Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap

[Product Review]

What's in your shampoo and shower foam? Take a look and most likely you will find at least these three ingredients: surfactant, preservatives and colour. 

Commercial Shampoo

Surfactant is used to produce foam for lather so that you think it will help you wash the grime and grease away your hair/body. Preservatives are used to extend the shelf life of the product, of course. And colour is added to match the desired artificial fragrance that the manufacturer has added in. Fwah! That's a lot of undesirable chemicals in that bottle of shampoo/shower foam we use daily! 

Commercial Shower Cream

Certainly, we probably only shampoo our hair for one or two minutes, and lather our bodies with the shower foam in less than five minutes. But if you multiply five minutes by the no. of days in a year and then multiply it by your age, that is a very substantial period of time you have exposed yourselves to these harmful chemicals!

When you put shampoo or conditioner onto your scalp, 20 blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, and 1,000 nerve endings are soaked in the toxins. These toxins are absorbed through your skin, they bypass your liver and enter your bloodstream and tissues (read article by Dr. Mercola here). I fazed at the thought of it. From Mercola's article, I learnt that cosmetics and their ingredients do not have to undergo any type of approval process before hitting store shelves, and the terms "natural" and "organic" have no definitions. In other words, when it comes to cosmetics labeling, it's a free for all. Isn't that frightening? 

I received some samples of Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Magic Soaps for trial last month. Say what? 18-in-1? I was a little skeptical until I received them, used them and researched more about them.

Castile soap means an all-vegetable-based soap. It is a simple ecological soap – not a complex blend of detergents with a higher ecological impact due to the waste stream created during manufacturing. These days, there are too many synthetic detergent blends that caused great skin problems.

Dr. Bronner's liquid soap is infused with essential oils for different purposes. You can refer to this link to decide which types suit you. If you are sensitive to direct skin contact with scented essential oil, do opt for the unscented one. It is suitable for babies too!

I used this for showering

Posted on Nature's Glory's website and Dr. Lisa Bronner's blog, there are 18 ways you could use this soap.

So far I have tried using it for:

Washing of hands
I transferred Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Lavender Soap to a small bottle for easy handling

Washing of Hair


Washing of clothes

Washing of floor and washing of dishes

I like how this liquid soap is so harmless to our bodies and yet can be multi-tasked. It totally changed my perception on how we should and could use liquid soap. I am looking forward to the day when all my detergents are depleted. I will then only have Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap for my household. What a way to declutter the house!

Dr. Bronner's Castile Liquid Soap is available in FairPrice Finest (organic section), naturaworks, Amazon, Gmarket and Nature's Glory, of course. Do give it a try, you will be amazed how handy this soap is. Happy discovering!

FairPrice Finest is selling Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap at $29.90 per 946ml

Snack Well With BoxGreen


Some healthy gurus said it is not good to snack. Some recommended snacking. Whatever it is, I think as long as you have been eating well, it is okay to snack if your body calls for it. And if you are already eating well, chances are, you would not snack very often. And if you are already eating well, you definitely don't want to snack un-well. You get what I mean?

This is the season when my son AJ has to snack often. His concert choir has a string of intensive rehearsals for the upcoming concert that cause his dinner time to go haywire. Imagine having finished his lunch at 2.30pm and then he has to go for rehearsal from 5-9pm. There is no way I can slot in a proper dinner for him. So I resort to giving him snack before he sets off for rehearsal and I packed in another one into his bag so that he could munch during the short break.

Snacking in this season has to be particularly healthy because he couldn't afford to fall sick. Thanks to BoxGreen's healthy snack subscription, he now has a good and wide selection of healthy snack with convenient packaging.

The first box came, addressed to him (this smart mummy's plot) and he opened it with great anticipation. Kids at this age love to receive mails (snail and electronic) and parcels, so whenever I have delivery suitable for him, I'll arrange it to be addressed to him.

These are what's inside. Two of my favourites, two of his. Not sure if you could guess which. :)

So I would pack 2 packets of such snacks for him each rehearsal. He could choose to consume both if he is hungry and if time permits, or he could eat one packet at a time. This saves me a lot of headache as I am assured that he would eat (I packed snacks that he likes), there are proper nutrients and I need not worry that I may run into last minute unhealthy snack purchases because I had forgotten to buy them beforehand.

For each delivery, you could choose 4 snack varieties and BoxGreen will give you 3 packets of these 4 you have chosen (a total of 12 in a box). You could choose to subscribe it on a weekly basis, bi-weekly or monthly. You could pause or cancel your subscription at any time. Best of all, BoxGreen offers free shipping.

In this subscription, I have chosen Choc A'Pretz, Mocha Almond, Awesome Apple Crisps and Small Island Pineapple. Each packet of snacks is properly labelled with information on ingredients, nutrients and expiry date.

