5 APPS TO ELEVATE YOUR INSTA STORY

It is undeniable that Instagram story is dominating the social media world these days. In just 24 months the 24 hours lasting content has gained 400 million daily active users. SAY WHAAAAATTTT ?!?!? And it doesn’t disappear after 24 hours – now it is automatically saved to your “archive“.

Based on my research, 7 out of 10 my audiences spend more time on Instagram story than Instagram feed these days. Because, it is more presence and engaging for their eyes; is like watching various movie highlights or so. “Tap” for next scene or “Swipe” for the next channel.

Yep. Here comes the problem; “tap and swipe” – you want to avoid your audiences to do those two things. You want them to stay through the whole journey you’ve made available for them.

GET THEIR EYES PEELED WITH YOUR NEXT LEVEL INSTAGRAM STORY USING THESE 5 AMAZING APPS

UNFOLD

a toolkit for storytellers. Template specially made for Instagram story size. Find your top template from minimal to elegant. This enable you to collage your photos and videos using just one app. Add some text or pick your frame colour for extra punch.

download: iOS & Android

SPLICE

Vertical video is everywhere! And now you can make one too – using Splice. Simple yet powerful, Splice makes it easy to create fully customized, professional-looking videos on your iPhone, iPad. Imagine the performance of a desktop editor, optimized for your mobile device. Just tap to trim clips, adjust transitions, add slow motion effects and more to create beautiful videos you’ll love to share. It’s never been easier to edit like a pro on the go. Same day edit videos on the phone, how cool is that?!

Now enjoy a full screen mode video without tilting your phone.



download: iOS & Android

CANVA

One stop for creative mind to create their work using pre reserved design template made by many graphic designers. You can easily replace them with your own pictures, text, and logo. The tools can be used for both web (.jpeg or .png) and print media (.pdf)

This saved a lot of time in designing a business promotion or blog title. I can do it as I go, very handy, since I have all the control in my palm.

download: iOS & Android

OVER

Whereas Canva provides a static design template, Over is a little ahead – with moving objects template. You can design your video using Over in Instagram portrait size. YES!! However, some of the templates are not free of charge.

Another cool feature on Over is “scheduling” – you are able to plan and schedule your posts and rest up for the day. How cool is that?!

download: iOS & Android

HYPE TYPE

Add animated text to your Instagram story using hype type. Sometimes you just need to give extra “oomph” to your photo – but not too much that it may overtake the beauty of it. Animated text is the answer – it is eye catchy and engaging.

download : iOS & Android

So, now…are you ready to impress your boss and colleagues? You sure do! Or maybe you wanna impress yourself. Why not?! Expand and channel your creativity through more moving objects are so much fun. Just remember to create content that is a cohesive fit with your brand aesthetic and Instagram marketing goals while you’re crafting and creating with apps for Instagram Stories and designing templates.

Last but not least: HAVE FUN!!


Love,

Kenny

DIY CHRISTMAS PLACE CARD GIFT IDEA

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR YOUR LOVED ONES? SOMETHING THAT MAYBE EXTRAORDINAIRE? AND HAS STRONG PERSONAL LEVEL?

Christmas season is here…means gift hunting starts now.

However, our family loves DIY. As a family, we have one tradition that we carry through over the years – is to give something personalised to our beloved families and friends. We want the absolute best for our loved ones. Seeing them smile with genuine appreciation at something we’ve given them is enough to send us soaring with happiness. We hope they get that its more than just a gift, it is our gesture of your appreciation for them.

So…this year….we have finally prepared something pretty and practical for all the receiver. It is something that suits all ages and is versatile to be collected as your fave house decor. We were inspired by @paperplayground to make a place card / (slash) photo frame. How cute this idea is. YES! It is a place card with your name and our Christmas wishes for you, then when the Christmas season is over, fell free to change the namecard with your latest holiday photos. Yipppiiee! Sounds like a plan, huh?? I thought ot myself – Brilliant! I would love love love love to receive that sort of gift from someone.  ><

Now, let’s get onto business. 

THINGS YOU NEED:

  1. Acrylic photo block frame (with or without glitters) – I used glitter ones to create snow effect
  2. personalised name card – design by Canva (free design templates app)

HOW TO:

  1. Select your favourite design on Canva
  2. Write the name on it
  3. Print the name cards
  4. Place the name cards on the frame instead of photo

Jared has prepared 20+ namecards this year to be given out to his friends. We are pretty much ready for this festive giving season. What a year it has been. Thankful that finally today we can press the”pause” button and reflect to the past 48 weeks. AGAIN! We found that God is faithful through our faithless season. Today we are blessed beyond to be a blessing to others.

