Learning more about how to be a Vegan

When it comes to transitioning your life for the better, you’d be surprised how an eye-opener it is as something as simple as a one word, “VEGAN” can have different meaning and specifications.

In my journey as an advocate for Self-Care in MommyWithAGoal, I’ve met a handful of great women who are vegan. Not a new thing right? While I might not be committing to being one anytime soon, it got me curious.

And guess what, there’s a whole Vegan world apparently! What’s amazing is that what my narrow mind knows about vegan such as someone who’ll only have salad all day, everyday, isn’t that at all. Just the thought of having salad every dinner makes me think twice already. Get me?! That’s how narrow-minded I was.

Let’s start with the misconception of vegan being the same as vegetarian. If this made you frown and read again what you just read just so you could understand clearly what I just said, then clearly, you’re at the same level as I am in knowing these things. haha! Not to worry though, we’ve got the internet to get more info.😆 To save you some research time, here’s the summary:

Vegans avoid consuming:

  • meat
  • poultry
  • fish and shellfish
  • eggs
  • dairy products
  • honey
  • insects
  • rennet, gelatin, and other types of animal protein
  • stock or fats that derive from animals

Vegetarians avoid consuming:

  • meat, such as beef, pork, and game
  • poultry, such as chicken, turkey, and duck
  • fish and shellfish
  • insects
  • rennet, gelatin, and other types of animal protein
  • stock or fats that derive from animal slaughter

However, do consume byproducts such as:

  • eggs
  • dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • honey

Interesting right?? As simple as that, you’ve already gained more knowledge in a few seconds of reading! haha.. As this article focuses on being vegan, here’s what I found out on my research. There’s different kinds of Vegan! What I love about this is that realising that I can be a vegan too! Read along to know more if you can be too…

Kinds of Vegan

Dietary Vegan – No meat, dairy, or eggs; however, not focused on animal-free clothing or products

Ethical Vegan – No meat, diary, or eggs and avoids animal-based products like leather.

Green Vegan – Similar as an Ethical Vegan, but with a different reason: to reduce carbon footprint.

Raw Vegan – A strictly plant-based diet with food that hasn’t been cooked over 105-115F (40-14C).

Plant-based Vegan – No meat, diary, eggs, or processed foods.

VB6 – A strict vegan diet before 6pm, eats whatever they want (within moderation) after 6pm.

Paris Vegan – Eats vegan daily, but vegetarian when dining out or with friends/family.

Weekday/weekend vegan – Chooses specific days, such as weekdays or weekends, to avoid meat, dairy or eggs.

Virtually Vegan – No meat, and avoids dairy & eggs as much as possible.

Travel Vegan – Eats vegan diet daily, but experiments with local cuisine when traveling.

So there you have it! I hope this gives you a bit to think about your diet and how you consume food in general.

I’d like to end this article with a thought I just happened to have while writing this:

We consume food as it is a necessity, but what we forget to realise is the food our body needs isn’t based on the quantity for our body to function to its capacity but by the quality of food we intake. May this be an eye-opener for you, and me, to make wise food choices as we munch our way to living better and healthy.

Jeannine Paulsen Lirio-Javier, MommyWithAGoal

Learn more on how you can make wise food choices by not being fooled by “Healthy Disguised” food options you can find around.

Lastly, know that transitioning a lifestyle is a journey. It’s not like how Thanos does in the Marvel movie wherein in a snap, everything will change as you wish it would. It is important to enjoy the journey and have patience while doing it. Take it easy on yourself and until you reach your goal of being a Vegan.

It is also a big help you have a great support group which can guide and motivate you along the way.

A New Year, Are you ready for a New You??

I was quite hesitant to use this title because I don’t want to make misconceptions about this article, but why not??

Most of us associate New Year’s with hopes of being a new person. Not that we’re changing our faces or names but a new perspective in life. That’s what it should be actually as that’s how we should be doing each year.

But how do we change in just a day?? Well, it may not be as instant as what we are used to now a days but believe me, every little change you do in your life would matter if you just constantly do it everyday.

