Hip2bMom’s professional hair cutting shears

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

Just as I was congratulating myself on having successfully palmed off my hair cutting duties to Nick the Pro, he absconded on us. I’m really disappointed in you, Nick! I hope your hair turns algae green when you bleach it blond 😉.

Well, as I recall, there’s a piece of sweet wisdom that says – when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. So off I went and hohoho, what did I find?

My first pair of, dare I say, professional hair cutting shears! And just like that, I’m back at my old job as the family’s official hairdresser!

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

I figured if I can’t claim to be a pro, I can at least pretend to be one with these professional hair cutting shears lol! My old stainless steel pair has served me well through my kids’ growing years. But now that I have to deal with way more hair and length, I need a bigger pair that takes off more hair at one go and won’t slow me down.

My Utopia Care professional hair cutting shears arrived in a neat portable case that’s great for storage and even better for travel. The shears are just the right size, very sharp and with finger inserts for a better grip. I don’t use the inserts as I like to be able to slip the shears on and off quickly. The blades are 100% stainless steel so no worries about rusting or tarnishing.

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

So far, we’ve used these shears for 2 rounds of haircuts and we’re lovin’ every snip. I say we because Hip2bDaughter1 is now my trusted hairdresser. Yup, you heard me. My baby now styles and cuts MY hair and she does an amazing job.

Somewhere along the line, you guys are probably wondering, so why don’t you just go to another hairdresser? Well, yes, that would be the logical next step for many people. Not for me. I’m a very hands-on mom who enjoys doing stuff for/with my kids. It’s what I call seamless bonding.

Personal experience also tells me that dream haircuts don’t always turn out the way you envision them, even after forking out those big bucks. So I’d rather steer clear of any potential hairy situations and take matters into my own hands.

Thankfully my amateur haircuts are turning out okay. This week alone, the girls have had 3 random people complimenting them on their cute haircuts at school. I heard that these 3 people when told they are Mom’s home haircuts, and not pro cuts, were impressed and gave the thumbs up.

Many people here cut their own hair or for their families and are proud of it. Others applaud and encourage them. That’s the spirit. Many of us have never been to hair school but have simply learned the techniques from watching videos. All you need is a good pair of shears like my new professional hair cutting shears which gives me the precision I need to do a better job. Who would’ve thought some of the best haircuts in the world are free?

(I wasn’t paid or compensated in any way for writing this post (though it’d be nice if Utopia would send me a free pair of these amazing shears, hint hint) but it does contain affiliate links. Opinions are entirely mine. Thanks for clicking on these links.)

Hip2bMom’s hair salon

Hip2bMom's hair salon

If you’re a mom, you’ll agree that moms have the world’s most unexpected job specifications, often running into uncharted territory, such as Chief Executive Hairdresser, for instance. One without proper qualifications, I might add lol.

Back in college, I used to attack my bangs every once in a while. It was the only part of my hair that needed maintenance. Since I have an aversion to hair salons, this worked out perfectly. And that’s all the ‘training’ and experience I have.

When time came for my kids to have their first haircuts, I naturally assumed it was my job. Taking them to the hair salon was never an option. It might have to do with having witnessed kids being hauled up by their parents, kicking and screaming, and pinned down to that dreaded chair so a complete stranger, armed with a deadly weapon, could attempt to snip off what little hair they had.

I couldn’t bear to think of subjecting my kids to that kind of trauma. So when it came time for my firstborn to have his first ever haircut, I took it upon myself. If I could cut my own hair, a kid’s hair should be a piece of cake and it’s not like he’s going to see the Queen, right?

Hip2bMom's hair salon

Image credit

So that’s how far back Hip to be Mom’s home hair salon goes. I designed my bathroom to be 3 times bigger than normal so I’d have enough wriggle room to turn it into a hair salon every few weeks. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, right? lol Don’t even get me started on the things I’ve done to child-proof the house.

And so that’s how I ended up being my children’s hairdresser from kindy through college, and all the years in between. Those early haircuts were without struggles. My kids would sit there quietly and patiently while I danced around them. Cutting boys’ hair or even layered haircut for girls isn’t hard. It just needs confidence and some juggling skills.

