Book Review - ParentSmart/KidHappy™ Ready to Play!

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 at 4:35 PM ~

I read the press release of these new books with great interest especially when it mentioned "...the books illustrate everyday scenarios that can challenge parents and young children: getting ready in the morning, sharing toys, and going to bed at night. Along with simple dialogue and full-color illustrations, the books include color-coded text to cue parents about positive language to use with their children. The ParentSmart/KidHappy series teaches four positive parenting techniques: (1) how to validate a child’s feelings, (2) how to offer choices, (3) how to promote problem-solving skills, and (4) how to encourage alternative behavior.

So I immediately wrote in asking whether there is any possibilities of me reviewing the printed copies of these awesome books and a month later, these books arrived safely into our hands! Yes!!!

Without further ado, here goes my first review for the "ParentSmart/KidHappy™ Series" book entitled "Ready to Play! A Tale of Toys and Friends, and Barely Any Bickering":

Title: ParentSmart/KidHappy™ Series (Ready to Play! A Tale of Toys and Friends, and Barely Any Bickering)
Author: Stacey R. Kaye, MMR  Illustrated: Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing
ISBN-13/-10:  978-1-57542-318-0
Paperback:  32 pages
Dimension: 8 1/4" x 8 1/4"

Description from the product page:
"Trouble sharing. Haggles over what to play. Jealousy, hurt feelings—and of course tears when playtime ends. For kids just learning to get along, playtime can be riddled with conflict. Ready to Play! offers healthy, lasting ways to help kids cooperate, develop social skills, and have fun.

When good friends Emma and Ryan get together to play, there's lots of fun to be had—and also plenty of playtime problems to be solved. Children will love the full-color pictures and whimsical story, and parents and caregivers will learn the language of positive parenting.

This book, and others in the series, provides a BONUS for parents and caregivers. With honesty and gentle humor, Ready to Play! shows how to handle typical playtime struggles by modeling three parenting techniques using color-coded text to teach the language of positive parenting:
* Giving encouragement
* Validating feelings
* Inviting kids to brainstorm solutions and imagine outcomes

These techniques are explained in detail in a section at the end of the book that is just for adults. The result: you get through everyday challenges with less stress while building your child's emotional intelligence and your own parenting skills.

Ready to Play! features:
* An engaging, realistic story that will ring true for parents and kids alike
* Easy-to-use techniques and positive language highlighted in color-coded text
* A section just for adults that explains the language of positive parenting
* An easy, fun way to improve parenting skills—by reading with your child

I'm a full-time mummy

This is my favorite book among the series! Ben is on the same page with me as this was the first book he chose for us to go through together, in fact he said 'Mummy read this first!'

Now, just want to clarify, I didn't follow the storyline in this book exactly. Instead of using the characters names (Ryan and Emma), I substituted them with Benjamin and Alyson, my children's names so that my 3 year old can relate himself with his baby sister in the story.

As I go through the book with him, I gently stressed to him that it is important for us to share things and take turns as well.

I also love the beautiful and realistic illustrations which clearly depicts the expressions on the child's face! I explained while pointing to my 3 years old why the child's face is in such way, for example on a page where the little girl is angry because she doesn't get things done her way and I gently explained to Ben that we have to mind our manners and must not be bossy and we cannot expect everyone to adhere to our wishes.

In addition, I also deviated a bit with the book as I saw the first page on the book is a background of toy horses in sandy brown color and one unique dark brown colored horse. I used this opportunity to teach Benjamin to identify the different horse from the rest (this is part of my activities with my 3 years old boy - which is to identify the same and/or different object)

My verdict? Definitely a must have book!

I'm a full-time mummy

You can get this book from Amazon and Free Spirit Publishing website.

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"

I'm a full-time mummy

Reminiscing My Journey Into AS/400 World...

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 at 1:44 AM ~

I started my IT career in the world of AS/400 (now known as iSeries) by attending what I would think as a Premiere pro classes in 2000. One of a kind unique type of classes back then.

I remembered the first time I saw the advertisement posting on the AS/400 programming classes, I immediately enrolled myself in the one month course that teaches and equips fresh graduates with basic AS/400 programming skills.

I felt that it was an opportunity in a lifetime to enrol in this programming classes as back then, there are very high demand of people who are knowledgeable in AS/400 programming and there is only a handful of colleges and universities in my country that offers the subject.

