Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Turning 35 & Christmas in Strasbourg

Happy New Year 2018!! It's the start of a year and I intend to start of this year by reviving my blog again!

We just came back from our skiing vacation with our friends from Singapore! Jen & I go a long way back! We've known each other since our Junior College days (18 years old!). She and her hubby are based in Scotland now while he pursues his Master's degree.

I think the Singaporeans outnumbered the Germans for once!

At the Stuttgart Christmas market
Pulled pork burger with melted cheese & jalapenos + chilli cheese fries!

Celebrating my 35th birthday in Strasbourg, France

Our December went past in a whirlwind. The hub had a crazy 4 weeks of work when everybody wanted something from him. I've officially entered my mid-30s! We celebrated my 35th birthday in Strasbourg with our lovely neighbours!! It was meant to be a party of 10 but everybody cancelled on me (due to illness), such that only our neighbours could come!

We really spent the day just eating and shopping!! What else right? We found a gem of Japanese restaurant that was rated as the top Japanese restaurant in Strasbourg. It certainly didn't disappoint! There's no sushi there though, just cooked Japanese food. So that was something that I didn't realise! It was an authentic Japanese chef so everything was cooked to perfection! It's a small restaurant, so do make a reservation in advance!

At the Strasbourg Christmas market

Karaage (Fried chicken) and that's Japanese balls!!! Oh SOO good!

The best Pork / Chicken Katsu with rice!!!

I went for the Ebi (prawn) don! TOO good!

Doriyaki and Matcha green tea ice-cream

We were at Matsumotoya for 2 hours before walking around town! Yours truly spent 2 hours at Naf Naf! They were having a sale!! Oh gosh. Naf Naf is bad for my wallet! I got myself 3 tops at 40% off though, so I did feel quite a sense of accomplishment! LOL.

Dinner was at a French seafood restaurant!

I spent hours online searching for the ideal restaurant for a party of 10! I know that not everybody would like seafood, so I wanted a good-rated restaurant that offered seafood and regular dishes too. But atlast, it was just 4 of us! So it turned out really cosy too!

At Brasserie Flo

Scallop risotto!!! This was the reason why I chose this restaurant!

What was this called again?

I had such a wonderful birthday present from my neighbours!!! They offered to babysit ALL 3 kids while the hub and I get to go on a date night!!! I mean, seriously. Their present was awesome!!! I never thought that couples without kids would do that for us! It helps too that their apartment is just opposite to ours I guess!!! lol.

Christmas at home

Gabriel had a tummy bug over Christmas. We went for a Christmas circus and left him & the baby at the grandparents. On our way home, he puked ALL over his carseat! Merlion-style! With our 2 guests in the car!!! *facepalm* We told our friends that this was the first time we had a child puke in our car in our 6 years of parenthood. We had to wind down the window for fear that the rancid smell might cause more nausea in the car!

We have the best friends ever! They helped SOOo much in the clearing up of the puke! I mean, only true-blue friends do that! I felt so bad that they had to witness this (gross) side of parenthood with us, but also so fortunate that we had 4 extra hands to make light work.

I insisted that ALL of us drank our Greens (from my company ItWorks) because I really didn't want anybody else to fall sick! It worked sooo well, I must say! Only Gabriel was sick, while Liam had a bit of a rumbly tummy. Everybody else was spared from the dreaded stomach flu!

Since Gabe and my mom-in-law were sick, we decided to have a quiet affair for Christmas. We went to church (without Gabriel) and had steamboat!! This was also a change of tradition because we usually have Raclette for Christmas eve. I must say that it was the best decision ever! Everybody's tummies were happy because of that!

First it was steamboat for Christmas eve

Then Swiss Raclette with scallops, smoked salmon, pork slices and prawns!!

We had a whale of a time!

Can't believe how big our boys are getting! *sob*

It was such a relaxing time because our friends helped a lot with the cleaning-up! Hmmm, Jen is a very clean person so she even offered to mop our floors!!! Hahah. HY helped a lot with the dishes. They were both so efficient that after we put the 3 kids to bed, we would come out to a clean kitchen and dishes that were cleared into the dishwasher! *dream*

We ended our 2017 by going skiing!!! But I think I will blog about that another day!!! Can I just say that even though our December was busy, it was such a fulfilling time!!! SO thankful for friendships that last the test of time! The older you get, the more you realise that deep friendships are hard to come by! I'm so thankful for my barnabas friend and more so for the fact that they went through thick and thin with us and our 3 kids over Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

So.... Do the It Works! Bodywrap really work??

After being in my job at ItWorks for almost a year, I've decided to share my personal testimony on my Bodywraps!! The only reason why I haven't written this is because I've been too embarrassed to share photos of my belly!!! Gosh. Yeah. That's the truth bomb!

As much as I'm a bare-my-heart-out on my blog person, I ain't a show pony! Put it this way. I think I wouldn't mind being a show pony IF I had the asset for it, but I don't! What I have is a post-partum body that has carried 3 babies to full-term in 6 years! I'm proud of this belly that God has given me, but I'd rather hide it!

I'm doing this post because I know there's so much skepticism going around about weightloss / body contouring products. I know, because I was a skeptic too! I read up soo many reviews of the ItWorks wraps. My skepticism stemmed from the fact that I knew that every person has a different biological make-up. What worked for one may not work for another. Even doctors cannot guarantee that a certain drug definitely works in a particular illness. You just need to try it out right??

I was doubtful cos I knew my body. I knew how stretched my belly was. How many stretch marks I had. How weak non-existent my belly muscles were. How stubborn my fats can be! It took me years to buy my first bikini!!! Can you imagine how self-conscious I was to wear my bikini after I gave birth??

What are these Bodywraps?

A Botanically-infused cloth with a patented formula of herbs and natural ingredients to help firm, tone and contour any part of your body from the chin down.

What they are NOT?
  • They are NOT for weight loss. Some people do lose weight while using the wraps but the wraps are predominantly to tighten loose skin. 
  • Not water loss. You should drink a lot of water while wrapping! 

First Wrap

I had a warm shower with a soap-free cleanser to exfoliate my skin and open the pores. Took a before photo, put the wrap on my belly for 45 minutes and enjoyed the cool tangy sensation. It smells quite good! Reminded me of being at a spa! I could just put the wrap on, put the green fab wrap to secure it and continue my daily activity! Oh and VERY important, I drank a lot of water while wrapping.

Results after my first wrap. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being wow and 1 being bleah, I was at a 2. My belly looked almost the same as before and I was not convinced at all.

Second Wrap

I wrapped again 3 days later. I must have fallen asleep with my wrap on because I remember feeling quite sticky when I woke up. I looked at my myself in the mirror and thought, "Oh, it looks better!!"  But the skeptic in me still thought, "Oh well, most bellies look flatter in the morning anyway!" I was at a 4.

 72 hours after the 2nd wrap

72 days after my second wrap (the wraps continue to work for up till 72 hours), I actually thought I bloated! Somehow my belly looked bigger? I was so shocked. I starting googling and realised that it might be due to a lack of water. When you detox and don't drink enough, your body might bloat while the toxins are stirred up.  I knew I had to increase my water intake.

Third Wrap

I wrapped around 45 minutes and drank a lot of water. Over the next two days, I made a conscious effort to really increase my water intake. I always carry a 1.5-liter bottle of water with me and I told myself to finish at least 2 bottles everyday (3 litres of water in total).

This time I was beginning to see more obvious difference. Somehow my belly didn't seem to hang that much anymore. My skin felt more taut and I noticed an improvement in my stretch marks as well. I was probably at a 6.

By this time, I was still feeling not so convinced by the wrap. I talked to my upline (my team leader) and I was complaining about how I felt the wraps were not really working well for me. My results so far were nothing compared to those before-and-after photos I've been seeing of my teammates and those on Pinterest.