Reading a book per se is one way of doing it. This book I’ll recommend ain’t a new one. You might even heard it a lot of times already and even read it. If you had, then I hope you got the gist of it like I did and had your life transformed the way you want it. If not, then hang on for the ride! You’ll be reaching your own stars, just like how you’ve specifically wished for!

We are always told to as a child to dream. It’s the only thing everyone can do, no matter what circumstance in life we’re in now, that’s sky’s the limit! Cause why not, it’s your dream and all you’ll need is your imagination, mind, and yourself. It something personal where you don’t need to think of what others dream of, just yours. You don’t care how you’ll be able to reach them or what does it takes you to reach them.

Well, that’s how The Secret by Rhonda Byrne has influenced my life since 2008 when my then bf-now hubby gave me as a Christmas gift. I can still vaguely remember that scene where he send me off in the bus terminal as I made my way back home to the province to celebrate Christmas with my family. He gave me the book in a sealed small paper bag.

photo from Amazon

I’m not the kind of person who loves receiving gifts actually as I’m not a gift giver as well. haha. (I’m just a fair person) so when he gave his gift as a surprise, all I can give in return is a kiss and hug. haha! As the bus left the terminal and I was left alone, I hurriedly opened his gift. Not knowing to expect, I was actually surprised he gave me a book. haha.

First of all, he’s a self-confessed NOT-A-BOOK person. The only books he read are those school books required when he’s still studying. Second is the title of the book, The Secret. Daunting for me when I saw it first not knowing what it is about. I haven’t heard of this book before despite loving to read books (my dad’s book collection which are the ones I usually read are actually more of the 90s famous thriller ones John Grisham kind) So having this kind of Self-development book is such a new thing for me and thrilled to have it!

My 1.5 hr trip went so quick as I got too engrossed with the book. I actually almost missed my stop! haha.. As I finished the last few pages at home, I knew it would be our topic in messages as talk back and forth throughout the holidays while we spend our time with our own families.

As the New Year of 2009 came in, we knew that our lives would be turned around. Yes! You know that inner confidence you didn’t knew you had inside and the fears of uncertainty quietly slips under the bed, too shy to come out due to your overwhelming attraction of the universe that doesn’t want me/us to be stopped.

Truly enough, our lives was turned upside down that year as despite the world going through recession that time, we braved our way to finding new and better life adventures and career. That’s been almost 10 years ago and loaded with tons of mostly highs and some lows in life, we got married, had 2 beautiful daughters, and have quitted my 9-5 job to have more time taking care of our family. Despite the very high cost of living here in Singapore, I can say that we’re among the blessed ones to be living beyond what our dreams could imagine as a single income family.

As I learned the the twist and turns of managing wisely my time as a Stay-At-Home-Mom, I now devote my time to something I advocate the most, Self-Care. As a matter of fact, I just surpassed a dream of mind that I’ve been having for sometime, read more on my last article, on how I Shared A Christmas. Okay, too much storytelling and back to this book review.

This book had made waves when it came our in the early 2000’s. A Self-help book that’s been too much talked about that they even made it into a film/ short documentary. Find any coach or mentor that advocates on self-development and they’ll surely include this book on one of your must-read.

This book focuses on the Law of Attraction and helps you change the mindset most of us grew up believing in as that’s what the society feeds us. The title “The Secret” is so captivating that it makes anyone who sees it wonder what could be in it. As a human, we all got the urge to be more curious on things especially if it’s said as a secret, don’t we. That’s the catch!

This empowering book encourages everyone to visualise themselves reaching whatever their hearts desires. It gives you that boost of motivation you’ve never even though you’ve have in the first place which makes it amazing. You just go with the flow of life as the universe seems to always be at your side making you afloat nearer and nearer to your goals, one at a time.

What I love about this though is despite it encouraging you to reach your goals, it’s strategically done the “good way”. You know, not those easy money thing or those that lead you to the wrong direction of life just to attain material wealth.

The principle you attract through the learnings you get gravitates you to give back more to others, find gratitude in small and big wins that come your way, and mainly to focus your energy to a mindset that makes you think of the good things despite any hurdles that come your way. As they say, life can be full of bumps and it’s only the way you react on every bump that makes a difference.

With this kind of mindset, no matter what circumstance is thrown into your life, you’ll always find the good on it and eventually you’ll find yourself in a good place no matter what. And you know what happens when you’re in that good disposition in life?? You do good too! So there’s no way any minute of your life would go wasted on things you’ll spend your time now and regret afterwards.

With all the great things I have to say to this book, I must also mention one controversy this book had been hit the most. Yes, I’m talking about its religious beliefs. My take on that would be from a perspective of a person who lived in Singapore, one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world, for about a decade. There’s nothing respect on each other’s belief that can’t be settled and have peace on.

Singaporeans who’s composed of 3 major nationalities, Chinese, Indians, and Malay. All of them having different beliefs and totally different cultures. But hey, see how Singapore prospers? How do they show respect to each other? Well, simply giving way to each other’s needs. Let’s take holidays and festivities for example. We all celebrate and enjoy Chinese New Year, Eid al-Fitr, Diwali, and Christmas. How cool is that!

So that’s it! If you are looking for a great book to read and am thinking to turn your life for the better this 2022, I truly recommend The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

A Happy New Year to all!!

This post is a part of Book Marathon 2022 by https://outsetbooks.com

Great ways to Speed-up Cleaning before New Year

It’s the time of the year again! I’m not talking about Christmas and New Year’s coming but making sure our home is tidy. It’s not that our home hasn’t been cleaned the whole year but as someone who have lived her whole life in tropical countries where Spring Season doesn’t come, well, December is my “Spring Cleaning” month.

Same as everyone does when they do “Spring Cleaning”, all that accumulated junk comes out of its shell and assessed if it’s worth keeping or you decide that life would be better off without it. There’s one thing I want to point out during this mission though.

Do not regret seeing the things you've bought that wasn't able to serve its purpose. Simply feel grateful that you're able to purchase that thing  and accept that life must go on without it. No feelings of resentment so you get to avoid that negative energy in your life and instead accept much more abundance. 

As an avid planner, I know that the only solution to avoid getting overwhelmed is to plan. You’ve got a month to do this cleaning and holiday to celebrate as well. If you’re lucky, you’ll also have some birthday celebrations in between which can make things more exciting.

Oh! I almost got forgot to mention your biggest supporters of keeping your home clean “your kiddos” *wink* are at home the whole time for Christmas School Holidays! With all that, are you almost feeling tired already? Hope not!

This simple guide though can help you get your cleaning easier and make you achieve that tidy home you want before the clock strikes for a new year.

What you’ll need

An open-mind. When it comes do spring cleaning, you need to keep your emotions intact and be open to giving away/ donating things that you don’t need or throwing out away things that’s malfunctioning already and can’t serve its purpose yet you’ve been still holding on at your home. Emotional attachment to material things is common. So don’t fret too much, it takes practice on letting go.

Stick with your plan. When it comes to spring cleaning, it’s easy to get too excited wanting to finish your task. Try to resist this temptation and simply stick to your plan. ONLY do what you have planned to do for that day. This will keep you relaxed, happy and be able to savour your accomplishment for that day, and be motivated to keep going for the next day. This would avoid exhaustion, overwhelmed, and quitting on the task you’ve started.

Get the whole family involved. You may not be getting joyful reaction from your family members especially if you have teenagers but know that this is a rewarding task. As part of the family, nothing is more rewarding than feeling part of it. Yes, that means on fun times and hard times (cleaning/tidying up your home).

Tips to speed cleaning

Stop cleaning one room at a time. Do chores that are connected to each other at a time for the whole house. Perfect example of this are the following:

✨Wiping windows, mirrors then washing curtains(changing curtains), rugs

✨Dusting cupboards, cabinets, then clean floor

✨Wash laundry, dry, organise clothing cabinets. You can also include your linen cabinet when doing this

✨Check pantry and fridge for expired food, clean fridge and cupboard

✨Lastly, as a rule of thumb, whenever you go from one room to the other, bring along with you whatever items you need to return to its correct place. This saves you from going back and forth.

There you have it! I hope this simple tips helps you do your cleaning before the New Year comes! I’m now off to my own home cleaning!

A Blessed Christmas to all! Hope you get inspired with my last article on the Best Christmas gift a Parent can give their children.

