Hello Food & Hello Cot!

 

This is a long overdue post. The only time off I have to update this blog is at night when my lil lady has gone to bed. But that little time off is so precious, I’d rather do nothing and not move at all (not even to the loo). Being a full-time mom with no help requires dedication in multitasking. I am still managing FIQS while a new brand called Funky Pencils was born. Phew! So, by the time the sun goes down, I’m already exhausted.

 

Months passed by, and I better update this blog before she turns five. LOL

 


Six months old
Here’s the initial introduction of solid food to Arya! I was excited and nervous at the same time. Nervous that I can’t keep up since Arya is still breastfed. She is also being deeply attached to the point that when I was breastfeeding her to sleep, she won’t let go off my teat even after she fell asleep. If I let go, she’d be wide awake, and I wouldn’t be able to put her back to sleep. Day after day, and night after night. It was agonizing for first time mothers like me, but I know I had to find a way to endure this precious moment being a mother to a child.

 

So, the only time I can I find to prep the meals is during the weekend when I have her father at home. Literally, I would have two hours for each time when she is awake to prepare the following week’s meals for Arya and myself before her next feeding time. And if I didn’t manage to prepare on time, I have to continue after her nap again. Same cycle, every weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing solids to Arya was interesting for the both of us. The key here is not giving up when she didn’t like it. Well, obviously to babies the first taste will always new to their taste buds and weird at the same time. Just like how I used to hate peanut butter. Eventually, after third and fourth attempt, she started to enjoy it. The satisfaction and joy are priceless, especially when she has a big appetite for the meals coming out from my very own kitchen!

 

When she hits six months, I also decided to sleep train her because I can no longer bear sleeping like a wood log unable to move a single inch because my teat is in her mouth. It’s not a quality sleep for her and me.

 

I did my research and read “Healthy sleep habits, happy child” by Marc Weissbluth, and the book helped me tremendously on how to sleep train her. The first few nights were heart-wrenching; she actually cried for about an hour before she fell to sleep. And in that period, ignoring her weeping is not an enjoyable moment to a young mother. I felt like I am being cruel to my baby. But you know what, we both needed that quality of sleep. It was for her own good.

 

 

 

 

Seven months old
I read about baby led weaning (BLW) and gave it a try. It was pretty simple where all I had to do was steam it; no puree needed. The only extra work was cleaning up her mess. With BLW, she is able to feel different textures of food at the same time she was learning to grasp and feed herself. This is significant for her gross motor stability. Explore the world with all your senses baby!

 

 

 

 

In the long run, the ultimate goal is for us to be able to gather around the table at mealtimes with everyone enjoying the same food. No picky eater in the house. Fantastic! But the sad news is that she’s not gaining the right amount of weight (below average according to her growth chart). Therefore, I still have to feed her while she feeds herself.

 

Sleeping updates: I’m proud to say that she’s already sleeping in her own room. Sleep training was the wisest decision I’ve made coz if I were to wait till she is a bit bigger, it would have been tougher to sleep train her. The best age would be four months old before she knows how to protest. The rule here is to be consistent and persistent. Allowing her to cheat even one day will ruin everything and all that effort will go down the drain. That ain’t gonna happen!

 

 

 

Eight months old
As she gets older, her growth rate becomes slower; that means her appetite will also be smaller. I have to accept that she’s not a big eater and remind myself not to push her limits. As long as she’s healthy and happy, that should be enough. Do you agree?

 

Sleeping updates: Sleeping pattern changes every month for babies. This time, she no longer takes her last nap, which makes her waking time longer (from a two-hour gap to a three-hour gap before her next nap). Although she sleeps on her own at night, I still breastfeed her to sleep during the day. I actually don’t mind being glued to her simply because this sticky lil baby won’t be sticky forever. I have come to accept that I cannot run errands or do any work other than paying 110% attention to Arya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’ve learned from the past eight months is not to be a perfectionist when it comes to taking care of a baby. Everything won’t go as planned, and I should just take it easy. Sounds simple but I will do my best.

