Monday, December 12, 2011

Dermatologists, laser, creams, gels and pills.

Bad skin throughout my life. I wanted to say teens but I guess in my 20s (gasp!!) my skin was ok, calm but not perfect and dewy and all that it should be. Now it's horrible. I have cystic acne all along my jaw and they are spreading upwards onto my cheek

Dermatologists, laser, creams, gels and pills. My skin calmed down and there was no flareup during my wedding and 2 years after until now. I wonder if it's the constant challenges I put my skin through.

New cleaning regimen like oil cleansing to remove makeup.
BB Cream.
Makeup and colors

and now I'm paying the price for it. I am zapping my face with lasers weekly and it's still bumpy and riddled with humongous angry acne. I dont' know what to do. I'm even back on Roaccutane.

With Roaccutane, patients sometimes experience depression, suicidal thoughts and of course dry skin (it's pretty much a given).

I wonder if the depression comes from the pill or the thought "why the eff is this happening to me?"

I take care of my skin, I eat well and I try to go to bed as early as I can. There's nothing much I can do about my stress levels because I work in audit and life is pretty much about deadlines, especially during the year end. I really don't know how to make my skin better.

this is a lifelong battle. for now, I'm not throwing in the towel just yet. Rawr.

End of rant.

I am sick like a wounded puppy.

I'm down with a bad cold and I never thought death sounded such a good idea till now.


-- That's a meal in itself right there. 3 times a day.

So what did I do when I'm sick, face riddled with gigantic cystic acne, home alone with no food in the fridge? I made the decision to see the dermatologist. Yup, that says a lot about the priorities in my life.

High after getting my face zapped by laser (much on my skin battle later), I went to the food hall at the basement to stock up on food. Much like the hunter that I was, I bought lots of bread and a gourmet sandwich (italian sausage, rocket and fig jam. Yum I know.) which I probably wouldn't be able to enjoy.

Then I thought, I'm already sick I can't taste anything but the bitterness the meds left in my mouth, I might as well buy something fabulous and hopefully taste something to make this craptacular day better. The hell with plain porridge and chicken soup for the sick and cold stricken soul. 

I needed something awesome, like a hot bowl of mushroom soup with truffles or something. Surely I CAN taste truffle oil even when I'm ill right?




I really don't think I should go food shopping by myself when I'm delirious with fever. I make less sense than I usually do.

So how was your Monday so far?

Much love from your sniffly friend who can't breathe.

Tom Ford - Things I Love

I know this is super duper late but I *heart* Tom Ford's makeup line. Have you seen the ads?



The brushes! The nails! The sheer luxurious packaging screams "BUY ME OR REGRET"!!

Alas (always wanted to pepper my sentences with this one. Never seen it in use since 15th century or outside of fairy tales). This is not to be. The Tom Ford line is NOT available in island state.

On the bright side, I have time to save when it does get here!

xoxo

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How will my life be measured.

Ralph Waldo Emerson defined success with these words:
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded."

I read "How Will You Measure Your Life?" by Clayton M. Christensen on HBR. All I can think of now, it not how my life would be measured, and WHAT would be there to measure.

He said, management has the power to influence the talent in their companies. The companies spend lots of resources training and grooming their people but it is all one-sided. It's all about the career. What about life itself?
"In my mind’s eye I saw one of my managers leave for work one morning with a relatively strong level of self-esteem. Then I pictured her driving home to her family 10 hours later, feeling unappreciated, frustrated, underutilized, and demeaned. I imagined how profoundly her lowered self-esteem affected the way she interacted with her children. The vision in my mind then fast-forwarded to another day, when she drove home with greater self-esteem—feeling that she had learned a lot, been recognized for achieving valuable things, and played a significant role in the success of some important initiatives. I then imagined how positively that affected her as a spouse and a parent. My conclusion: Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team."
I am ashamed to admit that I haven't contributed as much to the community, my family or friends as much as I would love to. I remember that when I was a teen, I wanted to become a doctor so I join Doctors Without Borders and provide free healthcare to the poor. Of course that went out the window since I didn't become a doctor in the end.

I want to help the less fortunate, children and the elderly. I want to make the world greener. I want to spend time with my family and friends. But I am not doing this.

Our time is limited. What is the point of working 15 hour days and neglecting my family and friends? I've lost my dear aunt and grandma, and I have a wonderful relationship from both of them because we were close. I can't bear the thought of losing anyone else without knowing them better, without them knowing I love them.

I go home to J, who watches me turn on my laptop every evening. I go home feeling tired, unappreciated, frustrated and perplexed at why things are run a certain way which seems so inefficient. My friends from work are doing the exact same thing. How long can we go on like this?

How will my life be measured? Am I the busy working wife, daughter, friend who neglects everyone who is important in her life? Are paychecks, reports and Excel spreadsheets all that could be measured since there is nothing else in my life?

I shudder at the thought of this. I don't think I grew up aspiring to achieve just this.

Dubs - Pet peeve 1

Just spent 1 hour in the bus to take a taxi from designated area. Lame.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Festive, the blues and the Dubs.

I wonder, how can someone feel festive and blue at the same time. All the Christmas decorations being put up all around the city makes me swoon. But my insides (feelings, heart, guts etc.) invariably get heavier as I approach my office.

I've obviously quit my previous job at The Firm (henceforth known as Dotted) to join its competitor The Firm 2 (Dubs). It's not all a bed of roses as one might think, since people move on to greener pastures.

I've had a relatively uneventful first week and my 6th day today was just a flurry of emails. Assigned to a new client which the current team has been working on for weeks, I am to complete a few items even though I'm still very lost at using the inhouse filing system.

And who still uses Win XP nowadays!? I miss my Win 7 and Office 2010 ribbons. :((

Guess I should stop moaning and settle in right away!

P.s. it took me the entire afternoon just to string bits and pieces of thoughts together for this post. Mostly because I struggled with Firm No. 2's software the whole day just for 1 client. Guess that's time well spent.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chanel Shade Parade.

I wonder why I didn't post this sooner!



Utterly fabulous. I just want to run out and buy them all.

I heart Chanel!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tough choices and the consequences of increasing the bottom line.

Sometimes life is just full of tough choices. You don't know what's going to happen but you are going to take up the challenges head on and keep your fingers crossed that things are going to work out for the best.

You see, I just quit my job.

While I enjoy my work and my friendship with my colleagues, I can't help but feel that I'm getting into a comfortable routine. Work isn't getting any easier, it just that I'm used to the nature of the work and it's just the volume of work which has been dialed up. It's like being a taxi driver. You are driving someone while being booked by another fare due in another 15 minutes and you're stuck in the middle of the goddamn traffic. You know you are not going to make it on time. Similar situation, just multiply it by 4.


Since the nature of work isn't going to change, I've decided to be the change. I don't know if it's going to give me the balance and direction I'm looking for, but I can say I am trying.



It's hard to break the news to your work friends, especially if you work with them 12 hours a day. I'm swamped with work and I just soooo wanna throw in the towel now and let the department deal with the workload. I have tendered, my work energy and momentum is low, I just wanna quietly live out my days. But because they are my friends, I'm trying not to be such a jerk to them.

Everyone I know seems to be on the lookout for something better. Work life balance is elusive, and almost an urban myth on the tiny island. If people tell you they knock off on time at 5pm, they are lying. It just means that they have gone home and continued working till maybe 9-10pm. That's geography.

Is it greed or ambition that drive us? Do we really need to slog at the expense of our health just to live a little better, to enjoy life? What enjoyment do we get, if we are popping sleeping pills, throwing back Red Bull and taking heart medication to cope with teh daily grind just to afford fabulous holidays? Everyone is in it to make money. Everyone focuses on the bottom line. If the company makes 1 million in profit in 2010, it wants to make 5 million in 2011 all without increasing headcount. How can we work 5 times the workload and not break down?


Well if they pay me gazillion dollars and I can afford a Gulfstream and a yacht, that's an entirely different story.

Is it all worth it in the end?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs Stanford commencement speech.

I guess I can't write much about anything else today. A little bummed by Steve Jobs' passing. I don't know anything about him. And it seems fake and almost pompous to be grieving someone you don't know.

Someone said, "He only made a phone. What's the big fuss?"

Well I guess the fuss is, without him, we will not be enjoying media rich content on our iPhones, iPads and Galaxy tabs. He broke the mold and gave us sleek interface. And everyone else played catch-up.


“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

RIP Steve Jobs.


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”
We loved you in uni. My professors couldn't stop drawing examples and quoting you. He said to us, "A product with a million cutting edge features is still a failure when the design is inconsistent and no one knows how to use it." This was the only phrase I remember from university. 

I want to pursue my goals, be good at it and enjoy the entire process. Thank you.

To quote a friend, you are the original Apple Genius. Goodbye Steve, we'll miss you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jumbleberry crumble love.

