on the days when I sleep through my irritating alarm, I punish myself before I sleep to make it up.
Whenever I get the chance, I roll my Orbitrek Elliptical- bike thingy in front of the TV/DVD while catching up on movies or TV shows that have been on my list since 2009 (the year my first son was born> it’s been Discovery kids and Disney junior ever since).
On the thread-mill, I hookup my laptop and skim emails, get my daily idle dose of social media, watch Vevo jams on YouTube, and read modules (Pshht, yeah right! Who am I kidding? Academic procrastination is gonna bite my butt soon…)
Every single chore is now done with my ‘Belly-Burner’ belt on, I sprint up and down the stairs carrying groceries and the usual car-load of bags-packed-with-random-road-trip-paraphernalia, do butt crunches while driving and walking (when no-one’s watching i.e.), and sit-ups in my kids’ down time (‘Peppa Pig’ and play-doh work like magic!)
I made/make small easy dietary changes>>> switched to a heightened-metabolism multi-vitamin, dish out smaller food portions in a toddler bowl, drink my tea with less or no sweeteners, hide all the delicious unhealthy stuff (or try at least), substitute juice with water, eat more vegetables and lean meats, have bread/pasta/rice once for the day and/ or substitute it with liquids or fruit, and totally no longer pick at my children’s leftovers.
Well, there you have it. The mother-load of easy tips for hectic frizzlers like me. I’ll give you this: though it’s a bit slower than the starving-yourself-on-tasteless-food-and-water-only-diets or the exhausting-extra-peppy-spin-and-boot-camp-gym-sessions, I’m seeing a big difference and feel a whole lot more energised (and my hussie isn’t complaining either). 🙂 🙂 🙂 Ahem*. So I encourage you to go for it and achieve whatever fitness-goal you set out to do with the aid of that strategic-multi-tasking we mamas know how to do so well!
P.S. : Ultimately, never forget that beauty is how you view it; you don’t need the world to set a mould to dictate how you see yourself.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and after being flooded by requests for gift ideas each year by a zillion of my friends; I’ve decided to blog about it! Mind you, these are generic tips so use your creativity and apply away to any gift occasion.
Now I get it, choosing the right gift for that special person can be a real chore. And ironically, I hate shopping. But as the official go-to personal shopper in my family, I advocate the practice of Good Gifting—not socks and jockey shorts for your loving dad, weight loss pills for your honey on your golden anniversary, or educational study charts for your thirteen year old kid on his b’day—I’m talking the “OMG! I just LOVE it!!!” type of gifts.
To achieve this level of great gifting-ness I advise that you do a background check of the giftee in question and follow these simple tips:
1) Price range- determine how much you want to spend based on how fat or skinny your wallet is and how special the person or occasion is to you—if you care and can’t spend more, make it up with creativity. DIY gifts are great substitutes for store-bought items, and there are tons of options to choose from based on your own unique talents. Go to http://www.pinterest.com/ for the mother-load of ideas>>> baked goods for the culinary gifted, pottery/paintings/ framed sketches for the artistically inclined, cute embroidered/ crotched items for those steady with needles… those pins cover everything!
2) Occasion- make sure your choices are appropriate to the event. Themed gifts are nice ideas but can be cliche and overdone, so try not to fall constantly into this category (chocolates and flowers every year for Valentines’ Day anyone?)
3) Personality and Interests: if you’re on familiar terms with the giftee, this should be ‘suck-eye’. Is the person introverted/extroverted, logical/emotional, practical/dreamy, adventurous/unadventurous? These cues will help in your selection as you pair personalities with items…for instance introverted folks usually like quiet time for reflection so try a customised journal gift set, but on the other hand, adventurous folks like venturing into new places so hiking gear might be appropriate. Also, make sure you choose stuff related to the giftee’s interest- tools for the car fanatic, glam for the diva, garden tools for the green thumb…the list goes on.
4) Practicality or novelty?– getting gifts that are needed are usually big hits. Make mental notes about needs or wants you may notice (or do some ninja-like snooping) and gift away! On occasions when the giftee may have all needs fulfilled (yeah, you know the type), novelty items such as collectibles or sentimental, humourous and gag items may be a good idea. Gift certificates are also a super-useful idea, but for it to be a success it has to be matched with something the giftee really likes.
5) Demographics- keep in mind the giftee’s age, gender, education level, income level, marital status, occupation, religion, family orientation, and living conditions. These cues would help you to select appropriately—no black, lacy, mid-drift tops for ten-year old girls or winter apparel for tropical climates please!
And what about those peeps you aren’t so familiar with–like your boss, client or potential mother-in-law? A good idea is to avoid the too personal and go with something suitable and tasteful, generic and useful, or novel and collectible. Good giftings may include professional corporate gifts such as calligraphy pen sets, desktop clock-calenders, cool coffee mugs and accessories, beautiful potted peace lilies/lucky bamboos, good inspirational books and so on. And for that potential mother-in-law, we suggest you do plenty researching (and lots of praying!) before you select tasteful home decor pieces or novelty items.
So there you have it young grasshopper. You are now empowered with knowledge of the art of good gifting. Use this power well, and go forth and spread gaiety with your kind giftings.
As we shake off the old, and welcome in a new year brimming with endless promise, I pray that you find your angel’s wings and soar with God’s speed. To live a fulfilled 2014, my four simple suggestions for resolutions are to:
Look unwaveringly forward and become inhospitable to any discouraging distraction.
Take nothing for granted and be inspired by all around you, the little and the big.
Find your inner mojo and be empowered to execute the purpose that lies within and ahead.
Establish and nurture a relationship with the Being from whom it all originates, and serve the living whole-heartedly.
To all my friends out there, thank you for your kind support throughout the years. I love you all and wish you and yours a wonderful 2014.
“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” — Goran Persson
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain