chocolate banana bread

Hi friends,

I probably have more than one banana bread recipes so far 😝 The other day I was craving something chocolatey and something banana. I looked at my fruit bowl I had couple of very ripped bananas. So, the searching for chocolate banana cake or bread recipes were on. And I found this recipe that I would like to share with you, just in case you’re like me, easy no fancy baker 😅

This chocolate banana bread is pretty easy to make, no mixer needed. It is soft and moist and the sweetness level is just right. You can add more sugar if you prefer a bit more sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 175 grams plain flour
  • 40 grams or 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90 grams ( 1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 115 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) milk
  • 75 grams (1/2 cup) dark chocolate chips

Method:

  • Grease and line your 9 x 5 inch baking tin with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder. Add sugars, and cinnamon and gently stir.
  • In the microwave, heat the butter in a large heatproof bowl until just melted. Remove the butter and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile mash your bananas well using a fork.
  • Add your vanilla, eggs and milk to your cooled butter and whisk gently until combined. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients, add wet ingredients and mashed banana. Gently fold the mixture using a spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture is just combined. Don’t over mix.
  • Add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to the batter. Pour mixture into prepared tin and sprinkle 1/4 cup of chocolate chips on top.
  • Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

This banana bread is not overly sweet, if you like more sweet add an extra 1/4 cup of caster sugar.

Source : Sweetest Menu

Happy week-end and happy baking!

it’s ok not to be ok

Last week was R U OK day in Australia, a day that you got a reminder to spare a bit of your busy life to check in on your mates, your neighbour, your colleagues, your best friend or your loved ones, check in on those around you. It’s anyone and everyone you may encounter in your lifetime who may benefit from three simple words, are you okay?

Especially this year, with covid situation and lockdowns are putting such a strain on many people’s mental health . Our mental health is just as important as our physical health too. Loneliness and being alone in this strange difficult time can be so hard for some.

As a mother of busy teenager boys with husband most of the time working away from home, I do feel occasionally that I could have a breakdown every now and then. Trying to juggle every thing and making important decision by myself sometimes it’s not easy. And feeling alone especially at night times and weekend, it sucks big time.

I am a bit of a loner and always have been, a little something you may not have known about me… Being alone doesn’t always mean I’m lonely though, in fact I often feel more alone in the company of certain people. But I have to admit, there are times that I wish I had someone to chat to, to spend time just going out for coffee or lunch or dinner. In my times of feeling alone I know how much I want to be heard and just talk. But of course, I can’t do it here. Living far away from my family, it’s difficult for me to open up to someone, especially the ones that I don’t feel close to. My heart pouring chat could end up being the community gossip and worse it could back fired at me. It happened before. I used to have a good friend that I was comfortable enough to pour my heart out to her. But when things got sour between her and I, she told me that she was actually sick listening to all my sorrows/troubles. For her it was like listening to broken tape recorder. I never forget this. So, I’m still lucky to have my mother’s ears now.

Lately, I’ve been experiencing a mild anxiety. I really don’t know what cause it. I worry about every thing, my children, my husband, my family back in Indonesia, our health, our financial, the future of the world, like..WTF? It woke me up in the middle of the night and I felt like I couldn’t breathe or my chest was heavy. I managed to do slow breathing and calm myself and thanks God so far I could go back to sleep again. Sometimes it happens during the day for no reason my thoughts are every where. I kind of know when this weird feeling comes, so I try to meditate, do my yoga, and being active and busy.

I don’t know why I have this so called anxiety lately. Maybe the uncertainty of this covid got into me. But I know for sure having this unhealthy mental disorder it’s not good. I’m lucky that at the moment my husband is home so I always can tell him whatever I’m feeling. Sometimes I think, I just need to talk to someone, to share my worries and what’s in my head at that time.

So, not only on Are You Ok day that you need to reach out to those you love, but I personally think, it’s no harm if every now and then, you spare a bit time to send message or call your mates, your girlfriends, those you love, even if you think they are okay, just to check in on them. Yes we often are so caught up in our own worlds that we don’t always have the energy to take on other people issues. But, maybe just put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You will feel grateful when someone just thinking of you, support you when you need it, pay a visit. Because sometimes for people like me, all we want is to be listened without being judged and company. Because even tho I’m comfortable enough to shop and eat out by myself, sometimes it is nicer to have some other souls too.

If you are ever doing it tough and feel like you have no one to speak to, I am here. I am here to listen, to understand, no judgement. It’s okay not to be okay and you are not alone. A simple message is all that is required to reach out.

I hope you are all OK. If you are not, it certainly ok too.

Love,

living with plants

Hello friends!

Let’s talk about plants! Because at the moment, looks like every single person that I know, is into plants!

I noticed, since the covid-19 lockdown, people are into plants so much. Some people that I know, used to not into plants before, now they have almost every plants on the planet😀 Which is good tho, as long as they keep looking after their plants and don’t abandon them after normal life resumes.

As for me, I started to have interest in plants perhaps since about 3 years ago. My first plant was Fiddle leaf fig. I remembered I bought it in IKEA for $10 and it was just about 30cm tall. Now, it has reached almost to the ceiling!

I first thought gardening was only for older people, you know like when you have reached 60 and above, like my mother. But geez I’m wrong. Nowadays even as young as teenager they are into plants!

I used to buy fresh flowers to add some aesthetic in to my house. But then they are quite expensive for my wallet and they only last two weeks max, so I thought I didn’t want to spend my money on plants that not gonna last long. So, I started to buy ‘real plants’.

My second plant was monstera and it grew beautifully and big, until I got bored because it was so big it took so much space inside the house. So, I moved it outside. It still alive, surprisingly.

I bought my plants from every where, I cannot visit a nursery or garden centre without taking home a new green friend. I probably have nearly 100 plants now. But I try not to make my house look like an out of control jungle though. I put the plants to every room of my home, including bathroom. I also try to prevent my home from looking too full on planty, so I add shelves and hang the plants from the ceiling.

I also have killed few plants, oh yeahh! It is not the end of the world if you kill a plant, it’s an excuse to choose a new one!

If you are just into plants, there are several easy to care plants that won’t die easily such as; devil’s ivy / pothos, monstera, spider plant, snake plant, peace lily, and aloe vera. The most important thing to look after your plants in my opinion, is first light. Get to know if your plant likes direct or indirect light, indoor or outdoor, if outdoor shade or no shade. Then second, water. I don’t water my plants every day. In winter I normally water them once every 10 – 14 days, in summer once a week. Some plants tend to go dormant during winter, so less water is better. It is better underwater than over water as the latter can cause root rots. Every plant needs a different kind of care, and I usually just touch the soil to find out if it needs water.

I believe there is no such thing as a black thumb tho. If you are willing to invest a bit of TLC (time, love, and care) to your plants I am sure you will have a healthy and beautiful plants.

So, if you are plants mama/dad what is your favourite plant ? Mine at the moment is begonia, I’m obsessed with any kind of them 😍

Before I forget, couple weeks ago my friend Noni asked me to chat about plants on her podcast so below is our conversation about anything plants, if you would like to listen. Apologise it’s in Indonesian and there are lots of giggles. But mostly what we were chatting is what I am blogging here.

And if you haven’t followed my plants account on Instagram, please do so @ohdearplants . Thank you pretty people 😍

Til next time!

the curse of social media

Hello friends!

How have you been?  I hope each of you is well, healthy physically and mentally, and safe where ever you are.  

Since my last post which was in April, things are getting much better here in Western Australia.  Schools are open as well as restaurants and gym/yoga/sport activities. It feels almost back to normal again, except we are still practising 1.5m distance and washing hands and/or using a disinfectant and only certain numbers of people are allowed in the shops and restaurants.   My boys are back to school and their sports activities, it means waking up as early as 5am (in the winter) resumes which I’m not that keen 🙄

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I happened to stumble upon this post on Instagram.  It was about Hana Kimura, a professional Japanese wrestler who has died at the age of 22. So young!  The cause of her death was not clear, but it looked like a suicide.  She posted images of self-harm on twitter apparently along with messages that read as she doesn’t want to live anymore. She had been the target of hundreds of mean tweets and she suffered from cyber-bullying that impacted on her mental health.  

Social media are a big platform in our life now, whether you like it or not, it’s a fact. Many of us including myself at least, own one or two platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on.

The use of social media is very strong nowadays. People posting their life, business, family and travel journey, etc, on social media. Lots of people are even earning their income from this platform. Vloggers and Instagram influencers are big on these online platforms.  Which is OK.  What is not OK is when the interactions on social media become personal hatred comments. That is called the cyber-bully. 

Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is a form of bullying using electronic means, also known as online bullying. The forms of bullying can be abusive texts and emails, hurtful messages, images or videos, humiliating others online, spreading nasty online gossip and chat. You probably won’t realise that your comments or interacts on social media can have a serious effect on the mental health of anyone, no matter who they are.   You can dislike and/or disagree with someone, but do not bully them especially on open public comments.  There is a better way to express your disapproval rather than bullying online. 

Cyberbullying often happens to young people, especially teens.  They behave in a negative way to a peer online, such as calling them names, deliberately excluding them, or spreading lies or rumours.  Cyberbullying doesn’t just happen in kids though.  It happens to everyone even adults.  I witnessed at least one that I still remember until now and I have also been bullied by harsh and nasty words from at least two people.  

Bullies appear to think that it’s ok to unleash their hate on others.  There is a better way to express your anger and disappointment toward someone or people rather than being nasty and cruel.   When you’re angry you probably don’t think straight, but saying nasty and hurtful words are not acceptable, especially on social media platforms.  Using certain animal words and threatening to murder someone is also beyond acceptable.  You don’t think the impact of your action on that person you are bullied can be fatal.  The words you are said/wrote are forever there,  always bubbling in the surface of their brain.  It makes them think they are bad people, they’re worthless, and sometimes can lead to depression and anxiety.

I want to write about this from long time ago.  But I always hesitate. Because it hurts too much.  What had happened to me was not as bad as what happened to my other friend.  When I read the article about Hana, it saddened me deeply and somehow I could feel her pain.  I’m lucky because I have my family as my supports especially my husband and my boys.  Without them, I would be in a dark place for longer.  I had my moment where I questioned everything because I didn’t think I deserve to be treated like that.  But I let it go and try hard to forget what happened.  I’m healing. I’m good.

Sometimes I think, social media has made many of you comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the mouth for it! So, please don’t use social media or the internet as a weapon.  We have too many horrible things happening around the world as is, so please be kind.  Also, if you don’t know me, not even friends with me or socialising with me, please don’t take part in bullying me together, because it’s so not cool and childish. If you know me and want to know what’s the real thing, ask me personally and directly, don’t go to the people who spill the tea.  Don’t be a noisy buddy! 

Be kind.  Act consciously.

You are a woman.  Skin and bones, veins and nerves, hair and sweat.  You are not made of metaphors.  Not apologies, not excuses” – Sarah Kay 

Don’t let anyone treat you less than you are 💙

 

ohdearriasignature

 

Liebster award 2020

Hi hi friends!

Ternyata saya dapat Liebster Award dari Beth dwong, terima kasih ya Beth dan maaf kalau lumayan lama membalasnya. Ini adalah Liebser Award saya yang kedua, yang pertama adalah dulu kala tahun 2014 bisa dibaca disini.

Liebster Award ini adalah penghargaan kepada sesama blogger, selain untuk memperkenalkan blogger baru, juga untuk menjalin keakraban satu sama lainnya.  Yang mana adalah benar banget.  Dari dunia blogging ini saya jadi kenal banyak bloggers dan menjadi cukup dekat dengan beberapa bloggrs lainnya.

Peraturan dari permainan Liebster ini sebagai berikut yang saya copy paste dari postingannya Beth 😜

 

