Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The end of 2014

Wow time flies. It's such a cliché but very true.

We welcomed a bouncing baby boy in 2014, and in 9 months, he's grown into such a character and so loved by everyone. We are so blessed, lucky and thankful.

I've been a stay-at-home mom for 9 months and it's been great to be present for every one of the little guy's achievement. And in 5 days' time I will leave my boy at home and return to work.

It's a bittersweet feeling, knowing that the little one is now more active and playful and he will do ok without mom and dad for most of the day. It's also a nice change for me, to be at work and having grown up conversations with people my age. 

But I'm beginning to miss him, even though I'm still home with him, and about to prepare his lunch in a few minutes. Our days have taken to a routine, preparing his morning bath, breakfast, nap, washing up his bottles, play, preparing his lunch etc. I don't think I'm ready to let go of our time together. Who will take him for his daily swim (which hasn't happened in a while because of the monsoon rain)? Who will take him to the library or supermarket for a simple outing?

"Oh why don't you become a full time mom?" Well, it's a tough choice. I'm in my early 30s and if we are lucky we may have another baby in a few years time. Our parents are getting older. To survive on a single income, raise 2 kids, feed the family, pay the mortgage, everyone's health insurance, car and maintain a certain level of lifestyle (by which I'm referring to the occasional meal out or treats for the family) is not an easy task. And all this before the kid(s) go to school and need more money for books and uniforms and music classes and art classes and maybe the odd school excursions here and there. Before we know it, we are in our 50s and the kid(s) make it to university, doing medicine or law at the most prestigious schools on earth. We need to prepare for that. We want to be able to support our kids wherever they go. It would be heartbreaking for all of us of our kids are geniuses but we can't even afford the money to the bus station, let alone fees for unis. I need to earn money while our situation still permits. I need to squirrel away every penny for the long and cold winter ahead. It would be selfish not to.

That said, if there's a chance/choice, I would gladly stay at home with the little fella.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Can't wait: Cinderella trailer 2015

I must have been a hermit for far too long because I just found this.




Cate Blanchett!
Lady Rose from Downton!
Robb Stark!

I didn't think a live action Cinderella movie would work. I mean, how do you translate the magic that is bibbidi bobbidi boo?



I guess it's possible when you wish upon a star.

Too many good movies to catch in 2015!


Link: When you wish upon a star

Can't wait: Jurassic World - Official Trailer 2015

Omg. This is really happening.



That gate.


-- Screencaps from the video. Everything belongs to Universal Pictures.

The light tinkering of the classic Jurassic Park theme we all remember from our awesome childhood. *goosebumps*

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Poor manners and having help.

I was flipping through Facebook when I saw a friend's rant this morning.

He was on the train to the airport when he noticed a family sitting across from him. The family decided to bring the helper along on vacation to look after the 2 kids so that everyone could enjoy the trip and not spend the entire time looking after the children. The parents were talking rather loudly, whining and complaining about the cost of bring the helper on their family vacation, the inconvenience of applying for travel visa for the helper and of course, the entire train heard them.


 -- So not the place to have any private conversation

It was not pleasant, I gathered. It is never polite and plainly offensive to everyone when a person complains about the hassle of being around another person in the person's face. It's like throwing a party for your nearest and dearest, and you whine about the cost of feeding the entire party to the guests' faces. It's downright mean. What kind of example are the parents setting for their children?



-- Image from Amy Atlas.


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Baby's first book - Where is the green sheep by Mem Fox.

Ever since our little bundle of joy came into our lives, we've been reading to the little one.

His favourite? "Where is the green sheep" by Mem Fox. We received this as a gift from our aussie family when baby boo was just 3 weeks old!


He loves this book. His eyes just open wide and his face lights up with excitement every time we show him the book, or just mention "green sheep".

I like this version I found on Amazon as well!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Little accident and major downer.

I was in a minor car accident in September. I was engaging in reverse gear, trying to park when a car came flying round the corner and hit me.

It was a small accident, boo boo in baby speak and we verbally agreed to fix our own cars.