When I buy food, I would study the ingredients that go into it. I am so glad to know that BoxGreen does not add additives or preservatives into their snacks. Some of those you purchased off the shelves in the supermarkets do. I show you an example of the Apple Crisps below:

Alarming fact that you may not know: Canola Oil is used!
If you do not what is Canola Oil made of, please read it here

I am also happy to tell you that for every box delivered, BoxGreen donates a meal through Willing Hearts to help the underprivileged, the needy, and other marginalised members in Singapore. It is heartening to see more and more companies are extending their mercy arms to help the underprivileged. I certainly wouldn't mind paying a little more for such act of mercy.

Some good news for you if you are interested to try BoxGreen. The company is giving all my readers a 30% off first and new subscription. Simply enter " mylilbookworm30" in the promo code at point of signing up. Go try it out! 

The Lion Guard: Return Of The Roar

[Media Invite + Programme Highlight]

If your child loves The Lion King, he/she would love The Lion Guard too. The Lion Guard is about Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, as he assumes the role of The Lion Guard, a team of animals tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. "The Lion Guard" television will premiere on 17 April (tomorrow) 8.30am on Disney Channel.

Photo Credit: Facebook.com/DisneyChannelAsia

Kion is fun-loving and playful but also takes responsibility seriously. He can be identified by the red tuft of hair on his head. Kion possesses the Roars of the Elders, a magical gift that causes the lion spirits of the Pride Lands' past to roar with him, making his roar very powerful!

Stuff toy Kion

Besides Kion's special ability, each of Kion's close friends also has their own unique ability too. For example, Bunga is a brave, fearless honey badger; Fuli is a confident cheetah, who is also the fastest runner; Beshte is a happy-go-lucky hippo and he is the strongest too; and Ono is an intellectual egret who is a great team player.

And his friends, Beshta and Bunga

This television series is designed to communicate positive lessons about teamwork, community and diversity, as the Lion Guard learn to combine their unique skills to work together in each episode. Each episode of the Lion Guard incorporates Swahili words and phrases, to link its African heritage.

I'm very sure your children is going to enjoy this television series. Remember, it is tomorrow 8.30am at Disney Channel. Here's the trailer:

In anticipation of the television series launch, the search is on for kids across Southeast Asia to showcase their very best lion roars via the "Show Us Your Roar" campaign on the Disney Channel Asia Facebook page. Kids who submit their roars stand a chance to have their video aired on Disney Channel during the premiere of "The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar"! Please refer to this page for the terms and condition.

People Impact - IQ or EQ?

[Media Invite]

Intelligent Quotient (IQ) or Emotional Quotient (EQ), which is more important?  Have you asked yourselves this question before? I’m sure at some point in our lives, we pondered on this before. 

IQ, which many of us are familiar with, is being defined here, is a total score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence, whereas EQ refers to a person's ability to perceive, control, evaluate, and express emotions. 

Having bagged life experience as an adult for 20 over years, I sort of come to term which one is more important. And I am sharing my point of view here. Of course, you may have your own. 

I believe IQ is still recognised as an important element of success. People with higher IQ tend to do better in terms of academic achievement. So, when they could do well in academic studies, they tend to get the necessary scholarships to assist them in their academic path in prestigious schools. And they may be able to secure some higher ranking positions in prestigious companies or government-link organisations. They are the scholarly type. But, high IQ is not the only determinate of life success

On the other hand, people with higher EQ tend to do better in managing people and seizing opportunities. These people may become great leaders or businessmen as a result. Because human beings are not isolated people, people with higher EQ are likely to be more sociable, they are more people-oriented, and in general, they are more likeable too!

How about people with both high IQ and high EQ? Oh man! I could only imagine the thousands of opportunities available to them! How fortunate these people are! 

The good news is: while higher IQ maybe enhanced via cumulative intelligence (i.e. constant exposure), higher EQ could be taught or strengthened! How comforting and assuring!

2 weeks ago, AJ had the opportunity to attend a session of such, arranged by People Impact. People Impact’s IQEQ is an award-winning play-based programme to develop a child’s EQ and IQ. 

Programmes of the day 

 The children were playing decoding game

People Impact believes that:

1. Learning is at its deepest when the children are engaged and having fun. They adopt the play-based approach where the curriculum are designed to engage the children in a fun way while they learn. 

Twisters Letters, or Spelling, you may say 

And they had to use all their body parts to stay contact with the letters of that word 

2. Every child is an unique individual. They will observe and assess each child and develop a set of Core development Areas (CDA). Based on the CDAs, the trainers will come up with the strategy to develop the child. The CDAs and its strategy will be shared with the parents through a bi-weekly parenting meetup session and their progress will be tracked through a term-report (12-weeks). 

