Friday, January 27, 2012

Letter to Mirae

Dear Tasha (Yoon Mirae),

I don't think you will ever read this letter I am writing to you, but I just wanted to let you know how inspiring you are to me, as a person.

I've only ever known you by your songs since you've not made that many tv appearances previously. I watched you and Tiger JK on Win Win on KBSW (kbsw shows airs 3 weeks later than on KBS) and you really inspired me. Why do I say that? Well, because I didn't really know the person behind the voice before this, and during your interview, I found you to be a real person. I mean of course, you're a real person, but what I mean is, you're totally unpretentious. You're a celebrity, but really down to earth. And you're a mom, and you were brutally honest about needing to earn more money cos you need to provide for your kid.

Of course, it's a given, what you said is not so much different than any other working mom, but I totally respect you for it, saying it in public and on air like that. I'm a single mom of two girls, 4 yrs old and 8 months old. I can't live without music, it gets me through the day. Your music (even if I don't understand all the Korean lyrics), is really inspiring. Because I think you sing about stuff I can relate to. (Like "Memories") And it's just... soulful.

And pffft... why do you think that you're not really a good singer? I think you are one of the best. When times get tough, I'll listen to your songs, and they really pull me up. :)

But hearing you speak in person, about your love, your life, your family, even your neighborhood, I just felt like, "Wow, I'm falling in love with Yoon Mirae & Tiger JK all over again (as a fan)." You guys are so human, it's almost laughable. I have never heard other celebrities discuss one another like that before. It was really refreshing, and inspirational.

As a working mom, and career woman, I wish you all the best. I want you to succeed. Woman to woman. I so admire you. I hope Jordan realises what a fantastic mom he has. (And what a great dad he has). As a divorced parent, I always worry that my kids won't recognize the stuff we do for them. Like I always feel I'm falling short of something, because there is only one of me, as opposed to two parents. No matter what, I don't think you should ever feel like that (not saying that you do, but if). I wish you much love, happiness and success in all that you do.

Your fan,
Nadia (aka elle7).

ps. Keep making variety appearances (saw u on Running Man... lol), and keep doing fashion magazine shoots... you looked gorgeous!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Designer Diaper Bags Part 3

Wokeh folks! I am so excited about this update! In my never-ending quest to find gorgeous diaper bags that mom can tote around and not look silly... I found this online store: Baby Kingdom. Go to their "nappy bags" section under "for mum".

It seems they are the biggest retailer of baby stuff in Sydney? Who knew! They carry designer diaper bag brands Babymel, Bugaboo, Dashbaby, Melobaby, Oi Oi, Storksak and more. The only slack thing about their online store is that they don't provide photos of how the bag looks like inside, which is super important for online shopping moms. And also another downside is that at the moment, the store doesn't ship to countries outside of Australia. (But if you are a desperate mom who really wants to order one of the bags from this store, just email me here or leave a comment, and I can see to finding a way to get the bag delivered to you.)

The prices range from affordable to the very expensive. Some of my top choices of designer diaper bags from the store:
Babymel - Amanda black & white floral

Storksak - Elizabeth in tan (leather)

Melobaby - melotote creme

OiOi - ebony dot hobo

OiOi - signature weave classic hobo

OiOi - Two pocket hobo black with white

Window shopping for diaper bags just got better! Don't you agree?

Monday, January 23, 2012

WTH... I mean really

Earlier at the start of the year, I had this premonition, due to the impending end of 1N2D this coming February, I suddenly felt a strong urge to download all the episodes... before it all disappears. I think it was because jiwonified's youtube account finally getting axed by MBC (due to copyright infringement) and Bee's talk of "I don't know what to do with this site once 1n2d ends" that gave me the heavy feeling of "if I don't do it now, I won't be able to do it later." So I became a premier member of Megaupload for the cost of peanuts earlier this month. They had a new year promo, and I could enjoy a 2-month membership for the price of one. So I was on a downloading spree. Downloading 10 episodes of whatever (1n2d, k-drama, whatever) at the speed of lightning.