We do hope that this simple idea will help you sort out your Christmas present this year. Easy to make at very low cost. Why not give them a try? If you have any other personalised Christmas gift ideas – please share below on the comment. I need some inspirations for next year. 😉 Bye for now….

Love,

Kenny

5 USES OF BABY ROOM SPRAY

Alright, so today I am going to talk about something that is very new to me. It is that new that I didn’t even know that it is ever exist in this world. 

A BABY ROOM SPRAY

Oh yeah!! very simple way to purify and refresh my room especially during night time. Bubba Organics was kindly enough to give me one to try and my gosh…I LOVE IT! I’ve been using it everyday for the past 2 weeks and feel so good about this. Here I shared 5 uses of this new innovation “baby room spray” (I literally spray it everywhere event though it called baby room spray). Sooo..let’s call it room spray from now onwards. YES! I love it that much. 

  1. FRESHEN UP – Room sprays are a great way to freshen up a room or area. It made out of the natural antibacterial properties of Eucalyptus and Melaleuca. It smells subtle and delish with sweet & fruity scent. This helps the boys to breath easy while working to keep the germs at bay. Also perfect to be used after nappy change. 😉
  2. IMPROVE QUALITY OF NIGHT SLEEP – Room sprays helps us to experience a good night sleep. As some of you may try to put your breastmilk on bub’s pillow when you do sleep training, so I try this method to Asher. I sprays the room spray to his pillow. And I was surprised with the result, Asher tends to sleep longer than usual. One night he even sleep through without feeding. (can’t wait to experience that night more often). I spray on my pillows too, and I feel great with my quality of sleep lately.
  3. CALMING – We’ve all had those nights when one of the kids can’t sleep and what can we do, they hear a nose or think something is under the bed, this is the time to pull out your  monster spray – make it a calming blend of essential oils and your little one will soon be off to sleep.
  4. RELAXING – Life as a mom is full on from am to pm. I had tons things to do in a day, yet I have little time to work on it. Things get intense easily, kids were pushing my buttons hundred times, getting out of the door seems harder than ever. Right at this moment, I know I need to RELAX. Yes, I spray this on my body and it feels magic, it relaxes my mind and muscles instantly. I always carry one on my nappy bag, you know just in case.
  5. REDUCE SNIFFLES – It is safe also to use on babies when they sniffles, but remember to wipe their nostrils afterwards.

So, what about you? Are you now a big fan of baby room spray? If not, you gotta try one anytime soon. And if you don’t feel like make your own room spray, just like me…No worries…

Shop Here

Love,

Kenny

8 LAST MINUTE IDEAS FOR KIDS HALLOWEEN COSTUME

Hey yeah!! Who doesn’t excited for Halloween?! Anyone’s ready with their pumpkins? What about Halloween costumes?

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Honestly, I am SO pumped for Halloween, but thinking about the preparation heading to the D-day was a bit too much now this time round, especially with our second boy, Asher, on board. Time is very crucial for me. Everyday I am challenged to think and do things more creatively; to save my time and energy.

And who knows that preparing a kid costume is a mountain work and effort?! But, do not worry. I have prepared some easy ideas for busy moms like us. You don’t need to spend any dollars on it, look around some stuffs inside your house you wouldn’t ever thought will be a life-saver for this Halloween season.


8 LAST MINUTE HALLOWEEN KIDS COSTUME IDEAS 

1. Baby Burrito

who can resist this deliciousness in a wrap? So dayummm… Also a good way to keep your baby warm and calm during trick & treats.

 

2. Smurf

this photo was taken on Halloween 2014, when Jared was 4 months old. I woke up that day feeling discouraged cause I realised I haven’t had any costume prepared for my little one. Then suddenly, an idea came into my mind the moment I skimmed through Jared’s wardrobe (mostly blue and white – the theme of his nursery room). But, how cute it turned out at the end aye! Do you agree with me?

 

3. Baby Skeleton

My favourite invention this year.  1) Get white mask tape / 2) Cut them equally in size / 3) Stick them on the a black onesie (baby/toddler) or top & pant (kid)

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Yes! Who would ever thought that white mask tape can do all the job for you busy momma. This is the way to go when you’re running out of time. Perfect for boys or girls.

4. Baby Tarzan

Do you have an old leopard or pattern scarf? It may not sounds so trendy today, but do not throw them away yet. Cause this could be a life changer for this particular Halloween season. Turn your baby into mini Tarzan. This outfit is perfect for the warmer weather in souther hemisphere too.

