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Remember when you had your first kid? You'd go to Dr Google for every little thing, from what it meant if your baby didn't drink enough milk to the meanings of different colors of poop. You'd obsess over their sleep schedule or lack thereof. You'd drop everything and run to your baby if they so much as sneezed or let out a whimper. You had the desire and enthusiasm to take your 6-month old to all sorts of classes - music, dance, baby gym - to instill early childhood learnings and raise a genius child. As a first time parent, you were full of vigor and anxiety at the same time, trying to do your best and praying it was good enough.

But the "second child parenting approach"? Oh, it's a different ballgame! I have less of the anxiety and uncertainty about things that came with being a first time parent. I feel more in control and at the same time, have learned to let go a bit more (and honestly, who even has the time to sweat the small stuff with two kids?). I'm not constantly worrying about my baby's sleep routine and whether he'll ever grow out of his 4-month sleep regression going on month 7 (he will, eventually). If he's crying, I know the world won't collapse if I let him cry a little more while I finish up something I was doing. Oh and that "no salt, no sugar" rule for one year thing? I've totally thrown that out the window. Even going back to work was easier this time around. I had less of the emotional baggage with leaving my kid at home. Raising a child isn't any less hard but what has changed is my perspective.

For you new moms out there, believe me that it does get easier. For the more seasoned parents, how is it like for you?

The start of a new year provides the opportunity for us to set the "refresh" button and mark new beginnings, hopes, and aspirations for ourselves for the 365 days that lie head. But often, as we march deeper into the year, we begin to get bogged down with stress, work pressure, familial and social obligations, and what not. Despite our best intentions, the fresh outlook we once had at the start of the year starts to dim. 

This year I decided I didn't want to get stuck in that cycle again. It's important to slow down every now and then and take stock of the happenings in our life. Every few months, I want to put the "pause" button and self-reflect: What's going well? What's not working out for me? Why can be done better in my life? Keep going with the good stuff, eliminate the crap. So that when I look back at the year gone by, I can measure it in terms of the laughter and smiles, successes big and small, and good times spent with family and friends that matter. I don't want to look back and measure my year in terms of tears, time spent worrying or complaining, or wishing i had done this or that. I know it's easy to say but I hope to genuinely put this thought into action!

What about you? How do you plan to make your year count? 
Zara jeans and duster | Blouse from Storets.com (this blouse is not available anymore but similar ones on site) | Miu Miu Club purse | Shoes from Charles & Keith | Armani sunglasses
I love how blazers or jackets can totally turn around the look of any outfit. They can be worn in any number of ways - with a dress, shorts, skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, jumpsuit, high-waisted pants, etc! Whether you're looking to make a professional appearance for work or trying to up your "chic" factor for a casual outfit, blazers and bomber jackets are for you. But how do you style them without looking like you're headed for a job interview? 

Here are my styling ABCs to help you get on board with jackets/blazers:

1. Go for color! Bright colored blazers instantly transform your appearance. They serve to give you a put-together together, classic look without making you looking too serious. I love my pink and orange blazers (pictures below). They're a closet workhorse and I've worn them multiple times in and outside of the workplace setting. 

2. Play around with different cuts and styles of jackets/blazers. By that I mean try a cropped blazer (see my look with the orange blazer), a long blazer (see the pink blazer I wore). or a bomber jacket style. All of them give very different looks but achieve the same purpose of pulling the look together effectively. You may find that you gravitate towards certain cuts and styles more than others. 

3. Pair your blazer or jacket with contrasting or complementary colors in your outfit. The idea is to have fun with paring without being too matchy-matchy and veering into the territory of a formal "job interview" look. 

4. Consider proportions. Basically, certain blazer lengths may work better with certain outfits. For example, a long blazer looks balanced with skinny jeans or a dress of similar length without adding bulk to your appearance. Alternatively, a cropped blazer looks good with high waisted pants (as seen in the pictures below with the orange blazer).

5.  If you own only a black or white solid color blazer, make it casual by pairing it with jeans, a T-shirt (maybe one with stripes or a graphic print), and rolling up the sleeves of the blazer. Ta-da! You got the "stylish without looking like you tried too hard" look. 

