Enter A Slogan To Win A Pair of USA-Made Oka b. Madison Sandals!

Oka b. “Shoes That Love You” is running a contest. The contest has been extended by another week, ending 7 August 2013. The 3 lucky winners stand a chance to win a pair of Oka b. shoes of their choice from the Madison range! All Oka b. shoes are originally made in USA and are of superior quality and workmanship.

Here’s what you have to do and the contest rules:

1) Write a slogan on which pair of Oka b. shoes (MADISON RANGE ONLY) you would like to win and why.  Hop over to my online store’s Facebook page on this contest at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151669724956639&set=a.10151669724266639.1073741834.305823926638&type=1&theater and key in your comment.  You can only submit your contest comment once.

2) Contestants MUST hop over to the Oka b. Facebook page here and LIKE the page : https://www.facebook.com/OKAbMalaysia

3) Contest ends on 7 August 2013

4) The delivery address of the shoes must be within Malaysia.

5) 3 winners will be chosen to receive the shoes of their choice, in the Madison range only

6) The shoes will be delivered to you!
Easy peasy eh? Hurry submit your slogan at the above link. Do spread the news to your friends and family members and ask them to take part in this contest too!

No. of times viewed = 6369

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Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease?

After skipping school the whole of last week,  Sherilyn is finally back to school today.  From what I thought was a strep throat or  swollen gums caused by the eruption of her first molar, it turned out that she may have had contracted Hand-Foot-Mouth (HFM) disease but both the GP and I could not be 100% sure.  Reasons : there were only ulcer-like dots on her throat, inner cheeks, inner bottom lip and about 3-5 dots on one side of her foot.  There were no ulcers or blisters on her hands.  Other than that, she displayed symptoms of HFM disease such as pain in her mouth, zilch appetite and feeling malaise.  90% of the food that I prepared for her went down the drain… fruits and cucumber smoothies, porridge, soups and fruits.  She only survived on Manuka honey, yoghurt drinks, plain bread and a few spoonfuls of porridge.  I could not even feed her with ice cream as she was having a productive cough. Everything else that went into her mouth were received with painful grimaces on her face.  She would take almost 2 hours to swallow down just a few spoonfuls of porridge with a cup of drink, often with her falling asleep on the dining table. When I gave her strawberry jam to go with bread at her request, she complained that the strawberry jam stung her throat.   So glad that she is almost 100% recovered today and I did not feed her with the antibiotics that the first GP conveniently prescribed her with. Thank God I followed my heart and motherly instinct and binned the antibiotics.

For those who have to drag your butts out of the bed at ungodly hours in the morning to prepare the kiddos for school, you only have to do it for another week. Get ready to mark down your calendar to the next long holiday, yiiiiihaaaaaa! 😉

No. of times viewed = 5564

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Exam Is Over :)

Alycia sat for the last 2 test papers yesterday. Once back from school, I could see that she was in a very cherry mood.   She told me that she did pretty well in her Chinese test papers and the fact that she need not have to do anymore revision until the final exam in October, brought much relief to the both of us 😀

Since exam is over, I allowed the girls to watch the idiot box. I normally do not allow them to watch TV on school-going days and even if I do, it will  be for half an hour to an hour, as a reward for good behavior or for helping out in house work.

As she had some free time on hand last night, Alycia did what she likes best just before bedtime and drew this cartoon, which she copied from one of her Chinese comic strips.

Have a great weekend everyone and I am definitely going to catch up on my beauty sleep these 2 days 🙂

