OUR WINTER HOLIDAY 2019!
I have indeed been blessed with two amazing children: Theodore, ten and a half and Clover, almost eight years old. Their father and I co-parent in Singapore. In the past I've had a helper, but since I only have the kids about half the time, I decided to be without one (so I could have my privacy when the kids aren't over!). When we lived in the States my favorite thing to do with my spare time was cooking and looking up recipes to try - mostly French, American and Italian. Moving to Singapore, I faced a few challenges: adjusting to the metric system when my cookbooks are in American Standard, finding ingredients in general (you can't always find what you need at one location when doing western cooking), affordability of ingredients (for instance you can easily find a cheap bottle of dry white wine at your grocer in the States for a recipe, but in Singapore it's much more expensive), and the learning curve I felt in cooking SE Asian food, where ingredients are easier to find. Add to that having a helper when we first moved here, and I had no motivation to cook. So, one of the challenges I always face as a mother is coming up with recipes for healthy, balanced foods my kids will eat. I ended up keeping it pretty simple with lots of sliced carrots and cucumbers to snack on so the kids got their vegetables, and always fresh fruits as well (seems my kids are almost always hungry). I've had to let go, for now, that my kids are going to grow up and look back at their childhoods and think what a wonderful cook their mother was (although I guess they may still think that even if they aren't getting gourmet). We had hamburgers several nights with my fried potatoes which are always a crowd pleaser, and lots of salad with balsamic and olive oil (my son's favorite).
The kids are on school holiday (they're in local school) for 6 weeks. This year they're with me the first 3 weeks, and next year I will have them the second half. We didn't go back to the States to visit family, although we would have loved to, but it is so expensive, and with having a startup where I am bootstrapping, not to mention needing to be here for appointments and deliveries, we couldn't manage to do a trip home.
Despite not making it back to the States for a holiday visit this year, we have had an absolute blast for our staycation in Singapore. Some of the things we have done.
1.) Saw The Adamms Family (a bit dark for my kids to be honest)
2.) Saw the Bicentennial Experience at Fort Canning
3.) Visited Jewel and did the Walking Net
4.) Playdates with Baby Lana and her mommy Erika
5.) Dinner out at Tiong Bahru
6.) Peking duck lunch at Boat Quay
7.) Soccer practice every Sunday with English Football School (the best - highly recommend them!)
8.) Affordable Art Fair
9.) Mommy got a massage FOC by a sweetheart who wanted to give a treat to single moms.
In addition, I fit work in there! The kids joined me for a delivery of two chairs to a landed house, and got to see how the delivery process went.
Two chairs were sent over for a photoshoot to a clothing designer who used them as props.
Met with suppliers from Indonesia who were visiting Singapore.
I couldn't have done it alone, to be real for a minute. Friends showed up help me out with babysitting. Because of them I was able to meet my new mentor (through SMU mentorship program), have a Girl's Night Out to Margarita's at Dempsey, and a hilarious night of "Bensgiving" at a friends place.
Throughout the last 3 weeks we've clocked countless trips to the store, pancake breakfasts, many matches of BeyBlade, picked up clothes the ladies from Seasoned Singapore Expat Women (SSEW) donated to us, donated old outgrown clothes for recycling, rearranged furniture, got a rug delivered, Clover invented a new character called Tonger, and a lot more!
Follow @nestifyhome and @mgsellergren to see how I--mother of two little kids, entrepreneur and brand builder--make it all work in Singapore and stay (mostly) sane in the process.
Thanks for reading and do comment below your experiences as well.