11 Pertanyaan dari Beth buat saya adalah sebagai berikut:
  1. Apakah kamu punya pakaian yang kamu beli lebih dari 2 tahun lalu yang baru sekali kamu pakai? Kalau iya, mengapa? Definitely yes, kadang bahkan masih ada tag-nya dan belum perna dipakai sama sekali.  Mengapa? Karena saya pada dasarnya suka sekali shopping baju 😅 Tapi setahun belakangan ini sudah mulai mengurangi dan lebih mikir dua atau tiga kali sebelum membeli. 
  2. Apakah sosial media kamu yang pertama kali? Kapan daftarnya? Kalau ga salah, sosial media pertama saya adalah Friendster atau Multiply, kapan daftarnya sungguh tidak ingat. 
  3. Apa alasanmu dalam memilih nama blogmu? Karena le hubby sering sekali bilang, oh dear ria… as simple as that. 
  4. Lagu apa favorit kamu saat ini? Apa alasannya? French songs, because I’m learning the French language.
  5. Jam berapa biasanya kamu makan malam? Biasanya kami dinner around 6 – 6.30 pm, kecuali hari Rabu dinner agak malam sekitar 7.30pm karena darling son baru beres swimming training jam 7pm.  
  6. Menurutmu, 5 tahun ke depan ada perubahan apa dengamu? Misalnya tentang hobby, keluarga atau pekerjaan? The most significant change it will be no more school fee, for sure 🙌  And I hope the boys would have got a good job that they’re happy with it, and we are all healthy.  Also, I would love to run my own business by then 🙏🏻🙏🏻 
  7. Kamu punya koleksi apa di rumah? Atau pengen punya koleksi sesuatu? Saat ini koleksi saya adalah koleksi tanaman 🌿🌱
  8. Kamu punya rekomendasi buku yang bagus untuk dibaca nggak? A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.  A bit dark and traumatic maybe for some but I found it very amazing and devastasting all at once.
  9. Menurutmu apa yang membuat seseorang attractive selain wajahnya yang cantik/ganteng dan kebaikan hatinya? The way they treat others, how they speak to voice their opinion, and how they educate themselves. 
  10. Kalau kamu mendapat kesempatan untuk melakukan apa saja yang kamu mau dalam 1 hari, tanpa harus mikirin duit (pokoknya semua tersedia untukmu!) apa yang akan kamu lakukan? I would buy Thai Constellation plant for sure! And eating out for brekkie, lunch, and dinner 😛
  11. Kalau ada yang membuat film tentang dirimu, siapa actress yang paling cocok untuk memerankan dirimu? Angelina Jollie or Rose Byrne 😝
11 Random facts tentang saya:
  1. Sebelum menikah, saya sama sekali tidak bisa masak apapun.
  2. Sekarang lumayan bisa masak, tapi tidak suka masak yang ribet2.
  3. Lebih suka baking daripada memasak.
  4. Pekerjaan rumah tangga yang paling sangat tidak saya suka adalah, menyeterika baju!
  5. Termasuk ibu yang “control freak” terhadap anak.
  6. Cinta makanan Indonesia.
  7. Suka film2 horror seperti, the Wolf Creek, Carrie, The Strangers, Conjuring, etc.
  8. Selama ini baru nonton film korea dua aza, Parasite dan Crash Landing On You.
  9. Love yoga, been doing it for about 3 years non-stop.
  10. Originally I’m a night owl but motherhood forced me into a morning person.
  11. Love dogs.

Tanpa bermaksud untuk merusak permainan ini, saya tidak akan menominasi 11 bloggers dan tidak punya 11 pertanyaan.  Saya hanya menominasi 5 bloggers dengan 5 pertanyaan sebagai berikut:

  1. What’s your morning routine on week-days and week-ends?
  2. Do you exercise in the morning or evening? Why?
  3. Do you have Tik Tok? If yes, why?
  4. If you are working, do you always want to work for the rest of your life? If you are not working now (for whatever reasons), would you like to go back to the work environment someday? Give reasons.
  5. When travelling is allowed, where you want to go first?

Bloggers yang saya nominasi adalah:

  1. Stella
  2. Dixie
  3. Dilla 
  4. Franny
  5. Ira

If anyone wants to comment or reply on my five questions above, you are more than welcome to do so! I’m always happy to know your answers.  Have fun everyone and happy weekend!

Love,

ohdearriasignature

 

 

sixteen

My darling boys,

You are sixteen years young today! I feel just yesterday we celebrated your 15th birthday, a year just went so quick.

I can’t believe that you are 16 today, no way! There’s time that I wish you were still little boys in kindy or primary. Those times were sweet and gold. You were so cute, still so naughty and mischievous, but you would not argue and backchat to me or your Dad. You didn’t think that we were stupid and knew nothing about everything.

I know what you really want to do on this day that you turn 16. You can’t wait to go to the post office to get your Learner plate! And from this day, my worry about you two add on. I guess I just need to chill, like you always tell me, and do more yoga and invest in expensive anti-wrinkle anti-aging skincare that your Dad will never tell the difference. Oh wait, he’ll know the difference once he checks his bank account balance.

If you ask me and if I can be honest, I don’t like this teenager stage of your life. I wish I could fast forward it. I find you two are so challenging to handle. Sometimes it’s too much for me. Maybe, because I spend too much time looking on people’s updates on social media about how perfect their children are, how sporty and motivated and all the goody goody stuff. I know, I always tell you don’t compare your life to others, especially from Facebook/Instagram posts. Because those platforms only for beautiful perfect images. People won’t post their dirty laundry online, will they?