No. of times viewed = 521

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Whirlwind of Events

I had just walked out of a whirlwind of events that whirled for the past one week.   My online store business was put on a hiatus for the past one week as with my time spent online.  Too many things had transpired over the past one week… family events,  Alycia sitting for her exam and doing revision  with her, my interviews with potential maids and on top of the whirlwind of events, Sherilyn fell ill with a strep throat as usual — this rascal secretly ate a bunch of deep fried wantan and tofu sheets and did not drink water when I was in the midst of my busyness and when I found out, I was fuming furious. I knew her sensitive tonsils and throat would flare up as she could not tolerate deep fried food.  Just as certain as the sun rises in the east, she started to develop symptoms of falling ill 2 days later with bouts of headache, bouts of shivers, eye balls aching, gums aching and whole body aching! Initially I could not figure out what was wrong with her as there was no pain in her throat yet. I thought it was the sprouting of her first molar with a swollen gum that was causing her the pain. So I brought her to the dentist but the dentist found no problem with her gums or teeth.  So I had to walk under the hot sun  to the nearby GP’s clinic instead  with Sherilyn all wrapped up in her thick denim jacket (she was having a bout of shivers at that time).  The doctor could not really diagnose what was wrong with her and only gave her  a bottle of Nurofen and antibiotics!  Why the heck did the GP give Sherilyn antibiotics when she could not even diagnose what was wrong with my daughter!?  Doctors who conveniently prescribe antibiotics never get my admiration and second visit!  Long story cut short, the strep throat symptoms finally showed up the next day and she had to skip school for 2 days.

Yesterday, I spent a great deal of my time Skyping with the maid agent and  a potential permanent Pinoy maid from Phillipines.  Just as I was about to decide to hire her, this morning  another Pinoy maid called me and told me that she is interested to work for me.  Her aunt had previously worked for me part-time for a few days and we both liked each other but I had to turn her aunt down as her fees were too costly. Anyway, this part-time Pinoy maid is agreeable with the monthly salary of RM1,100 and working hours of 10am to 8pm, Monday through Saturday (half day for Saturday). I have yet to make up my mind if I should hire her instead, though it would be way cheaper to hire her vs. getting a live-in Pinoy maid with an average salary of RM1,700+ a month (inclusive of agency fees).

Alycia’s exam will be over tomorrow and I can’t wait for the school holidays to start. We will be making a trip back to Ipoh to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday in 2 weeks. I now need loads of luck in choosing the right Pinoy maid, so wish me loads of luck and I pray that God will guide me in choosing the right helper whom I can keep for many years.

No. of times viewed = 318

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Scary Encounter

The couple who live opposite our unit has a 10-year old son who is mentally challenged.  Physically and facial wise, he looks pretty normal, albeit he is really  huge for his age.  He is fat and tall and looks like a teenage boy.  Mentally, I think he is slow or challenged.  He used to attend a private school but his mother has now switched him to  home-schooling, conducted privately.  Each time we bump into this boy (who is always with an Indon maid), the boy will strike a child-like conversation with me or with my girls.  Many times, he ran straight into our unit and said that he wanted to play with mei mei (little sisters) repeatedly and refused to come out of our house.  Honestly, my girls and I are quite terrified of him because of his size and knowing that he is mentally challenged, he may even hurt us if he is provoked verbally or physically (IF). His parents are very well to do and they have a driver to chauffeur them around but they would leave the boy at home alone with the Indon maid.  Many times, the door of their unit will be left opened and the boy is free to go in and out of the unit, sometimes without the maid accompanying him.  Each time I see their door opened, my heart would skip a beat, fearing that the boy would ‘pounce’ on us again.

Two nights ago,  while I brought the trash to the refuse room outside our unit, I bumped into my neighbor and we started to chit chat.  Suddenly, her son ran out of the house like a mad boy and put his hand round my shoulder!  Then, with another hand, he wanted to grope my boops but I moved back to avoid his hand!  I wanted to run away but tried hard not to blow the situation out of proportion and make my neighbor uneasy. I did not want to hurt my neighbor’s feelings or the boy’s by over-reacting.  I am quite a drama queen alright. The boy’s mother reprimanded B (the boy).  Seconds later, he moved his hand towards my down under as if to grope it  and I retreated more.  Alycia who was with me quickly walked away and hid behind me.  O_o, the situation was kind of tensed and both B’s mother and I felt really uneasy and we had to end the conversation. Gawd, that was scary!  Though he did not manage to touch my private parts, he did put his hand round my shoulder.   I told the hubs about it the next morning and he was shocked to hear the story and to add salt to injury he scared me by saying that the boy is now ‘preying’ on me, waiting to attack / r*pe me!  ** rolls eyes**  He told me not to bring the trash out to the refuse room anymore and just leave the rubbish outside our unit for him to throw…. when he comes home.  Sometimes, I do not lock our front door during the day as the security at our condo is very tight with 24-hour guard patrolling and CCTV but now, I better keep the door locked at all times just in case I wake up to find a naked boy next to me!! Knock on wood!!

No. of times viewed = 365

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Bonding With Cousin

The sil and nephew from Hong Kong are here for their yearly holiday in Malaysia.

Here’s Cass and her cousin, Ernest.  They hit it off really well the first time they met last year and in this picture, they are both fixing a house from Lego’s Friends series.  Actually, the first time they met was in the year 2009 when Cass was barely a year old.

Cass is also picking up Cantonese very well, with a tinge of Hongkie accent as well. She picked up Cantonese from Ernest during their visit here last year and since then, she has been watching Cantonese cartoons and TVB series to build her vocab and understanding of Cantonese. Now the 3 girls understand Cantonese and can speak Cantonese pretty well, albeit with a really hilarious twang each time they converse 😀

No. of times viewed = 466

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Drawing Passion

Alycia definitely has her daddy’s artistic DNA.  It just comes naturally to her and her passion for drawing is boundless.  If I would allow it, she can spend the entire day cooped up in her room drawing and reading.  She seems to love drawing mystical objects and creatures as well as caricature.   However, she has never liked drawing princesses and girlish characters.

This is just one of Alycia’s sketches, which she drew half way through doing her homework.  She has a tendency to stop short in the midst of doing her homework to draw,  as if  drawing is done as a stress reliever lol!

No. of times viewed = 419

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Tough Decision To Make

It is not easy to deal with homo sapiens.  Each and everyone of them has a different character, weaknesses and strengths.  As an online store owner, I have to deal with customers and suppliers everyday.  Some of these customers and suppliers are sent from heaven and some are sent from below to haunt me, but oh why??  On some days, some customers will make my day with their compliments. On some bad days, some of them can really squish my already not-so-pleasant day to the point that I feel like crying and giving up.  Some customers make full use of their ‘customer is KING’ right to squeeze out every ounce of patience and sanity from me, albeit they are only ordering a piece of apparel that costs less than RM40 from me. Some are plain arrogant.

Just a few days ago, I had to bite the bullet and ‘compensate’ a customer who claimed that 2 items were missing in the parcel which I had passed to her more than 2 months ago!!  Yup, you read me right – 2 freaking long months ago. I can reject her claim at point blank as it is more than 60 days ago that she collected the parcel from me. Hello, is there any online store or departmental store in this world that would entertain such a crap?? You tell me!  You can read more about this customer from my other blog.  For the sake of my online store’s name, I compensated her, albeit I am 99.9% sure her order was in order and nothing was missing in the parcel.  It was her words against mine. My only mistake was that for this customer, I did not ask her to open up the parcel to check the items when I passed to her.  I would normally ask my customers who wish to collect their stuff from me to check their parcel in front of me but on that day, I was too busy and I did not ask her to check. You see, because of 5 minutes saved, I lost even more time, money and sanity!

Today, I have to bear the wrath of yet another fussy and arrogant customer. Dealing with fussy customers need time and tact and I have no time ever since the part-time maid whom I have relied on so much quit work a month ago due to health reason.  All these things happening lately have gotten me into some serious thinking for the past few days.  I am thinking if it is a call from Him above for me to take a short break now to see what is more important in my life.   I always believe that things happen for a reason.   The circumstances of the situation that I am facing now is such that I am rendered with not much choice but to choose either one — 1) to hire a full-time maid so that I can continue working from home like I used to OR 2) take a break and be a full-time mum and do nothing but to spend more quality time with my kids and not to mention spend more time on doing house work.

Hiring a full-time Indon or Pinoy maid would require an upfront big lump sum of about RM17k (you read it right, it is seventeen thousand bucks), which is the current market rate and the rate is expected to escalate in time to come.  And there is no guarantee that the maid will make my life easier. She could be my new added stress!

I am at a cross-road now. TOUGH decision to make but I have to make it real quick as the stress of handling both my business and house work is taking a serious toll on me, mentally and physically.

