Monday, July 29, 2013

Less is more: achieving that dewy look.

My poor Adam is down with fever for 2 days in a row now, and I foresee it's gonna be another long night of sponging, temperature taking and Panadol-feeding.

I decided to use this time to do a bit of blogging and found some backlogged photos of my recently purchased mineral foundation. Makeup is seldom talked about on my blog, not because I don't apply makeup, but because my makeup regime is mostly barely there.
I'm lazy and my mornings are crazy. And I'm a sucker for the dewy, un-made up look.

My package from Everyday Minerals arrived in the mail!

From left to right: Matte base mineral foundation, concealer, and Kabuki brush.

Everyday Minerals foundation coverage:

Although it is in powder form, I am surprised at the amount of coverage it provides even when used alone.
I use it alone on days when I want to let my skin breathe, and over Maybelline liquid foundation on days I need more coverage.

If used alone, I first apply a thin layer of sunscreen makeup base, then I use concealer on my freckles and dark circles.
After that, I use the Kabuki brush to pick up the powder, and then press on gently but firmly on the middle of my face and slowly dust in a circular outward motion.
Repeat the steps on entire face until desired coverage is achieved.

I like that it doesn't clog pores and plus I'm a big fan of mineral and natural makeup stuff... so... I'm quite easily sold on this one.

I've only used Everyday Minerals for as long as I can remember as my mineral powder foundation and have never tried other brands from Sephora because I'm very happy with EDM.

 Next up, I would like to share with you my favourite drugstore brands of basics:
Bourjois concealer stick in 1 shade lighter than my normal skin tone; MAC concealer in NW25 (1 shade darker than my skin tone); Maybelline Dream Matte mousse foundation, and lastly, Maybelline Pure Eraser Mineral liquid foundation.

Maybelline Pure Eraser Mineral liquid foundation coverage:

 It's very sheer and does little to provide you any coverage, if at all.
However, I am into my 4th tube now, and I love it as a base for my EDM powder when I need extra-lasting coverage from morning till dusk and no touch-up.
Plus, it comes with SPF27 PA+++ so I can basically skip sunscreen.
I like that it comes in a twist tube with a sponge applicator for easy application.
Firstly, I apply dots on my forehead, nose, and cheeks and blend with a separate sponge.
Just a small amount goes a long way because after that I will still dust on my EDM powder.
Once blended onto my skin, I apply concealer: the darker shade first on the freckles and dark circles, then lighter shade on top to achieve the shade closest to my skin tone.

Once concealer is applied, I dust on my EDM powder to set but I use lesser amount than I would if I used EDM alone.
 Next, my new purchase from Watsons: Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation.
I bought this simply because I was itchy-backside and wanted to try something new.

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation coverage:
 Due to its mousse texture, the application can be tricky but the trick is to start off with as little as possible and build your coverage up.

It provides more coverage than Maybelline Pure Eraser mineral foundation, but the downside is that it does not provide SPF and also, it doesn't look as natural as EDM or Pure Eraser foundation due to its thicker coverage.

But I would use it for functions and dinners.

Yeap so that's all to my barely make-up face.

I like drug store brands for the convenience since I hardly go to town.
I also like fuss-free make up that do not take up a lot of my precious time in the mornings.
 Now it's time to tend to Adam again. He's coughing non-stop and lost his voice.
Vomited some phlegm out, twice, in the span of my typing this post.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that Ashton does not fall sick too.

I'm ready to crash.
 Good night!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

No-maid: Week 2.

We've been through several more biodata, but still couldn't find a suitable candidate. As it's now the Hari Raya fasting month followed by Raya itself, it's hard to get an Indonesian now.
We looked at Myanmese maids but most of them are very fussy and not willing to look after babies and young children.
Sometimes I wonder whether these maids are genuinely here to earn a living or to have an all-expenses paid holiday. Throw in free medical checkups every 6-monthly.

We showed some interview video clips to Adam, and he had explicitly declared that he does not want another maid.

It's hard to blame him I guess, especially when our previous maid liked to mimic the children crying or whining.
Or when she starts singing out-of-tune music. It makes him extremely annoyed.
When we sent her off to the airport, he wasn't sad or emotional or sad at all.