So much for the preach mama! Today is about you two, my precious, my world, my everything. I won’t replace you with other kids, don’t you worry boys. Because my love for you both is bigger than my ego. I love you no matter what has happened, what you have done, what you will do. I will always love you, my sons.

I love you enough to fight for you (mostly with your teachers), compromise for you, and sacrifice myself for you two if needed. Enough to believe in you, to stand by it through the worst of times, to have faith in your strength and to never give up on you. I love you both the most.

Happy birthday my darling boys! Wishing you the happiest day filled with all the love and the light. You came into this world on this day and lit it on fire. You are so very special. Happy birthday, enjoy your timtam cheesecake as always requested by you for your birthday.

Happy birthday!

Love,

Your crazy mum!

 

 

 

 

life updates

Hello friends,

It’s been a while.  It’s been a while since my last post, which was in January when I was just back from holidaying in Bali.  Ahh…Bali, how I miss you.  I miss travelling in general, even our road or camping trips, I’m so longing for it.

How are you all coping so far? Are you okay? What does it look like where you are in the world? My family and I are doing ok so far.  Le hubby has been working from home for almost a month probably, and my boys…they’ve been off school physically since early March.  They are on term break at the moment until next week.

As per today, Western Australia has zero cases of COVID-19 which is good news and I’m so happy to hear that. Although, businesses and shops are still close and we are still social distancing and only going out of the house for essential things. Our state borders and regions are still closed tho, so pretty much we can’t go anywhere out of Perth.  I am really hoping and praying that this will pass pretty soon and that life will get back to normal.

Personally, this stay at home and social distancing new way of living doesn’t affect me so much.  Hahaaaa….I’m pretty sad, am I?!  Before all these happened, I’ve mostly stayed home and distanced myself from being social anyway 😜 What I miss most now is my yoga class, my hair salon, my eyebrow waxing place, eating out, watching a movie at the cinema, and few of my faves shops.  Oh and my small circle of girlfriends, of course! Other than that, I’m still happy pottering around my house,  playing with my four-legged buddy and looking after my green leaves friends.

I find myself is busier during this stay at home period.  I clean the house more than before COVID-19, cooking and baking more, and I seem pretty much occupied every day.  Some days I even run out of time!

I guess I’m lucky.  We are lucky.  With incomes and homes and backyards.  With a roof and heat on as winter is coming.  We are the lucky ones with good health and with the family in our home that hold space for us when the world feels too dark and heavy.

Where ever you are in the world, I wish you good health, stay safe and together we can get over this.  Meanwhile, give yourself more love, more sleep, more playing, more generosity, more connection, more kindness, more walks, more dreaming.

Sending love, prayers, and strength.

Until next time friends,

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dear bali you make my heart smile

Hello friends!

This is my first blog post in 2020!! Although a bit too late but still I wanted to wish you a happy new year😜😜 May 2020 will bring better luck in everything we do and also a good health 🙏🏼🙏🏼

The boys and I just recently got back from the island of paradise for some relax and chill time before school and all the chaos of life start again next week. Le hubby couldn’t come for he has to go offshore.

Bali is always a good idea. It’s not too far away to fly from Perth, so the flight is much cheaper. I actually wanted to go home to Jakarta. But flights were still so insanely expensive!! Also, this was the first time we flew with Citilink. The outbound flight was pretty good and smooth. Citilink is Garuda’s sister company. It’s a budget airline with 20 kg free baggage and meals are provided. Pretty good I reckon.

We stayed in Ubud for the first 3 nights and then moved to the Seminyak area. In Ubud we stayed at Adiwana Svarga Loka, check it out if you’re after some peace and quiet and jungle vibes atmosphere 💚

Even though the heat is still killing us, especially after climbing so so many stairs at Nungnung waterfall. But at least the traffic was very good, no traffic jam at all. Actually, the weather in Ubud was much cooler than in Seminyak, love it!

We also found our fave beach in Bali, finally. The water was so clear blue, white sand and it was not crowded at all. Well, I hope it would remain like that.

Amed beach was disappointing. The beach is very dirty with rubbish. At one stage I was swimming and there was dirty nappy floating near me. That put me off.