 

 

XOXO

Bringing Her Home

The moment we’ve been waiting for and talked about for months has finally come into reality. Except, not how we imagined. From the moment we left the hospital, she cried throughout the journey till we reached home. And the crying didn’t stop there. Her first night at home was a nightmare. We panic, I was stressed. Her cry was so loud that it scares me thinking if there was something wrong (eventually, that’s just how she cries. LOUD AND CLEAR).



She was latched onto me every time if all else fail to soothe her. To a point of time, my teat was so sore it bled. It hurts so bad but what option do I have? I can’t stop feeding her, can’t I? It’s easy to give up and feed her formula but that is not what I want. I already didn’t have my ideal birth, so not this one too. Here’s a list  of benefits of breast milk and why I choose nothing but breast milk.


It was frustrating that no matter how long I fed her, she still cries whenever I let her go. She just wanted to be close to me and feel the warmth from my body. The smell of my glands comforted her as it’s the same smell as the amniotic fluid. But I couldn’t take any longer. I broke down. I even suggested to Risdan to go back to the hospital at 1am.


It was mentally and physically challenging as at the same time I was also still recovering from a major surgery. Online forums and articles readings does help me a lot. Having experience it first hand made me realized that all mothers grudge are indeed what it is and can only be understood by another.


That was day 1. I had a rough start but things got better (for a while) as we got a lactation consultant to come to our house. Baby still cries a lot. What may work today, may not work yesterday or even the next day.


1 week old


3 weeks old


I was sleep deprived (still am), breastfeeding every 2 hours and a half, sometimes every 1 hour. There’s no day and night. By the time I get to do something else (house chores or send emails or even shower) I’m worn out. 1 hour sleep is considered a luxury. This is definitely harder than I thought.


Pump, feed, sleep, eat, repeat.


 

Where I am most of the time. I feed her and we both fall asleep.


Funny while I was pregnant, we planned to do a family photo shoot and the photographer we wanted to engage told us that the best time to do a shoot with/ for a baby is during the first few weeks. Heck, there’s no way we could do that now! I don’t even want visitors to come, what more being in front of the lenses with the baby crying most of the time. I admired the parents with a baby who could do a photo shoot right after birth.


Day by day went by, learning new things every day. If it wasn’t for Google, I’d go crazy. I’m blessed to have such an amazing husband who is very understanding and supportive throughout this journey. My sincere respect and hats off to all the single mothers out there who pulled it off single handedly. You guys are amazing!


“Successful mothers are not the ones who have never struggled. They are the ones who never give up, despite the struggles.” – Sharon Jaynes


Week 8

 

The transformation

 

My Pregnancy Journey

I had a life-changing experience not long ago, and I thought I should write about it. So here it goes…

 

Halfway through our around-the-world trip, we returned to the homeland to settle some stuff. Our plan was to continue with the other half of the trip, which would involve touring around the United States. It didn’t happen – because we discovered we were pregnant! Like any future parents, we were excited and nervous at the same time.

 

 

 After that, I was constantly reading and watching video after video about pregnancy. Years ago, I had envisioned myself doing a waterbirth. My mind was set on it. I was passionate about having a waterbirth and drug-free delivery. I took up yoga so that I would have the stamina and flexibility. I was game for it.

 

 The only hospitals in Malaysia that offer waterbirth were Pantai Bangsar and Pantai Penang. These 2 private hospitals have provided successful waterbirths since 2009. Sadly, in the middle of 2016, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Malaysia decided to suspend the practice until official guidelines were finalized. I was devastated and angry when I heard the news. I could not believe it. I had planned for this for years, and they decided to suspend it right when I needed it.

 

 Despite the ugly news, I still went ahead and prepared myself for a waterbirth in the hopes that the MoH would come up with its guidelines by year-end.

