Available Balance
Oil Cleansing Method: The natural way to clean our face
March 28, 2017
LB-oil cleansing method

Yes, you read it right, it is really using the oil to clean our face. My commercial facial wash is going to finish soon, I was thinking if I should go and buy a new one, or I just try to make up something on my own. I have aloe vera plant in my garden, I know it is good for cleaning and curing the acne too. I have been having acne problem since I was a teenager, and I still get that very often now though I am already an adult. (I used to think only teenagers have acne, but apparently I was so wrong.)


When I was reading how to make aloe vera gel or aloe vera face wash, I pumped into this: Oil Cleansing Method. My first impression was, how could it be? My face is already very oily, and causing many pimples, how can I still apply oil to my face? Yes, it is right. When I continued to read and find out more about this method, I think it is really worth to give it a try.


Reasons for using the oil cleansing method:
1. It is natural.
I know I will continue to buy some commercial and chemical products, but I hope I can try to make some natural products on my own, as I would not like to bring so much chemicals or toxins into my body, especially my children’s body.


2. It is cheap.
Of course it depends on what oils we are using, but I think it is still cheaper than the commercial products.


3. You can get it easily.
We might already have this oil in our home, such as Olive oil. I have read coconut oil works for some people too. We can actually use the oil to cook, and also to wash our face. How good it is! There are many other oils that are suggested to use too, including jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, etc.


4. It is easy to prepare.
There is no complicated process for us to make the oil for face cleansing. You just need to mix the oils according to your face condition by following some standard recipes or experimenting yourself. I also read from a blogger that she sometimes just uses one oil, without mixing with other oils. Castor oil is always suggested to be the major ingredient, as it helps healing and cleansing. Since I do not have castor oil at home, and I have jojoba oil, so I decided to just use jojoba oil. How simple it is. I even skipped the mixing procedure.


5. The cleansing process is simple.
What we need are: The cleansing oil blend + wash cloth + hot water


First, I just pour some jojoba oil into my palm. Then I use my fingers to rub on my face and massage. After some time, I soak the wash cloth into hot water and cover my face. I like the steaming experience, I just feel great about it. After steaming for about a minute, until the wash cloth is cool, I just use it to wipe my face, rinse and wipe again for a few times.


I tried the oil cleansing method for the first time last night. It was a great experience. I never expected my face to be so clean and comfortable.


Have you tried the oil cleansing method? Would you like to give it a try?


Image: Pixabay


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From Angry Mom to Peaceful Home: Free Video Series for Moms Who Yell
March 26, 2017
LB-from Angry Mom to Peaceful Home

Are you a mom or dad who is struggling with yelling once in a while? Do you feel guilty after screaming at or getting angry with your children? Do you wish you can be calmer and more patient? Do you want your home to be filled with joy and peace almost all the time?


Amanda from Dirt & Boogers is offering a 4 day video series for FREE, to help us change from angry mom to a peaceful home. She is going to share with us the tools to stop yelling. Though the first video has sent out on 20 March 2017, we can still sign up now as there are still about 11 days for these videos to go away.


Once we have signed up to the series, we will get the first video very soon. Then we will receive the rest of the video in the following three days. Each video is only about 5 minutes, so we should be able to find time to watch the video and learn some useful tools to stop yelling from Amanda no matter how busy we are. I guess it is worth to spend 5 minutes a day to learn the skills, and we will surely be having more free and joyful time to spend with our children, and even ourselves.


Same as Amanda, I never thought I would be a mother who yells. I have always wanted to be mom even when I was young. I imagined how I would love and take care of my children, and how they are brought up to be nice and lovely kids. Of course, the part of “kids not listening”, “messy home”, “sibling rivalry” are not what I can imagine before I became a mom. I could not imagine myself being a “monster mom”, as what Amanda said “Hulk Mom” in the first video. I always thought I would be the gentle and calm mom. Well, this is what other might think I am, as they always see how patient I am to take care of three kids, and I always told them, I always lost my mind and temper.


Many times we think how this mom can be so patient and seems to not get angry with the kids at all, and how we can be like them. In fact, I found out almost all moms I know yell, and they are still yelling too. So I know I am a normal mom, I am not the only mom who yells. But, that does not mean it is good to just keep being a yelling mom. I need to stop. I always want to stop yelling and start being a loving mom. I want to be the mom I always want to be – joyful, playful, loving, gentle, calm, patient, peaceful, mindful…. Just the mom I want to be and my children need the most.


I truly hope I can learn from Amanda from these video series. As she has stopped yelling, I believe all of us can. She believes that too.


