Investment of a different kind

After decluttering my wardrobe and realising that more than half of the things I have bought have either been repurposed, re-gifted or thrown away, I started to become more conscious of just mindless buying.

I’ve decided to turn my investment on to my skin. Well, simply because time waits for no man and so does our skin. But with proper care, perhaps the signs of age on the skin can somewhat be delayed. That of course is my hope.

Perhaps also now that the Bub is slightly older, I also have a little more time to myself. So when she goes to bed, I do carve out some time between 30 – 45 mins for my night-time beauty ritual. This is what I usually try to do (keyword – TRY):

Once a week:

  • Hair mask : The ends of my hair tend to be a lot drier with permed hair now, so I try to keep my hair soft with a hair mask every week. My fave is the Hair Mask from Meg (available on Ksisters). After about 20-30 minutes of placing my hair in the mask, I find my hair being really smooth after washing the residual of the hair mask away. The softness of my hair is maintained for at least two days and when my stash of hair masks run out, I either get the Korean ones from Watsons or Innisfree.
  • Deep cleansing mask : Another fave of mine is the deep cleansing mask from Serendi Beauty (also available on Ksisters). Prolonged usage of this mask will actually help minimise the size of your pores and it even helps to remove blackheads (my nemesis). While my blackheads haven’t disappeared overnight, I do feel that my pores are somewhat smaller. My face does look clearer the next morning after using this mask. Thus, I do try to be a little more diligent in using this at least once a week.
  • Miraskin RX Lifting mask: The elasticity of my skin tend to lose its firmness with age so I’ve been trying to care for it more. I really like the lifting mask as it helps to firm up the skin and improve overall appearance. It has a filling and lifting effect without any painful needles.
  • Neck mask: The neck is often neglected but actually that’s the one area that also needs a lot of care for it can reveal your true age with all the age lines shown. I know I should probably invest in a stronger neck cream but I keep forgetting to apply it. So the best way for me to care for my neck is to slather on a neck mask from Innisfree once a week. I usually do this together with my hair mask so I literally just stay in the toilet for a good 20 to 30 minutes masking simultaneously my hair, face and neck.

At least two to three times a week:

  • A facial sheet mask: I get an assorted range of sheet masks and alternate the use based on what I feel like that day. So from hydrating, purifying, brightening or soothing, there are different ones that I used from different brands. Along with slathering on a sheet mask, I also use this Pobling Gua Sha massager to massage my face with the mask on. It apparently helps to firm and lift the face too. Whatever works man, I’m willing to give it a shot.
  • Deep cleansing nose pore mask: I purchased this nose pore oxygenated mask from Don Don Donki for under $10. It’s supposed to help with removing blackheads and you can achieve baby smooth skin with this product. I’m not sure if it works entirely but after I wash the mask off, I usually will sit down and extract the blackheads on my own. I think extraction is the only way of getting rid of those comedones.
  • Petal Purifying Bubble Mask from Mamonde: I love to use this in the morning as a quick perk-me-up to the face before I put on my toner, serum, eye cream and moisturiser. It helps prime the face and makes it really soft and supple before I complete it with my morning beauty regime. Have to add, the rose petal smell also helps to soothe the senses.

On a daily basis:

  • Saborino Morning Masks: These sheet masks from Saborino promise to perform 3 functions in under 1 minute! Imagine waking up and putting the sheet mask on and after 1 minute, your skin is cleansed, toned and prepped for make-up. Sounds too good to be true right? But these morning sheet masks have been flying off the shelves in Japan. I saw them at the local drug-store during our recent trip to Tokyo but didn’t stop to examine further. It’s only after coming back to Singapore and I saw these in Tokyu Hands, did I then realise what they really did. These masks are also available at Guardian Singapore and I couldn’t help but bought a pack to try. I have to add that I do continue to wash my face in the morning but I enjoy slapping a sheet mask on my face in the morning for the minty and fruity ingredients infused in the mask does do a good job in waking my skin up. I usually leave it on for about 2 minutes for that’s about the amount of time I take to brush my teeth as well. Talk about multi-tasking! At about $20-ish for about 32 masks, I thought these were quite economical to prep and tone the face. But according to some online reviews, they felt that it was pricey for a product that could only last for a month compared to some beauty products that you could get for almost the same price and that could last longer. For me, I thought a little investment is necessary to achieve nicer looking skin!

  • Eye masks: The Man got a variety of them from Japan that can be used daily. Love the packaging which is rather eco-friendly for 20 or more of these eye masks are kept in just one packet rather than individual packs.

  • Skin whitening supplements: I’ve caved in to taking oral supplements to try and achieve fairer skin or rather to whiten the pigmentation on my face. I guess I can’t avoid the age spots now that I am getting older but I sure can try to delay it. Have been taking these oral supplements for the past 2 months. I am hardly the pill-popper but I really do try to remember that I have to take them on a daily basis. Let’s hope it works.