Tips On How To Develop A Self-Care Routine That Works

Self-Care has been one thing that has been widely known, yet most often overlooked. We get too busy with our everyday routine and get too overwhelmed with responsibilities that we forget about taking care of ourselves.

There’s no doubt that those things that kept you busy are all important. But have you ever wondered how much more you can give or put out if you also give yourself some time too?

This Self-Care Routine, we’re going to talk about giving yourself an hour to power up your day. Yes! It’s time to change that attitude of how you wake-up every morning.

This is tips are especially for if any of these describes you:

  • You constantly hit that snooze button
  • You consistently feel like you’re out of time
  • You feel like you have no time to do anything for yourself in the morning—who does when you’ve got kids!

I’d raise my hands and feet if you’ve asked me this question a year ago. Mind you, I don’t hit that snooze button, but instead literally have another alarm set 30 minutes from my original alarm just so I could have that extra zzzz. It was only then that I realised that this contributes as lot on why I feel so sluggish and off even if I had a full night of sleep. Shouldn’t I feel well rested by then?!

Who do you wake-up for in the morning? Make a list and if your name isn’t in it, think again.

You should be the main reason why you wake-up. Before anything or anyone else, the motivation should be yourself. Having something to look forward to every morning aside from that long list of to-do’s can help make your mornings feel much better.

Changing your mindset is such a game changer in this game. This Self-Care Routine wouldn’t only help you feel pumped up every morning but you’ll also see some major bonus changes in your health and mood at the same time.


The Power of Morning Routine

This routine doesn’t only help you break your old routines but develop habits that you can adapt and do throughout your life. it starts with you devoting 20 minutes to your mind, 20 minutes to your body, and 20 minutes to your soul. This hour would be allotted only for you and it would surely bring your all the goodness in your well-being.

Does it work?!

Let me tell you that while I’m not one of those night owl, but my energy is mostly at its peek towards the end of the day. I’m just that usual mom who drags herself to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for the family and would usually go back to bed any chance I could to add another 5 minutes to my sleep.

So having an hour set to do this, I honestly felt very skeptical to try myself. It’s surprising though how I didn’t mind much of that extra sleep I’m missing but instead was looking forward to waking-up again the next morning.

These days, I feel more productive, my stress levels decrease, and my outlook is more positive when I start my day with this morning routine.

How does it work?

Choose Three Activities

Your start by choosing three activities from the list below for your mind, body, and soul. Feel free to add to this list any activity that you fancy and think would add to this positive change in your morning routine.

Set Your Time

I like to start this process the night before as you know your mornings are also affected by how your night before that is. This means letting go of those movie nights or an hour scrolling your social media which you always intend to do to relax you but not knowingly adds up to your restless body. Imagine all those nights you choose to sleep as soon as you go to bed instead of grabbing your phone or remote control.

Let’s get realistic though and not blame anything/anyone for your lack of rest. Accountability is a must! This means, whatever happens to your day is because of you, and only you. Setting your mind to do something you want would help make this transition to a better you more bearable on the first days of this new routine.

Don’t be afraid to alter the activities as needed. Take baby steps if you need to and just focus on one area (mind, body, or soul) for 20 minutes each day. Remember that your intention in doing this is not only to change your routine but also to enjoy yourself doing it. Stressing yourself into doing things you don’t want wouldn’t make it a sustainable one.

Use a Timer

Do each activity for 20 minutes. Make sure to time yourself. Know that you don’t have to do this in any particular order. Just choose the thing that excites you the most first. I like to wake up, go for a run while praying the rosary (15 mins) then after listen to inspiring podcasts. I will then have a cup of coffee while either reading our journalling.

Below is a list of activities you can choose from:




  • Playing an instrument
  • Listening to a podcast
  • Reading a non-fiction book
  • Watching a TED talk
  • Baking or cooking
  • Starting a DIY project

Your Challenge

This routine has helped me tremendously to better care for myself and I think it will really benefit you too! I now challenge you to grab the guidebook! See for yourself how you get excited about wake up, be able to squeeze in exercise without hating it, and makes you feel more motivated and inspired in your days. Give it a go and let me know how much it had helped you!