After watching Nigella, I was extremely inspired to make this jumbleberry crumble!

J and I ran out to get frozen berries and flour. Well I got those while J shopped for our daily necessities like actual groceries, veggies and bread etc.

It's extremely easy to make the crumble!

First, 100gm of self raising flour. Actually the recipe says flour then add baking powder. Oh well.

[Actually, make more crumble. I actually ran out of crumble because the ramekins I bought were not standard size. Crumble can be kept in the freezer for future crumbly needs!]

50gm of butter + 3 tablespoons of sugar. Just mix the lot and run them through your fingers like you're brushing away crumbs. The crumble should really look like coarse sand, not paste and gooey like. Freeze the crumble mix for a bit while you prepare the berries. Time to heat the oven to 220 degrees.

Enough berries + just a dash of corn starch + splash of wine/moscato/rum (this is my twist because we all need a little alcohol don't we).

This must be magic.

Hello world from my iPhone!

No longer do I have to procrastinate and try to write outside of office hours when most of my rage and inspiration have waned.

Whoopee!

P.s. I'm easily excitable like that. I'm posting while in a bus!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Temptation: Motorcycle bag in all colors of the rainbow.

I've been browsing Gmarket very frequently and I'm once again enamored with the Balenciaga motorcycle bag. I had a pink one when I attended uni but due to a very unpleasant incident back in 2006, it was taken from me.

Anyway I'm itching to get a new one again! Isn't it pretty?


I know they are not the real McCoy but who cares?! I can't decide between a dove grey, mint, purple grey, red, deep mint .....



So many choices! Some colors are only available for motor bags of another size. It's a little too big for me.



Le sigh. I am thissssssssssssss tempted to get one! Love that it's quite cheap (<$30) and almost guilt-free shopping.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Just the right amount.

Do you sometimes wonder if you are using all your skincare and bath products correctly? Sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad. Too much night cream doesn't mean all the goodness gets absorbed into the skin. It ends up on your pillowcases and all the bacteria, oils and product can wreck havoc on your skin!

All the products we use cost a pretty penny and we want them to last as long as possible while working their magic on us. And Real Simple has a pretty nifty guide on how much is just right!


On the right: Moisturizer With SPF
Serving size: A quarter (near right).

On the left: Under-Eye Cream
Serving size: Half a pea for each eye.

Temptation: Chanel Illusion D'Ombre eyeshadows.

I'm obsessed with Chanel Illusion D'Ombre. I saw this poster during one of my mall trips and I was in love. So soft and so beautifully made up.


The range was designed by Peter Philips for Chanel Fall 2011

Thursday, September 01, 2011

New shoes and my hoarding tendencies.

New flats from G2000 sale!



Truth be told, I bought them about 2 months ago and they were extremely affordable at $25 a pop!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quick fix - Beachy wavy hair in 5 minutes flat.

I have wavy hair for about 2 months and I guess the curls have unraveled a fair bit. It looks wavy-ish and there's no bounce. Sigh, all that money down the drain.

Then I saw this video this morning!



Monday, August 15, 2011

So near yet so far.

What bums me out the most, is when J tells me he may not be able to come home as scheduled when we are so close (4 days) to D-Day.

It's a possibility because work isn't going too smoothly and there may be delays.

I hate it when we are this close and the target moves.

*sulk*

Friday, August 12, 2011

Saving money, drugstore brand and the outbreak.

I guess I'm grumpy because of stress from work and the gazillions of little bumps on my face. Despite my (now futile) attempt to properly cleanse my face of makeup, I've ended with worse skin than I started.

I bought into the cleansing oil craze and I wanted to go with Dermalogica's Precleanse as I'm an avid follower of the brand. I've been using it for years and the products never break me out. But Dermalogica's products aren't cheap. Precleanse actually costs around $70 a bottle!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

De-stressing and my sad gardening tales.

I'm pretty stressed lately. Even though it's supposedly the off-peak season, I am still booked for jobs so that's a blessing I guess.

The stress comes from working with clients and colleagues who don't share the same ideas. It's people who are driving me up the wall. I have trouble sleeping, I'm breaking out in spots and I am clenching my jaw so much I have weird aches at the little spot between my jaw and ear.


So I try to destress.


London riots, social benefits and failure of education.

I was wistfully thinking about visiting London again during another one of my "Love Actually" movie sessions when news of riots hit. It started as a peaceful protest against police brutality, which evolved into widespread looting which had absolutely nothing to do with the original cause.

