Thursday, January 28, 2016


 I was a bit distracted  this week because my son had a high temperature over the weekend. It carried through to  Monday, which was a public holiday for the Thaipusam hindu festival.   I  have said Malaysia has probably the highest amount of public holidays because Malaysia believes it is fair to celebrate everything from the abundant choice of multicultural public holidays, kids rejoice, parents sigh.   

So anyway I'm doing rough drafts of the different blogs I'm going to write and at the same time  making sure that my son is well stocked up with  aspirin to keep his temperature down.   Come Tuesday and the temperature still has not gone.    I told him  it's time for us to go to the doctor because it's not normal to have a temperature for this amount of time.   So we head on over to the local clinic,  he started having a flushed rash on his face,  indicators of Dengue Fever.  
As soon as we met with  the doctor,  he says, " okay let's do the blood tests and you'll be able to find out in the next couple of hours if you have dengue.   So trying not to panic since we live in the tropics,  and Dengue is prevalent in this country,  I asked him for all the things that I had to prepare for.    Most of the people that I knew who had been diagnosed with dengue had to be  admitted to the hospital,  and would be on a drip anywhere from 5 to 10 days.  Doc  says " well let's find out the results first ,  I will call you to let you know as soon a I can. "   First thing I do is call my insurance lady to make sure that everything is in order,  and no it's not and according to them, Dengue doesn't fall under the critical illness category.   I wonder what it does fall under..... 

Because I can't focus on my work so I start piddling around the house and start to cook (it's good therapy!)    I decided to make some bread ,(don't worry I have a bread machine which my dad gave me,.. I wonder why hmmmnnn) and  to also make some pumpkin soup.  Well it  would be easier for my kids to eat that evening for dinner.  

  Some quick picks here of me  making my bread and soup.

I'm anxiously waiting for the doctor to give me some news, and finally we get the call.   He says "yes your son is dengue positive,   we have to keep monitoring his blood platelets, it's not in the danger zone yet but  since you're quite a concerned parent that we suggest that you admit him into hospital , however you are quite welcome to a second opinion."

I called up my girlfriend who is the head of the ER  in one of the premier private hospitals here.   She assured me that he would be fine,  she said " why don't we just keep monitoring him,  don't bring him in yet,  he seems to be fine, his appetite is good, make him drink lots of water and keep the temperature under control, he will have another blood test  tomorrow and we'll check his levels then"  she told me to call her anytime and rung off. 

Now as we all know, there is no actual cure for Dengue!   You basically have to wait for it to run its course. I wanted to know if there was  any natural remedy for it , so  using my trusted search engine I started googling natural remedies for Dengue.   A load of articles popped up with papaya leaf extract.   Its seems a couple of spoonfuls twice daily of the extract helps build up the platelets and reduces the fever.  Sounded great to me, so off I went to find papaya leaves... don't ask me how, but i managed to get some (thanks Liza).  I mixed  it with some freshly squeezed orange juice as the extract is pretty bitter (yes I did taste it, it's gah.!)  and made my son drink it all down. (poor thing , more torture )  Mind you he said it wasn't so bitter with the OJ but it left a lingering taste , I didn't ask him to describe it, I could only imagine.  (btw you can also get this extract in pill form) 

My papaya leaves which I soaked and washed
I used my juicer, this is what 3 leaves will give you about 2 tbs 

I added some orange juice to make it more palatable 

The potent Papaya Leaf Extract with Orange Juice

So the long wait through the night began,  I  monitor his fever throughout the night and early morning.  My son is a strapping 15-year-old , I have no doubt that he is going to pull through this but I am curious to see what the blood tests will say the next day.
Before we head in to the hospital for the next round of blood tests my son polishes off a massive breakfast .. good sign no?  We're ushered into the doc's office and he does all the usual doctory stuff (you know what i mean ) .He also tells my son he's going to put a line in.  When my son looks blank, he says "we'll be inserting a tube into your vein, so that if we have to admit you we won't have to stick another needle in".  Right, scare tactics working, check, hearth thumping, check, dry mouth but looking confident for son, check.  The doc wants us to wait around for the blood test so we loiter with intent at a coffee outlet.  

Now can you beat this, I get a text back from my  Doctor girlfriend who's monitoring the tests for my son and she says the blood tests have come back and it says dengue negative... huh?  We hustle back to the doctors office, he says the blood work for my son is OK, yes his platelets have dropped a bit but not significantly so we can go home, but on the premise we have to come back again the next day for another blood test to make absolutely sure he's in the clear.   I still can't believe the diagnosis, I'm still hovering over my son who's now giving me the evils (yes I know , helicopter mum much?..) 

