Thursday, December 29, 2011

The amazing lavender hair oil

I've come full circle with hair products and I've finally returned to using the trusted Oshima Tsubaki Camilia Oil for my hair.

A couple of years ago, I wrote about Oshima Tsubaki Camilia Oil and I loved it so much. I've since tried many products, including the famed The Moroccan Oil but nothing seems to work as well as the Camilia Oil. So in the spirit of my current mission to de-clutter (will tell you more about it soon, it's a project that is potentially laughable), I've junked all the lousy hair product rejects that's been sitting in a corner and pushed the trusty Camilia Oil on the pedestal. But this time with a twist.

The Oshima Tsubaki Camilia Oil is odorless and to make using it more pleasurable, I've blended in pure Lavender essential oil to make it smell divine and infuse an extra boost of goodness from Lavender.

There are many different grades of essential oil and a lot in the market are meant for diffusing with a burner and not suitable for applying to the skin. So when choosing essential oils for cosmetic purposes, go for the quality therapeutic grade type. It's a lot more expensive but it's worth the quality.

I use Lavender essential oil from Young Living. Young Living does amazing essential oils that's 100% pure and free from chemical. The Lavender oil they produce is so pure you can use it as food supplement and flavoring.

For my amazing Lavender Camilia Hair Oil, I added 24 drops to 40ml of Camilia oil and viola! Camilia Hair Oil with the lovely smell and nourishing properties of Lavender oil!

A note of caution when using Camilia oil; please use sparingly as it's very rich. For shoulder length hair, you probably need just one drop for the hair ends and two drops max. You can apply it either on damp or dry hair. I use about 3 drops on dry hair after blow dry and it keeps my ends moisturized and sleek.

Another way I like to use it is to apply more to the lower half of my hair half an hour before shampooing. I'll put about 6 to 8 drops so that it's a little greasy. Let it sink in and absorb for half an hour or as long as you can before shampooing and conditioning your hair as usual. The result is soft, nourished and manageable hair! Lovely!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Active Serum

I'm experiencing a skin crisis!

Following the major disappointment and chin zits outbreak from the evil Lancome Visionnaire, I have to retract my previous review where I said the Visionnaire is an alright product. It is NOT. The Lancome Visionnaire is total rubbish! It is supposed to create beautiful skin blah blah blah but it did the exact opposite! It has caused major breakout and I've never had so much zit on my face even when I was in my teens. We're talking about serious zits, those deep embedded acne type where they don't go away and wouldn't pop and heal.

After reading Visionaire's ingredient list, I suspect its mineral oil, a big no no in skin care, is the cause of my break out. Google its review and you'll see there are some women who experienced break out too. My chin is now marred with some serious zits and my forehead has got a couple. It's tragic.

Cue iS Clinical Active Serum to the rescue!! With the amazing result of the iS Clinical Advance+ Serum, I've gone back to using iS Clinical products. To save my messed up skin thanks to the bloody lousy shit of Lancome Visionnaire, I'm trying the iS Clinical Active Serum this time instead because anti-acne is one of its three main properties.

Other than fixing acne, the Active Serum delivers anti-aging and brightening benefits. It supposed to reduce wrinkles, pigmentation and acne while refining the skin texture. Its potent mix of ingredients include sugar cane, bilberry, white willow bark, arbutin, and Kojic acid. Sounds pretty promising, and according to my aesthetic doctor friend, the Active Serum has an exfoliating effect and it's perfect for applying after toning and before other skincare products as it would prep the skin for proper absorption.

Again, iS Clinical product has proven to be the bee's knees and the Active Serum delivers exactly what it's supposed to! I've used it for less than 2 weeks and the results are rapid like it promises. First up, my zits heal really quickly. Small zits went away pretty swiftly and it tackles those deeply embedded ones too. It would normally take more than a month for those deep acne to go away cos they'll usually go stagnant and not budge. With the Active Serum, it went down remarkably overnight. They didn't disappear of course but they were a lot less swollen the next day and the healing process was at least twice as fast! What I do is, on top of applying about 6 drops all over the face, I massage a tiny amount onto the zit itself and that does the trick.

I can't speak for its anti-wrinkle properties since I haven't got much wrinkles, but I can vouch for its anti-acne result which has been stellar. My pores also got more refined too and it's simply brilliant! I'm now a 100% iS Clinical products convert and I can't wait to try the rest of the range! I might just use the remaining Lancome on my feet. Thank god I didn't buy the big bottle of that cow dung!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Notable Quotable

‎"Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves." 

-- Pema Chodron

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Watch this!

Lovely! Wish I could be as spirited as Agnes Varda at age 80 if I'm still alive at that age. Now I just gotta try and get the dvd on Amazon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

To be happier....