Riots are breaking out in London because young hooligans just "want to stick it to the Man". The Man happens to be the one doling out cash to keep these kids fed and warm. I say bring on the full force of the police and military and put these st*pid kids in their places.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Dinner Pronto #1!

It's hard trying to eat healthy when you have a full time job and zero time to cook. I come home, I bring work home and I'm famished. I'll buy takeaway and there's only that much kungpow chicken rice I can eat before I go off food completely.

Though it does look pretty delicious.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I scream you scream we love ice cream!

I've got a million things happening at work and they are all due this Friday. BAH!

All I want is a giant scoop or tub of ice cream right now to make it all better.


I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bella Bamba and all my blushes.

So I bought Benefit's Bella Bamba. The lady from Sephora was quite generous when she tested the product on my cheeks and I looked mmmm feverish under the harsh white light.


Anyhoo I decided to take the safe route and applied just a brush of Bella Bamba on my cheeks.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Photography, hobbies and having time for yourself.

I hope to take better pictures. Perhaps not professionally good, but good enough to capture the moment and the sentiment of that moment.

Right now, J has the little Olympus because he needs it for work, and the family Canon is with mom and dad, chockablock full of their vacation photos when they went to Korea earlier last year. I have, errr my iPhone camera.

It is not a real camera. I wanna take great photos like BUTTERFLYFOOD!


-- By Butterflyfood Photography, from Creature Comforts


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's been a hard June and July for yours truly.

My dearest grandma left us on 30 June peacefully in her sleep and I am still trying to make sense of the fact that she will no longer be with us. Grandma is all well and with my dear aunt now, and I miss them dearly.



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Want: Embrace by John Green.

I do a lot of work at home, plus I spend quite a fair bit of time online when I'm not working. The laptop gets hot and my lap goes numb when I sit crosslegged for a long time. All the wires from the laptop, mouse and portable hard disk AND remote controls for everything are ALWAYS in the way. All that, plus a big mug of coffee in bed, will end up in tears (and flames) sooner or later.

So I've been searching for a breakfast table/ laptop table to use in bed for ages. I went to Ikea, I browsed online and I have no idea how I managed to miss this.

Embrace by John Green.



So there are 2 pieces. You simple flip one and join them. Embrace!

It works as a tiny book shelf.
As a reading bench while you flip through your favourite magazines and books.

And of course, the perfect coffee table for the apartment.


This is just ingenious! Embrace is a piece of functional furniture that will blend into the home. I've looked at a few lap (?) tables and they always seem out of place when you try to put them away. I thought to myself, what's the point of buying something that would not work with every other piece of furniture in the home? It will be an eyesore, and I'll just grow to treat it like one as well.

This little table is very purrrrrty, and it will set you back about GBP265.


Link:
Embrace - John Green. [buy here]

Friday, June 24, 2011

Want, Need, Get - Got! Urban Decay Naked Palette

Omg I finally managed to get myself this.

Urban Decay Naked Palette!

*Shrieks!!!!!*

Too excited. I don't know how to use it but I'm sure as hell going to figure out how by watching all the YouTube tutorials out there!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beauty products from Pattaya,

I was so excited when I got to Thailand because I could finally visit Boots and "pretend I had forgotten to bring my toothbrush/face wash/sun block so I need to shop". Ask J, we've been to Boots almost every day since we were in Pattaya.


I bought some nice (and cheap!) face wash from Boots for like 195 baht ($7.90).

And lovely eye shadows for Boots Botanics 49 baht! I got Star Anise and Sage. Plus a lippie in "Allure" from the Poppy King collection.

A eyeshadow brush from Muji and Freshel White C BB cream from Watsons!

Quite a fair bit of people I know are crazy about BB creams. They are a foundation, moisturiser, sun block and oil control lotion all rolled into one. And I got the Freshel at 495 baht, which works out to be around $20. That's a huge bargain as it's selling for $33 back home. Win for me!

I've heard from friends that cosmetics and body products are much cheaper in Thailand because they manufacture quite a bit. Things like Sunsilk, Boots, L'oreal and Soap & Glory are everywhere and so much more affordable than back home. Perfect for the newbies like me who want to try everything without spending too much on something I'm not very sure of.

I hope I have some baht left when I'm at the airport so I can get some last minute shopping in! :D

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Time to go home.

I'm still in Pattaya and I can't wait to go home tomorrow.

It's been nice to have a break, catch up with family and all but I don't think I can sit around and not do much for any much longer.