On Thursday we went in for the 3rd blood test, my daughter insisted on following us, her motto is " we're family mum, gotta support my bro.."  uh huh or another way for skiving off school...   Anyway, we head in, the nurse takes my son's blood, (vampires in disguise!!)  then as we're walking out of the room, my daughter looks at me and says "I feel a bit dizzy", two seconds later, she drops into a dead faint in my arms!  Thankfully we're in a hospital (duh) and the nurses whizz around to prop her in a wheel chair and then back to the ER (oh what a day!)  OK not to worry, my daughter is not good with the sight of blood, and this is not the first time she's fainted when she's seen blood.  5 minutes later whilst still hooked to the bp machine, she looks at us sheepishly (right brownies all round !)   After the drama the blood test comes back, his platelets are up, he's doing well and we can go home, we've only got one more blood test to do on Sat and we're in the clear!
the extract also comes in pill form
One of the things I've come away with is, check insurance on coverage because a lot of them don't cover dengue, the only one that has a special coverage from dengue is Tokyo Marine.  Guess what I'm going to be buying for the kids and myself today?  now where was that online application again.....

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hey Boss

In my last blog I touched on a few different avenues one could explore whilst waiting for that "job" that you want to land, or if you're still figuring out weather you want to continue being an employee or an employer.  It's a huge undertaking and does require much pondering and I am the queen of over thinking everything except when it comes to doing something I feel passionate about, like this blog :-) 
My partner Stacey and I when we owned VirgoModels
So I was thinking to myself how the young guns are really moving ahead and striving in today's world with their start ups and businesses that seem to just hit it off from the get go,  and then I had to kick myself mentally (lets face it, trying to kick yourself physically is kinda weird and most people would assume you've left your straight jacket hanging around somewhere....)   because I remembered hey I did exactly the same thing too when I was a young gun.    I had my own business by the age of 31.   I had a successful modeling agency , and  following through  that I also had a successful management company that managed the upcoming artist who are all now pretty established...

One of the Bands I managed under G.O Management
I realised being envious was silly, so I quickly shoved that thought  into a deep dark and very dank corner and then began to ponder on some reasons concerning "making it on your own" .  The question is whether or not you are ready to head out on an adventure that  only you can chart.  You have to  decide if you're happy with the so called "security" of being salaried (and lets face it no one is safe no matter how high up the ladder you are, not trying to scare anyone or anything.. just saying) or be the Boss of your own Business. 

I wont say I'm an expert in this, all I'm giving you is my experiences of starting up my own companies, and if it helps, then I've done what I set out to do! There are several things you need to consider.   

Firstly what do you want to do, what do you really love to do?  These are important questions as you will discover you spend more than 80% of your time working (I think we should have 3 day weekends! but hey that's just me!)  Is it something that you're really passionate about?  Have you discussed this with your close group of friends?  Are they supportive or do they think it's the worst idea ever?  Do you have a mentor?  Can you go to them and outline what you intend to do?  I must say I'm a very stubborn person and once I decide to do something, "you can't "  is not in my vocabulary.  That helped a lot in keeping my focus on getting my businesses up and going. Of course I discussed it with a few friends and got them to help me with cash flow projections, 3 to 5 year P&L plans and that dreaded word.. yes.. accounts.. yuck!, to all the accountants out there, we love you, please don't ever change !

Now if you've decided to take the plunge ,  (please don't blame your shampoo for hair loss, it's the stress...) then the first thing you need to do is , set up a company.  In M'sia you have two choices, you can either open up as a sdn bhd (limited co)  or as a sole proprietor.   It all  really depends on the kind of structure that you want for your company and what suits you best.  Sdn Bhds's will obviously cost you more, so ensure you have at least $5K set aside to cover all the different fees when Incorporating a company , this includes secretarial fees, stamping fees and if you buy a shelf company and want to have the name changed.  Pick your company sec carefully, they will be with you for a while, ask friends about theirs or for recommendations. 

If you are opting for a Sdn Bhd then make sure you nominate the other director/s with care, as they have to sign off on all the docs including co cheques.  Now if it's only you running the company and you don't need loans, grants and restructuring every few years it's ok to use family members or friends you trust, I did that, but as we grew, I was advised to bring on shareholders and directors with hefty track records, it would make applications for funds in what ever form much much easier. I now have 2 Directors and 3 shareholders on board who kick butt bebeh!    