I hope you learned something from this article. For daily inspiring Self-Care tips, you can follow me here

Great Tips On How To Declutter

It’s that time of the year again where most do their “Spring Cleaning”. You might be raising your eyebrows reading this article somewhere wherein you’re bundled up and can hear some wood burning from your fireplace but if you live in a tropical country like me, then you’ll understand that Spring Season doesn’t really come around, hence, you just pick anytime you want to declutter.

Enough explanation….focus on the goal! DECLUTTER!

We all have our own affection especially emotional attachment with some of our material things. Most of us won’t admit but this surely have grown into a bad habit. This is what the Dklutter Community aims all of us to realise.

From being a runway model, founding a popular Facebook group, Singapore Expat Women, to starting a Lifestyle magazine, The Living 360 magazine, being the brainchild of a chic homeware brand that houses the highest quality products, Maison By Amanda Dyer, and let’s not forget she’s also a mom of 3, Amanda seems to have her hands too full already.


Having lived most of her life overseas, she surely can relate with most of us on owning stuff. What’s great is what this experience have taught her especially with the difficulty with a lot of stuff in tow whenever she needed to move. That’s why she founded Dklutter!

Hear more on how Self-Care and some decluttering tips for Amanda herself!

MWAG: Tell us more about yourself, the company and how you’ve gotten into this idea of decluttering.

Amanda: When you have lived in so many cities like I have, you eventually develop a decluttering mindset. From a young age, I have been on the move – from New York to Tokyo to Germany to Singapore and now Australia. It’s human nature to ‘collect’ things along the way and eventually you sit on a pile of things that all have some kind of sentimental meaning and become difficult to part with.

For me the light bulb moment came when I lived in Tokyo for many years. I completely resonated with the Japanese culture and minimalistic mindset. Less is more. I loved the way they arranged their spaces and maximised the (often) very small apartments and living spaces.

I’ve always wanted to help people think this way and live a life that was more organised. One day I woke up and decided to do it for real. 

Say hello to Dklutter – a project years in the making!

MWAG: What does Self-Care mean to you?

Amanda: To me, self care can be defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness. This can be related to health, relationships and definitely in creating ‘happy spaces’. 

I believe that if you care about your surroundings where you spend ample time, you will undoubtedly become happier.

MWAG: How does Dklutter differ from decluttering movements such as the well known KonMari method? 

Amanda: Marie Kondo definitely brought a lot of attention to the decluttering movement. We are not trying to compete with the KonMari method but in fact compliment it in many ways.

For us, the message is simple – Commit to the process (mentally), then reverse engineer everything from there. This is a mindset shift and definitely a long game. 

MWAG: Do you consider decluttering just a fad?

Amanda: No. It’s a lifestyle – just ask generations of Japanese people (as a start).

MWAG: What do you find the hardest part of decluttering in your clients?

Amanda: Without doubt the hardest thing is making sure that they are mentally committed to the process firstly and then maintaining it all. A few of our clients took a few months to fully click into the mindset and when they did – the magic happened!

MWAG: Any tips for someone who wants to start decluttering but has always seemed to find an excuse of doing so.

Yes, start with one room and commit to that. It’s addictive and slowly you will start applying the passion to other rooms. I’ve seen this on countless occasion.

I also encourage my clients and friends to group their everyday items into groups. One group should be items you literally use on a daily basis and the other should be items you haven’t used in 6 months and then a third group for items you haven’t touched in a year. It’s a great exercise and I often get calls from them super surprised by how many items they have in the second and third groups.

From here, the process starts.

MWAG: For those who have started decluttering, how can they make this a sustainable lifestyle and make a clutter-free life have a positive effect on their Self-Care.

Amanda: Typically, those who start will get addicted to the lifestyle and tend to stick with it. For many it’s about getting started in the first place.

They need to really think about each item before buying it. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What will I really be using this for?
  • Will I really use it?
  • Where will it be stored?
  • Is this a need or a want?
  • Can I live without it?

After some time, this will become second nature.

Getting ready to do your own decluttering? Gather more tips from this article too!

I hope you learned something from this article. For daily inspiring Self-Care tips, you can follow me here. I’d also love to see you on our Mindfulness Course and be with your journey to a better you. You can sign-up down below.