To my shock and horror, I received a legal letter from the guy for compensation! The. Gall.

The insurance people is working on it and this has been a major bump and downer for me. Bahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

:(


Thursday, October 09, 2014

iMessage problems on iOS 8.0.2.

I'm an Apple user. iMac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Time Machine. My home runs on the Apple ecosystem and everything just works.

Till the iPhone 6+ came along.



I got the new iPhone 6+ for J as an anniversary present and he's over the moon with the new toy phone. I took over his iPhone 5S because surprise, surprise, I was still using my iPhone 4S from yonks ago. Popped in my sim card on Saturday (Day 1) and expected things to magically work like always.

iMessage did not work.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Words that irritate me - Part 1.

The topic of misused words has been discussed so many times but the same mistakes keep popping up everywhere. I hate to rant but they just drive me nuts. Family, friends and even trusted (?) newspapers are using them. My skin crawls when I read them. I can't really yell at any of them so here I am, yelling into the great void that is the interweb.

1. Irregardless.

So you disagree with something. You disagree regarding the mistreatment of animals/words/people. The suffix of "-less" provides the negation you need with regard to the subject. Adding "ir-" as a prefix does not oppose the subject like you have hoped for. It just turns the word into a non-existent word. Adding "ir" doesn't do anything. So just stop.

"Irregardless" is not a word, regardless of what you say.

See what I did there?

I know "irregardless" has been accepted as a word. This doesn't mean it's correct. Accepting it as a word because hordes of people use it incorrectly is just bowing to pressure. If I can get half the population on earth to say that 1 + 1 = 5, does that make it right? It must, since half the world thinks so.


Accepting it as a word means we've lost the war on standard English. If people think the word "irregardless" is valid, I dare them to use it in college essays, exams, business presentations and marketing brochures. Let's see what happens.


2. "Creme a la creme"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lipstick, mismatch and a whole waste of time and money.

What would you do when you finally decided to try something new, and when you did, it was all wrong for you?

I tried the nude lipstick. Of course it went downhill.

Enter the Letdown: Revlon ColorBurst in Soft Nude.

-- I didn't even take this picture because I was too disappointed to go near it ever again.

It looks beautiful, but it's just all sorts of wrong when it's on me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bringing home baby and bringing up baby - Part 1.

During my pregnancy, J and I had many discussions on how we are going to take care of the baby once he arrives. We both live away from family, and J still goes to sea so it is tricky for us as a new family.

-- Not a photo of our baby

We thought about infant care centres but I just feel so guilty and sad for our baby. Just barely 4 months old (that's how long maternity leave goes if I take everything at one go) and shipped off to daycare while J and I return to work. The thought of placing him in the care of complete strangers just doesn't sit well with us.

Since we ruled out infant care centres completely, some friends actually suggested that we leave the baby with my parents, who live in another country, while I rejoin the workforce. I bit my tongue at the idea, because what's the point of having a baby if we are going to send it to another country and only see him on the weekends for a few hours? J and I deeply oppose this suggestion as well.

The only other option we had was to hire a helper/nanny.




Friday, July 11, 2014

Saint Laurent has the sharpest suit.

Yves Saint Laurent, or just Saint Laurent now, has the sharpest and chicest suits. Hands down.

I know these are pictures from the past season but they are oh so chic! Black and white. Sharp tailoring. That's all fashion needs. 


I just feel like

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Makeup brushes for newbies like me and YouTube video guides.

I was almost running out of MAC when I bought my first bottle of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. I love it. More on why I love it later. The assistant said I should apply with a brush to get a more finished look, and that's how I ended up with the Chanel mini brush set. Sigh there goes my bank account again. Seriously, why am I not on Citibank's valued customer list is beyond me. They earn way too much from me every month.


-- Available at chanel.com

Anyway since the purchase I've been checking out videos and guides on how to apply foundation with a brush and everyone emphasises on the importance of good brushes. Good brushes from MAC and makeup brands cost an arm and leg! I'm too much of a novice to appreciate them so regular brushes will do for me.