I probably don’t say this enough but my kids are such sweethearts about a lot of things, which is why I’ve been inspired to do things with/for them that I might otherwise have been hesitant to try. They always cheer me on and tell me I do a good job – and in this case, give me the Nike assurance: “it’s okay, Mom, hair will grow back so just do it!” – and I love them for it.

There was a spell during their teen years when I got lazy found Nick and sent them on their merry way. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know Nick. He was just some random guy who had a different hairstyle and color every other day. But I figured, well, if he had hair like a k-popper, he should be okay. Yup, I’m deep like that lol.

Nick the Pro would definitely be able to cater to a whole range of different hair styles that I couldn’t possibly offer. “Kids, you’re not babies any more. It’s time you went to a pro. Nick does a better job than me. So off you go!”

And just like that, I washed my hands off this whole hairy business. Or so I thought…

(to be continued)

Flowers and fake apologies

Flowers and fake apologies

So there I am at LA Airport with lots of time on my hands. The place is huge, ever busy, ever crowded. Trying to find a seat to park yourself and your baggage is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Traveling in entire villages seems to be the thing these days, which means there are no seats left for the rest of us. Hel-llo, does your backpack need to have its own seat?!!

After walking up and down 5 or 6 times, I finally spot a partially hidden seat between a man and a woman. Unsure if the man understands English, I ask the woman instead if the seat beside her is taken. It isn’t, whew! At last, I finally get to park myself somewhere.

And do nothing.

I confess I’m one of those rare dinosaur types who isn’t perpetually glued to technology. or peace-signing for the hundredth selfie. So there really isn’t much to do at all except maybe text my kids. And people-watch. Or attempt small talk with the nearest person to kill time. On a good day, a random person might even initiate small talk with me.

I look over at the lady on my right. She seems friendly enough but she’s glued to Facebook on her laptop (duh!). But then, I notice her gazing occasionally at the people streaming by. Suddenly she turns to me and points, “See the guy with the flowers?”

I’m like, where but he’s vanished into the crowd. It’s such a busy place and people are just going wooosh every millisecond! After a while, everything becomes a blur.

Flowers and fake apologies (Image credit: dvo.com)

“I hate people who try to suck up to you with flowers and a fake apology,” she continues. I don’t know what it was about the guy that gave her that idea but “Yup, I have to agree,” I reply, wondering who, in her life, she’s talking about.

Honestly, I don’t know which is worse, a fake apology or no apology at all. Apologies are as rare as blue diamonds with some people. So yeah, if ever there’s one uttered, fake or otherwise, I’ll take it, thanks!

“If they’re not really sorry, sucking up with a bunch of flowers ain’t gonna cut it,” she goes on. “I know what you mean,” is my simple reply. 네, 사과에요 lol! I totally get where she’s coming from. I’m certain now that someone in her life’s been a jerk. Turns out it’s her ex. I gather that’s exactly why he’s her ex.

The man beside me leaves. Instantly a whole village swoops in to grab his seat – grandparents, parents, grown siblings and their offspring. One of the women quickly settles into that one seat with her son on her lap while the village spreads out around her, all talking loudly. The hyperactive boy wriggles around and kicks my leg.

His mother sees it but says nothing. No apology. Not even a fake one? This would be the perfect time to teach the next generation some manners. But no, she was just going to let it go and now that boy is going to think it’s okay to kick someone and not apologize.

My new friend gazes momentarily at them and shakes her head. They’re getting louder by the minute. We continue talking and laughing but have to raise our voices to hear each other above the din.

I give her a small bag of red velvet cookies from my bag. She chomps on them while I nibble on my jam sandwich from home as we exchange notes about hobbies and interests. And there we were – two tired travelers in one crazy huge airport bonding over cookies and fake apologies within that short space of time.

Ideas on the best name for your baby


It’s fun to see how celebrities name their children, and how parents then quickly pick up on the trend and name their children after those children. Naming a baby is an important decision and not really quite so easy and straightforward.

Sometimes there are family traditions to be upheld. Sometimes there are just too many choices to consider, like whether to name the child after a famous person, or go with what’s popular at the moment, or settle on an unusual moniker. If you’re looking for a baby name, here are some fun facts that might help you along.