If you are interested in signing up the video series, click here: From Angry Mom to Peaceful Home


Do you sometimes yell too?


Image: Unsplashed


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Call it “Home care” instead of “chores”or “housework”
March 25, 2017
LB-home care

I was reading the March muse letter from Mothering Arts, and found this: Let’s shift the word “chores” or “housework” to “home care”. How positive and sweet it is! Isn’t the words “home care” sound much better?


I always like to refer the house we are staying as “our home“, as I strongly believe there is huge difference between a house and a home. A home does not necessarily consist a family, as I always treat wherever I stay as my home, at least my second home away from my family. Once we treat it as a home, we care about it, and we gather together and share with each other under the roof.


According to Cambridge Dictionary online, chore means a job or piece of work that is often boring or unpleasant but needs to be done regularly. How boring and dull the chore is! No wonder whenever we think of doing the house chores, it is like our energy has been drained. Perhaps this is also why whenever we ask our children to do the chores, they just do not listen or do not do them willingly, as those are unpleasant jobs.


I usually do not like to use the word “chore“, but I use “housework” instead. What I found out from Cambridge Dictionary online is housework is the work of keeping a house clean and tidy. This sounds more relevant, as what we do is really to keep the house clean and tidy. I always told my children we have to do so, because it’s our home. In order for us to stay here comfortably, it is good to keep our home clean and tidy, but “work” still sounds a bit taxing.


After reading what Kerry Ingram (the founder of Mothering Arts) wrote, I agree that the words “home care” is a much more appropriate term. We are actually caring for our home. It is like how we care for our children, our favorite toys, our mind, our health, we also care for our home. We make sure our children eat well, play well, sleep well and clean as well. So, we should do the same to our home. We should make our home happy as well. Moreover, it is joyful to take care of our home together, as a family. Hence, it is important to do the home care together with our children.


Once we have changed the word we are using with a more negative energy to a more positive one, I believe how we view at it will also be different. We will treat our home as something we care and love, hence those tasks are no longer boring or energy drained. It will be easier for us to invite our children to perform the important and loving tasks together with us too, as we are not spreading the negative energies around.


So, in order to do our daily house chores or housework, let’s start taking care our home instead. I believe our home will be happier and healthier with this little change.


Image credit: Pixabay


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To Teach Kids How To Write Is Just Let Them Read And Write
March 22, 2017
LB-let the kids write and read

I just finished reading an article with the title “The Wrong Way to Teach Grammar“. I agree with what the author said, students learn more from simply writing and reading.


My eldest son is already 8 years old and he is supposed to be a second grader. I have not really spend time teaching him how to read and write yet, hence I am searching online for how Waldorf schools teach the students to read and write, then I came across this article.


I agree that we need to teach the kids how to write grammatically by letting them write, instead of just giving them the traditional grammar lessons. I do not know how native English speakers learn English or grammar, but as English is my second language, I was struggling in learning English when I was in school. I like English since I was young, and I think this is because I went to a kindergarten where encouraged the children to read and the teachers told us stories, instead of we just sat down there and listened to the lessons. It was an English speaking kindergarten where everyone has to speak English there, and the teachers were friendly. I guess that is why I like English.


When I was in primary school, we started to have English lessons by having grammar lessons and memorizing the vocabularies, but not by reading and writing. So, I was one of the people that the author mentioned that kept thinking of whether the sentence is grammatically correct, instead of enjoyed writing or expressing myself. As I did not get to read more English books or articles, I merely remembered the grammar lessons I learned and the limited vocabularies I could remember to write any essays. The worse is, I actually translated it from my native language in my mind and wrote down on paper in English. I always wanted to improve my English when I was in high school, and I just kept memorizing the vocabularies and reminding myself about the grammar. That was the way what I knew about learning English.


Until I went to college and met some English speaking friends, they told me how they learned English was via reading, reading and reading. They did not even know about grammar, what noun or verb is, but they could just write a beautiful article in no time and give a wonderful speech with confidence. Then I realized how I learned my native language, Chinese. I did not really learn how to write, but I just wrote. I did not care whether my grammar was correct and I did not memorize the vocabularies too. I just read many Chinese books, and always converse in Chinese, and that is why I can write and speak. It is habit of reading and listening, and just keep writing and speaking.


I started not to translate my sentence from Chinese to English when I learned to go online, chatted more with others in English and read more English articles. The more I read, the more I write, the more I listen, I do not even remember since when I can just write in English, without translating from Chinese. Though there are still a lot for me to learn and improve, I am happy I can at least just write and express myself, without keep worrying about the grammars and vocabularies.