No. of times viewed = 447

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Cass’ First Foot Massage

The MIL made an appointment for the foot reflexologist to come to our place for a 2-hour foot massage session today and this little rascal was given a free half hour trial session of foot massage!  We had imagined that she would run away but to our surprise, she sat still throughout the session without inching a wee bit, while watching the TV 🙂

No. of times viewed = 898

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How To Dilute Crystalized / Thickened Homemade Marmalade Jam

The MIL made some very delish marmalade jam last week.   She followed exactly what the recipe said but reduced the sugar.  However, when the marmalade jam cooled down, it thickened so much that it was crystalized!  Nonetheless, the half-jam half-molasses was very flavorful and lip-smacking. It tasted very much like the expensive imported orange flavored sweets with Vitamin C that I used to eat when I was a kid. As it was crystalized and hard, it also tasted a tad like the molasses sweet that I used to eat when I was a girl. But we cannot possibly finish off so much crystalized candies!   After ‘brain-storming’ with the mil, she came up with the idea of re-cooking the crystalized jam by adding the juice of one whole lemon to it.  After stirring the crystalized jam with lemon juice over low flame for about 10 minutes, voila, the jam was saved and tasted even better — less sweet and more sourish and now, it is in a perfect consistency, perfect for spreading on the bread!

Natural and wholesome homemade marmalade jam made from sweet navel oranges, fresh lemon juice, organic brown sugar and nothing else. I am hooked on this homemade marmalade jam now, yums!

No. of times viewed = 5630

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Looming Thunderstorm NOT

What makes my day a happy one is not a sunny and bright day but a gloomy day with a looming thunderstorm 😉   Self confessed a ‘puteri lilin’, a gloomy sky and a rainy day can really make my day but a hot and sunny day gives me a migraine and literally melts me LOL!

When I saw clumps of thick grey clouds in the sky yesterday, floating rapidly together with the strong wind, I couldn’t be happier!  We the KL folks really need some rain to clear the skies (it is still a tad hazy now) and to fill up the dams that are very low in water reserves now (which is double whammy as water rationing will be our next worry!).  But instead of pouring cats and dogs, it just drizzled for a short while, shucks!  Today is another gloomy day with hazy skies and I am still waiting for the massive rain to come down on us to wash away the haze and to fill up the dams.

Has it been raining at your area the past few days?

No. of times viewed = 4909

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To Fetch Or Not To Fetch?

Alycia has been bugging me to fetch her to school and ditch the transporter as Aunty J, the transporter has been late in picking her up for school lately.  As she is a school prefect and needs to be in school by 7am for duty everyday, her daily 10-15 minutes late has been drawing queries and flak from her seniors.  She is very unhappy over this. I have asked her many times if she’d like to quit her appointment as a school prefect as this added responsibility seems to be giving her some inconveniences and I always get the same reassuring answer from her that she still likes to be a prefect.  She also needs to eat hurriedly during recess so that she can go for her rounds during recess time.  On top of all these, she needs to have an exemplary attitude in school at all times.  But she is reluctant to throw in the towel just yet.  In their school, the school prefect title is something that is admirable and respectable.  She told me that the teacher in charged of the prefects have warned the prefects not to quit and those who do so would be penalized and caned!    I do not know how true this is. Maybe she just cooked up a story to stop me from encouraging her to quit. Well, Chinese schools are well known for their draconian and fear-instilling ways of punishing their students.

If I were to fetch Alycia and Sherilyn to school, I would have to sacrifice at least an hour of my time in the morning, which I really relish.  It is during this pre dawn time that I find so much peace engaging in my daily exercise regimen, when it is still dark outside and  so serene. I jog within the compound of my condo and thereafter proceed to the gym.  It is also during this time that I de-stress myself, do some problem-solving thinking and soul-searching and to get myself ready for yet another long and tiring day.  If I were to fetch them to school, by the time I reach home from school in the morning, I would need to prepare Cass for school and after Cass goes off to school, it would be too sunny for me to run outside. If you know me well, I do NOT like the sun.  So I am still keeping Aunty J the transporter so that I can still have my quiet ME TIME for another 1.5 years before Cass goes to Standard 1.  It would be more cost-wise to fetch the 3 girls myself then, else I would need to fork out RM660 just on transportation for my 3 girls to and from school!