Thomas beach in Uluwatu was good too. Not as good as our fave beach tho 😜 There was no crowd at all when we got there. It felt like our own private beach.

The Uluwatu Cliff beach club was very nice too. Price was moderate not as expensive as other beach clubs I’ve known. The view and the service are excellent.

We drove about 2 hours from Ubud to Lempuyang temple, in the hope to see the magical and instagrammable so-called “the gate to heaven”. I won’t say exactly what I think here because I fear for my life😂. But, in my personal humble opinion, it’s not worth the drive, though. Or maybe I have high expectations about this temple, I still think Besakih Temple is way cooler. The temples around Lempuyang are actually more interested than ” the gate to heaven “. I couldn’t care to wait around 2 hours to get my pictures taken by the official Lempuyang photographer, so I asked my own personal photographer to take one for me. Just so that I can say, I’ve got the picture at Lempuyang!😃

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Left: Instagram version Right: not so Instragrammable. Mount Agung was covered with cloud.

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Instead, Jatiluwih is impressive enough. Maybe I’m more attractive into real nature than a man-made one 😛

Despite all the sight-seeings what I most love whenever I come to Bali is the food! Nasi campur, sate ayam, nasi goreng, babi guling, all the fresh juices and smoothies and coconut juice are all my favourite. Since we were always so hungry often I forgot to take pictures of the food we ate. Here some pictures that I managed to snap before they’re all gone to our hungry bellies.

So yeahhh…. Bali never fails me so far.

A short video made by my son capturing our fun-tastic time for you to watch. If you’re interested in his other vids, you are more than welcome to subscribe to his video channel 😍

How about you, do you love Bali as much as I do too? What do you do when you’re in Bali? Are you the type that just lazing around, shopping and eating? Or you like to do some adventures or sightseeings then chillax in the evening, or both … adventure and shopping like me 😜 Share, please 😍

With love,

the reason for the season

I hope it’s not too late to say Merry Christmas to those who celebrated it!  I wish you had a wonderful time with the people you love, people you don’t see very often.  Because that what Christmas is.  Time to spend with your family and to cherish being together, time to share the love.

I had a good Christmas day with my little family and extended family.  Nothing special, or extravaganza though.  It started at Christmas eve, we all went to attend Christmas’ eve mass. Then had a drive around the neighbourhood to see some Christmas lights.  And then home.

 

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On Christmas day we hosted a Christmas lunch for our dearest and nearest.  Thank God, the weather was nice enough for all of us to have al fresco lunch.  It wasn’t that 40 degree scorching hot, so I really thank the universe!

And on Boxing day, we all jumped on to the ferry and off to Rottnest Island (or Rotto as the local call it) for one night only.  It was a last-minute decision actually, that’s why we couldn’t get accommodation more than one night.  A much needed short getaway after all the hectic week in-between state championship swimming competition and Christmas preparation. The weather was nice, it meant not too windy and hot for me :), boys were having a good time with their friends, while I was happy lazing around, reading my book, swimming in the ocean, no cooking,…. bliss!