 

 Aside from gathering as much knowledge as I could about pregnancy, we signed up for Hypnobirthing classes! Hypnobirthing is all about getting into a relaxing state by using a lot of breathing techniques. Giving birth isn’t supposed to be chaotic, with all that pushing and screaming, the way it’s portrayed in the movies. It’s supposed to be calm, and take place in a peaceful environment (just like how a baby is conceived). Hypnobirthing helped us achieve a peaceful and easy birth. For those who wish to opt for natural delivery, Hypnobirthing will help provide a less painful and traumatic experience.

 

 

 

Now let’s discuss the stages of my pregnancy. For the first 3 months, I was nauseous most of the time, but I didn’t puke. I just felt like gagging whenever I saw food. Raw food? I couldn’t even think about it! Stepping into the kitchen was a big no-no. During my first trimester, big painful pimples started to pop up, one by one, all over my body, especially around my hips. They were mostly the result of hormones, and also because my body was generating more heat due to the extra blood flow to my growing baby. On top of all that – and this was the worst part – I had migraines. Because I suffered from migraines before I got pregnant, I was told that they would either get worse or better. Unfortunately for me, it was the former – and it was hell. I was sensitive to light, ice cream, chocolates and cheese. Just a bit of those and my vision would blur, my gums and hands start to get numb – and only then would the migraine come. Yup, that was how it was for the first three months. Hell.

 

In the second trimester, it got a little better. My energy was great, and I didn’t feel as drained as I did in the first trimester. I felt normal again. I worked out at least three times a week and felt refreshed.

 

 

My “baby bump” started to show in the last trimester, and I loved how I looked. Day after day went by, and I got more and more excited., We couldn’t wait to welcome our baby. My energy wasn’t as high as in the second trimester, and I tired and got breathless easily, but it didn’t stop me being active and healthy.


Week 39

 

In week 37, my baby’s head was still positioned at the top of the womb instead of near the birth canal. This is called a breech presentation. We weren’t sure of the cause, so I did all I could to make the baby turn. I started going for twice-weekly chiropractic adjustments after weeks 33/34, and had the Webster technique done during each visit. This helped me to restore proper alignment and balance my spine, which was supposed to give the baby more room to move or turn. But after the fifth visit, the baby still remained in the same position, so the chiropractor tried to adjust other parts of my body (as it was more complex).


Week 39





Meanwhile, every day I tried using various upside-down positions at home, including the downward dog yoga position. I also sought out my Hypnobirthing practitioner for help, which made me calm (for a little while). In the end, I finally agreed with my gynecologist to do an external cephalic version (ECV). He manually tried to turn the baby to a head-down position, but failed. The baby didn’t move an inch! Do a YouTube search for this procedure and you’ll see what it looks like. There are risks to doing this, so this was my last resort.

 

 

At week 39, the one thing I had always wanted to avoid, my nightmare, was the only option I had left: a caesarean section (in my case, the safest way to give birth). I was very disappointed, but at least I had done everything I could to make the baby turn. Maybe it’s fate. First I was denied my waterbirth, then I couldn’t even have a natural birth. I had to learn to accept it. It was tough.

 

As much as I want to accept it, deep inside I was still hoping that the baby would turn. Week 41 came, and my time was up. Off to the operating theater I went! I was nervous as hell. At that point, I regretted having read so much about birthing. All the pros and cons (the cons of caesareans, especially). I wanted to cry, because it wasn’t the birth I’d always imagined it would be. But I had to stay calm, as the release of catecholamine would have made it worse. So I applied the breathing techniques I’d learned in my Hypnobirthing classes. I did the calm breathing and told myself that it would be all right – especially when the doctor stuck the epidural needle in my back. I hated it!