Via: Chronicle Books

Is there a more bizarre way of encouraging independence in your kids?

Is there a more bizarre way of encouraging independence in your kids?

As parents, we all want to encourage independence in our kids. I’m pretty sure of that. In fact, some of us get pretty creative in our efforts to make our kids learn to do things for themselves and stand on their own two feet.

But one woman has taken it to a whole new level. In her effort to encourage independence in her young daughter, she made up a horrific lie to convince the girl that she wasn’t her real mother and kept up the lie for over an entire decade.

A woman surnamed Shen, a resident of China’s Shenyang city, married a wealthy man and had a young daughter named Cheng Cheng. Their family was well-off, and about 13 years ago, Shen began to fear her daughter was becoming spoiled and arrogant. To stop this behaviour and force her child to be independent, Shen adopted a particularly unorthodox parenting tactic.

“Your real mother died a long time ago,” Shen told Cheng Cheng, who was about to enter fourth grade at the time. “I’m not your real mother. I’m just providing for your education up until you finish university. After that, don’t count on my help anymore.”

Cheng Cheng did not believe her mother’s words at first, but after Shen remained adamant in her claims, the young girl became shocked and confused.

This confusion was only temporary. Soon after learning her “real mother” had died and Shen would not be around to provide for her forever, Cheng Cheng began studying harder, and her academic performance improved. Her arrogant traits also began to disappear, and the girl became “sensible and obedient,” the Shenyang Evening News reported.

I am stumped, speechless. At a time when a child needs the love of a mother most, this woman chooses to push her child away in the most cruel fashion. Imagine the shock for the poor child to find out that the person she’s loved and trusted all this time suddenly isn’t who she thought and that her happy life of being loved by her mom has just ended… poof! just like that! How does a young child deal with this?


I mean, there are any number of ways to teach a kid to be independent and this sounds like just about the most cruel and unacceptable way to go about it. First off, I’ve never believed in lying to a child to get them to behave or obey. What kind of message would we be sending the child? That it’s okay to lie? That it’s okay to trick someone into doing something we want them to do?

I can only speak for myself and some will disagree, but this whole making up stories and lying to a child and threatening that evil will befall them if they don’t obey is not going to benefit the child. At age 9 or 10, as this child was, kids are able to understand reasoning and logic. They’re playful, sure, they may need more pep talks than we have patience for and countless reminders to drill in the idea, but isn’t that why we call them kids?

Eventually most can be taught and will learn. There’s no need to go into this sort of elaborate scheme to turn a child’s life upside down. What does this achieve? In the long run, I think keeping the communication channel open is a far better way for parents to come out on top and to win their children’s trust and respect. That’s how I do it anyways.

What’s more, childhood trauma has a way of carrying over into adulthood leaving emotional scars that can be hard to erase. Later in the article, the mother is triumphant that she has raised a daughter who is successful in every way – super achiever, high-flying job, good husband, happy ending? I’m no psychologist but I can almost bet that deep down inside, this young woman harbors deep emotional scars and who can say she won’t perpetuate her own negative experiences on her own children later?

Right, I think I’ve said enough. Read the full text here if you’re interested and tell us: what do you think of the woman’s parenting style? how do you teach your kids independence?

From kitchen helpers to budding chefs

From kitchen helpers to budding chefs

And we have lift-off… in the kitchen department. Hip2bDaughters have picked up the skillet and spatula and swept me off my feet with their cooking skills. I wonder where that came from?! 😉 Well, it all started when Hip2bDaughter1 and I went to Cali for Hip2bSon’s graduation and Hip2bDaughter2 had to stay home. For the first time in her life, she had to make some of her own meals. Here are some pictures she sent us of her cooking.

Doesn’t this look amazing?


Chicken Pot Pie, heck yeah! Hip2bDaughter2 wants you all to know I cooked the filling for her before I left for Cali, and that she merely assembled this dish. Which is good enough for me. When I was in high school, I’d never even fried an egg on my own, let alone assemble a pie!