There you have it, my attempt in trying to achieve better skin (and look younger) with this skincare regime.

 

Half for you, Mama

We celebrated Mother’s Day a week ahead of the actual occasion as one can imagine it would be quite crazy to secure any decent restaurant reservations over the actual weekend. The Man brought us all for Japanese and we brought the little one along with us in tow (equipped with all her art materials).

Don’t want to jinx it but she’s at a lovely age now where she can actually eat her meals properly, enjoy the food that’s dished out in front of her, engage in actual conversations with us and the chef as well as sit down to do her craftwork/ colouring/ drawing if needed. We try to refrain from using technology devices unless really needed. To be fair, about 1.5 – 2 hours is all that she can probably take if we are dining out.

The omakase dinner that we had at Ishi was lovely and we really enjoyed the freshness of the sushi and sashimi that were dished out in front of us on top of the wine and sake that the Man ordered. The ending to our meal was a slice of musk melon that the Bub had much earlier when she finished her rice. I knew she would love another piece or two of the melon so I saved my last piece of the melon for her. She was coughing so we didn’t want her to have too much fruit as well.

What she did next really touched me.

She thanked me for the piece of the melon that I had given to her. Then she used the fork and cut the piece of melon into half. I initially thought that she was going to have them both but she fed me the melon with her fork and proceeded to finish up the remaining piece. “I share half with you, ok Mama?”

I must have teared up a little when she fed me with the melon. Such a precious thought coming from my little one. I hope she remains this way – little and pure. 🙂

The day she pierce her ears

Achievement unlocked! Bubba got her ears pierced on 24 March, Sunday at the age of 4 plus turning 5.  Yes, we did it!

Again, different schools of thought as to whether she’s too young to have any sort of piercings and whether she can take care of her ears. But we weighed the pros and the cons, and I thought this would be a good age for her to get a pair of earrings. They do look cute on small girls.

We decided to get our ears pierced with Stellar in the end. My friends tried out services both with B’dazzle and Stellar, and I observed the piercing tools that were used. Both used equipment that comply with health and safety requirements but I preferred Stellar’s ear-piercing equipment for it’s shaped like a pistol giving the technician greater control while holding the child’s ear lobe, ensuring that the earring will be pierced at the mark. The other equipment that I’ve seen previously is shaped like a stapler which u can’t really tell if the piercing in on the mark. Again, I am no professional ear-piercing expert, these are some observations I have made on the two different brands.

The varieties of earrings that one can choose from. I was concerned about any infection that might arise as a result of the piercing so we decided to get the 14K Yellow Gold earrings for her. I would have preferrend for the little one to select a simple crystal studded earring but well, we let her have a choice so she picked out a pair of white/pink floral crystal earrings. While it went on a slightly larger size, it did look cute on her! I think we paid about $238 for the earrings which included the complimentary piercing as well as a bottle of solution.

Here’s a photo of the little one prior to getting her ears pierced. This enthusiastic mother made sure that her hair was neatly pleated and I had to take a picture of her without any piercings, of course. The process is irreversable thereafter. She did look very happy and was feeling excited about the whole process for she felt very engaged – from picking of her own earrings to settling down on the big girl chair waiting for the big moment.

Before getting her ears pierced, the technician will actually brief us on what to-do and what we should not do after the piercing. Some things to avoid will be shellfish as the wound might itch and young kids will feel the urge to scratch their ears in the process. This was probably one of the reasons why we chose to let her have her ears pierced earlier too because I find it easier to restrict her diet now compared to when she’s older. Another thing to avoid after getting her ears pierced is not to do any water-related sports/ activities for about 1 week. Again, we timed this to coincide with her one-week term break from swimming. Yes, I guess the stars were aligned.

We were also told that we should clean her earrings with the solution provided – once in the morning and once in the evening and ensure that we twist her earrings to allow the ear-hole to slightly open up to fit the piercing eventually. It’s also recommended to remove the earrings only after 6 to 8 weeks should we intend to change the design of the earrings. Earrings should also be kept on for up to a year, else the ear-hole might risk closing up.

After the detailed briefing, the technician proceeds to look at the Bub’s face structure and then shows us the marking for the earring for each side of the ear. This was the part I was most paranoid about for I had to suffer the brunt of uneven piercing then – blaming it on parallex error. So I brought the Man for reinforcements to check if both sides were even.

Do check out the video on how the deed was eventually done. To be honest, we did prepped the kiddo and showed her videos/ pic of her friends who also had their ears pierced without crying. So I was hoping for the best but she did bawl when both her ears were pierced at the same time. Well, it could be that she kept fidgeting when the numbing spray was being administered or the realisation that there is no turning back that really shocked her!