1. Count your blessings  2. Give thanks, even to the small things  3. Be zen and don't sweat over small things  4. Forgive. Don't hold on to anger  5. Exercise! Endorphins = Happy Hormones  6. Be charitable. Do good, feel good. Give more, expect less  7. Sleep more  8. Focus on what you have, not what you lack  9. Live simply. Discover the joy of less  10. Choose the good people in life. Real Friends 1: Frenemies 0. Cut out toxic people  11. Make peace with your past/bad experiences/issues. Let them be your perfect teacher. Look forward   12. Be in the moment. BE HERE NOW  13. Be kind to YOURSELF (many people aren't)  14. See the +ve in things, situations and people. Don't be a Negative Nelly   15. Eat healthy. You are what you eat. Bad food=bad health=miserable  16. SMILE and breathe deeply. Exhale bad vibes  17. Don't harp on the bad things. Let them go  18. Be in healthy relationships. If you're in a toxic one, you'll know. Acknowledge it. Thank it. Get out of it  19. Be self-sufficient  20. Spend enough ME TIME with yourself. Solitude can be therapeutic  21. Be debt free. Debt=Financial stress  22. Love yourself. Remember that nobody is perfect. Accept your flaws, highlight your strengths, enjoy being you  23. Detox. Detox your body, detox your space (aka de-clutter), detox your people  24. Reflect often. Remember the things that matter  25. Choose Happiness. Happiness isn't an outcome or good luck. Happiness is a choice. Guard yours with all your might!

Image from The Minimalists

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lancome Visionnaire

The Lancome Visionnaire was launched as a miracle in a gorgeous blue bottle. It made some serious headlines in the beauty world when it first came out, claiming that over half the women who used it chose to delay lasers, fillers and peels. A claim so big and powerful that probably warrants its own shrine with daily offerings of fresh lit candles.

So I got a bottle. How not to? With claims that's very much an exclamation marks galore!!!!!! Its secret sauce is the geeky sounding LR 2414 4% that's dubbed the breakthrough molecule responsible for smoothing wrinkles, refining pores, and correcting sun damage. It supposedly recreates beautiful skin. The product blurb gushes “Much more than a wrinkle-corrector, Lancôme's first skincare capable of fundamentally recreating more beautiful skin.”

I've been using this for about 3 weeks now and here's my advice to the  Lancome marketing peeps: Let your product speak for itself and never hype up your products way too much.

As you can deduced, I'm not entirely thrilled. That's the problem with an over-hyped product; it got our expectation way too high. This isn't a horrid product. The texture is comfortable and easily absorbed but I don't see visible improvements or magical results. After 3 weeks (2 pumps every time), my skin doesn't feel much different. It's a little bit more even-toned but that's something many other products can deliver and I've seen better results with other cheaper products. So no, I don't experience much other than a very slight improvement in skin tone and I'm a bit disappointed as I was expecting more from this.

The worst part is that, yes, the skin seems marginally more evenly-toned but I'm breaking out around the chin area and I'm someone who don't normally get zits! And these are deep zits; those painful ones that don't go away easily! I honestly suspect the Visionnaire has something to do with the zits as I googled for some reviews and there are quite a lot of women who got zits from it. Let's hope it isn't the case but if the zits aren't going away, I'm throwing it out of the window and cry blue murder. 

Another thing I really don't like about the product, or most Lancome products for that matter, is the smell. Yes, I love nice smelling things but Visionnaire has a very strong smell reminiscent of men's deodorant that's very artificial. That's my personal preference of course and I'm sure there're other people who would appreciate the scent.

Then it also got me thinking that if this is Lancome's bee's knees of an anti-aging serum, does that render their other magic sauce Genifique Youth Activator not as good? The sales person said to use both. BOTH? Sorry, but I don't think so.

So the verdict is, it's not a bad product but it didn't do magic for me like it claims it would. Perhaps I'm just one of those whose skin didn't benefit from Visionnaire as I've seen quite a lot of positive reviews online. I doubt I'll buy it again unless my skin suddenly got so damn good within the next 2 weeks. iS Clinical Super Serum is still my favourite and once I'm done with Visionnaire, I'm definitely crawling back to iS Clinical with my tail tucked between my legs, all ready for the imaginary "I told you so!".

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yoga 2.0

I'm back on the mat. After a 5-year hiatus, I've somehow found my way back on the mat again and this time, it's so much more mellowed, and a hell lot better.

Yoga was introduced to me in my teens by my cool aunt, after an ankle injury forced me to detour from doing classical ballet the professional route. I was given a copy of the original Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar in its orange cover with Iyengar illustrating all the fascinating bendy poses.

What started as my rehab got all serious when I hit my early twenties. The perfect post-yoga mental calm was just what I needed at that time; an effective antidote to the mental stress brought on by a constant existential crisis and an avalanche of bad romantic situations. It was an hour and a half of Ashtanga before sun rise and an hour and a half of Iyengar for alignment at night, six days a week, with a subscription of Yoga Journal and a shelf full of yoga books thrown in no less.

Then came the teacher training course of almost 2 years and yoga trips in India at Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai and Sri Pattahbis Jois in Pune, completed with the infamous "Delhi Belly" for 2 weeks post-India (strange cos I thought I would get it during India). Next, I found myself studying the Vedas, The Yoga Sutra, The Bhagavad Gita and Vedantic text, all of which now covered in dust on my bookshelves. I was so devoted I could write in Sanskrit the entire opening prayer of Ashtanga yoga which I made myself learn by dictation.