On to some frivolity, the name of the company! Heh, for some this doesn't matter, for me, it's part of branding.  My company is named after my 3 kids so it's called Cleiden  (Christopher, Leilani and Ayden)  a girlfriend of mine came up with that (more heads together, more ideas!) here's my link Cleiden Management Productions
The logo is a Maori fish hook aka "hei matau" which represents strength, good luck and safe travel across water (as a producer and creator of shows there is a lot of travelling!). Your company sec will give you a list of names already incorporated if you want a shelf company, from there if you want the name changed make sure you give your co sec at least 3 choices.  
Hosting a TV show with Color Me Badd

Ok so now you've got your company sec,  incorporated a company, have a list of names you'd like to change it to and picked your director.  It gets better .. now you need to get an accountant on board as well as a company auditor.  Yes apart from co sec fees you have to pay quarterly, you have the auditors yearly fees for audit and tax and your best friend and somewhat huge pain in the derriere the accountant. Try to have your accountant do the books regularly either weekly or fortnightly depending on your turnover, or like me you'll be huffing and grumbling from all the questions and deep file searches for that one flipping receipt that they don't have! 

I know it all seems much, especially since you're also expected to attend Company Director courses, GST courses etc to ensure you know what you're doing, BUT if you've got the determination to get your product off the ground, this is only a small blip on that road to your new adventure, and hey if I can do it, so can you. I'll catch you all again next week, I've uploaded my first vlog for this Blog, and hopefully the new design for my blog will be ready in the next few days, hope you like it!  Drop me a line, anytime, love to hear from you! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Moving Forward 2016 part 2

Another week, another experience! It's only the second week into the new year and it seems quieter than usual.  Everyone seems to be hitting the grindstone and also looking for greener pastures elsewhere.  The job market seems to opening up so make sure you have your resumes polished up and find yourself a good recruitment agency to help you out with your job search.  I had a look at mine, and giggled, it was a bit like this.. :
blow off the cobwebs and smarten up your CV
Word of mouth from friends and acquaintances are also a gold mine for prospective jobs, but make sure you go through the job spec carefully because sometimes the job description is completely different to what was relayed to you.

It's always important to stay positive, like my gal pal and I say when things come crashing around you, look for the positives in that experience.  Make sure in between the searching and fretting that you exercise, it helps keep those endorphins flowing, when I was feeling a bit low it was exactly what my good friend Riz did, she got me out of the house for a lovely long walk in one of our botanic parks.  It puts reality back into perspective and of course helps burns calories! its a win win situation I tell ya.
So then I walked all the way to Sydney and back  (heh heh) 
Help yourself by feeding your brain, I've been helping myself to a good dose of TedxTalks.  Here are a couple that I enjoyed  : Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck!)  and of course there is the very forthright How to stop screwing yourself over  I especially like the part about the internal chatter! Seriously it really never stops!

Last week I was blogging about how to make immediate cash by utilising your cooking skills, or anything you do well from teaching another language to scuba diving lessons while waiting for the job you want or figuring out what you really want to do.    It's funny when people ask me what I do, I never know how to answer them, once I even said "as little as possible"... and the retort was "yes , well we all try to, but apart from that.."  My other girlfriend leans over and whispers "say you're in between jobs".. Uh.. well that seems to imply I'm not working! I do have several jobs actually, four, if you count being a mum!

After coming back from Hong Kong, it seems the universe opened and started showering me with "marketing jobs" ! And you will probably come across them too.  One of them was for real estate bonds,  since it was a good friend who had offered this opportunity,  I heard them out (I'm nice that way :-p ) .  I realised with this type of  investment,  the parties that I would have to approach would be corporate ladder climbers and those with a substantial disposable income.  So I got ahold of someone I thought who filled the criteria and who was savvy with investments.  I  sat  with her through the presentation and had her break it down in layman terms to me and at the same time She felt it was wort her time and effort.   It's quite simple really, it's a bond that will be held for 2 years, it's in pounds, the profits are paid biannually and the interest rate is pretty good.  Here's a link to their website Lifesgood Property Investment .  Just remember, it's all about your comfort zone, if you think you can do it, go for it.

A few days later , in the midst of screaming at the TV monitor during the Rugby World Cup at our regular watering hole, my friend says to me as I'm hyperventilating ,   "how about earning in USD?"  The All Black's score a try and I'm whooping loudly, I look at her and say "hell yeah". "OK" she says, "I came with you to the property investment, come with me to this network marketing launch, lets check it out".    "Fair enough" I say with my eyes glued to Sonny Bill's glutes.. sigh those Kiwis.. uh where was I?
All Blacks all the way!

Life Force
So essentially you have MLM's, Pyramid Schemes, and Network Marketing.  I've tried a few, in between my productions, one of them was Life Force ,  it's health products from power drinks, nutrition and beauty.  I first joined it was via  the New Zealand division, and then they finally brought the products to Singapore.  That was in 2009, and it cost me $440 and I only signed one person on.

 Then  in 2012, I was introduced to another called Exfuze .  This one was yummy, it was a health drink and supposed to do all sorts of beneficial things for you, so much so that my son thought it was a soft drink, and drank most of the bottle in one sitting!! Heh Heh.. and with them as well I only signed on one person. It cost me RM530.