This is also what I want to teach my kids – not to learn the grammar, not to memorize the vocabularies, but to enjoy reading and writing.


How did you start learning English? What do you suggest kids in learning how to write?


Image credit: Pixabay


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Let’s Start a Journaling Habit
March 21, 2017
LB-start journaling habit

I just read a post in A Fine Parent blog, “A simple 10-minute routine that will make you a more mindful parent“. I agree with the author, writing does make me more mindful.


I did not realize the power of writing when I was young, but every time when I was feeling really upset, I would like to write. I either wrote in my journal or wrote a letter to a friend. While I was writing, I started to be clearer with my mind, and I could always find the solution to my questions. Besides this, writing really calms me down. I still write once in a while, not a letter to my friends, but on my blog or just Evernote (as my private journal). It always helps me to look at the picture much clearer and plan what to do next. Hence, I totally agree that it is good to have 10 minute writing session every morning.


So I decided to start building this habit tomorrow morning. Currently, I always just go straight to my mailbox, then a few online working sites in the early morning. I should really change this. I will first write in Evernote. I prefer not to write in on my blog, as it always takes more time for me to write a blog post, I would like to write more properly and think more carefully while writing to public. Since I would like to treat this as my daily journal, and keep it short and simple, writing privately would be a better choice for me. I will also set a timer at 10 minutes. I can easily spend one or two hours just in writing, and that’s why I do not keep the habit of journaling, I always spend too much time. Keeping it at 10 minutes is affordable.


I also like one of the simple tips the author of the article I mentioned at the beginning about writing, “Write Without Thinking“. That is the great thing about journaling, we write what we feel. It is not a professional paper, it is not a business proposal, it is just a recording of what is in our mind at the moment. It is a process to discover ourselves, our feeling and our inner self too. It is like a self talk to me.


After journaling, I think it would also be good to spend at least 3 minutes to meditate. This meditation time will help me to feel what I have written in my journal and bring everything down to the ground. It would be good if I can meditate for 10 minutes every morning too.


I believe with the morning routine of journaling and meditating, I will slowly become a more mindful mom. It would even be better if I add yoga practice to my morning routine, but I will slowly blend in the healthy habit instead of just work, work, work in the morning.


Do you have a habit of journaling? If not, perhaps it is a good time to start now. 


Image credit: Pixabay


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Join 7 Day Family Challenge from Ziglar Family

I just learned about this challenge from Ultimate Bundle‘s newsletter. This challenge is said to help our family be, do and have more and also experience 7 specific wins in these 7 days. It starts on 27 March 2017, which is a week from now. Once we have signed up, we will receive a short video from one of the 7 experts everyday in the 7 days until 2 April 2017. The advice is to take the daily challenge with our family. With the brief video from the expert and links to resources that help us to learn more about the challenge, we will need to act on it in order to succeed. It is also recommended to share the challenge with our family and friends, as it is always good to share something valuable and meaningful with everyone. That is why I am sharing this here too.

When I first landed on Ziglar Family when I wanted to check on this 7 Day Family Challenge, I just think Ziglar sounds familiar to me, but I couldn’t remember where I read this name from. I am sure this was the first time I visited or heard about this website. When I was exploring the website, I found this name “Zig Ziglar“, then I remembered reading some great quotes by him. You might have also read some quotes from him and get inspired too. This website was founded by Mark Timm, but not Ziglar, and it is meant to teach us the wisdom, principles and teaching of Zig Ziglar. I would definitely find out more about this website, as I do not just want to learn about parenting, but my ultimate purpose is to help my family to grow. It looks like this website is good for family.

If you have visited Ziglar Family website, you might already knew about The Wheel of Family Life, which is a family check-up tool from Ziglar. It helps us to identify how our family is doing in 7 core areas – Community, Spiritual, Physical, Financial, Relationships, Communication and Work-life integration. So in these 7 days, we will receive wisdom for each area for each day from these 7 experts. These experts include Dave Ramsey, Tony Dungy, Gary Chapman, Josh Axe, Brian Buffini, Michael and Gail Hyatt and Tom Ziglar. Frankly speaking, from the experts of this list, I only know Michael Hyatt, he and his wife is going to talk about communication. I enjoy listening to Michael’s webinars and also reading his blog, so I am sure I will be learning a lot from these experts as well. If you would like to find out more about The Ziglar Wheel of Family Life to check how healthy your family is, you can check it here.



What we need to do is to sign up, then watch the challenge and take the challenge everyday, and also share the challenge. Do have you any friends in your mind that they might be interested in growing their family along with you?