What would you do if you were me?

No. of times viewed = 412

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To Exercise Or Not To Exercise?

To go or not to go? My heart would be screaming and crying out to me to just GO but my body would feel languid, a result of an unpaid sleep debt and rest debt.  This is what I have been going through lately, every morning. Waking up at 4:45am every day can send you into a serious sleep debt.  I admit I have been too pampered with a live-in helper for 10 years and then a very good permanent part-time maid (when the live-in maid left).  Now that both have been taken away from me, I just need some time or perhaps lots of time to program my body to thrive under tougher conditions.

Sometimes, I would succumb to my body’s call and sometimes, my head wins.  Today, my head won over the languishing body and I went out to exercise for almost an hour, including my jog to the mobile market and walked back to my residence carrying 7-8kg of weighty fresh produce. I must say that I have pretty toned arms albeit I have no time to lift dumb bells anymore, *coughs* 😀  My regular carrying of 7-10kg of fresh produce for 15 minutes twice to thrice weekly is enough to ton up and firm up my upper and lower arms.  I am glad I went out for the run this morning.   Exercise has been a part of my health regimen since 13 years ago, when I found out that I had PCOS.   I need my exercise to stay sane, healthy and most of all, to keep those muffin tops out of sight when I don on my jeans or skirt.  But instead of exercising 7 days  a week like I used to during those heydays when I was blessed with maids, I now try to fulfill a 5-day exercise week to keep myself in top form, mentally and physically.

No. of times viewed = 808

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Ill-Fated With Maids, sigh…

I guess I have to resign to the fact that I just do not  have luck with maids, whether full-time live-in maids or part-time maids.  Ever since my supposedly permanent part-time maid stopped working for us, I have been searching high and low for part-time maids. I have and am still recruiting maids from road side stalls that I normally buy fruits from, from nearby coffee shops, from our condo and just about anywhere that I see cleaners or maids. I sound pretty desperate huh? Yes I am but now, after going through so much hassle and disappointment with more than 10 part-time maids that I have hired for the past 1 year, I have resigned to the fact that I will probably do better being a maid myself! Most of the part time maids stopped working for us as the timing was not right. I only want them to come from 6pm onwards to help me clean up after cooking dinner but the part time maids find the time a tad late.

Even my girls do not like part-time maids, especially Alycia who seems to have inherited my finicky and fastidious attention to cleanliness.  She does not like anyone cleaning her room and touching her things except for me but since I am too tied up with other things, she cleans it herself now on days when the part-time maids do not come.

My encounter with this maid agent who supplies me with part-time maids last week was the last straw that made me decide that I should be the maid myself.  In one of the sessions last week, her part-time maid broke my air conditioner cover while she was cleaning it when she dropped the cover.    When I told the agent, she just said “oh sorry, I will check with my maid” and that’s it. I never heard from her again pertaining to this issue.  The next session, which was yesterday, she sent 2 maids.  One was an Indon and the other was a newly arrived Nepalese maid.  This Nepalese maid could not speak  English, Malay or Chinese.  The only words that came out from her mouth was ‘sabun’ (soap) and ‘no’.  When I asked her to iron clothes, she said NO and shook her head.  I didn’t like to do sign language with her and the only response I got from her was a shake of her head, most of the time.  The other Indon maid told me that this new maid does not know how to iron clothes, duh!  And she took almost an hour to wash mess up the bathroom in the master bedroom.  When the 2 hours was up, the second bathroom was not even washed and it was filthy as the 2 maids washed the mops and wash cloths in that bathroom.  When the 2 maids left, I had to tidy up all the mess that the maids left behind and also to finish up the ironing as the other maid could not finish ironing our clothes!  By the time it was 9pm, I was drop dead tired.  I felt even more tired when the part time maids are here.  This agent sends different maids each time and  I have to repeat telling them what to do each time the maids come.  I need to watch them most of the time to ensure that they are doing things the way I want them to be.  Instead of saving time so that I can do other things, I am actually wasting my time supervising the maids, wasting my breath repeating the instructions each time different maids come, energy and MONEY on these maids.