I was enjoying the start of my 4-day weekend, thought it was safe to take a break from my downloading spree and spent almost the whole Saturday out. I didn't even bother to go online that day. Then on Sunday, I was having a lazy morning with the kids, had breakfast and finally checked the news, and ohmaigattttt.... noooo.... Megaupload was shut down!! Wtf US Government??? Piracy... eesh. I was only up to episode 226. I dunno how many more eng sub episodes I had yet to download even. I wish I had not taken a break on the19th. I wish I had left the download running all night long. Aaaargh. I was screaming at myself for being so slack. I knew this would happen. My premonition was right all along.

There are so many others like me who make an almost daily contact with MU. (Megaupload for short). Before being a premier member, I would download one episode per day from them. One episode of anything. Most of the k-dramas that I download were from MU. I mean most of the sites I downloaded any k-drama from used MU as their main file-sharing site. I think because it was easy and fast. And allowed passwords for more privacy. We thought KBS, SBS and MBC were hard on their crackdown of youtube accounts, but we didn't even calculate the US Government into the formula. Okay so maybe it is copyright infringement, and maybe what I and countless millions of others have been doing is considered online piracy... but so what?? I do still pay cable tv charges to watch those very same dramas and variety shows, but I just wanted to "own" a piece of it on my computer... so I can watch it over and over for years and years to come.

Yes, there is live streaming. But I haven't figured out how to record live streaming from the internet yet. And live streaming doesn't have english subs. I feel bad for uploaders though. They are the ones that have worked so hard to record the shows and upload it onto the site for us viewers. And the subbers. I hope that they've got some backup copies of their softsubs stored elsewhere. I think even mediafire isn't safe anymore. They are probably gonna crackdown on all file-sharing sites. Like how they did with napster.

But I have made a new year's resolution to stop downloading mp3s without paying. I calculated the cost of a legal mp3, and it was like $0.11 per song... and that's like the cost of nothing. So I might as well pay and let the artist earn something. That was my new year's resolution. (I also sort of realised that if I paid for my music downloads, then it contributes to my artist's chart standings, and I can actually help make them win awards.) So anyway, I wasn't on MU to download music. Just the tv stuff.

This totally sucks. I think there are a lot less torrents out there for k-stuff because MU was so great. Uploading was more efficient for uploaders, so they didn't use torrents that much, maybe? I dunno, that's what it seemed like to me. Now even torrents aren't safe, I think. I dunno when and how it will be stopped by governments everywhere. Cos torrents are totally more peer-to-peer than file-sharing sites, right? How to justify me sharing my file with someone on an ftp to be copyright infringement?

I personally don't think I can live without the ability to download anything. Especially now with MBC making better dramas than SBS/KBS and what with Jiwon being on the main cast of Come To Play (which airs on MBC). Astro doesn't carry MBC, so there isn't a way for me to legally watch it unless I download it. Malaysia was the first to ban certain file-sharing sites (but we found a way around that, too), but now the US Govt actually shut one of the biggest ones down. That's just scary man. The US thinks it can do anything. *shivers*

But anyway, I don't think I'll be getting my money back from MU. I wonder what it will say to it's members, if anything. What about those people that paid hundreds of dollars for 3-year membership or what?? The MU people are probably all having a huge headache right now thinking about the backlash of all this. What if some people actually only use MU to store files?? Like totally innocent people? What about all those legally owned files that are now lost?? How does a government shut down servers anyway? Do they seize them physically? What happens to that massive load of data? Some people's livelihoods may depend on that data. I can just imagine some neurotic techie somewhere having a meltdown a few days ago when this all happened. Like some brainless one that didn't have a backup.

So this is how the Year of the Dragon starts...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Just one of those things...

When I've completed all my tasks and have nothing to do at work, I always wish I can go home and play with my kids. I always make plans in my head... oh, if only I can pick them up, we'd go to the playground, or.. we'd play puzzles. Or build a castle.