If you are interested in this challenge, you can find out more information here: 7 Day Family Challenge


Image credit: Ziglar Family


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The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest – Free 9 Part Documentary Series
March 17, 2017

I just received a newsletter from Hay House Publishing Company about this 9 part documentary series. This documentary series will be available online for FREE, begins with episode 1 on 21 March 2017.


At first, I was not interested in this series, and even thought of just deleting the email. Cancer is not part of my concerns now and I am already overwhelmed by a lot of things I want to do, I might not have time to watch these documentary videos . I do not know why I still clicked on the link and checked out what it is about. There is a 4 minute introductory video about this series, and after watching it, I decided to sign up and want to learn more about cancer. This video series was produced by Ty Bollinger. He mentioned in the introductory video that his dad had died of cancer, and he wished he knew the answers to cure the cancer. I guess it is the part he mentioned about his dad and kids was touching, and I think it is good for me to learn more about it, and perhaps I can help someone in future or even myself with some knowledge I might be learning from this series later.


I have a friend who suffered from brain cancer died two years ago, at the age of 37. My sister’s mother in law is now going through treatments because of cancer. I do not know much about cancer, but I would prefer some natural healing remedies. I am glad to find out this series is talking about natural treatments of cancer:


He will talk about essential oils in episode 2, juicing and eating rainbow in episode 3, healing cancer with sound & light in episode 4, homeopathy and the power of emotions in episode 5, clean electricity, unique water, natural sunlight and combining superfoods in episode 7, micronutrient therapy in episode 8, and the rest are about cancer and also the stories of victory of the cancer conquerors.


After I have found out these, I want to learn more about the series. I think not only we can learn how to fight help cancer, we can also learn how to prevent or live harmoniously with the cancer cells, and these are what my husband and I have been talking about. We prefer to work on this if any of us really get cancer in future, rather than going through the chemotherapy or radiation therapy, though I have not really find out more about these treatments yet.


Each episode is more than an hour, and the first and last episode are about two hours. So, I guess I will have to allocate some time to watch these every day from 21 March onward. Even though I might not be able to watch all of them, I think I will still benefit from this. I believe there must be a reason that this series has been introduced to me, and I even clicked on the link to sign up.


If you are interested, you can watch the introductory video and find out more about this video series here: The Truth About Cancer


Image credit: Pixabay


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5 Things To Do When There Is No Internet Connection
March 16, 2017
LB-no internet connection

In this late afternoon, we suddenly got disconnected from the Internet, not knowing why. We kept trying for half an hour, but the Internet connection still did not come back. Hence we decided just to leave it, and go for our daily evening activity – going to the park. Sometimes I am actually grateful for having the Internet connection being interrupted, though I am very much relying on the Internet every day, it actually helps me to get something done when there is no Internet connection.

1. Read a book

It is a good time for me to leave my computer aside and pick up the book I am always reading. I always like to keep the habit of reading, though I am still always reading online articles or ebook, I still prefer holding a physical book. Moreover, the reason I bought the book is it’s worth to read and I will surely be learning a lot from it, but I just spend too much time online.

2. Make a plan or review the previous plan

The next moment after I wake up, I just turn on my computer, sitting in front of it and start working here and there. I always know I need to just shut down my computer, take out a pen and paper, and just make a plan. Making a plan helps me get rid of the clutter in my mind, and be more relaxed as I know what to do next. I still plan sometimes, but with my Evernote program. Sometimes I think using a pen and paper makes the planning better.

3. Clean the home or do a housework

I have been constantly doing this everyday even though I am also online everyday, as there is a need for me to keep my home neat and clean, at least at a reasonable condition, though not perfectly. My home is still in a big mess, and I always wish I can just dumb my computer for just one day, and get rid of all the messes in my home. But I am so stuck to my computer, actually the online world, hence I only take 5 to 10 minutes here and there to clean up the mess or do a housework.

4. Play with the kids

Though I am still spending time with my kids as much as I can, I think that is not enough, they want more time from me. Sometimes I wish I do not need to work, and just spend time with my kids, that would be the most ideal case. I am grateful for having the opportunity to quit my office job and take care of my kids at home, hence I still need to work a little bit, in order to bring some income to the family while I am staying at home.

5. Go for a walk

It is always nice to leave everything behind and get near to the nature. It is especially good if we can walk or jog in the park, as the environment is nice, and we get to exercise and be healthy too. I am thankful for having the park just within the walking distance, hence we can go there anytime we want.

What would you do when there is no Internet connection?