* Image credit:

After completing the course, I was then send off to work in IT projects at client's site and my programming skills improved from there onwards as I also get to learn more on the job.

Until today, I believe my decision to attend this training gives me an added advantage over the other graduates as there are no longer colleges or universities offering this programming subjects. I really felt blessed at being able to learn so much and have a strong foundation in AS/400.

Who knows, one day when I decided to go back into the working world, I might be able to be a trainer and conduct classes in AS/400 programming huh?

** This is a sponsored post for The Training Farm, however, all thoughts, opinions and words are 100% my own. 

A Brief Moment of Feeling Like a Celeb...

~ Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2012 at 7:56 AM ~

Almost a year ago, I blogged about the top 10 things I wish I could do and one of them is: "To be more outspoken and confident", below is the excerpt:

"I was approached by this lady who said that she recognised me through Ben and asked whether I'm the lady from 'I'm a full-time mummy'. I had to be honest, I was a bit stunned at first (I'm really paranoid of people knowing too much details about me) and lots of scary thoughts was going through my mind then and I could only muster a weak smile and said 'Hi' back to the lady and gently shook her hand.

Hubby said I was acting kinda weird and that I didn't know how to handle my blog fans. I told him she's not my fan and that I'm not that popular and I think she's more popular than me! So, Farhana, if you're reading this post, please forgive me for my reactions when we met that day. I never intend to act all weird, it's just my nature to be really shy and paranoid. Hope you're not turned off or got freaked out with me..."

OK, to be honest, ever since that incident, I had prepped myself to be more confident and approachable when we are out and about. Sure, I'm nowhere near any celeb status at all and definitely don't dare to claim to be one, but I do feel it is important for me to be more confident and sociable so that I can be an example to my kids. I don't want them to shy away when people approached them.

Now back to my blog post today, just want to share a recent incident that left me feeling like a celeb even if it was just for a few seconds!

What happened was, hubby wanted to get some salted chicken sauce and me having lost my voice earlier yesterday morning (it was a series of events, from sore throat to itchy throat to mild cough to losing my voice) and I told hubby to bring Ben along so I can rest at home with Alyson and then I decided to tag along with Alyson to enjoy the shopping mall aircond.

Then midway driving, hubby changed the venue (from a very quiet and 5 minutes away shopping mall from our home to a shopping mall about 10 minutes away. Hubby brought Alyson along to shop for his stuff and snacks while I brought Ben to Toys R' Us (to let him play all the toys there hahaha..) and then we went to have our lunch at one of our favorite restaurants there.

After lunch, we took a short stroll at the ground floor while we headed back to the car park, hubby was walking with Ben while I was pushing Alyson in her stroller. We went through this section of Korean food booths and it was then I got tapped on my left shoulder. I turned around and saw this pretty young girl taking few steps back smiling at me. I was like 'Uhmmm... is she one of my ex colleagues or school mates or... what' and thoughts raced through my mind trying to figure out whether I have seen her before in my life and then i just smiled at her, shook my head and walked away.

We walked on until we were near the escalator going to lower ground and I got tapped again on my shoulder. I turned around and noticed the same girl smiling at me again. This time, before I could say or do anything, she asked me in Mandarin whether I was the blogger from ''I'm a full-time mummy' and it was at this instant that I realised, "Oh my, she is my blog fan! How rude of me to walk away!" 

I immediately nodded and gestured at my throat, trying to tell her I'm sorry, I can't talk because I lost my voice. She said she followed my blog and asked whether she can take a picture with us. I nodded and her friend (boyfriend? I don't know but if he is, kudos to him for letting and also following his girlfriend to chase me all the way from the Korean food booths to the escalator!) quickly snapped a picture of us together. I apologised again for having lost my voice and not able to talk to her before we parted off.

Oh wow! That is an awesome few seconds of me feeling like a celeb hahahah!

* Image credit: Google search

So, yes, I would like to apologize to my lovely blog fan again for not able to talk or stay longer with you guys. If I have my voice and we are not rushing to go back home (hubby needs to marinate his salted chicken for dinner later!), I would've love to find out more about you and take more pictures too.

Thank you for recognising me in a sea of faces and sorry, I don't mean to come off as rude (for not talking). I hope I don't scare you guys away! And, thank you for your support! It feels good to know that there are people out there who follows my blog and gives me motivation and discipline to blog properly as I know there are people out there who reads the stuff I wrote!