Right now, we're still trying to find the balance between work, family and housework.
Everyday is like a race against time - soaking and washing kids' clothes, adult clothes, boil water, mop the floor once every 2 days, wash and sterilise bottles, prepare Adam's uniform and school bag.
We've engaged a part-time maid to come in on Sunday when Adam is at swim class, to do the major chores like scrubbing toilets and general cleaning.

I've never been one to baby-talk to my children, and I always make it a point to listen to Adam's opinions and decisions, especially when it comes to family matters.
I feel it is important to respect and listen to our children's needs, so when Adam resisted the idea of having another maid, Andy & I discussed it and decided to KIV the maid plan for now.

I just hope I can continue to cope! What worries me is when the time comes for me to supervise Adam's school-work or attend to Ashton's growing needs, I cannot split myself into so many persons.

AIYO my slitty-eyed baby Ashton Tan Tian Yang.

Mr Adam Tan Tian Kai #likeabigboss

Adam snapped a photo of me using my Canon Powershot. This boy loves taking photos, just like me!
I'm about to go wash the kids' clothes :P
It sure is exhausting as hell, but the smiles on my children's faces make my daily fight and struggles worth while. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Story about my maid, and how I manage without live-in help.

When my maid initially told me she did not intend to extend her WP but instead wanted to go back to Indonesia, I was in a panic.
Who was going to get the chores done?
Who was going to help out with the kids? Especially at meal times with family and friends?
Who was going to keep tabs on the perishables in the household?

However, when push comes to shove, you will somehow find your inner strength.
It's been a week without maid for us now.

On retrospect, I thought of the advantages of having live-in help, but also examined the cons of it.

Advantages of live-in help:

- Housework is taken care of, obviously.

- Can spend the time on kids instead of doing chores.

- Having an extra pair of hands at home who can help to receive parcels / deliveries / open door for groomer to pickup & dropoff Mavy / etc.

Disadvantages of live-in help:

Ever heard of the saying "Too many cooks spoil the soup"?
This is what happens when you have 3 women overseeing to the care of your children and household: my MIL, helper and I.
Whenever an instruction has to be passed down, it must be repeated at least twice to the different people. There is also miscommunication, the most common being "I dunno Mam, Ah Ma didn't tell me".
Sometimes, I feel that rather than instructing over and over, it would be faster to accomplish the task myself.

Initially, she was quite good in her work and attitude.
But subsequently, she started getting lazy and even started comparing with other maids on her off days (her friends / relatives who work as maids in Singapore).

- She told me her ex-employer would often drive her and another maid (they had 2 maids) up to KL where their 2nd property was.

- She also said her cousin, who has been working in a family in Singapore for 10 years, is very lucky as her employers bring her travelling on their family trips. Most recently to Hong Kong.

- She told my MIL that her friend, who just came to work in Singapore as a maid, is getting $500/mth with 1 day off per week.

- More things got damaged / lost in the span of her living with us than without.

- Detergents and soap get used up more quickly because she is quite wasteful.

In the grand scheme of things, such matter may seem trivial, but they can indeed be helluva annoying.

So how do I cope without a maid?
- I do the chores in instalments - when the kids are sleeping / when Andy is playing with them.

- I buy diapers / milk powder and household detergents in bulk so that I do not have to frequently keep tabs on them running out.

- Andy helps out in the night when we are all asleep because he sleeps late while I sleep early.

And introducing.... a mighty hardworking machine called Rainbow:

Child labour

Sucking every nook and corner

Rainbow comes equipped a special nozzle for washing of mattresses, and an assortment of other brushes / nozzles which have bristles made of horse hair.
Short of performing kinky favours, it pretty much does everything from mopping of floor to cleaning of mattress to purifying the air.

Friday, July 12, 2013

[Media event] Baby Bjorn carrier One VIP Launch party.

As a parent, you must have heard of or personally experienced a child who resists sitting in a stroller.
Ashton is one such baby, therefore for the first time in motherhood, despite having another baby  before, I'm using a carrier extensively on Ashton. Bless my petite body!
Today, I am very honoured to be invited to the VIP launch party of Baby Bjorn's new carrier, the BABYBJĂ–RN Carrier One.