But guess what, she DID it and we are extremely proud of her! 🙂

Baby Girl’s request

Baby girl is growing up way too fast and the time has come for her to ask us for a pair of earrings. It’s a right of passage, little girl wanting earrings (in her own words) “sparkly and pretty”.  I have deliberated if she’s too young to have earrings and whether she would be able to care for the ear-piercings well enough. But I had my ears pierced when I was a teenager and the concept of pain was a lot harder for me to just shrug it away. Furthermore, I had to deal with unpleasant discharge that came out of the ear piercings so I hope that it would be more manageable for younger kids.

When I shared with the Man his little girl’s intention of having her ears pierced, he immediately jumped and said no. He only caved in when the little one asked him for permission to have her ears pierced. His only request was to be around for this milestone.

So that settles it… we are off to have her ears pierced this Sunday! After doing some research, I’ve narrowed it down to either Be’dazzle at Wisma Shopping Centre or Stellar at Bugis Junction. We are likely to go with Stellar for I’ve read some online reviews on them and they seem quite experienced with ear-piercing for kids.

Wish us luck!!

New Zealand – a little something for everyone!

This is a re-cap of our annual family holiday that we took in 2018. YIKES! I know.. but it has been a crazy couple of months, with work at the Company and then work at MAPL (retail peak season), it’s like I finally got a chance to take a short break on my own and just chilling on ME time when the Bub goes off to bed.

But blogging has always remained close to my heart, so here’s an attempt of putting down the memories as I clear my back-log of photos/ posts.

Why New Zealand?

When the Man asked where we should go for our annual trip, I suggested New Zealand. Mostly because if we didn’t want to go back to Europe and a trip to the US with a young kid does sound quite daunting. New Zealand was a country I had wanted to head back to for friends with young kids who have been there do give it a thumbs-up for being close to nature. Also, I visited New Zealand when I was a teenager and it would be nice to go back to visit a country and see the changes that it has undergone in the last 20 years.

For our trip to New Zealand, the Man decided to use a travel company to plan our family holiday. We knew most holidays in New Zealand are self-drive but driving on holidays are also quite stressful – planning the route, making sure that the hours on the road are not too long for the driver, rest-stops, etc – the Man didn’t want to deal with this. I wasn’t going to be a good navigator, so we decided to leave the planning of our holiday in the good hands of the people who knew the ins and outs of the country instead.

As for the itinerary, we did have a couple of things that we wanted to incorporate on our holiday, such as golf for the man as well as sight-seeing for both me and the Bub. Because the Man and I are both big on wine and food, we wanted an itinerary that would be curated to suit our needs.

What we did as a family?

We couldn’t quite call it a holiday in New Zealand if we didn’t visit the Hobbiton Movie Set tour. This was done on Day 2 of our holiday where we didn’t quite adjust to NZ time yet and was horribly late in meeting our guide. The weather was also very deary and cold. We needed to be out at the set for a good 1 – 1.5 hours and so we braved the rains/ winds, dressed the Bub as warm as possible and decided to put forth our best smiles for the camera.

The tour coupled with anecdotes from our guide made it very enjoyable. We did catch Lord of the Rings and could associate with a couple of familiar scenes from the actual set. The Bub was probably tired from the cold so the Man did his fair share of weight-lifting as we meandered around the tiny set.

Fun fact! The Royals were also in town when we arrived in New Zealand and we visited some of the attractions before they did.

We (or least I) get a thrill out of saying ‘We did it first!’ before the Royals did. The Redwood Treewalk at Rotura was very enjoyable as the weather was cool and being up in the trees felt pretty surreal. The kid was also very adventurous in being the first to complete the tree-top walk. Competitive indeed!

Day 4 of our holiday, we took a private boat-ride on Lake Taupo where we experienced Taupo’s crystal clear waters. We sailed past the famous Maori Rock Carving which is only accessible on the water and it’s a must-see in Taupo.

We also opted to fish while on board as the area is protected and to fish in the lake, a special license must be obtained. Thankfully the weather cleared up quite a fair bit and sunshine greeted us as we both tried our hand at fishing.  The Bub also wanted in on the fun and was a tad disappointed when the fish she caught got away. We had to pacify her a little and tell her to try harder.

What we did in Queenstown:

In Queenstown where we spent the remaining 5 days of our holiday, we took a chartered plane ride to visit the famed Milford Sound. It was very beautiful admiring the alpine scenery and rainforest from the top. I think what would have made it more enjoyable on the almost hour-long plane-ride is if it could be accompanied with commentary or some music. The Bub was obviously very soothed by the ride that she fell asleep almost immediately after the plane took off. We were supposed to do a cruise back into town but because the weather had been bad while we were there, it was cancelled eventually.