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5. The Mummy

Tissue Roll takes a big part in my life. It cleans almost everything around the house, and it does me a favour in time in needs for Halloween season. Roll them all over the body and stick them with white tape. Trick or treat ready in 10 minutes. LET’S GO SPOOKY!!
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6. Pumpkinlicious

you can never go wrong with pumpkin costume right? 1) Get an orange onesie / 2) double tap – cut it into some shapes / 3) Stick them all onto the dress

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Above are some costumes I made for the boys. BUT, girls..don’t you worry. I have asked my 2 favourite talented momma of girl to share one spook-tacular costume for their girls. Let’s take a peak.

Black Swan – by Elizabeth Veth (@elizabeth_veth)

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Can it be any cuter than this? This moment made me wishing to have one little girl in the family. gahhh… oh please zoom in to those bad bats on the wall and floor. Aren’t they gorgeous?! And yes you guessed it, this lady made them all. Quick tutorial below:

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8. Black Riding Hood – by Ivone Hendarta (@ivonehendarta)

Bringing the dark side of Red Riding Hood this Halloween. why not?! Such a genius idea. Spooky yet girly. Imagine this tiny munchkin knocking on your house door, can’t you not give them your whole bag of candies?

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So, which one is your favourite? Do you find some hope this Halloween? I hope these ideas help you getting Halloween ready this year. We can all do this and let’s have fun together!! Creating memories together with our little ones. HAPYY HALLOWEEN FRIENDS>>

Love,

Kenny

7 TIPS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO SLEEP ALONE

I have to say how happy I am to tuck in a happy kid in bed after 3 years of needing to lay with him till he fell into very deep sleep OR many times I ended up waking up on his bed.

Does it sounds familiar in your household? Then maybe these tips are for you or at least letting you know that it’s possible. Cause I doubted it too. 😉

But, today I am proudly say that these tips do good to us, as a husband and wife, a father and mother. We wake up feeling good.

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7 TIPS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO SLEEP ALONE

1. REASON

Always give your kid a reason behind your action.

I used to say to him that “he is now a big boy, he is brave, etc.” But somehow, it didn’t work. Telling him the fact of his present existence isn’t really helpful.

Then, I tried to use a different approach, “blame others”. I told Jared, that the doctor wants mommy and daddy to sleep at mommy’s bed so baby could have a nice sleep without being possibly kicked by him. While daddy’s need to help mommy in case mommy need to pee at night. He somehow got this idea and let us sleep in our bedroom.

I am not suggesting you to tell any lies to your kids, give them more specific reason which weight on others than YOU, parents. Because kids, they are tend to regards others/strangers highly than their closest ones.

2. REWARD

It is time to congratulate them for their successful effort. By giving them a reward. A sticker, kinder egg, lollies, anything on their top list will do. Because who doesn’t love acknowledgement?! Even a small reward will help to boost the confidence of your minis.

I used to have a sleep tracker stuck on Jared’s bedroom wall. It’s a monthly calendar filled with stickers. 1 sticker for 1 successful night. Every night before bed I always point out to that “sleep track calendar” to remind him of how close he is from getting all the stickers collection.

3. REDUCE

If you happened to get used to stay at your kids room until they fell asleep, you might want to try to reduce your stay inside.

  • Find an excuse to get out of their room with a promise to come back afterwards.
  • Be specific in what you are going to do and when are you coming back.

For example: Mommy needs to throw some laundries to the drier, be back for 5 minutes. Mommy needs to use the toilet to do #2, I promise I’ll be finished in 5 minutes max. Mommy needs to call aunty XX to arrange our playdate tomorrow, be back in 7 minutes. Then, please make sure you’re back at the right time.

My point is this; try to reduce your stay inside your kids’ room to loosen the their attachment before sleep with you. Make them used to with the new (alone) environment.

Do this gradually. A drastic change may cause a shock to your child’s mental. Give time for your child to process the new forms and informations you are trying to implement in the house. Again, it’s all about the progress not the process. We’ve started with 3 minutes – 5 minutes – 10 minutes – standing on his door – 15 minutes – to not coming back because all we can hear is silent.

4. RELY ON THEM

Rely on their choices. They know what works best for them. They know what makes them comfortable most. Let them do it their way. Involve them in the process, count their opinions.

Every time (still today) before I leave the room, I always throw questions to Jared on how he would like to set the mood inside his room which will help him to send him help faster.

  • do you want me to leave your water bottle next to you or may I take it with me?
  • do you want me to cover your whole body with blanket or just your feet?
  • do you want me to turn off or leave the lights on?
  • do you want me to close or leave the door open?

I realised, by allowing Jared to has input in some of the minor decisions, he can begin to feel important and have confidence in their abilities to do so.