 

I was so grateful that Risdan was by my side during the operation. After a feeling of tugging and pulling at tummy area, I heard the baby cry. Oh my God! I’d just had a baby! It was hard to process, as I was drugged and I was drained of almost all emotion. It was overwhelming.

 

 

 

I had a moment to see my baby, and then she was taken away. After I was stitched up, they moved me to the post-operation room. I had to wait for about 3 hours until someone brought me up, because it was a busy day on the operating ward. That 3 hours felt like a whole day! All I wanted was to hold my baby and assure her that I was there.

 

When I finally got into my room, I still couldn’t believe what had just happened (this is one of the downsides of a caesarean, as it takes a while for the brain to process it all). My leg was still numb and I was dehydrated, but still I couldn’t eat or drink. All I felt was relief that everything had happened smoothly and that my baby was healthy.

 

 Welcome to the world Arya Alexandria

11.11.2016

3.76kg

Changing My Social Tittle

It’s true when they say that the least expected things happen at your least expected time in life. Love is not something that you find by searching for it, Love finds you when you least expecting it. And so I met a man named Risdan whom I fell deeply in love after that. He is so much like me; independent, adventurous and a thrill-seeker. In fact, he is much more than that. We got along really well and everything falls into place effortlessly. It was EASY. We became such a great team and decided to make the big step; we are officially husband and wife on November 15th 2015!

 

The solemnization ceremony was small and simple. We rather make it exclusive and that’s how we prefer it to be. There were only 80 guests combined, his and mine. Oh yes, limiting to 40 each was…tough. We both have big families and knowing the elders would want us to invite everyone to come, indeed it was not easy for us. But eventually, we still made it to 80. Haha!

 

Risdan and I are similar when it comes to getting things done. We like doing it by ourselves and not depending on anybody. So guess what? For the solemnization ceremony, we managed to do EVERYTHING ourselves, in less than three weeks. And because we are so used to doing things on our own, we didn’t really ask much from our closed families and friends to help in the preparations, not that we are not appreciative but in our mind we simply didn’t want to trouble anyone since it was a short period of time. Well eventually, it was a pat on our back that the ceremony went well according to plan. Nevertheless, our advice to future newlyweds, hire a wedding planner. It will definitely save you from all the chaos on your big day. Or at least, hire an assistant that could take over your tasks during the most crucial time of the event which is from the moment you’re getting ready and throughout the event. How are you able to do that when you’re in your wedding attire or still doing make up?

 

It is your wedding day, and you should be stress-free, calm and just look pretty! haha. Really. So on our coming reception, which we hope to we would be able to invite more guests, we’re definitely will work along with an amazing team + planner to pull off the wedding dream. Remember, TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK. Risdan, we need a bigger team. Hehe.

 

Nonetheless, we did a great job! It was a precious moment shared with closed families and friends. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I love you, Risdan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The ceremony was magical. Thank you to those who made it possible.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day.

XOXO

-Photos by Darren Chong Photography.

Arrivederci 2015!

Year 2015 has been a fruitful one for me. Fruitful, in terms of the amount of knowledge gained for this past one year. When I started up my company, it was all because of the gut I have and the passion towards running my own business. I was a lost soul, chasing my dream and understanding the industry at the same time. Of course, along the way I made mistakes and solved it. Experience is the best teacher and learning the hard way is always the best because we will never forget the heart ache and expenses that cost us.


Kuala Lumpur is now more familiar with the startup ecosystem that it’s becoming the hub for entrepreneurs across the region. Workshops and accelerator programs are easily available for anybody who has the interest or idea that they want to build. One body that worth a mention here is Malaysian Global Innovation Centre (MaGIC)! I attended tons of workshops and have learnt many things that is related to entrepreneurship and technology. From Investor Relations, Growth Hacking, Analytics, UX/UI to Design Development and many more. As a start-up founder, I believe one should know at least the basic of every element that make a start-up, from an idea, development, programming and growing the business before you get more people involved in your start-up. Besides, having extra skills will always give an added advantage. When you’re working in a startup, we bootstrap. We multitask A LOT, over and over again.