After the maids left yesterday, I was exasperated and told the girls that I will only engage part-time maids once a week and no more 2-3x a week.  I have delegated some tasks to the girls and they have all agreed to help out everyday.  Alycia, who is my most reliable helper asked for a Ringgit each time she helps out. I acceded to her request as I think that she deserves the RM1.  She told me about her desire to  buy story books from the earned pocket money.

Oh yeah, the maids did not even have the time to wash Alycia’s school shoes yesterday!  Sherilyn washed her school shoes on Saturday and Alycia’s dirty school shoes are still at a corner.

Thankfully, this rascal seems to like washing shoes and she claims that it is her favorite chore LOL!  I’ll see how long this would remain as her favorite chore…

Thank God I have daughters who ‘love’ chores that I hate. Alycia seems to like washing the dishes, Cass seems to like wiping and keeping the dishes and the job that everyone else hates the most, which is bathroom and toilet washing, this health and clean freak mom loves it the most!  There is still a silver lining behind every cloud, eh? 🙂

No. of times viewed = 478

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The New And Super Cool Beats Pill Portable Wireless Speaker!

I love holidays and traveling during the holidays. But I ain’t the type who can leave my work behind when I am on holiday. Yep, you can call me a workaholic and a bloggerholic  🙂  I will surely bring along my laptop and thumb drive with all my documents saved in whenever we go on a holiday. My kids would never fail to remind me to lug along my laptop bag each time we go on a holiday.  We would normally check into a hotel that provides free WiFi so that I can check and reply my emails and process orders too.  But what I do not like about my laptop is that the built-in speaker in my laptop is not powerful. In fact, it is almost inaudible and that can be really frustrating at times. But I ain’t going to fret anymore for I now have the new Beats Pill portable wireless speaker!

The new Beats Pill is a portable wireless speaker with built-in patented Beats Audio and is available now in Malaysia. Offered by Beats Electronics LLC, the leading audio brand co-founded by legendary artist and producer Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine, this new product will continue to raise the bar across form, function and design and most importantly, sound quality.

The Beats Pill speakers are now retailed exclusively at Machines store and Switch (From June Till 19 July). From July 2013 onwards, The Beats Pill will be available to consumers at all authorized electronics and headphones retail stores in Malaysia.

The Beats Pill is the first wireless speaker to hit store shelves with tap-to-pair NFC and apt-X technology for easy and instant Bluetooth audio. More features include:

• All call functions — including speakerphone when paired with your smartphone

• Four-speaker system with Beats unique sound profile

• Rechargeable lithium ion battery provides 7 hours of continuous play

• AC Power adapter with USB receptacle for charging

• Auto shut-off after 30 minutes of no signal detection to conserve battery life

• 3.5mm line out for connection to an external speaker system

• Built-in mic for hands-free conferencing

• Echo cancellation for call clarity and feedback control

• 8 Bluetooth profiles

Despite its compact size, the Pill produces powerful sound. It’s easy to enjoy soaring highs and deep, booming bass in every room of the house. The Pill is Beats’ smallest wireless speaker and completely cord-free.

Or your laptop, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device from up to 30 feet away. The portable Pill frees you to roam which means you’ll always have high quality sound near or far.

You’re good to set up anywhere. The Pill is lightweight so it won’t slow you down and small enough to fit in whatever you’re carrying out the door. The carry case even comes with a handy carabiner so you can attach it to your backpack.

Or your laptop, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device from up to 30 feet away. The portable Pill frees you to roam which means you’ll always have high quality sound near or far.

Take that call. The Pill’s Bluetooth capability and internal microphone make talking on the phone easier and better sounding than ever before.

It’s not a lipstick, it’s not a lipstick holder, it’s not an edible pill… but it’s an android speaker that is lightweight, portable, powerful and in the shape of a pill… a pill that’s just what the Dr. ordered!

Now I can speak with ease and safety on my mobile phone when I drive as I have my portable Pill speaker!

No. of times viewed = 1036

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