Image credit: Pixabay

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We can be pioneers too!
March 10, 2017
LB-we can be pioneers too

My sister and her family visited us yesterday, and we talked about a friend who is currently staying in her house temporarily. I know this friend as he is one of my sister’s high school good friends. He is working as a trainer in stock investment and currently the company has some issues with the management, hence he is considering whether to quit or to stay in the company. While the contract for the house he rented was ended and he has not decide where he is going yet, so he temporarily stays in my sister’s house.


I was just suggesting he can actually join another company or start his own if he has lost trust and interest in his company, but my brother in law kept telling me something negatively and it is not easy for the friend to look for another job. There are just something that came up in my mind:


1. The market for investment is huge, and it is still growing in my country. Hence, there should be lots of opportunity out there for the friend to look for new job, or even start his own business. Not only the friend has about 10 year experience and learned about investment, but he also has learned marketing and training skills, and I believe he might have learned some management and social skills as well. With all these advantages he holds in his hands, there are so many opportunities out there and I believe the future can be really positive.


2. Even though the market is small, I believe we can choose to be pioneers or we can help to grow it. No matter how small the market is, we can always find businesses or customers, as long as we want to do it. I believe roads are made by humans, or perhaps animals, but not natural.


3. My brother in law said the friend is not a very popular or expert in stock investment, hence he might not be able to start his own company and find customers, as nobody trusts him. In my opinion, everyone begins from a newbie, and the friend has already worked for about 10 years, surely he has gained a lot of experience and maybe he knows many people who are interested in investment too. Moreover, even if he has no experience in starting up a business, he can start learning it anytime he wants. There are plenty of possibilities and opportunities out there, we just need to believe in ourselves, and find the path we want to go, then just go for it!


I did not argue with them and not criticize them as well, I just think it is important for us to think positively and give positive or supportive advice to the people who need them. I am just imagining if the friend who is having difficulty in choosing his future path, and perhaps having low self-esteem, but still keep hearing negative comments, he might not feel positive for his future. Of course, I always accept different people have different opinions, and I respect theirs too.


I just think we can be the pioneer, and not always the followers!

Our Homeschool Planning for first week of March
LB-homeschool planning for 1st week of March
It is the first day of March here, and I just finished planning what I would like to do for this month. I know I should have made all the planning in advanced, but I just did not find the time to do so. So now, I guess I will just plan for every week.
Circle Time
We stopped having circle time in our home for quite some time, since I was busy with my projects and not feeling well due to pregnancy last year. My little girl always enjoys the circle time, and I think it is a good activity for our family, so I really need to find time to do so.
The songs I am going to use for this week include:
– Let’s make a circle
– Good morning, dear earth
– Lavender’s Blue
– Sally goes round the sun
– Bangun Pagi (A famous Malay song for kids)
– She’ll be coming round the mountain
and a few Chinese songs too
For the songs I mentioned above, you can find some of them at Lavender’s Blue Homeschool website. There are many songs which are good for kids, and you can listen to the songs on the website too. The founder, Kelly Ehrman, is having a 7 Day Sing More Challenge for free. You can sign up to this challenge and learn how we can bring more songs in our life with our kids. The song She’ll be coming round the mountain is the first song she recommended in the challenge, and you can download it from the email she sends out if you joined the challenge too.
We will also be tossing and passing the bean bags, and also let my eldest son practice his Math during the circle time.
Daily Activity
We have set our daily activity for the week, as Monday for cleaning, Tuesday for modeling, Wednesday for painting, Thursday for doing handwork and Friday for baking or cooking. We have not been doing these activities consistently for quite some time too. I am going to bring these activities up again from this month onward.
For painting, I am going to follow a lesson from Earthschooling, which is to paint a yellow butterfly to tell it is the Spring Season. On Thursday, we will sew a turtle with felt, as I am going to tell them a story The Talkative Turtle. We are going to bake some simple cookies together on Friday. I will go and look for a simple recipe, as I am still learning how to bake. We have bought some cookie cutters for Christmas last year, and I am sure my children will be happy to make some gingerbread man shaped cookies.
Homeschool Lessons
For my eldest son’s lessons, we are going to have form drawing, Math practice, more reading in both English and Chinese, and more storytelling too. He will also need to continue knitting his project, a washcloth which he has started since last year, but has not been knitting consistently too. I will start teaching my little girl finger knitting, as she always wants to do it.
2 March is World Book Day, and 3 March is Doll’s Day. I am planning to introduce these two days to my children too, and I will need to look for more stories to tell them, and perhaps activities to do as well.
I hope the kids will enjoy the week with the activities and lessons, and they will have lots of fun while free playing too.
Have you made any plans for the week?
Image credit: Pixabay
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