Hip2bDaughter1 too has recently been inspired to pick up the spatula. This was the Dijon Chicken she served us last weekend. She says she can’t take all the credit because I created this recipe and she was merely putting it all together. Still, I didn’t lift a finger. She did it all.


Hip2bDaughter1’s first attempt at Red Potato Salad was inspired by the gorgeous red Australian potatoes we came across at the grocery store. Best potato salad ever, what can I say? So it’s goodbye, russet (for now), hello, red.


And her latest rendition of a new (to us) chicken recipe served over pasta.


I couldn’t be happier, of course. I’ve always encouraged my kids to learn to cook. Cooking is a life skill, a very important one, I might add. In order to eat healthier, we just have to get in there and get cooking, no two ways about it. Ordering the “healthy” items when we eat out isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be when we have no control over its preparation. So I’m glad my teens are getting in there and dishing it out 😀 .

Your turn: What are some skills you encourage in your kids, or hope they will develop? And why?

Barbie, or the lack thereof

Barbie, or the lack thereof

“Oh look, Mom, Barbies!!” my poor deprived daughters burst out in excitement as we stroll past this display at the mall. “Remember, we used to go to Toys-R-Us and spend hours looking at the Barbies… ??!”

Key word – looking, yes, “… but you wouldn’t let us buy any!” Yup, that’s the sad truth. But you know what, Barbie is just a tad too perfect for me. She’s got the perfect figure, beautiful clothes and a perfect life. She’s all about primping, skimpy-ing and little else (sorry, Barb, nothing personal!) so she’s not exactly the kind of role model I had in mind for my daughters.

It’s hard enough for girls growing up these days with all this (unwarranted) pressure to be slim and made up and popular with boys by a certain age, to keep up with what their friends have or are wearing or eating and which exotic vacation spot they’re headed to next. It’s sad girls can’t be girls any more but have to look and behave like lil apple tarts in order to be cool or in, whatever that means.

Too much peer pressure, I say. Too much chasing what’s not even important, in my books.

So it’s not surprising that between my two daughters, now teens, they’ve grown up with a grand total of 2 dolls (that includes their Barbies) between them. Even then, I didn’t pay for those Barbies with real money. I redeemed them with points that were expiring on a rewards card I had. I know. Such enthusiasm, right? Yup, that’s how crazy I am about Barbie and dolls in general.

I can be uber generous when it comes to Legos and construction sets but dolls, not so much. There’s nothing much Barbie can teach my daughters. So here they are, in their teens, smart, sensible, and down-to-earth, and none the worse for the lack of Barbie in their growing years.

Celebrating bookwormism, if that’s even a word

Celebrating bookwormism, if that's even a word

We found the perfect excuse to celebrate last weekend with this rare treat. A most decadent double fudge chocolate cake. One slice shared among the 3 of us girls (that’s how we roll)… and even then, we ended up pushing each other to finish it up.


The reason for this excitement. Hip2bDaughter2 won a reading award for “student who has read the most books in high school”. And how many is that total? We don’t have the exact figure (she hasn’t got the tally back from her teacher) but we do know it’s in the region of oh, 400+ books in her years of high school combined! How anyone can read that many story books on top of all of her school work and activities is beyond me! But that’s my bookworm for ya!

No wonder there’s so much banging on the bathroom room – she’s always in there reading 😆 , and some days, she’s curled up with a book and the house is so quiet I can hear a pin drop. I don’t recall ever buying her that many books though. Not even close. But the philosophy of my two bookworms is to beg, borrow or steal if they have to. Their love for books is insatiable.

Hip2bDaughter2 was the latest bloomer in terms of reading. Hip2bSon was reading by age 2 and Hip2bDaughter1 by 2.5. But because Hip2bDaughter2 is the youngest, I always think of her as a baby. Suddenly there she was, 3 years old and illiterate 😆 . I was horrified. Bad mommy! How could I have let that slip? So began my mad scramble to get my “little sponge” caught up.

Fast forward to this week and my ‘baby’ high school senior is receiving a prize and a plaque, and giving a 7-minute speech to an entire school of 1,200+ students about the benefits of reading. She quietly wrote her own speech without any help from me or her sister, then stood up and rehearsed it to her ever-supportive audience of two – me and Hip2bDaughter1.