We also enjoyed the Ben Lomond High Country Station private tour that saw us on an ATV zipping in and out of the countryside while stopping by to say hello to the thousands of sheep that were grazing on the hills. The little one enjoyed this up-close-and-personal touch with nature very much and was super thrilled by how the ATV could maneuver through tiny roads and river streams.

All in all, this trip to New Zealand saw us bond as a family and allowed us or rather me to fully rest from the hustle and bustle of city/ normal life. I really have been so worn out with work and it was good to just to not do anything and just turn in early to let the body rest.

I’ve only just scratched the surface on what we did on our holiday! Will probably try to find time to blog about where we stayed and what we ate in a follow-up post! Till then, dreaming of our next holiday already.

 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I didn’t quite imagine that I would be having this conversation with my 4 year old. But I guess this topic is popular and would come up from time to time again, be it in school or at home.

She has gone from becoming a Princess to now wanting to become a Doctor. I guess that’s quite evident from the number of doctor sets that we have acquired for her as toys. I kept wondering why she kept going back to buying another doctor set when we already have a functional Doc McStuffins play-set and another set that my MIL has gotten her. When we went to Daiso and I allowed her to pick just ONE toy, she gravitated towards a stethoscope packaged with an injection needle. For $2, I wasn’t going to quibble with her.

It all clicks now when she proudly shows off the doctor sets that she has acquired since about 1 year plus and tells us that when she grows up, she wants to be a doctor! The teachers in her school also know about this ambition of hers and so when she tells us she wants to bring her doctor set to school, I let her – coupled with reminders that she should take great care of her stuff because if any parts get lost, I’m not getting her a new set. I often eat my words after.

Penning this down for it will be interesting to see if she actually will become a doctor when she grows up. I know when I was a child and if asked this question, I would say I want to be an actress. Look how it all turned out! Very different in reality but hey, I am not complaining!

No more monkey jumping on the bed

Well, you should know by now how the famed ‘Monkeys jumping on the bed’ song goes. Just a couple of days into 2019, we were greeted one horrifying episode when our little monkey fell off the bed. While she didn’t quite hit her head, she did end up with a hairline fracture on her elbow.

Incident happened on a Saturday evening where we were just about to have few friends over for dinner. She was playing in her room unsupervised, mostly because we felt she’s old enough to do so. We did leave the baby monitor on and could hear what she was doing in her room which was basically watching TV and playing with her toys. I didn’t know what happened exactly but I heard her crying and the Man trying to soothe her.

Found out later that she slipped off the bed frame while trying to jump off with two pillows placed on top of the frame. This girl, she really has no fear.  Her cries were pretty loud and when we asked if she could move her arm, she screamed louder and told us she couldn’t. We were in a dilemma as to whether we should rush to the hospital to have her treated but on the back of mind, we also thought perhaps she was in shock and once she had her nerves calmed, she could move her arm.

So our friends came, we had our dinner and while the crying stopped, when we attempted to get her to move her arm, the tears would start along with the whining. We decided for peace of mind, it would be better for us to head to the hospital to get a X-ray done.

After approximately about 45 minutes wait at KKH Hospital (A&E for Children), we did a X-ray and our worst fears were confirmed. The little one did have a hair-line fracture on her elbow and that elbow needed to be in a cast.

Our first thoughts were whether the cast would be comfortable for a young child and whether we should cancel our upcoming ski holiday. But the doc on duty told us to just leave the cast on for about a week before going back for another review with the specialist. And hopeful we remained.

A week on, we went back to see the specialist who advised us to let the Bub be on another cast (he assured us the material used for this cast would be more comfortable than the previous one). I guess the highlight of the whole session was that she got to choose the colour for her cast. She went with apple green in the end. With the ski holiday fast approaching in Feb, I daringly asked the doc if her cast can be removed by then and for her to learn skiing. He said ‘let’s see’! While the very least he did was to book the next check-up a few days before the Lunar New Year holidays. He was hopeful that the cast will be removed by then for her to enjoy the season of feasting.

It was a traumatic experience for us as parents having to see our child being in a cast and just praying that it would not be as unbearable as it looks (ie: itchy and smelly). Thankfully, the Bub is such a trooper and her am being in the cast did give her the extra boost of confidence to run around (back to her usual normal self).

That said, the extra attention that was showered upon her during the time then didn’t hurt as well. She had extra hugs, kisses and portions of food/ fruit and ice-cream that came along her way.

As for our holiday? We did go eventually and the Man and I took turns hitting the slopes while the Bub stayed indoors and got an extra-large dose of Netflix. Ain’t a bad way to spend a holiday right?