Obsession Of The Week: Queenslander Homes!

I know, I know. Queenslander homes? How totally random! Well, that's okay because that's the point of OOTW - I get to focus on something random once in a while.

I discovered the beauty of Queenslander homes just a few weeks ago when I went to visit Daniel's parents. See, my in-laws actually live in one! I don't have a photo of the exterior of their beautiful home since they're still putting up their new fences, but I'll definitely ask for a photo when it's all done up.

I didn't really know about the concept of Queenslander homes till Morris (Daniel's stepdad) explained it to me. They're traditional homes found in Queensland, Australia (hence the name) which are traditionally made of wood and built on stilts. Why are they build high up? Because Queensland is an area that is prone to flooding (see Diane, Daniel's mom, showing the different flood levels over the years. The one she's pointing at is from earlier this year, so yeah, floods can get pretty bad in their town of Maryborough).

Book Review: The Adventures of Squirky the Alien #1: Why am I blue?

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I was given a copy of this book by my publishers after they described it to me at a meeting. There aren't a lot of books for children that explain adoption, and this book does it in such a fantastic (and fantastical) way!

I read it to the boys when I first received the book, without first explaining what adoption was. This is because: 1. I wanted them to come to that understanding themselves through the story, and 2. Adoption is a topic that is much-discussed in this household anyway, and in fact came very close to providing a baby sister for the boys a few years ago.

The Adventures of Squirky the Alien is written by the duo of Melanie Lee (writer) and David Liew (illustrator). The book is written for Melanie' young son Christian, whom she and her husband Darren adopted years ago. In their own words, "this story is (their) way of letting him know that, should there come a day when he wants to find out more about his origins and birth parents, (they) will support his decision". And the story does a great job of explaining that.

I don't want to give the whole story away, but I will tell you some of our favorite parts. I really liked the part where Daddy told Squirky how he came to be a part of the family. The illustration and coloring is really well done, and that last line, "And the first thing you did when I picked you up is smile"...well I just melted into a puddle reading that!

The boys, interestingly, loved the ending. Except, well...there is no ending just yet! This book is a part of a series, and so we are left with a cliffhanger. It's funny that the boys really dug that, and are looking forward to the next book, whereas I'm like "Give me the whole story NOW!".

Anyway, after we are left with a cliffhanger, we are also given some very useful resources including tips on how to communicate with your adoptive child(ren), and a recommended reading list of books about adoption for parents and children.

I think this book can be a playful and casual way of introducing the concept of adoption in your household. Whether or not you are planning to adopt (for me, personally, the possibility is never far from my mind), it is important that we normalize adoption. There is a negative connotation to it in this region, which is bizarre considering the fact that adoption not only gives a child a forever family to call his own, but also blesses a household with the love and warmth that a child brings! All good things, methinks!

If you'd like to have a copy of the book, you can buy it online here for RM16.92. While you're there, get my book too: click here to purchase Babywearing Made Simple at 15% for only RM30.52! You can also purchase both books at any MPH store or book store near you.

Note: This is a sponsored post, which means that I received the product and/or service in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Big News: I'm engaged!!!

That's right! Daniel got down on one knee and asked me to marry him...and I said yes! This isn't new information for people who follow me on Instagram and FB, but not many people knew the details of what happened on the 6th of August 2014...until now, that is!

I've enlisted the help of my fiancé to describe the day of the proposal. Read on if you want to know exactly how it all went down ;)

OUT NOW! Babywearing Made Simple by Adriana Thani ;D

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you will have known that something big has happened in my life, and believe me I will be writing a detailed blog post about that particular life event soon! But for now I just have to share this amazing news: MY BOOK IS OUT!!! Here's the cover of "Babywearing Made Simple" - I'm so happy I could cry!

Babywearing Made Simple by Adriana Thani
Photo Credit: Michelle
You can find it at a book store near you! It will definitely be found at all MPH outlets, but you may also find it at other book stores in Malaysia and Singapore.

I am so immensely happy that it is already out. Rest assured that I will be having a book launch very soon, and that you can purchase the book there too! Plus, I'll be around to sign it ;D

So what are you waiting for? Go and get the book for all your friends and family members who are parents or parents-to-be! Heck, go get a copy (or two...or three) for yourself while you're at it ;p Thanks to all my readers, followers, supporters...I couldn't have done it without you!

EDITED TO ADD: You can also buy the book online HERE!

Dove Mahkotamu!

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I’ve always had very little hair. Not only that, my hair is really fine too. But after having both boys, hair loss has left me with an even smaller amount of hair. This became crystal clear for me a couple of years ago, at a surprise birthday party for my bestie. This person came up to me, and (in front of everyone) said loudly, “Wow, you’ve really lost a lot of hair. You’re practically bald!” Aside from being very, very rude, this person had a point – I had a major hair loss issue.

