Let me just say this first: I CAN'T BELIEVE I SEWED THIS. 

What made me take on this DIY project with my amateurish sewing skills was because I could never find a wallet I truly like. I'm very particular about the size, number of pockets, and a coin compartment is a must. So when I saw this Have-It-All Wallet pattern on Oliver and S, I was thinking like, maybe I could sew one myself.

Before I even attempted it, I already hesitated a lot because I had to pay for the pattern. It was the first-ever pattern I paid for. With all the free online tutorials, you would think that it was rather lame to pay for a pattern.

But it was definitely worth paying for because comparing with some free online tutorials, I had absolutely no idea what a lot were saying but this pattern I bought was so detailed, it really helped me, who is at sewing beginner level.

The first few steps were a torturous experience because it was a steep learning curve for me. I had to undo the stitches like countless times, the sewing machine also often gets wonky and I even had to re-do the whole zipper pouch compartment right from the cutting of the cloth.

Now I know why people go for sewing classes. Sometimes it really helps if there's a real person guiding and having classmates encouraging you along. All I could see was the instructions in front of me. Thank God for a very nice hubby who told me like CONSTANTLY not to give up and reminded me like FOREVER to appreciate the whole learning process. He even gave me a few hours off to complete it.

I managed to finish it after 3 days 3 nights. I am really happy about it but because I didn't use a suitable cloth, it turned out rather flimsy. Hence, I can't really stuff a lot of things inside and ended up making a little card pouch on the sides to keep the extra cards (online tutorial at The Crafty Cupboard). So if you ever see me handling my wallet every so gently, you will know why - I'm trying to extend it's lifespan :)

the have-it-all wallet

The post contains no affiliate links and any views and opinions expressed here are purely my own.


"Active Listening" has been taught countless times in school, used countless times with my clients but almost never used at all at home. No wonder people say, if you're counsellor, you could never counsel your own family, or if you're a piano teacher, you could never teach piano to your children.

Lately, after a very timely reminder by one of my friends, I revisited the 3 very simple, often taken for granted points of "Active Listening", because I was having some challenges communicating with my 2-year old toddler. As parents, we often just want to get things settled in a 'chop chop' (quick) manner. After some experimentation, I realised there are 2 ways to this: either spend some time and effort in practising active listening and avoid a melt down, or trigger a melt down and then spend some time and effort in managing recovery work. In both ways, time and effort are needed, just that the outcomes are very different.

So I try my very best, to look her in the eye, face to face, going down to her level if needed, and then:

1. Start my sentence with "I"

2. Reflect her feeling

3. Paraphrase what she is saying

'Of course it's not a foolproof method but it has saved us some tears and screams along the way. More wins than losses :)


I've a habit of decluttering and throwing away stuff because I keep moving house and you really don't want to pack so much whenever and wherever you go. But since the kids came along, I'm a hoarder for stuff, not stuff for myself, but stuff which I can recycle to make toys for them. My husband is always nagging me about the 'pile' which is accumulating. 

I begged him to let me keep 2 big cardboard boxes for the kids. They were from some IKEA furniture we bought so they're in very good condition and clean. These 2 boxes were literally my 'lifesavers', helping me to occupy the children in various activities, even limiting the messiness. Here are 5 ways we played with the cardboard box: 

1. SENSORY BINS of a big scale for extended time of fun and exploration 

5 ways to play with a big cardboard box

2. SPACE FOR ART to let the children go crazy and control messy art

5 ways to play with a big cardboard box

3. DESIGN SPACES like carparks and cities which my son never gets bored of doing

5 ways to play with a big cardboard box

4. CONSTRUCT MARBLE RUNS OR POM POM DROPS because you don't want to stick stuff on your wall

5 ways to play with a big cardboard box

5. MAKE PROPS AS TOYS FOR GAMES or just simple imaginary play as the possibilities are endless

5 ways to play with a big cardboard box


Some companies give a 5-year appreciation service award. This year marks my 5th year as a mother. Instead of feeling appreciated, I felt a little lost. Somehow I felt as though I was only a 'mother', and I didn't want to be just a 'mother'. That was not my life dream, that was not all I wanted to be when I grew up and I've forgotten the real me. 

Most people who become parents like to talk about how their lifestyle has changed rather than how it has changed them as a person. So I got caught up with all the dos and don'ts, haves and have nots, wants and needs, yes and nos, good and bad, right and wrong, and I've forgotten, my intrinsic self. 

I did some soul searching, countless conversations with my husband and asking God all the time, who am I. I know I've definitely changed as a person, after becoming a mother. My perspective about work changed, I don't feel so stressed about it anymore. I've also become more empathic towards others. And I've thrown all my schedules and organisers out of the window. 

But I was still feeling frustrated with my children, frustrated with myself. Am I all there is to be, just a 'mother'? And then one day, the word "LOVE" just flashed in front of me. And I could hear ever so clearly from my Father's heart - You are abundantly loved, so love yourself and just love your family and those in need as yourself. 

I finally got the answer and I wrote out my personal mission so that hopefully I won't lose my way again *fingers crossed* 

And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." - Matthew 3:17

Now whenever I ask Noelle about who the girl in the photo is, she says very confidently, "Me!" Yes, I am me, His beloved daughter. Who is the real you? And what is your personal mission? 


It's t-shirt stock taking time! I've these 2 t-shirts that I've had since like when I first started work. It was the era when Giordano was still fashionable and affordable. I've been keeping them hoping that I could still fit in them but if the t-shirts have been around for 10 years. I think it was time to let them go. 

But I couldn't. Those t-shirts are so comfortable and still in good condition so I made them into toddler dresses for Noe. The feedback was they look like pyjamas or nightgowns. Of course my biggest fan is the girl herself. She really loves the heart and star, and she's so comfortable in them. 

diy t-shirt toddler dresses

I'm posting this not because I want to show off my sewing skills. These dresses are totally only meant to appear in the home or for a short walkabout in the neighbourhood because the stitches are uh... let's just say I'm really still an amateur seamstress :P  

I hope to encourage everyone to think twice before buying, think twice before throwing and try to recycle more to reduce our carbon footprint. There is much fun and meaning in recycling than buying sometimes as well :) 

If you're interested in this DIY project, do check out the tutorials below that helped me a lot!