Early this year, I joined a pre-accelerator program by Alpha Startups. Not only that I gained massive amount of knowledge, I also made new friends. These people who are like-minded as me and been able to understand this journey that we are on. We were able to share the problems we faced and complimenting each other. It is a beautiful community yet engaging one.


It has been a great year for me. I’ve been applying what I’ve learnt thus far and I’m thrilled to grow and expand in this coming year. But meanwhile, I’m on an adventure with my husband travelling the globe. For how long? Maybe a year, maybe less. It depends. We’re going to meet more people, fill our bucket lists and definitely will have crazy amount of experience.


Click the pictures below for the links that FIQS/me made it into the media in 2015.


1) FIQS in Utusan Malaysia.


2) The Story Of FIQS in Vulcan Post.


3) The Unexpected.


That’s it for 2015, and say hello to 2016!

Happy New Year love!

XOXO from Venice.

Would You Join a Start-Up Team?

Forming a start-up is an incredible challenge, and one of the toughest tasks is assembling the team that will make it succeed. The reason? A fledgling business needs to balance two factors: 1) They don’t have a lot of money, and yet… 2) They need exceptional, diverse talent.


 A team member in a start-up can’t be an “employee.” It just doesn’t work. It’s because every person who is drawing a paycheck must be able to make decisions on the fly, change gears quickly, and wear many different hats. It’s never a simple matter of “clocking in and doing your job,” because your job encompasses every aspect of the company’s growth and success.


 That means the ideal start-up team member has a multitude of skills beyond their specialty, and soft skills in communication and leadership that allow them to function in a variety of capacities. Most importantly, the ideal candidate has an entrepreneur’s spirit: drive, passion, commitment, and the willingness to devote more than 40 hours a week to something bigger than a career.


 FIQS Shoes is looking for this type of person to join our team, and if every member of our team meets the above guidelines, we will be on our way to huge success! Are you up for this exciting challenge? Email me at fiqsit@gmail.com.

 


 


XOXO

How to Care for Your Favorite Leather Shoes

Which woman doesn’t want her  favorite pair of shoes looking great as long as possible? It doesn’t matter if they are killer heels or comfy, foldable shoes, you must take proper care of them if you want them to serve you for many years to come. Here are a few useful tips that you can use in order to make your FIQS leather shoes stay comfortable and in good condition for many years.

 

One of the most important things to know before buying shoes is that leather shoes can – and sometimes even should- be a little tight when you try them on the first time. Why? The answer is simple. Since they are made of leather which breathes, it takes time for them to break and adapt to your foot shape. Each shoe can take a different amount of time to mold. If you simply  cannot wait until they adjust themselves you can always try to put on socks and your FIQS, then proceed to heat them up with a blow dryer or walk about the house in them.The temperature will help the leather to expand. Do this several times and this will ensure you that the shoes adjust to your foot shape. Never try to achieve the same effect by leaving your shoes by a heater, as this can cause significant damage to the leather.


Caring for leather shoes consists of two easy to follow steps: cleaning and creaming/polishing. For the cleaning part, in most cases it is enough to just use a soft damp cloth to get rid of any dirt. If the stains are more stubborn and water just isn’t doing the job, you can use special leather cleaning products. Afterwards, you should wait for about 24 hours, to make sure your shoes are completely dry. Then apply a special cream for leather shoes, which will help nourish the leather, leaving it glowing and restoring its softness. If you get your shoes wet just leave them to dry on their own. Leather absorbs moisture so it is just a matter of time before they are back to normal.


When it comes to shoes, leather is simply the best choice. Remember that we are always more than happy to help and ensure that you are comfortable in your favorite FIQS, so feel free to email us at info@fiqs.co.

 

 

 

 

 

XOXO

*I’m wearing FIQS Green Lean.