5. REINFORCE

Do not forget to send good vibes in the morning post a successful night.

“Mommy and Daddy had such a very good night, and baby were happy too.”

“Mommy is feeling really good this morning, can’t wait to have more fun with you.”

Give the positive credits to your kids as a reassurance of their brave action. “Because of you, I can ________________” (fill in the gap).

6. RESTRAINT

This is the hardest part. One night must be easy. The other nights must be super challenging. One thing to remember, stand on your ground. Restraint on your feet. Do not give in.

There were nights when I had to send him to his room back and forth 20 times; which were very frustrating both physical and emotional. There were nights I ended up raising my voice. BUT, I stand on my belief, that WE (Jared and mommy) can do this together. Both parents and kids need to support one another in order to succeed this challenge.

7. REPEAT

Repeat above steps again and again.

After approximately 60 days of training, consist of repetition of some bedtime routines (which I will post in details next week), we finally made it. Through this repetition, Jared was improved his confidence. The new routine had been set up. And we can’t be more proud and happier than this.


These routine is really helpful for me especially with the addition of the newborn in the house, I am able to get more works done around the house.

Above routine is best to apply for those of you who are not doing co-sleep. Including me, I and hubby chose to choose crib-sleep and keep our bed as our sanctuary. Read more about our crib-sleep journey here.

Above approach isn’t a sleep training, this is for toddlers who has been sleeping through the night without needing any bottle or still weaning. This does not requires a tough love. This requires a lot of patience, assurance, and explanations. Each toddler may not sit at the same level of readiness. Some toddlers, they need more time to adapt, while others may take it instantly.

Nonethless, one key to rememeber; is to keep doing it, and doing it right. You can’t do it for 3 days straight, then stop for the whole week. You gotta be consistent in implementing this new lifestyle.

If you find these tips helpful, leave your comments below. Or you might wanna share some of your tips too, I am more than happy to hear that. Happy trying!! May you have some good quality pillow talks with your partner. Time to mend the romance back. X

 

Love,

Kenny

7 RITUALS TO KEEP MY SANITY AS A MOTHER

I had a lot of questions from families and friends regarding my recent status as a mom of 2 boys;

how do you cope with 2 kids?

My classic answer would be – Yeah, I am fine! (while busy covering my boobs during feeding time and telling Jared to finish his lunch including the veggies).

The truth is – I AM NOT OKAY. I NEED HELP. I NEED AN ASSISTANT.

My motherhood journey aren’t always neat and beautiful as my Instagram/Pinterest feed. Some days are glorious. Some days are scabrous. Some days I win a lottery. Some days I lost my sanity.

Unlike my husband who had an above average EQ level. Mine is probably on the edge of the bottom line. I struggle with my patience a lot. However, I do not let this fact define who am I as a mom. I realised as a parent, we are the role model of our kids behaviour. Thus, it is very important for me to keep my physical and emotion being in front of my kids by keeping my sanity.

On a bad day; or when thing goes wrong. I do these 6 rituals to help me back to my rational state of mind.


1. STOP & BREATH 

Mom-hood is indeed a full on job from am to pm. Busy busy busy…it’s all I can say. I rarely find myself sitting on the couch with stretched leg. When the bub were finally asleep, your 3yo were calling you to be his sparring partner.

Mom-hood is selfless, you decide to put someone else’s need above yours. However, this would become a boomerang when we forget to maintain our health being. We may feel over-giving and lost to the occasion.

Being a mom is like having 3984 tabs opened at the same time. Your brain never stops working. Imagine if you never switch your computer to sleep mode or forget to format your hard disc. One day it hang randomly from overused/overloaded. Same thing with our brains, we gotta remind ourself to stop and breath. Your baby can cry for another 5 minutes without getting injured. Give yourself a space to restart your button. Lock yourself behind those pantry doors.

2. DRINK WATER

A new study found that drinking water can improve your mood.

Breastfeeding takes up a lot of my energy and time. It consumed me to a deeper emotion level sometimes while keeping up with a busy buzzy toddler. So, in order for me to win my everyday hustle, I have to keep myself hydrated. Drink a lot of water when things go wrong, let it cool the heat within me. Or probably

3. TURN ON SOME MUSIC

Music, more than any other art form, has the power to give me an immediate emotional hit. Everyone has a song that can instantly make them cry, or a tune they can’t help but dance to. Music is an easy way to manage not only our feelings, but how we function. At this point, I would do whatever helps to get my mojo back. SO TURN IT ON HIGH AND DANCE TO IT. And let the kids dance around too.