On a related note, for reading about how to transition from work to evening wear: read my blog post here

The East Coast is among my favorite places to hang out in Singapore. Wide open green spaces, the ocean front, paved paths for scenic bike rides, playgrounds, restaurants/cafes, and areas for picnics are all part of what the East Coast has to offer. It's a great hangout spot for kids and adults alike. Which is what led me to the idea of having my birthday party there a few months ago. I booked one of the picnic grill spots and threw a BBQ party. We had a great time and the party was a success partly because the location was just so great. A lovely breeze and a romantic view of sailboats bobbing in the ocean in front of us were the perfect props to the party. Being by the beach allowed the kids to be happily occupied with playing in the sand while the adults could get their time together. In addition, I had hired a BBQ-er and ordered a variety of different foods (veg and non-veg) through HungryBBQ.com, a great service if you're looking to outsource the messy job of BBQing food yourself. Someone comes and takes care of everything from setting up the grill, cooking the food, and cleaning up so that you can focus on the main task at hand - socializing with friends without the burden of cooking! Everything went off perfectly. Something to consider next time you're planning a party! :)

Moving on to the pictures...I'm sporting a boho chic look here with my hat (purchased from a hat store at Haji Lane), my tasseled Rebecca Minkoff cross body bag, and my Urban Revivo top (read about this relatively new brand here and how I love it!). I got here just in time to catch the sunset and it was beeeautiful!
Urban Revivo top | Gap jeans | Shoes from Charles & Keith | Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bag | Hat from street shopping at Haji Lane | Gorjana bracelet

Amongst the biggest challenges for many working moms is making time for exercise. There are always too many reasons and excuses to fall back on, such as a hectic schedule of juggling work and kids that demands so much of your time and energy. And the less time you get for working out, the more guilty you feel. It’s a vicious cycle. Am I right? Yep, I’ve been there and I don’t like it one bit. So I came up with a simple solution that works well for me. Start small. I decided to take a piecemeal approach to exercise. While making time to have an hour long workout may seem daunting, a short “bite-sized" workout (as I like to call it) always seems so much more doable. Ask yourself, can I make time for 20 minutes of exercise in my busy day? The answer is yes! 

Aaptiv is an app that I’ve found super conducive to my “working mom workout” needs! It’s an audio fitness app which offers various types of workout programs. What I like about it is that it includes the voice of well-known, professional trainers directing your workout and motivating you against the backdrop of high-energy beats. So whether it’s a cardio workout, a deep stretch, yoga, marathon training, or strength training that you’re looking for, Aaptiv has it all. I got attracted to it for its prenatal and postnatal workouts led by pregnancy guru and founder of FitBump, Kira Kohrherr. Aaptiv has these stroller workouts which you can do anywhere – your home, outside, or in the gym. They are all about 20-30 minutes long. To ensure that I lose as little time as possible, I quickly change into my gym clothes, roll out my yoga mat, put my baby Arjun on the bouncy chair in front of me, and get started one of the stroller workouts in my own living room. Super easy set-up and no time lost in commuting to the gym. This is how I’ve been getting my bite-sized workouts with the voice of a trainer that keeps me going. I honestly find it so effective and easy to fit into my day. As moms, we all know how you can’t always plan everything out. So whenever I see an opportunity to squeeze in a short workout, I do it. Sometimes it’s in the morning before work, other times in the evening. I aim to do these short workouts 3-4 times a week and while I may not always succeed, I feel glad knowing that I’m incorporating at least some level of fitness activity in my life! Postpartum fitness is a long journey and we all have to start somewhere. 

So what are you waiting for? Give my “bite-sized workout” idea a try and see if it works for you! Start off, start small. If you’re keen to try Aaptiv, download the app on your phone and use code BURPEES for a free 30-day trial (the app already gives new users a 7-day free trial). Good luck, busy mamas!

*We all know that everyone's pregnancy and post-pregnancy conditions are different. So for the maternity workouts, please be sure to consult your doctor first!