Got a big bushy ecotool brush for all over powder.


I know it says blush brush but I'm going to use it for setting powder on my face anyway. :/ I usually dust translucent powder when I wear liquid foundation because I have oily skin and no amount of superior product will keep the shine away. Powder helps.


The brush looks big and fluffy doesn't it?

The Kate eyeliner is great but since I'm such a klutz at makeup it doesn't seem to do much for me. Hmmmmm... It's a fine tipped pen so it's easier for me to fix if I draw a mess.

I've watched enough Lisa Eldridge's videos to know that an angled brush (wrong name?) is great for applying blush. Like she explained, the little fan brush thingy that comes with the blush will probably put blush all over the cheeks instead of just the apples. Absolutely agree with that. I want to look fresh and rosy, not flushed and flustered.




So I bought a real, angled blush brush when I went to Korea! It's fabulous. It's from Nature Republic and only costs 5900won so that's maybe $7. The bristles are a little coarse but it's cheap and good enough for this makeup newb. I'll probably graduate to a more expensive/better brush when I'm better at applying makeup.

I've since gotten some brushes from the Sephora Professional range for concealing and they are very good! I'm still hopeless at eye makeup so that's a whole other set of brushes I don't need to get.

Now comes the big question. How do you clean these brushes? Don't think I should get the entire brush wet with soap. I know I have to wash them once a week but truthfully, I can't remember the last time I washed my makeup sponges. Eeek!

Thankfully there are videos on how to do everything on YouTube!

(Apparently shampoo does the trick!)


I have no patience for drama mamas.

I am exasperated by the antics of some people, and my patience runs pretty low for people who don't seem to want to help themselves.

S wants a drama-free life, where people are nice and things are predictable.
  • Then why on earth did she post provocative pictures on the net if all she wants is peace and quiet?
  • Why go out with losers non-winners who are married and "heading for divorce"? The non-winner said that a couple of years ago. S waited and gave up. Moved on to another similar non-winner.
  • Why is she taunting the deadbeat sperm donor of a father of her child? That's courting drama.

"omg he's stalking me!"

S: drive faster. He may be behind us.
Me: We're on the highway. We left without him knowing.

S: drive me to my doorstep. He may be waiting for me downstairs.
Me: But you stay in a condo with tight security. How can he get in?
S: He has his ways.

S thrives on the drama and attention. People are just feeding her needs. Don't put yourself in those situations if you want peace and quiet. Stop actively courting drama and then cry your sob stories to the world about how unfair fate has dealt you.

I'm just sooo tired of listening to her "sad" stories, I'm going to walk out of her drama filled life.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Zimmerman Roamer Day Dress and fighting the urge to impulse shop.

When Kate Middleton visited Australia, she wore this dress to Manly beach. It was simple, chic and everything I love.


Except for the price.

You and Me and a little birdy.

How adorable is this?!



J and I have been married for 4 years but I still squeal at all things wedding-y. I give J the "let's have this when we renew our vows" look and he just sighs, resigned to his fate. Hahaha that's us!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Electronic gadgets, rampant consumerism and the pollution we bring.

These days, electronics are built to last for 2 years, tops. I'm still using J's 1st generation iPad running iOS 5 and my old iPhone 3GS is going to be my mom's training phone.

My mom is afraid of technology, like most 60 something year old grandmas. She has trouble using the Blueray dvd player at home and she refuses to turn on the computer because she's worried about "breaking it".

I gave her my old iPhone, telling her that it's ok to break it because I can always just reset back to factory settings and restore her things from iCloud and it will be all ok again. She won't break it and spend money on a new phone. So right now, she's holding on to the phone and making calls over the network and FaceTime. Good times.

See, the latest updates are meant for newer versions of iPhones and iPads. By upgrading older versions of iPhones, we are making it worse. It is now slower than EVER to load any app, and battery life seems to go out the window. Apple used to promise quality products and updates. The tagline was "it just works." Now, it just works sometimes.