Hair loss can be attributed to a lot of reasons, but I’m fairly certain that my main cause is stress – at that point in time, I had just become a single mother, and I was studying while also working. Nowadays, I think the main reason behind my hair loss might be the lack of time I have to care for my hair. Gone are the days I could go for scalp treatments once a month!

So when I was invited to the Dove Mahkotamu two-day event last weekend, I was hella excited. I knew it was going to be fun, and that I’d be learning about the Dove Hair Fall Rescue range, but I had no idea how much I’d also learn about other things – read on to find out what!

Day 1
I arrived at the Shangri-La Hotel in Putrajaya on the first day, and was surprised by it’s location. It really felt like it was out in the middle of nowhere, which was a welcome respite from the busy-ness that was my week. Anyhow, after checking in, we were all invited for what was, to me, the best thing one could ever get at an event – a massage!

The head and shoulder massage was absolute BLISS. I seriously needed it, and by the end of it, I was practically half asleep. The Dove Hair Tonic Treatment was applied directly onto my scalp and felt nice and cool on my scalp, which didn’t help in keeping me awake. Seriously, I was so relaxed that if I could’ve snuck away for a nap, I would have. It is said that the treatment would visibly reduce hair fall after two weeks.

Alas, that was not to be, as we were all divided into groups and sent on to the first of two workshops for the day. The first one I went to was the Image Consulting workshop by Grooming Consultant Hanim Abdul Rahman, which was a lot of fun!

Puan Hanim was so vivacious, and that spirit was contagious!
One of my favorite activities for that particular workshop was when we all had to paste a piece of paper on our back and get at least 5 people to write positive things about us based on their first impressions – talk about an ego boost!

Huhu...kembang kuncup ai! I'm assuming that last one was about my blush?
The second workshop was the Relationship Consulting workshop by Aniqah Husda. One of the things I took away from this workshop was the three things anyone can do in order to maintain healthy and happy relationships: Acceptance, Understanding, and Appreciation. It’s so simple, these three things, but how many of us apply them in relationships that matter to us? Particularly our relationship with our kids? I like this concept so much that I may well write an entire post about it soon.

Puan Aniqa is so soft-spoken and gentle!
After the workshops, we had about half an hour to relax and get ready for dinner. Dinner was good – so many healthy options. Did I take any? No. I had a sinfully creamy spaghetti carbonara instead. #noregrets

With my belly full of the yummy pasta, I was worried about whether or not the other ladies would mistakenly congratulate me on being preggers :p Luckily we were given cute Dove bathrobes (read: big belly cover-up garment) as we went on to the next event – the Pillow Talk session!

Hot new look, amiriiiiiite??
We were joined by celebrities Yasmin Hani and Sharifah Shahira, as well as real Dove girls Nadia and Sue, Relationship Consultant Aniqah Husda and host Nana Mazahan. It was pretty chilled and all good…except for this:

Discipline? What disclipine?
Because I managed to somehow stuff myself with marshmallows and candy despite being completely full mere minutes before…aaaaaaghhh…how to resist??!?

Anyway, the event was memorable not only because we were all in bathrobes, but because it was the first time I’d ever seen a room full of women speak so openly and honestly about their hair loss.

L-R: Nana Mahazan, Yasmin Hani, Sharifah Shahira, Nadia, Sure, Aniqa
For me personally, I don’t really talk about it out of a combination of being embarrassed about it, and also thinking it’s a superficial thing to care about. Except that it’s not – there’s a reason why it’s called our crowning glory. It’s good to know that other women are as concerned as I am about our hair loss, and actually want to do something about it!

After that, we all went back to our rooms. I don’t know what other people did, but I took a much-needed warm bath while watching Game Of Thrones. Can’t think of a better way to spend a Friday night!
I only just got done with Season 3, so no spoilers please!
Day 2
On the second day, we got serious. First challenge was breakfast – I was still groggy from that massage and that bath, believe or not. But I managed to get some food in my mouth (as I somehow always do, pffft).

Once we were all seated in the hall, Mr John Goh from Dove conducted an enlightening presentation on hair loss and the technology of the Dove Hair Fall Rescue range. As it turns out, only 20% of hair loss is caused by hair breakage. So focusing on repairing hair damage is only going to help with a little bit of that hair loss. In fact, 80% of the time, hair loss occurs at the roots!

Mr John Goh
That’s where Dove Hair Fall Therapy comes in – it targets the natural hair growth cycle in addition to targeting the hair damage. It contains anti-breakage technology to smooth the hair cuticles and prevent breakage, and it also has anti-shedding technology, which keeps hair on the head for longer, which in turn extends the hair growth cycle. It’s the complete solution for hair loss!

I’m excited to see how the Dove Hair Fall Therapy range works for me – and you too! Join the Dove 14-Day Challenge by clicking here. You may just win prizes worth up to RM20,000. Not bad, huh?

Thanks Dove, for inviting me to cover the event. Definitely a memorable one :D

Note: This is a sponsored post, which means that I received the product and/or service in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.