Cross road

The early morning quiet yet bustling activities at the airport.
The wait to board the plane.
The idleness on the plane and hoping for time to speed up.
The waiting for luggage and careful sighting of your own.
The arriving to a new country and hoping on a taxi to an unexplored place.

I enjoy it all.

My boss asked me to shut up

It's 2+ years since I got my ideal job as a regional sales manager. What prompted me to leave is not for higher pay or promotion but a big thank you to my boss. He gave me such a disastrous performance appraisal that seriously eroded my confidence for a few days.

The ultimate survival guide to conquering parenthood

Welcome to parenthood!

It's a time of confusion, anxiety and panic as you go through a different phase of life. With a baby growing inside the mother's belly, the physical changes are obvious but mentally, psychologically and financially, all parents will need to adapt accordingly so as to provide for a new born.

Not to worry, I am here to help! I have consolidated all the tips and articles here so that you know what to look out for and go into each post if you need more details. Feel free to drop me a mail if you ever wish to know something more, I am not an expert but just another mum who went through the same stage.

For the first trimester
Read what to do during the first trimester. Be prepared for the list of all prenatal tests and shortlist a good gynaecologist. One of the best post I have written, do check out this post and prepare yourself financially with the 9 financial tips you must know for pregnancy. You can also read the guidebook for new parents that was prepared by Mt Alvernia.

For the second trimester

Get prepare on what to do during the second trimester. Go shopping! Now it's time to get the 20 essential things before baby's arrival. Good time to go for a babymoon vacation and celebrate with the end of the morning sickness.

For the third trimester

Find out what to do during the third trimester. Don't forget to pack your hospital bag soon! Baby might just surprise you but you need to be ready for the bundle of joy. Time to shortlist your delivery hospital and set aside an amount the the delivery cost. You can check out my delivery charges and my labour story for a light hearted read. If you want a guy's point of view, check out Coftea's guest post on Being Dad - Things I know but didn't understand. Are you afraid of pain and are considering epidural? I did not go for it but that does not mean you should not.

Start of parenthood
Get ready the contacts for the confinement nanny and post natal massage. You can contact me if you want me or my friends' contacts, I am happy to share! For me, I did my own confinement and ordered confinement food instead. Eat more of these nutritious confinement food and snacks to recover properly.

Don't be too stressed up over breastfeeding if your breast milk does not kicks in. Continue breastfeeding as long as you can and supplement it with formula milk in the meantime. It's ok not to breastfeed exclusively and hope my top 20 breastfeeding tips can help you out. Try to get a good breast pump and eat these breastmilk boosting food to help your supply.

Below is a table I kept checking out during the first few months. Being an anxious new mother, I was worrying whether baby was drinking well and sleeping normally. Every parent goes through this stage. After a while, you will be more assured that baby will feed when they are hungry and they will sleep when they are tired. If they don't drink now, they will make up for it later. Sleeping not as much is also normal because all babies are different. This is just a guide and babies do behave abnormally during growth spurt phases.

For formula milk and diapers, I did some comparison of prices as I was confused about the many brands. You can read my Ultimate price review to formula milk and Ultimate price review on diapers. I actually switched from formula milk to cow milk after baby's 15 months with encouragement from my PD.

I was also contemplating between infant care vs maid vs nanny. In the end, I went with an infant care and have shared here on how to choose a good infant care.

With all the costs calculated, read up on the cost of raising a child in Singapore so that you can decide whether to go for a second baby.

I hope you find all these information useful. It's not supposed to be overwhelming and you are not alone. Contact me anytime if you need help on other topics and just focus on the positive moments you will have. Pain and lack of sleep are only for a short period of time but the returns, rewards and happiness are so much more than I could ever have imagined.

I guarantee you will feel the same way too. :)

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SimplySalesTalk: Retrenchment

I was just talking to my company's Global Operations Director on his career.

He started out as a top graduate, landing the role to design the mechanical intricacies and piping of a production plant. Slowly, he worked his way up, moving to China to build a plant from scratch and was in charge of the whole production team of thousands. I was impressed but more curious how he managed to stay in the same job for the last 20 years.

Sugar vs honey vs maple syrup and other sweeteners

In this fight against diabetes, it's high time we take a look at the substitutes of sugar and determine which we should change to.