The many different ways of baby-wearing with this new carrier.

The ambassadors giving their opinions about Carrier One.

With one of the Ambassadors, Taufik, and his 13 mth old daughter.
Speech by Executive Director of Mothercare, Ms Pang Shu Min, on the evolution of Baby Bjorn carriers.

Live demo on the carrier.

Talk on body mechanics and common physiological problems in parents and children, by Paediatric physiotherapist Ms Aparna, from Physioinmotion.

Trying out the Carrier One on Ashton. He looks all wrapped up but he was actually very comfortable in it. I give it 2 thumbs up!

The event ended with refreshments for everyone.

Did you know that the first Baby Bjorn carrier was born 40 years ago? That's 10 years before I was even born!
As I was pre-occupied in the previous month working with VW for their photoshoot and launch of their new GTI, I missed the trial of Carrier One as one of its ambassadors prior to the launch. Pity!

Having personally used the Bjorn Active and Synergy, and now the all new Carrier One, I would say my favourite of the 3 is Carrier One.
Firstly, the weight is distributed on your hips instead of your shoulders and back so you do not feel the strain. Once the staff helped me prop Ashton inside, I immediately felt the positive difference!
I even walked around in it for a while to trial it.
Secondly, with the new function of carrying it with your baby on your back, it allows you to wear older children. As Taufik's wife, a work-from-home-mum (WFHM) shared with me, she said it was handy as she carried her daughter on her back hence she was able to bake her orders with ease.
I'm rating Carrier One's function 5 stars because it has surpassed my expectations of a baby carrier.
Previous Bjorn carriers allowed for baby to be worn in front, but Carrier One allows parents to wear their babies front- or parent-facing, as well as being worn on parents' backs.
It wears better than my current Synergy even with my 10kg, 10 month old baby in it.
The guideline states for use up to 15kg.
Not only it is made of the same mesh material as Synergy, it also did not compromise the aesthetics part of a carrier. To be honest, I love fashion, but the back panel of the Synergy creases my blouses. This Carrier One does not have the panel on the back, so that's definitely a plus!
The only thing is I wish they came up with other colours instead of just black. I would love to see it in White, or even bi-coloured.
Apart from colour choices, I also feel that the closure clasps of Carrier One do not give me as much peace-of-mind as the Synergy, in which the former uses snap-clasps VS the latter uses slot-in pins about 3 inches long to secure.
At a whooping cost of $289, not all parents can bear to part with such money on a carrier, especially first-time parents who do not know whether their baby would like being strapped in a carrier.
Same goes to buying anything expensive for our babies (Jumperoo, exersaucer, stroller) - it's a gamble.
Overall, I would still recommend the Carrier One for the following reasons:
- If you do not drive.
- If you often go out with baby alone and need hands-free to carry diaper/shopping bag.
- Traveling to not-so stroller-friendly countries like Hong Kong and Bangkok.
- Value-for-money carrier which can be used from birth to toddlerhood.
- Short trip to nearby mall / supermarket and do not want to block shopping aisles with your stroller.
- Convenience of not having to wait for elevators at crowded malls as you can easily take escalator while wearing your baby.
My only grouse is, why didn't Bjorn design this marvellous carrier 10 months earlier!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Saturdate at Park Royal on Pickering.

In the days preceding the departure of our helper, Hubby decided to book a spa appointment for the two of us at St Gregory, situated at Park Royal hotel on Pickering.
Such couple dates are much cherished, because God knows when we will be able to enjoy such dates again in the near future.
We arrived slightly earlier to enjoy the infinity pool.

The view was captivating.

I could do this all day!

Sipping bubbly and eating samosas, simply lazing around and whiling the afternoon away.
 The waters and perfect weather provided such respite.

Keeping it simple: beating the heat with my Raybans (matching with Hub's) and Hermes Oran slippers.
After that, it was time for our spa appointment where the skilled masseuse kneaded and pulled and pressed and tugged.

Thank you Hubby for constantly spoiling me. For loving me.

source: tinyme on Facebook.