My leader calmed me down and said I shouldn't strike out the wraps before I used my 4th wrap. 4 wraps are 1 treatment. And some people need more than 1 treatment to see results. And like any treatment, the more treatments you do the better!

Fourth Wrap

 24 hours after the 4th wrap

 72 hours after the 4th wrap

I used the 4th wrap as per usual. Not sure what to expect. The thing that struck me most was when I finally put the final photo (after 4 wraps) next to my first before photo.

It's like a tummy lift without the surgery!!

I was sooo astonished!!! Seriously guys. If I didn't take a series of 20+ photos over the course of 2 weeks, I would NEVER have believed the change in my skin! It was such a transformation! And the craziest part is that in my case, the 3rd and 4th wraps made the biggest difference! It was as if my body needed time to get used to the wraps before allowing the ingredients to work its magic!

I was so thankful that I used up the 4th wrap! I have since gone on to use my 2nd pack of wraps and continued to notice such an improvement in my skin texture and stretch marks!

I truly believe every woman is beautiful in every size and shape. Inner beauty comes from within (Proverbs 31). No body shaming here! But I'm also sooo happy that a company like ItWorks has invented something called the "Bodywraps" to help women (and men) regain their figures! It definitely helps women to regain their confidence about their bodies especially after going through childbirth! And it doesn't cost an arm and leg either!

My official results!!! I lost visible inches!!! 
I still have to use a belt with my jeans these days!

Where can I buy these Bodywraps?

You can buy them directly from me!!! From my website, These products get shipped directly to your door and you will have a secure account where you can pick and choose what you'd like to try out!!! I'll even give you my 40% distributor discount when you try them out as a loyal customer! I simply LOOVE my new tighter and more toned belly! This "bodywrap" is allowing Moms like myself supplement our incomes and stay home with our babies! And it's not just bodywraps that we do! We have a whole range of healthcare products like our Greens, 2-day herbal Cleanse and Protein shakes! The best way is if you contact me and I can best explain to you how this entire thing works!!!

Add me on Facebook, under "Priscilla Tews".
Or on Instagram under "prissteph" 
Or drop me a comment directly on my blog!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Calista Luxury Resort, Belek Turkey

It's been a week since we came back from our summer vacation.

Has it only been a week??! Oh boy! It feels longer!

Our holiday was FANTASTIC! We went to Calista Luxury Hotel in Belek, Turkey. Honestly, most people gave us the "Oh no! You're going to Turkey" worried look whenever we mentioned that we were going to Turkey. Most Germans frown upon Turkey these days due to the political situation there.

However, I must say that in Belek, it was perfectly normal! Everything was calm, no increased presence of police or whatever.

It was HEAVEN! I didn't have to cook nor clean AND I had the hubby around for one whole week! That to me, is holiday! We had a ratio of 2 adults to 3 children.

The second we stepped out of the airport and felt the warm breeze on our faces, I knew that we had picked the right place for our holiday! Our hotel happens to be the top hotel in Belek on TripAdvisor too!

Our daily schedule was -

- Wake up at 10.30am. Go for breakfast.
- Go back to hotel room. Change to swimwear
- Hang out at the hotel pool / beach for the entire day
- Grab lunch at the beach restaurant
- Go back to hotel. Bathe. Have dinner.
- Hang out at beach pier for cocktails / catch some evening entertainment
- Crash around midnight.

Our 16 month old napped either in the stroller or on the sofa next to the pool. He was so easygoing. It helped that he was so knackered from swimming too. I believe that I'm also more experienced as a Mom now. Back when we had only one kid, we would be so worried about how to allow baby to nap when we just want to be outdoors.

Now with 3 kids, things have gotten easier with naps somehow. Samuel doesn't nap anymore. Gabriel napped on some days and Liam still naps everyday anywhere.

I'm so thankful that my 2 older boys can swim now. It made our holiday so much easier! They spent days just sliding down the water slides into a 1.4-metre deep pool. Usually we would have to be at the bottom to catch them. But this time, they could simply swim to the side on their own and climb up the stairs to the slides again!