 

~~~~~

So, in a couple days 2019 will end.  A decade is almost gone.  Wow!  2020!

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Twenty 19 is full of ups and downs for me.  Either that in friendship or family matter.  I’m honest to admit that I have lost a few friends in 2019, which I didn’t plan at all 😛 I’m not ashamed of that. It was a big lesson to learn for me.  A lesson not to trust ANYONE in this particular community.  A bittersweet lesson to learn as well.  People who I thought were nice, people I thought I had done nothing to them, people who I hadn’t had contact for ages, they were actually the traitors. And I’m done with them.

I’m thankful and grateful that my family and I have good health, and please dear God let us all have good health, that’s all I ask for.  While boys will always be boys, they would do something that shocked us as a parent, that’s another hic-up in my family.  Le hubby and I went through a lot of parenting obstacles this year.  Lots of tough love needed to be done!

Twenty 19; thank you for the lessons.  Twenty 20 let’s do this!

 I am walking into 2020 with a clear heart and mind.  If you owe me, don’t worry about it.  If you wronged me, it’s all good, lesson learned.  If you’re angry with me, you won – I’ve let it go.  If we aren’t speaking, it’s cool – I truly wish you well.  If you feel I’ve wronged you, I apologise – it wasn’t intentional.  I am grateful for every experience that I received.  Life is too short for pent up anger, holding of grudges and extra stress or pain.  Here is to 2020, a new decade!  Remember forgiving someone is for you so don’t block your blessings.  Make 2020 a year of positivity and a season of forgiveness.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you a very happy new year and best wishes for a healthy, happy, and peaceful 2020!!

Note: video made and created by my son 💙

 

Peace and love always,

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on raising boys

Hello friends,

How have you been?  In my part of the world, it’s officially summer here! Hello longer days, balmy nights, beach life, tank top, shorts, flip flop, sunscreen,…. not so hello when the temperature hits 40 degrees, four days in the row though!

School is also finished.  Goodbye year ten and welcome soon year eleven.  Year 10 was a challenging one for the boys and also us as a parent.  I am just hoping that year 11 will be less difficult since they’ve already known what path they are going to be next year.  Two more years until I will say goodbye to the lunch box! 😝

On another note, twenty nineteen is almost over too.  I really feel this year has gone by so fast!  Do you feel like that too? I feel scared sometimes.  I would say 2019 for me personally is also a challenging year with lots of ups and downs.  Motherhood and parenting are so tough this year.  I’ve been shedding so many tears lately, happy tears occasionally but more frustrated and sad tears too.

I spend a lot of my days worrying about my children’s future.  Raising teenager boys at the tender age of 15 is really really challenging.  The word “challenging” will be used so many times here, I’m afraid to say! I have one that is very “challenging” to tackle and handle, and one is not so challenging, thank God for that, otherwise, this mama will go loony!🙀

I don’t have a girl so I don’t know whether it would be the same challenging tasks with girls.  But based on my experienced, in my teenage years,  I think girls are more sure of themselves (sometimes too sure), motivated and hard-working.  Boys…. are adrift in life, failing at school, at risk for violence, alcohol, and drugs.  Although the latter ones also happen to girls nowadays, I just realized.

According to the book I’ve read, there are three stages of boyhood, 1. the gentle years (from birth to six), 2. learning to be male (from six to thirteen), and 3.  becoming a man (fourteen and onwards).  So, I guess my boys are now in their stage 3 of boyhood, where their testosterone levels have increased by 800 per cent!! Argumentative, restless and moody, and rebellious, and also curiosity level is up to 1000 per cent!  They will do silly things out of their curiosity, and their brains just go out the window.  If you ask me, my fave stage is from six to thirteen, bring back those times, please!

I know everybody is different, so not all boys are criminals like mine.  Like I said, I have two perfect examples.   One with very high testosterone level, that keep testing on my patience and push every nerve buttons in my body, it’s just like riding a rollercoaster.  Every day is always “new” things, either good or bad ones.  While the other one is more manageable but also has different challenging behaviour.

Sometimes I feel like a failure, I fail to be a good mother. My husband and I feel we must do something wrong with our parenting style.  We are unsuccessful in being good parents to our children.  I really wish when I gave birth to them, they also came with a manual.  I really do.  The handbook that covers until they’re 21 years old perhaps?!  That would be handy, wouldn’t it?  Less headache and wrinkles for me!

Two things that I kind of know that my teenage boys need from us as parents are; one, a safe space.  Growing up is hard for themselves and providing them with a safe space, free of judgment to figure it all out is important.  Even though, it’s not that easy for me to do that as I’m a pretty judgemental mother.  Two is boundaries.  Having consistent boundaries with consequences is important, in my opinion.  Being grounded and got their mobile phone taken away, work well for my two boys!😈  And the last one I have to add an unconditional love.  Even though we are frustrated with our boys in a moment, that doesn’t mean we stop loving them.  The love we have for our children should never come with conditions.

Sorry if this post is mainly my whinging, that probably makes you think how bad mother I am because I can’t seem to raise my children perfectly PERFECT.  I am frustrated!  All I can do is keep trying my best and hoping that this shall pass.  That one day I could say I have raised complete men, not complete idiots.  That one day they become happy, well-balanced, and humble young men.  This mama can only pray and hope 🦋

If you have teenage boys too, I would love to hear from you, any tips and inputs are always welcome.  If you’re raising boys,  don’t be scared.  It’s not all boys are like mine tho.  You may be the lucky parents blessed with a brilliant brain and perfect behaviour kids. And if your kids are angels and intelligent, don’t read this post 😜

ohdearriasignature