Then the day wears on, and I'll get tired, and by the time I come home, there are so many things to do, that in the end, I'll be lucky if I get to spend 30 mins playing games with them. Cos they'll be tired too, and cranky.

If I was big-boss lady, I would probably give myself the afternoon off to play with my kids. I would treat myself to that. :) One day, maybe eh?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Routines Routines Routines!

The life of a working, single mom of an infant and toddler is the most optimal when routines can be followed without much disturbance. I think I've posted about this before, but I cannot stress this enough. If you are not a working mom, routines are still important. Even if you are not a single mom, routines are pivotal. Routines are just important. Period.

I like to think that my day begins actually the minute I reach home in the evening. No, not in the morning when I wake up, but the night before. The first 30-60 minutes upon reaching home are the most important. The moment I delay a certain task that is meant to take place in the first 40 minutes, then I'm doomed. Literally. The consequences of a delay could be very drastic, depending. But I'll get to that later. In the first 30 minutes upon reaching home, I must, in this order:

1) Store expressed milk in the freezer
2) Soak used baby bottles in soapy water in the sink
3) Put whatever laundry there is in the washing machine (and wash them of course)
4) Cook rice
5) Take shower & solat
6) Give kids a bath or change diapers

Then usually it's past 30 mins. And I continue with the 2nd part of the routine:

7) Cook dinner
8) Rinse and sterilize bottles
9) Eat dinner
10) Hang wet laundry
11) Read books to kids before bedtime
12) Put kids to bed or go to bed myself

The iffy part is the "pack kids bags" part. Sometimes if I have enough time or energy, I will pack the kids bags the night before. Sometimes I will do it in the morning after I wake up.

Now that Salma has started going to school wearing a uniform, I am slightly annoyed because my routine has to change to include ironing in the middle of the week. I really do despise ironing, and prefer to put off that task to the weekend. But because for some stupid reason the school does not have enough stock of the uniform, parents were only allowed to buy 1 pair (for now). I have to wash her uniform every other day and then iron it in the morning before she goes to school. Yeah yeah, it's just 1 shirt and 1 pants, but still... I hate ironing. And slows down the routine that I have set. I can't even delay doing the laundry when I get home because the uniform needs sufficient time to dry before she can wear it the next day.

I am only okay with company/family dinners if they take place on Friday night. Otherwise I get ticked off. Even if I have something urgent to do on a weeknight, like maybe going to the grocery store after work, I must must must complete the first 3 things on my routine list before I go do the thing I'm meant to do. I have put off sterilizing the bottles once, and did it in the morning, but it was too much of a rush taking them out when they're still hot from the steam and everything. And if I don't do the laundry that night itself, it will pile up and take a longer time to hang, and the kids'll get cranky waiting for me to finish hanging the laundry. I don't know why they have to wait for me while I do it, but they insist on waiting. I always tell Salma to go watch tv or go color her book or whatever, but for some reason, she still insists on waiting for me to finish hanging the laundry. Weird. And of course, Sophie will be trying to crawl out onto the balcony (the laundry dries on the balcony), asking me to carry her, so I have to get it done fast.... eesh.

Lately, I have this tendency to want to procrastinate though. But it's not a good idea. There were several times when I waited 2-3 days to do the laundry, and it ended up having too much laundry to iron over the weekend, so I ended up having to take a day off on Monday just to iron. I hate that. It was during a time when there were too many "external" functions/events going on that I couldn't do the laundry on time, so it felt like I'd skipped a whole week, and ended up with piles of clothes to iron.... never again. Procrastination is bad.

I am very relieved when it's a Friday (like today). Then I don't have to rush so much, and I can leave off the bottle sterilizing to Sunday. And I can be lazy about cooking dinner, and just buy dinner. Those are the best days... :) And I look forward to watching tv (which, incidentally is not part of my routine... did you notice?? TV is a luxury). Anyway, this is totally unrelated, but Happy #SeungGiDay! (Today is his birthday).