Book Review - Believe, Belong, Become

~ Posted on Friday, December 26, 2014 at 8:09 AM ~

I have been cutting down on doing product reviews ever since our 3rd kiddo came along in end of Sept 2013. I do still accept review pitches but only when time permits and if it is something that I can see it being useful and beneficial to our family. Also, as busy as I am with 3 kiddos, home cooking, taking care of hubby's administration site of the business and swamped up with managing my FB page and blog, I just can't say no to reviewing good books! Reading is my passion and coupled with books that are of parenting or religion or educational genre, all the more I gotta say yes!

Believe, Belong, Become

Title: Believe, Belong, Become
Author: Nick Vujicic
Illustrator: Dreamergo
Publisher: PMA Music Foundation
ISBN: 9789881278760
Paperback: 93 pages
 

Description from the product page:
"A story of faith on how Nick overcomes his limitations and gains strength through God."

I'm a full-time mummy

Firstly, this is the 3rd book from the 'Give Me a Hug' series but having been just able to review the 3rd one without the earlier 2 series, I don't think it matters which series you are reading on as it can be read on its own as well. I don't seem to see any continuation from previous series but I think it would be great to have collected all the books in this series!

Believe, Belong, Become

Okay, back to the review of "Believe, Belong, Become" - the illustration is very very nice. Soft, gentle yet comical illustrations coupled with pastel sweet and soothing color choices is very easy on the eyes. I love the details drawn and reading this book together with our 5.5 years old boy and 3 years old girl is just a wonderful delight!

I started off with a brief introduction to our 5.5 years old boy on who is Nick Vujicic and why he is born without limbs. Honestly, I have not been talking about people with physical disabilities with our kiddos as I just don't know how to approach this subject. So I'm very grateful to be able to touch on this subject through this book.

This book comes with 8 chapters, going from the time Nick was a young child, pondering and wondering on why he was born this way, to how he suffered the looks and questions etc from people who came across him to how he overcome and uses his disability in a positive way to bring people closer towards God.

Reading to our young kiddos, there are some instances where I rephrase the sentences in the book for easier understanding but I still make it a point to deliver the message of each chapter to our kiddos.

Our boy particularly enjoyed seeing the illustrations on how Nick was portraying himself as an alien (see picture below). Our boy asked me whether Nick was an alien or a monster and why he looked like that, so I used the opportunity that sometimes we tend to see something that does not look common or normal as something scary or creepy looking like how this girl in the book thought of when she saw Nick.

Believe, Belong, Become

As our boy started his pre-K this year, I also reminded him that just because Nick does not have hands or legs, it doesn't stop him from doing normal things like us. Nick can continue his studies, teaching and inspiring other people.

A chapter that struck my heart is chapter 5 page 52 '... make use of our abilities and experiences to light others' flame of hope!' It reminded me of the time that I learned to comfort and prayed for a stranger whose mum will be undergoing an operation while my own mum lies on her bed in ICU fighting for her life.

Believe, Belong, Become

I can see our boy especially being interested in this book as it touches on something different. I use the opportunity from this book to teach our kiddos to:

- Be grateful with what we have been blessed with.

- Not throw tantrum when things doesn't go your way or we are not like others. Just because whatever you wished for doesn't materialise, it doesn't mean the end of the world. We should pick up ourselves and move on and make the best of what we have.

- Not judge a book by its cover. We should not be influenced by first impressions or assumptions.

- Trust God in His purposes for our life.

- Make the best use with what we have to inspire and enrich other people's lives.

- Be patient when seeking answers or help for our worries, troubles and so on. That God answers our prayers no matter what, we just need to lean on him and trust on His will for us.

 

In summary, it is a very inspiring book with educational and moral values which can be instilled in our children. I can definitely see this book being read over and over and over again. Highly recommended and I hope I get to check out the other books in the series as well!!

I'm a full-time mummy

The book is available at all major bookstores. So far for Malaysia, only MPH Online carries the Chinese version.

I'm a full-time mummy

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Barbie Makeover Project

~ Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 1:23 AM ~

** Disclaimer: For those of you who do not have a positive perception on young children playing with Barbie dolls, you may skip this post of mine. I just had to write this out first as there are some of you who believes that playing with Barbie dolls will make children think that being thin, or big breasted or wearing makeup etc etc is the norm. FYI, when I had my Barbie doll, those thoughts never ever crossed my mind. Not even to this day. So with the same belief, I continued on this tradition with our girls and hope that they will have beautiful memories playing with these dolls just like me.

 

My history...

I got my first Barbie doll when I was around 8-9 years old. It was the "Peaches 'n Cream Barbie Doll 1984", a bridesmaid model exactly like this:

I still remembered the many dresses and blouses and skirts that my late mum personally sewn for my Barbie doll and sad to say, I threw the doll away a decade ago before I got married, silly me did not realised the sentimental values of it then. Sigh.. can only see picture now... So anyway, sometime ago, I told my hubby that we should only give Barbie dolls to our girls when they are around my age.

Few months back, there was this McDonalds' Happy Meals toy which gives out free small Barbie dolls (like 4-5 inches tall) and I got one for our 3 years old girl to test it out on her. She loves it! Hubby at first was laughing and teasing at me for caving in and later ended up buying another one for our girl hahahaha...

Fast forward few weeks after that, I joined this preloved group on Facebook, a group that buys and sells preloved and/or new items. Then I saw this...