3. Besides developing the child’s IQ, their curriculum are designed with the focus on nurturing the children social skills, empathy, ability to respect others, work with others, lead a team, understanding own strengths and weaknesses, emotions awareness and management, etc. In a nutshell, People Impact not only nurtures the brain but the heart as well.

4. They understand the challenges our kids will face in this 21st century and thus will equip them with the 21st century life skills they need to build success. 21st century life-skills include “making connections” skills, perseverance, ability to adapt and cope to unforeseen changes, etc.

The children thought this balancing act was easy 

It was that not easy. They needed a lot of determination, perseverance and
teamwork to make the board balance on a round object

6. Parenting is crucial to a child’s development. In People Impact, they seek to establish a strong bonding with the parents through a regular one-to-one parenting debrief session. The session will touch on the child’s progress and their Core Development Area(s) as well as understanding and providing tips for the parents to nurture the child. 

AJ has thoroughly enjoyed the session and has begged me to bring him there the following week. You may click on this link to see more photos we took in that session. 

Interested for a trial? People Impact is giving all my readers a special rate on your first month trial with them at $288 (U.P $558) or you may pay just $5 per child for 1 session of trial (U.P: S$20)! You only need to code 'mylilbookworm blog' to enjoy this offer! To register for the 1 month trial or the single session trial, please send an email to info@people-impact.com.sg with your name and contact as well as your child’s name and age. Registration will be completed upon payment. Offer is valid till 9 May 2016 (Mon). 

People Impact
Tel: 64514908 / 84681185
Website: www.people-impact.com.sg
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PeopleImpactSingapore
Instagram: @People_Impact

Creative Writing Workshop by Monica and Lesley-Anne

I had wanted to arrange this Creative Writing workshop with Monica and Lesley-Anne for the longest time ever (Monica can testify that). The club that AJ is in, had initially agreed to incorporate it into their bi-yearly activities for children. However, somehow, along the way, there were hiccups and the workshop didn’t materialize. Not willing to give up, I solicited people around me so that I could have at least 10 children in the workshop to help share the cost. Monica and I agreed on the date, but, lo and behold, nearing the date, I only have 5 children signed up.

Monica was very kind to offer her help to put up a post in her Facebook Fanpage, and in less than a week, we have met the numbers. That’s how influential she is!

Here are some photos I took on the actual day.

It was a very useful workshop for the kids, I find. Lesley-Anne shared a few tactics on writing creatively and the duo even played games with the children to stimulate more creative juices!

As I sat back and observed the workshop, I couldn’t help but to admire Monica. Lesley-Anne is such a pleasant, confident, mature young lady, I could sense the respect and love she has for her parents (her father was there too). The duo has a strong chemistry in this partnership, it is not difficult to sense the strong bond between them. Indeed, Monica has brought her up well. My heart was filled with envy. Then, I found myself imagining how AJ would turn out to be 8 years later. Would he be a fine, well-mannered, filial and mature young man? Would I be able to have such a strong mother-son bond? Ah! I digressed. Let’s get back.

The children were supposed to craft a short story based on some guidelines given. Here’s AJ’s:

I was pretty surprised he talked about Coffee. He had never tasted coffee, let alone the different types of coffee. I suspected he picked up this from his coffee-addict mum. :O

Anyway, I find his story funny, and very ‘him’. He likes to inject time frame in his stories, and likes to travel on a time machine to millions of years in the future or back. He likes to do that in his composition too, and often got marks deducted because of that :(. And his story always ended abruptly. Haiz.

Here’s his crafted story (unedited) after going through those guidelines:

Hi! I’m Latte. Yes, I am a coffee. I don’t want you to drink me. I like to drink other coffee. I am in a cruise ship. I am in a coffee shop in the cruise ship. They are selling me. I don’t want to be sold to people who will gobble me down their throat and wake me up through their digestive system and end up as poop. So I have been finding ways to hide from sickening people like you. Through a study, I have come to a conclusion that sickening people like you enjoy drinking sickening Cappuccinos and hate drinking friendly Raspberry Juice. So I hide in Raspberry Juice for the time being.

2,398,274,065 years later …

The same jug of the Raspberry Juice is running out. I am now 2,398,274,079 years old, and nobody can find me. I talk to Raspberry Juice about it. She says to stay here but I want to leave. So I go and seek refuge in the deep blue azure sea. 

(And the mum here wonders why the Raspberry Juice didn't turn bad ... ...)

At the end of the workshop, we had photography and book-signing session. Of course, all gathering of human beings can't go without some form of ‘makan’. Besides serving light refreshment, I took the opportunity to celebrate Lesley-Anne’s 19th birthday in advance. Blessed Birthday to you, Lesley-Anne! Thank you so much for your sharing!

This cake was lovingly baked by my home-baker friend Lynn

If you are interested to arrange for such workshop, kindly contact Denise at denise.closetfulofbooks@gmail.com