It is a business strategy to make something with a short lifespan. customers will be forced to buy a new phone every 1-2 years and that keeps mobile phone companies alive. Companies will not be able to make huge profits just by selling a top notch quality phone that lasts a lifetime.




-- The unbreakable Nokia.

However this is a very environmentally unfriendly move.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My first Les Exclusifs de Chanel.

Chanel Les Exclusifs. Absolutely one of the best fragrances I bought in years.


I've always had a soft spot for all things Chanel. Makeup, fragrance, designer bag and the little black jacket. I try to walk past Chanel every time I'm in town, just to have a peek at the newest things they have on display. Just search for Chanel on this little site and you'll kind of know how much I love Chanel.

My iPhone 4S takes blurry photos.

I guess I wasn't imagining things when I thought the camera on my iPhone 4S was taking crappy photos.

Like everyone else, I take lots of photos with my phone to share my life with family and friends around the world. It's one way we break down the barrier that is distance, and keep everyone updated and involved in our lives. I know what my sister-in-law is doing on her vacation in Cairns, and J knows I am having latte with biscuits. It feels like we were never apart.



-- Mmmm coffeeeeeeeee

Then iOS 7 came along and ruined everything.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Work and hell, tomato to-mato.

Found this gem 11 months after I drafted it.

When your day sucks and people are just driving you up the wall, remember not to tell them to go to hell.






Take a deep breath, grab a cuppa and think happy thoughts. Like your next vacation destination.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Things that go out the window when you have a baby - Part 1.

  1. Hygiene.
  2. Baby comes first. It's those times when you get drool, pee and the occasional poo on you.
  3. Me time.
  4. No more spa, facials or baths. Or sleep.
  5. Gourmet meals.
  6. Or normal meals. You eat leftovers from the previous meals so you don't have to cook.
  7. Sanity.
  8. Try walking around the house for ages, comforting a wailing child. While wearing a ratty home tshirt and wishing you could have a bath.
  9. Fashion sense.
  10. While it perks me up when I get washed and dressed, I don't stay pristine, especially in my white Calvin Klein silk top for long. I'm home all day with my hair up in a banana clip. Fashion forward I'll say.
  11. Romance.
  12. Pfft who has time or mood for that. It's nappies and tears from now on.
  13. Mini Cooper or any sort of convertible.
    The car seat won't fit! My friend had to open the roof of his Mini Cooper so they could fit the car seat and somehow stuff the stroller in the boot. Goodbye wind-in-my-hair coastal drive and the dream of owning a convertible before we retire.
  14. Chic home.
    Again with the baby things all over the unit. I had this conversation last night with K. She was musing about her grandma, who has devolved from an OCD homemaker who couldn't stand a single out of place towel to one who lives like a bag lady because she has things all over the apartment within reach. Think tissue box, soothing balm and remote control on her coffee table next to her drinking glass. The odd rubber bands and paper clips next to the telephone "just in case" she needs them.

    Yeah my place looks like that now. In fact I have tissue boxes everywhere to manage the Baby's drool.

The list goes on, but this is all I can come up with my sleep deprived mind. Yawns.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Beautiful homes, practical living and home envy.

Whenever I feel blah, I browse through Flipboard, blog sites and online magazines for inspiration. It's pure escapism. Beautiful people and beautiful places. Now that we have a baby, it is hard to let go of our dream home where bring sunlight shines into the home with chic furnishing casually lying around the house.


How is this possible? Bright sun, lovely furnishing, chic pillows. I get a serious case of home envy when I chance upon beautiful home decors and diy and whatever it is that people do to make their homes look fit for a magazine shoot. Chic vignettes, candles and peonies.

See, my room doesn't look like this.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Being with the baby and J goes off to work.

It's our sixth day at home without J and boy is the house quiet, besides the occasional gurgle from The Baby.

When J was home, we always seemed busy. Coffees at cafés, lunches at malls, idle strolls around the supermarkets and shops (because it's cool for the baby) and the numerous playtimes J had with The Baby. 