I've been approached by herbalife etc but ( I can feel you all squirming in your seats) I knew I did not have have the type of personality  or interest to pursue it. Both were MLM businesses. So when I went to this networking launch, I was already in defence mode. However, once there , it was made abundantly clear it was not a MLM scheme, it was all about network marketing, it was about travelling and having fun while doing it as well as making money along the way.  Finally a product that I could understand, as I travel a lot.   When I spoke to people about this exciting product, they were so receptive towards it, because everyone travels!   I thought to myself, 'hmmnn this is also a good way to empower loads of women', friends I know who've had to downshift due to the economy, and in such a supportive environment.   Don't get me wrong,every networking program you come across has negative stories about it, and I did my research, I grilled the Regional Director and he answered all my questions and allayed my fears.  It also leaves me with loads of time to work on my production, writing and presentations.  This was a perfect match for me.
My Team!

Not only do we network together we have lunches too!
What I'm saying is, my girlfriends and I try out these different programs, some are a good fit some are not, there are  many more out there.  My aim is to impart as much information as possible about these different ventures should you decide to go for it.  If you have some experience of them, and would like me to publish it on my blog, do drop me a line and tell me about them.  My e mail is  I'd love to hear from you, we're creating a hub for women by women, I find it so exciting!

I'll cover more possibilities next week, till then remember - a dream is only a dream until you make it a reality.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Year 2016.. in the beginning

Happy New Year everyone.  I do hope for everyone this is going to be a great year.  2015 had so many bumps in it, it seems like everyone is happy to see the back of it. I for one waved it off with close friends and a few days of recuperation!

In my last blog I was talking about empowering women and what we can do for ourselves financially and spiritually in this economic state of uncertainty. I'm not going to bog you down with figures and tech speak, but have a real heart to heart about what we can do to help ourselves.  We've been informed that there have been so many budget cuts which means a lot of people being made redundant, downsizing of departments, companies going belly up or being bought over or like the radio station I had been working for, shutting down with 2 weeks notice.
Last day at the Station!
Me and my partner in Crime on the Morning Show

Once the initial shock is over, I think the most important thing is to ensure your tribe, and that is your most faithful and most supportive friends and family rally around you.  There will be a lot of ideas being bandied about, but the most important thing I've discovered is to trust your instinct and go with your gut.

Now for some of us , it's the age factor, lets face it, more companies prefer to hire younger people and to also pay less for the inexperienced ones. Plus the younger folk can hop around from one company to another and it's quite the norm, but if you've had an established career and a defined work ethos that you've been following it can be harder.  You will come across a myriad of  work opportunities, from MLM to introductions to investing.  Lets cover them one by one shall we?
My Almond Shortbread

Firstly if you find yourself at home, going through the ads and recruitment agencies without as much luck as you'd hope to have, lets look at what you can do immediately.  Do you cook?  Is there a specialised dish that everyone ooos and ahhs over?  I've spoken to quite a few women and they do a few signature dishes that they advertise online and cater to folk who don't have the time to cook.  All it takes is a little bit of patience and PR.  Make sure you bring you signature dish to the next get together, tell your friends you're available to cater the dish you've brought , make sure you also have a price in mind of how much you will charge.  Post it on your social networks, it's the best way of being visible and word of mouth also works and make sure you take some great shots of the food (not the person holding it or eating it!!)   Also as my girl friends mentioned to me, a lot of restaurants and cafes are accepting home made goods that are up to their standards so look around your neighbourhood to these places where you can possibly promote your dish.  This is immediate cash.
I make about 4 specialised dishes, apart from my Shepard's Pie and Apple Crumble I also do
killer quiches in many flavours
I also make tasty tuna puffs!
Then there's part time work at UBER, why not, if you own your own car, have a few hours to spare and want to earn money, apply, I'm sure your network will tell you where and at what time there's the most need for public transport.

The same can be said for your actual skills, you can always offer your services on a free lance basis whilst looking for the next major job, (anything from teaching yoga, cooking, accounting, language classes etc)   just make sure you know what the going rate is and charge accordingly.  Cash money more money.

my pal Riz does dive classes in her free time
and has some pretty awesome experiences along the way!
There are many MLM, Pyramid and Networking Jobs. out there, ranging from health products to time sharing.  The most important thing about this type of work is to actually believe in the product, believe you can market the product and make the initial payment (yes there is always an initial investment starting from RM 500 upwards.)   I'll cover them all in detail in the next blog, suffice to say this is to just kick start your year with a quick patch up and to let you know that you are not alone, we're all in this boat together, and we believe with more women supporting each other and building a network together or as I love to call it a TRIBE , we can do it and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm in the midst of gathering other blogs for micro financing and also investing.  If you have a topic you'd like to share please don't hesitate to let me know, I'd love to hear from you,