The first few times I was watching Gabriel like a hawk. But after a couple of attempts, he gained confidence and became much faster and stronger at swimming, so it became a breeze!!!

Funnily enough, people in Turkey thought that I was from Kazakhstan and started talking to me in Russian! It was quite amusing actually!

Service of the staff was fantastic! Most of them didn't speak much English but it was still quite easy to explain what I needed. It's seriously a top-notch hotel with very experienced service staff. Food was great too. I had barbecued fish and shrimps with salad every night. I was seriously underdressed for dinner because most of the Russian women massively dolled themselves up!

We celebrated Sam's 6th birthday over complimentary cake at sunset on the beach pier! It was such a simple affair. We were happy that we managed to lit the candle for a few seconds before the wind blew it away! Sam had a meaningful birthday celebration and he kept saying, "I'm 6 now right?"

There was kids' club all day for children aged 4 and above but our kids preferred to stay with us. The only day we sent them to the kids' club was when we decided to indulge in a Turkish Haman and massage at the beach! We checked TripAdvisor and went for a "Haman by the beach" which provided free transport to-and-fro the hotel, a Haman, foam scrub and bath and an hour-massage at only 49€! It was quite an experience!

Truth be told, the husband of a close friend of mine passed away recently. He was barely 50! I found out about the sad news when I was on holiday. It was so hard to process the news. On one hand, I had the luxury of having my hubby around us 24/7 for 7 days. And on the other, I knew that my friend just lost her partner of over 28 years.

I think somehow this terrible news made me realise what's important too. My husband and I didn't fight a single time during the 7 days. I really REALLY treasured every single day with my family. You never know how life can throw you a foul ball!

Increasingly I know in my heart that it's a prudent thing to have a home business! I would never compromise my life as a stay-home Mom to be there for my kids now but it's always good to have a rainy weather plan! I personally know 2 women whose husbands died suddenly and both of them are / were stay-home Moms. I know that God will provide no matter what, but I also know that God gives us opportunities! And what better time to build up a legacy for ourselves than NOW?

I'm so thankful for my work-at-home job which also helped to pay off 50% of our hotel stay! It was such a wonderful 5-star hotel that I'm so very sure we'll be back very soon!

Follow me on Instagram: prissteph or Facebook: Priscilla Tews for more regular updates! I promise to blog more often too!

One of 3 main pools in our hotel
Welcome to paradise!

Turkish delights

I could be at the beach all day!

Free COLD drinks!

An uncertain baby with sand and sea

Love my swimwear from Accessorize at 70% off!

See what I mean about warm temperatures?? Heaven!

Indoor pool next to the spa / haman

Slides galore! My boys went down all these slides!

Our happy boys at breakfast!

Sam turned 6 on holiday in Turkey!

Best sunsets ever!

Blurry pix but had to post this cos of my monkey baby

I love my family! Thank you Jesus!

Simultaneous napping!

Chilled-out baby! He laid down and spread the orange towel over himself!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Boys combined birthday party - 4 and 6 years old

We had an epic birthday party!!!

I think the more kids you have, the better you get at organising kids' birthday parties! Gabe's birthday falls in early July, while Sam's is in early September. We will be gone on holiday during Sam's birthday so being the diplomatic person that I am, I decided to do a combined birthday party in August!

We booked a farm in the city for their birthday celebrations! It was the BEST decision either! We only had to pay 60€ to rent the entire premise and we had SO much space, it was heavenly! In total we had about 40 people including kids. But the place was huge! We never felt a space constraint. The weather was great too so the kids could run around outside!

This year, I decided to do the unthinkable. I actually told my guests NOT to buy any presents. I totally bucked the trend of children's birthday party = presents galore.

Honest to boot, our apartment is not huge. We have 3 kids and 3 bedrooms. Toys are matter. Matter is anything that has volume and takes up space. As much as I know how kids love to have new toys, the marginal utility of toys is very low!!! They would play with a new toy and be totally excited about it for a few days or weeks. Thereafter, I'm stuck with even more toys and no space to store them!