4. HAVE SHOWER

Having a warm bath helps me relaxed my tension muscles. But, hey mama, isn’t bath time is a luxury thing we get to do most of the days?! Yes, it is! When I can’t fit myself to the shower, at least I manage myself to wash my face and both hands. And let this warm water does its magic to my mood.

5. PHONE A FRIEND

You need to let it out. Let me clear it up once again. YOU NEED TO SAY IT LOUD. that you are having such a crap day. do not keep it for yourself. let the world knows you are not okay today. Trash that negative vibes out of your mind, mouth, and body. I guarantee it will instantly ease your burden. SAY IT LOUD OR WRITE IT CLEAR!

Get some confirmations that you are not alone on this. Get your tribe to cheer you up and shower you with word of affirmations and encouragements.

6. WORD

Before I ended my day and labelled it a “bad day” – let me get back to His word. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right – 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)

His word gives me perspective while the world gives me an objection. And I choose that WHO AM I IS DEFINED BY THE WORD NOT THE WORLD. I am wonderful and beautiful, I am called to do this, He equips and enables me to finish the task.

7. GET SOME SLEEP 

Last but not least, cuddle your precious bears and rest with them together. Forget the laundries and dishes. Leave the toys & crumbs on the ground. Do not put so much pressure on your shoulders. Enjoy the cuddles for a little longer before they outgrown your hugs, kisses and bed. 😉


Keeping my sanity is very important for me. I believe of our capacity to love others is determined through our contentment about ourself. Our feelings are transcend through our action. And kids, they are able to feel our pain and disappointment.

Everyday I want to learn to love myself better and to love my kids deeper. May you also have the same desire. And again I remind you, that it is okay to be not okay. You are human and you are normal. Ask for help TODAY by clicking the links below: (no way sponsored)

Beyond Blue

R U OK

LIFELINE

 

Love,

Kenny

3 TOP TIPS HOW TO TAKE YOUR OWN NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY TO THE NEXT LEVEL

The time you bringing your newborn baby home is simply one of the most wonderful moments in life!

The newborn days are so precious, yet so fleeting. I appreciate how quickly the days pass by and how sweet every little details are. This is why I decided to start taking more pictures of my little ones since the early days of their existence.

While some has the opt to hire a professional photographer to seal the first moments of their new bub. Some are beyond excited to get behind the camera themselves.

I know as a first time mom, delivering and nurturing a child is a big project already. How can I get my hands on the deck for some details’ photo?! It is undeniable hard work. But, trust me, every click is worth captured.

So, today I am going to share my 3 TOP TIPS – how to make your own home session newborn photography experience an enjoyable and stress-free one for both bub and you.

1. TIMING

One of the benefits of photographing your own newborn is that time is on your side. Having your own home session newborn photography isn’t the nearly best or even easiest option you could do. It at least gives you more flexibility. 

Unlike a client based photography, which is limited to 3-4 hours window to work on a varied gallery. Own home session allows you to work on the project for days, or even weeks. Remember! You just delivered a baby, your body is still recovering. So, do not rush.

Other than that, having a choice to decide the best timing for your bub to do the shoot is also important. “Happy bub, happy life.” Based on my experience, morning session, between breakfast and lunch is the best timing to do the shoot where most babies are mostly settle well during this time. Who’s agree with me?

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2. LIGHTING

Unlike having a studio based photo session, working from home means limited space and equipment. This includes lighting. Many of us do not have additional lighting in house. Natural lighting is our best friend – the sun. This will make or break the deal.

It is in the sky above us. Therefore, seeing a person who is lit from below is very unnatural looking. We definitely do not want to see our babies to look like they belong in a horror-flick.

We are looking for a nice soft-shadows and highlights for the shot. Have the light flows from baby’s head to feet at approximately a 45 degree angle. SO, lighting is everything. BUT, do not overuse it! Please do not uplight your baby.

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3. EXPERIMENTING

The other benefit of having your own newborn photo session is having opportunities to try new things. You will be surprised by the magic a photo could bring.

Play with some angles and perspectives. Do not rush in re-positioning your baby, instead try to getting up and moving around to get some unique details.

Utilise different corners in your house. You do not need extra props to get a dynamic photo, find a new “lit” spot with a plain background will be another way to get a stunning photo.

Involve the siblings, relatives, and yourself in the photo. Make these moments memorable for the whole families.

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Photographing your own newborn can be challenging but also so very rewarding.

The days are long but the years are short. In a blink of eyes, you would find yourself chauffeuring to school and sport carnivals, teaching them how to drive, sending them to college, witnessing their marriage. So today, while you can, enjoy your baby! Live in a moment and capture the magical of each second.

 

Love,

Kenny