We can never get rid of sugar completely, think about our ice cream, soft drinks, coffee, desserts, chocolates and Honey Creamy Macadamia. We are just flooded with sweets and it makes us feel so much happier after consuming them.  Of course we can't eat too much of sweet things. Let's see how we can replace them with other alternatives and you can decide what is good for you!

5 money saving tips on renovation

I have not blogged much about renovation and wedding preparations mainly because I started this blog after I was married. So there is a big chunk of information missing and I would like to catch up on that. This post comes because many of my friends kept asking me these questions and so, I think sharing this will benefit more people in time to come.
I really did paint my own house

Nuts are just perfect to prevent diabetes

Following PM Lee's comments about diabetes being on the rise in Singapore, we thought it would be appropriate to come up with this post. He listed a few examples on how to prevent diabetes, which is especially relevant for people with such family history. They include cutting down on sugar (soft drinks), replacing white rice with brown rice, taking whole wheat bread and grains and exercise.
What you eat is the most important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With 30% of the Singaporeans above 60 years old having diabetes, I think we need to put in more effort to preventing it from happening to yourself and to your parents. 

Top 20 breastfeeding tips

I have been very lucky and blessed with a healthy body. I do exercise regularly which is probably why I did not have any problems at all with breastfeeding. Many have been asking me about tips, which prompted me to write this post.
How picturesque, but breastfeeding is so much more troublesome and painful!

5 best confinement food and snacks

Mums have a tough life.

After the painful delivery of a baby, they have to go through a confinement period which is hot, sweaty, painful, bloody and exhausting. It just seems unfair that mummies have to handle so much at one shot. Nonetheless, confinement food need to be healthy and nourishing to replenish the blood and nutrients lost. These are the top confinement food regularly consumed:
1) Meat and fish - Chicken, pork, beef, salmon 
The best source of iron comes from meat and fish so it is highly encouraged to eat them. We do not absorb as much iron from other food which is why you have to eat more meat during this confinement period. Salmon is especially good for the high proteins (Helps wound to recover faster), DHA (brain boosting nutrients) and zinc content. Zinc content is especially useful and helps to fight post-partum depression. Usually pregnant mums stay away from raw fish but after delivery, go ahead and have a sashimi party!
2) Fruits - Banana, avocado, papaya, dried apricots, citrus fruits
New mummies cannot have cold food so these fruits should be left in room temperature for a while. Papaya and avocado helps to boost breast milk production, banana give you source of energy, apricots and raisin give high iron content while citrus fruits are a rich source of Vitamins C to help to repair your wounds.  
3) Vegetables - Spinach, broccoli, leafy ones
Dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach, bokchoy, caixin contains high iron content, great for post partum recovery. Most also have high Vitamin C that allow the iron content to be well absorbed into our body. These nutrients are definitely needed to be replenished in our bodies.
4) Nuts and seeds - Cashew, pine nuts, chia. sunflower and pumpkin seeds 
Eat nuts high in iron to replenish blood and zinc for better moods. It is even better because you can lose some pregnancy weight with the intake of nuts. The most iron containing nuts are cashew, pine, hazelnut, almonds but they still contain lesser iron than seedsRaw nuts are not easily found in supermarkets so be sure to get the jumbo bags from us!
5) Grains, beans - Chickpeas, edamame, beans
Grains have been known to be nourishing and high in proteins. They are not so common in our food but do make it a point to incorporate some during confinement as they are also high in iron content. You can also try our black beans as snacks or added into soups. 
Confinement was the toughest period in my life and I strongly feel food can play a large role for mummies to heal and recover and make up for the loss of sleep. It should also bring us some happiness and enjoyment. Last but not least, mummies need to be strong and healthy in order to take good care of the little one. Stay healthy, eat healthy!

______________________________________________________________________________This article first appeared on the blog of SnackFirstSnackFirst sells nuts in small packaging and also in bulk and best of all, it's free shipping!

Should I buy insurance policies to 99 years old?

I am very happy to receive mails from my readers because it means you are trying to change things after reading my posts. It is heartening to read about people taking charge of their own financial situations and insurance policies. I am no guru but I am most willing to help and contribute with my personal thoughts. You can contact me through my feedback form or just send me a message through SimplyJesMe's facebook messenger.