Since the award, she’s become a celebrity of sorts at school. Other students (even some she doesn’t know) are coming up to commend her, some to ask for a copy of her speech and many more to ask if she was nervous speaking to 1,o00 odd people. Apparently she surprised herself too that she hadn’t been as nervous as she had thought once she got past the initial jitters.

She’d told me the night before she might be “just a little nervous” and I thought yeah, maybe, this being the first time she’s speaking to such a big crowd. Then again, I took one look at that huge grin on her face and I knew that if she’s anything like her older brother and sister (surely it’s genetic, right?), she would be able to pull it off without a hitch.

Don’t you think she deserves a few bites off a slice of cake?

Is it OK to pick food off your friend’s plate?

Is it OK to pick food off your friend's plate?

I saw this question/poll recently on the Today Show, and thought hmm, this is interesting. See, I used to lecture my kids – constantly – against sharing food and drinks, and of course, as all controversial topics go, there’s always a story to tell.

I used to meet a group of moms for potluck breakfast after our morning exercise. Everything was fine until one day, one of the women brought a bowl of chicken curry. She scooped a portion into a smaller bowl and pushed it to the middle of the table. As if on cue, everyone started dipping and double dipping their bread into the bowl.

sharing food (image credit: aroundtheplate.org)

I will be honest. I shuddered at the sight of those teeth-marked bits of bread going back into that pool of germs over and over again!

To avoid the obvious, I decided to scoop some onto my own plate to dip from. As luck would have it, the bigger bowl had, by now, been relegated to the opposite end of the table which meant I obviously had to get up and walk over to said end to grab a little curry for myself. It was going to be just that simple!

Except Mrs Curry had eyes of a hawk. And a tongue like a Komodo dragon’s.

“Why don’t you just dip into this?” she lashed out sharply, pointing to the smaller bowl. “Why do you have to go over there?”

Certainly not an acceptable tone of voice to use on another adult but then again, Mrs Curry isn’t exactly your most refined type. I didn’t know her well but it’s hard not to notice that she was often loud, crude and openly confrontational and she had a hold on the rest of the moms. Instantly I became the target of 6 or 7 condescending glares.

Unlike them and many others, I have an aversion to sharing food – people expecting me to dig in with them, or diving into my plate, or asking for a bite or a sip or a sample, sometimes without even asking. The moment someone touches my food or drink, I’m done, I give up and they can have the rest of my serving.

For me, it’s about basic hygiene, that’s all. My philosophy is very simple: I don’t touch your food, you don’t touch mine. With close family, it’s okay to share but with friends, there’s no way. Just the way I was raised is all.

So that’s me. How about you?

The sweetest day


There are times when it does get crazy around here. Last week was one of those weeks. Lots swirling around in my mind. And lots going on in school and college which means everyone was on edge and stressed out. Tuesday, I misheard Hip2bDaughter2 and missed picking her up from school on time. Yes, me, can you believe that?

Came Saturday morning and it was a whole different story. I woke up to a message from Hip2bSon in Cali saying he’s scored above average in his GMAT. That was a huge, huge whew for me, and him. In the couple of weeks leading up to the test, his schedule had been swamped with papers and projects, presentations and work all with looming deadlines.

On top of everything else, he has to cook his own meals, and do his own laundry. It breaks my heart that I’m thousands of miles away and can’t be there to cook and clean for him, and hug his stress away. My poor baby. You would think with all this technology we should be able to reach into our monitors and touch somebody.

I’m tired and there just isn’t enough time to get any practice in, he said. It didn’t help that he read somewhere that some folks take between 2 weeks to 2 years to prepare for it. He only had days. Out of 1,000 practice questions, he’d only managed to complete 50. Yikes! I’m not going to do well, Mom, maybe I should just forget about the whole thing, he said in frustration.

And I know he wants to do well. It doesn’t matter how you do, I told him, just give it your best shot, I have confidence in you. Indeed I have every confidence that my kids can do whatever they set their hearts to do. And as it turned out, I was right again. Waking up to his score is the sweetest thing. Okay, so I’ve been grinning all weekend, can you tell? :mrgreen:

Related Posts with Thumbnails