That's why we hardly buy any toys! I hardly had new toys growing up. But that's not the reason. I truly believe children should engage in imaginary play. Outdoor play. Make believe. They don't need more toys.

This is an issue close to my heart. I've been toying with this no-presents idea for the longest time. For the past 6 years, whenever we had a kid's birthday party, it was always such a headache telling others what to buy for the kids. Truth is, we always buy things that we need for our kids! We don't wait until their birthdays to get them something. And we have 3 boys! That means that they play with the same toys, wear similar clothes and I simply don't need anything for them.

What we need is, money. Money is liquid. We can save the money. Or use the money for sport courses, or Sam's private school come September, or go on day trips with the kids or holidays. All these are experiences that we would want to go for with the kids and it means so much more to us! I asked the kids if they would like to have toys, they said "yes!" And I asked, do you want to go for theme parks and go on rides, Sam said, "Yes!" So I asked if its ok that he doesn't get new toys but we go for more excursions instead and he agreed wholeheartedly!

It was such a BREATHER! We collected quite a fair bit of money for them and we're going to use it to get Sam a new bicycle / roller blades and put the money aside in a bank account! So so so thankful for my friends who understood and agreed!

Back to the party, I decided to outsource our birthday cake to a lovely lady! She did the entire Batman cake for just 70€! I marinated boneless chicken thighs in a satay marinade and it was sooo yummy! I asked some friends to do some side dishes of salad for the buffet table. We had an overdose of chicken satay steak and a bit too little sides, but it was perfectly fine!

All in all, I must say that I loved the idea of a combined birthday party. My goal for a party is not to get all the presents in the world but for the kids to have a lovely day with their friends and family. And that was certainly accomplished on this day!

I brought a ball but we didn't even need to do any kids' games. There was more than plenty of things for the kids to keep busy with!

I'm so blessed & thankful to be a Mom.  Children are a blessing and GIFT from the Lord. That's my mantra especially on days when they don't stop bickering at each other. But mostly they are just wonderful playmates for each other and they do love each other a LOT. Sam slept on the bedroom floor today because he was in one of his "teenage" mood. When we went in a few minutes later, we found Gabriel lying on the floor next to Sam ON THE FLOOR! #heartmelt

I will not stop hugging, kissing and loving on my children everyday. I'll enjoy the pitter patter of Liam's little feet because one day I know he won't thud around so loudly anymore. I want to stop and notice the kids' expressions and study their behaviour, understand their emotions and thoughts and with God's help, help them to discover their God-given talents, passion and calling for their lives. But most importantly, I want to enjoy the moments of being a Mom. I've never regretted being a SAHM. Never have. Never will.

That said, I loooove having a home-based business with ItWorks now. I remember my days pre-ItWorks, my most interesting part of the day would be retail therapy. I'd spend hours reading Mummy blogs, searching online for kids fashion and finding out what's the coolest kids' birthday presents.

These days, I'm investing so much time in self-development. I've taught myself so much about photo editing using apps-- the birthday invitation was made by yours truly using an App! I'm learning so much about people, human nature and myself. Being a WAHM is an entirely new dimension that I'm exploring! And best of all, I'm earning an income again! To give you an idea, in all my 11 years as a blogger, I've never earned more than a 3-figure income in total. I've been at ItWorks for 7 months and I've earned a 4-figure income in total already! #truth

I'll write more about my new life now as a WAHM soon! Here's an explosion of photos of the birthday party! Enjoy!

It says, "Let us celebrate Samuel's & Gabriel's birthday together!"

Do I hear you say "WOW!??"

So beautiful, I didn't want to cut it! It's chocolate on the bottom and vanilla on top

Our Salad bar

Trampolin happiness!

Our ex-cell leaders who popped by the party!

Orry looking great with 2 girls!

Take home presents, chocolate and more sweets!

Our youngest guest of day! So glad you could come, M!

Where we got our birthday cake: Message the lady on her Facebook page at "Home Ties"
Where we had the birthday party: Etzel Farm


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