Now that he's at work, it is just the 2 of us.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Our first Father's Day and our papa bear.

It's Father's Day today and J flew off for work early this morning around 1am.

It is J's first Father's Day and when we knew he had to leave for work, we were extremely upset. We went out for little treats all last week and I wish we could have made it special for him. 

J has been a wonderful father to The Baby. He took long leave from work and stayed home with me since January. We went for all my checkups together and waited nervously for the little one's arrival.  He was there to snip the cord and make little one's first footprint. He stayed up at night to rock The Baby to sleep, an woke up when The Baby fussed and changed his nappy. J has been my rock.


Now that he's off to work, I feel isolated and lonely at home. It's me and The Baby, and we both miss our Papa Bear. 

Happy Father's Day, J. We love you more than anything in the world. We'll stay well for the next 5 weeks and time will pass so quickly and before we know it, you will be home with us again.

Love you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Skin care and scaring the baby.

Now that I'm chair/baby bound most of the day, I've been thinking of upping my skincare routine.


My face has never looked clearer. I have spots but they are mostly around my jawline. The face is clear and a little dehydrated. Clear skin hasn't happened since mmm pre-puberty. It could be the readjustment of hormones post childbirth but I'll try and hang on to this for as long as I can.

(Actually at the time of this post, which is a full 2 months after I drafted it, I have full blow dry skin now. Face, arms, legs.. everywhere. So dry that I'm peeling and cracking. Ughhhhhh.)

So this brings us to the key question: can I sit around with a face mask on without scaring the baby?

Monday, June 09, 2014

Falling in love with Jo Malone again.

I love Jo Malone.


I love the power of scents and fragrance. The sense of smell is a powerful sense and often overlooked. For me, it triggers sentiment and affects my mood and behavior. It's like hugging your baby pillow, and the smell calms and comforts you. The shopping malls that understand this and add scents to their air conditioners often get my business. The smell of freshness and calm, especially in this hot and humid climate of ours, is refreshing. I instantly feel better when I step through the door, which is why I hardly frequent other malls nowadays.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Me time and the time to refresh.

"My hair feels funky and I'm a mess. What do you think?"

"Maybe a haircut and a wash will do you good."

So yup, I actually got an honest answer from a man that I needed professional help. So I booked an appointment with Rebecca, my trusty hairdresser whom I've been going to since 2007. Well I didn't see her for a year when I was prego so I badly needed a trim. Nothing wrong with my long locks, and I could definitely rock a tennis player ponytail. I could keep the long locks tied up in a bun, but that would probably contribute to hair loss and that's a problem I didn't want to aggravate. It's time to get a fresh look, to get out of the house.



YouTube rant and the loss of privacy.

Why can't I embed YouTube videos from my iPhone? I'm practically chained to an infant who will only sleep when he's sprawled over my body, rendering me immobile because I can't deal with a wailing child. I can only move my fingers when he's asleep and this is the only free time I have to pen my thoughts, coherent or otherwise. 

And the new YouTube app on iPhone sucks big time. I want to watch popular videos when my infant sleeps. Again on the can't-move-freely constraint. I want to watch something that is deemed interesting by the world, similar to the "top viewed/ most watched" category from the old YouTube. Now I'm stuck with videos people on the island watch most, and what's worse, YouTube recommends the most asinine videos and channels. Seriously I feel dumber and angrier everytime I launch the app. 

Plus, the whole signing in thing reeks of privacy invasion. It's like going to the supermarket and the staff who stocks the shelves wants you to fill in your oarticulars to shop better. Hey I just want to buy the milk and bread and leave. Or just buy the newest product you have without your recommendation. I'm a wildcard like that. Why do you need my particulars? It's just very Big Brother-esque and I just don't buy it.

I want to watch videos without signing in. I don't want to customize or come up with a playlist just to watch videos. How hard is that?

YouTube/google people, fix this.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Big 10 Month Gap.


Wow has it been 10 months since? Well a lot have changed around here.

I have a newborn baby now and I've taken the rest of the year off. Wheeeeeeeee!

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