Someone is selling 2 preloved Barbie dolls for RM30 (that is about USD8.55) The picture posted was exactly as shown above. I thought 'Hey, for RM30 I get 2 Barbie dolls and some princess-ey dress why not?' So I bought it. As I was liaising with the seller over FB private message, the seller told me that one of the Barbie dolls' right leg is broken. I was like 'What?!' It turned out that the seller has previously posted this item and mentioned about the condition, hence the reason for selling 2 Barbie dolls, as she meant it to be a buy 1 free 1 thingy. She apologised for not stating the condition in the picture as it was quite some time posted already.

At this point, I'm like halfway hooked and I asked her to send me a closer view of the broken leg. I saw the picture and thought 'Maybe I could DIY something and fix it. If I failed, I waste RM30 rather than paying double for ONE Barbie doll' So I went ahead and bought the preloved dolls. When I received the dolls, to be honest, I felt a bit disappointed.

There are things that needed to be fixed on BOTH dolls. The one with broken leg has messy hair, long and clean but messy and sticky hair. I held the doll and noted what are the changes I needed to do for it. The other one, all OK but her hair.. oh dear... it got chopped off here and there like dog's bite. It looks dull and lifeless.

It took me 2 months to do the makeover as I also had to rush up the Christmas gifts for hubby's clients this year, then went on a 4 days 3 nights family holiday trip and only managed to secretly do the makeover and fixes late at night. I did not tell hubby at all about this until I completed the makeover. Yes, I do not want him to laugh at me again.

Makeover process?

First makeover - The broken leg.

You see, the shoes are glued up to the foot and previous owner tried to take off the shoe and ended up accidentally ripped out the leg as well. The seller uses some loytape to keep it intact. What I did was, gently peeled off the loytape and wipe the leg clean and dry. Even attempted to take off the shoes but failed. It stayed glued to the leg. I then use a super glue (which I bought on the pretext of preparing clients gifts, need to use super glue as well lol) and slowly squezeed out a small dollop of glue on both leg surfaces which is to be glued together. I let the glued part dry off a bit before joining the legs part to fuse them together. Do note that the legs color differs in before and after shots as I had to do these under dark and/or yellow lighting most of the time.

 

Second makeover - Doll 1 with long sticky messy unruly hair vs. Doll 2 with cropped dog bite lifeless hair.

What I did was I took out the dolls' head and soaked the hair in a plastic cup which I put about 1tbsp of my precious shampoo. Soaked it for a night and the next day, let it dry and then comb it. Picture below shown in done on doll 1, the one with long sticky messy unruly hair.

Ahh... I'm getting good at this makeover thing huh? LOL. At the time of writing this blog post, the 2nd doll's head is still being dried up so I don't think it will be given for Christmas on time. I'll just have to give the 1st doll to our 3 years old girl first.


Third makeover - Glam up the Barbie doll

When I first bought these 2 preloved dolls, I don't intend to use their clothes as I wanted our girl to have a princess-ey doll. So I've been watching and monitoring the preloved FB group that I joined in and as luck would have it, I saw someone selling doll dress! Very very very cheap doll dress which can be fitting for Barbie dolls! I jumped at the chance and privately message the seller that I want to buy the dress! The picture shown below is what the seller posted. It doesn't look like Barbie dolls at all but since seller said can fit Barbie doll, I went ahead and bought every different designs there is. Total of 14 dresses in 4 colors all different designs. Each dress costs RM1 (about USD0.30)

 


The Results for Barbie doll #1 - Before & After pictures

Final outcome is what we are all waiting for right? So here you go... from the broken leg, long sticky messy and unruly hair, to a long clean straight hair in a princess-ey dress! *insert heavenly sigh here...* 

 

The Results for Barbie doll #1 -Close up view

I took this picture in our bathroom at midnight and sent the pictures and explained the whole story to my hubby over FB text message (he was working in his office room next door) then wrapped up the doll in a nice gift wrap paper and put it under our Christmas tree.

I hope our 3 years old girl will be excited to have her first Barbie doll. I'm sorry to give her a preloved doll but really hope she doesn't mind. Oh, before I forget, I also want to share why I'm letting her have a Barbie dolls years ahead of me. You see, when I got my doll, I was 8-9 years old, and I only played with the doll for a year or so before early teen phase came and I grew up and was into other things. So, I thought maybe she will be able to play and enjoy these dolls a few more years than me? Nevertheless, I hope our girl(s) will have a beautiful memories playing with their Barbie doll now.

 

What do you think of my Barbie doll makeover attempt?


 ** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.

Simple Stir Fry Minced Pork with Garlic

~ Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 7:41 AM ~

For this post, I am sharing my next food recipe, Simple Stir Fry Minced Pork with Garlic. I am not a fan of pork until I married my hubby in 2007. Hubby tried to teach me to cook this dish end of last year but only recently I gave it another go after stumbling onto a picture of it in a cookbook I bought from a book fair. It is a simple and easy to make dish so without further ado, here is the recipe for Simple Stir Fry Minced Pork with Garlic:


Ingredients:  

* Minced pork (quantity up to you)
* Garlic (about 3 cloves slice thinly)
* Oil (about 1 tsp for frying minced pork)


Marinade:

* Light soy sauce 
* Brown sugar
* Worcestershire sauce
* Salt & white pepper


Methods:  

* Marinade the minced pork with the marinade ingredients listed above.
* I usually mix the minced pork with the marinade with my hands. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
* In a heated frying pan, add oil.
* Add the garlic and stir fry until you can smell the fragrant garlicky smell.
* Add the minced pork, break and gently toss the meat with your spatula (I use my trusted chopstick) until all cooked.


Outcome:

 

It is very easy to make this dish, little ingredients, easy to follow steps. Our kiddos especially our 2nd one loves this dish! This recipe is definitely for keeps!

To view my other recipes, feel free to hop over to my Recipe Library page for more info!