Photos by Ernest Tan.

Mitsubishi TVC 2015

Hello!


Despite my busy schedule and travelling, I still find the time to do TV commercials or print ads. Provided if I’m around in town because most of the time I’m always away.


So here’s my first TVC for 2015. We shot this in January and it was on air before Chinese New Year. This was the most easiest TV commercial I did – fast and direct. But of course, like any other jobs, waiting time was the killer.


So….




all we did was taking selfie…



Of course not. We’re not vain. :p


It is always nice getting to know new people, especially people from around the world. And now, I have friends who are from Kazakhstan and Iran.


Behind the scene:



I had to sit on a tar road on an alley surrounded by thugs pretty much about an hour or so.

I was terrified. Oh yes, I was.

Watch the clip.




Have a great week!

XOXO

Valentine’s Day With Fiqs

Valentine’s Day has passed and I came up with a promotion for FIQS that was beyond the standard flowers and chocolates.  There’s nothing wrong with being classic, and most women appreciate a bouquet of long-stem red roses, but it’s also nice to get something a thoughtful, unique, and personalized gift from the heart.  So instead of giving default flowers, I came up with the idea for men to create customized cards for that special person in their life.  Men were given two different card designs to choose from and have their name printed on it.  The postcard-sized prints matched the shoe color and best part was it had no effect on the price.  It added a personalized feel to each order, and I absolutely love it when customers feel special.  So instead of giving flowers, give something that your loved one can keep.  Even better, give them something that will make their life whole lot easier – they can now swap for comfort when they’re out wearing high heels for hours.  How convenient is that?

 

 

 

Thank you guys who ordered FIQS for our Valentine’s special!

XOXO

One Month Down

Most of us made some sort of New Year’s resolution and now is a great time to assess your progress thus far. So how are you fairing? Did you see more success or struggle in January? Are you still on your plan? Writing out a strategy is great but there has to be action to go along with it. Thankfully it doesn’t take much. A little persistence every day is your ticket to success. Every step you take towards your goals makes the next one that much less difficult, and the key is to hold onto the motivation you first felt when you made your resolution.


Think about why you chose your resolution in the first place. Was it something you’ve wanted to change for some time? Perhaps you want to make more money, or maybe you have a few extra pounds that need to go. Was it a skill you wanted to learn, or a habit you wanted to break? Whatever your resolution was this year, what was it that motivated you to choose this goal in particular? Once you have answered that question, you have everything you need to give you the fuel to persistently chase your goal every day.
Every change takes effort, and usually it takes time to begin seeing results. Be persistent. If you have a solid plan and you work hard then you will see your reward. Be patient.


One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get toned. My days are pretty full, but my desire to accomplish my goal is greater than my preference for any schedule. This is why I have been able to dedicate at least an hour to exercise every day. I do a core workout from home and I make time by going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up one hour earlier than normal. It takes dedication, but not only do I feel accomplished when I’m done, I also feel fresh and productive at the start my day.
Just as important as your plan is your mindset. The first thing that has to go is your old excuses. When you repeat all the old reasons why you never accomplished your goals before then you’ve lost before you’ve even started. So find your motivation. I push myself by watching Victoria Secret fashion shows. Whatever it takes, but don’t procrastinate. If you aren’t sticking to your plan, then write down a list of what needs to be done and put it up where you can see it. Beside the list, hang a piece of motivation. It can be an inspiring picture or a quote that really speaks to you or a new outfit, but give yourself that daily reminder of what you promised you would accomplish this year.


Each small change creates a bigger impact later on, and the sacrifices you make today will pay off in the long run. I don’t enjoy waking up early, but every day I stick to the plan it gets a little easier. It was difficult at first, but now after a month I automatically wake up one hour earlier than I used to.


So stick to it. Chase your goals. Anything is possible, and you have everything you need to meet your goals. Keep at it, and good luck!



 


 


XOXO