Since we are staying with family and we don't have a car, we are pretty much stranded in Pattaya. It is still nice. J and I go for walks on the beach almost every morning and pick shells. Have coffees and not do much.



As with all holidays, we get restless after not doing much after some time. Cocktails drunk, skin burnt, shells picked and seafood eaten. I guess it's the cue for us to go home.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

A mini getaway to Pattaya.

I'm at Pattaya, visiting my in laws and family. It's good to sit and enjoy the sea breeze. It's almost 8am and I'm the only person awake in the house!

I wonder where I could find coffee in the house.

Hope this little getaway works wonders for us!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Real and tv princesses unite!

Kate Middleton attended a dinner party and her dress looked kinda familiar, doesn't it?



OMGossip Girl!


Kate, meet Princess of Monaco (to be).

OMG I can't wait for Gossip Girl to return. Can you imagine how awesome it would be if Blair spent the summer with Kate in Europe and Queen B gave Kate fashion advice for this dinner???

And with the Duchess's visit to the US, this would all play out nicely!

OH MY GAWD I'M SO GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF!!


Links:
The Princess and the Frog - link


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Disappointed and junk food.

I'm distraught. I drove all the way to Sephora and the lady at the counter said, "It was sold out a few days ago."



Does. Not. Compute.

And I couldn't focus. I actually drove down the multi-storey carpark in the wrong lane. I found out when I saw oncoming traffic and yup, it was kind of a wake up call to see the other driver's face. I should really stop obsessing.

So here I am, home with a giant chicken burger, trying to eat the pain away.



While watching Black Swan on tv.



This evening blows.


My iPhone's new home.

My phone has a new home!



Cath Kidston's floral print. Very brit, right? It looks a little grandma-ish but I'm going to say it's a vintage look. Loving it!

Of course I bought a baby pink case as well. I do love my pinks!



Sometimes I simply don't understand why I spend money on silly things like iPhone cases when my sluggish iPhone 3GS may be replaced when the new iPhone 4GS/5 comes out later this year.

Anyway little joys in life make everything better!



Want - Urban Decay Naked palette!

The last time I walked into Sephora, I bought Benefit's Bella Bamba. I saw Urban Decay's Naked palette at the cashier but I shrugged and walked away from it.

It has been 1 week. After doing lots of research, I am very convinced I need one.



And I don't even know how to put on eye makeup! See, that's why I need this. So I can start practising. :D

I guess it's age, growing up, growing old whatever you wanna call it. I think life's too boring and sucky to be bland anymore. I still love the bare fresh face look but let's face it, my skin is hardly the dewy luminous skin you see on the twenty year old models in Vogue. I need all the war paint I can get.

And TLC said we could buy all the makeup Mac can make! Except now, I'm going to try my luck with Urban Decay.

I'm going to raid Sephora when dawn breaks. Wish me luck!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

An Ispahan by any other name.

J and I went to Europe for our long overdue honeymoon and we had an amazing time in Paris. Strolls, coffees and macarons everyday.

J furrowed his brows when I got a little excited when we walked past the first Laduree near our hotel. He was even more shocked when he saw the queue inside. "Why is there even a line for buying such tiny overpriced biscuits?"



He waited in line with me, picked out the flavours and tried one when we walked out the shop. J is a convert now. He prefers Pierre Herme. Such a connoisseur.



A few weekends ago J and I had lunch at Pizzeria Mozza and we were not overwhelmed by the service or the food. I was so excited because Pizzeria Mozza was by Mario Batali, and since he's Iron Chef America, that had gotta count for something.

-- Working his magic at kitchen stadium!

Instead the serving was small and the toppings were sparse. The 2 appetizers were ok but we couldn't believe 2 appetizers and 1 pizza cost us $100.

We were still peckish when when we left so we decided to wander around Marina Bay Sands for cheaper bites. Imagine my our delight when I found ispahan on the island!

-- my iPhone has a crappy camera and I have zero skills. Le sigh.

Ispahan is a Pierre Herme creation. Rose, lychee, raspberry and cream between 2 gigantic macaron shells. Heaven!

Then again, it's an ispahan and it's not.

It's very sweet and J gulped down his espresso after a tiny bite because in his words, he was all sugar-ed out for the day. I must admit it's very very sweet but I don't know where else I can find this little confection! It's no Pierre Herme but oh well, we are a few thousands miles away from THE ONE. Beggars can't be choosers.

Let me know if you find a really really good dessert!


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