It was hardcore. Yoga was me. I lived, breathed, ate, talked yoga and even dated a yoga teacher (who turned out to be a big mistake!). Then, came subbing in for a couple of Ashtanga classes at On The Mat (now defunct, used to be at Robertson Walk) before teaching 5 classes a week while holding a job in a luxury company.

That completely ruined it. Teaching yoga was fun for the first couple of weeks. I loved my yoga practice but hated teaching. The whole "Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work for the rest of your life" is a complete farce for me. Instead of doing my practice in a 6am Mysore class, I was teaching, adjusting my students in different stages of their "pretzel-ness" when all I really wanted is just to do my own practice. Led classes were even more tedious, with the constant need to give out instructions on the asanas, watching everyone and correcting them. My dream job turned out to be a complete drudgery and it was a disappointment I couldn't understand.

First the teaching stopped and slowly, over a period of a year or so, my 6 days a week routine whittled down to drips and drabs before drying down to nothingness. I have no idea how it happened. I traded yoga for Power Plate training and pole dancing but despite being physically fitter and stronger, something's missing.

Then, some weeks back, I clutched my mat and went back to the yoga studio I started out at over a decade ago and then I feel home again.

This time, gone are the obsession and addiction of using yoga as a form of escape and respite from my troubles, it feels so much more mellowed. Yoga used to bring me peace in the 20s but for the simple reason that I wasn't at peace with myself then, my dependence on yoga manifested into a somewhat toxic reliance on it. It was too serious, too intense and it burnt out.

Now that I'm a lot more at peace with things, yoga brings new perspectives, new joy and new teachings. There's no gripping, no stress, no pressure. The way yoga should be.


Wonderful World

Beautiful and breathtaking! David Attenborough and the documentary makers are such amazing bunch! I'm always amazed by the patience and hardship of making documentaries in extreme conditions. Happy Friday folks!

But just don't watch the part where the animals get killed for food or polar bear cub got missing and died. Don't say I never warn you! I was mildly traumatized watching the full version....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Notable Quotable

"Some people never go crazy. 

What truly horrible lives they must lead."

-Charles Bukowski

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Accidental Purchase

I'm very accident prone when it comes to accidentally buying stuff. I was merely accompanying my colleague to Rock Star to get a pair of Toms shoes during lunch today and I walked out with a  river stone and brass necklace from The Vamoose.

The Vamoose pieces are all handmade by brand owner, Kathryn Blackmore, in the UK with natural stones. Awesome designs great for layering! I wish they have more stocks and designs at Rock Star but you can always order online. I might just get the hammered brass necklace too cos it's so pretty!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December Muse

OMG, it's December! This year, there's no going back home for Christmas for me cos I've started a new job and I didn't expect to feel so lousy not going home for festive :( But it's okay cos I guess it makes me value the time with them more. Anyway, here's a delayed December Muse....been so damn busy! I'm looking forward to the much much-needed long Christmas weekend!

Reading: November Issue of Monocle...yes, I'm a laggard cos it's already December but I simply had no time to read at all! So I'm reading the back issue cos it's an issue on food. Not just gourmet food but supermarket grocer, fast food (MOS Burger made it to Monocle) etc etc...

Listening to: The Best of Vanessa Paradis....Love the easy listening and soothing girlie voice. Perfect for the rainy weather of December. She's definitely one of my favorite celebrities! LOVE!

Drinking: Clipper Organic Chamomile tea with lemon balm and honey. Comfort in a cup...again, perfect for rainy days and it's soooo delicious and immensely satisfying. Definitely one of the many simple joys in life.

Wearing: Lululemon City to Yoga jacket. I'm supposed to not buy any Lululemon stuff cos I've got enough but when I saw this cute jacket with nice scallop edges and a peplum, I couldn't resist. It's super comfy and warmer than the usual Define Jacket. Didn't experience any buyer's regret at all!

Versace for H&M red dress. I call this the Superman dress cos it comes with a cape and my lovely friend snatched one for me. It's in my book, the classiest piece in the collection. I haven't worn it cos I need to get past the chili red colour since I've never been a red person but I think I'll wear this for Christmas dinner or something. Fits perfectly and very comfy fabric.

Using: Lancome Visionaire Serum. It contains LR 2412 and in plain English, it means it's supposed to give you good skin with finer texture, smaller pores, improved pigmentation and reduced fine lines. Fact or fiction? I can't say yet cos I've just started using and I'll write a review a little later. Right now I can only say that the texture is good and light since it absorbs very quickly but as with all Lancome products, I hate the heavy scent that's artificial.....this one unfortunately smells like men's deodorant. I wish Lancome can go easy on the smell. I like nice smelling stuff but I hate smells that's too artificial, especially for stuff I put on my face.

Loving: OPI Rainbow Connection. This is just so awesome! I don't care if it's a total bitch to remove it but I love the colours and the metallic look. Goes with everything and I actually have a matching Ante Prima wire bag for the colors!

Dogeared Emerald Jade necklace.  It's simple and so pretty. I still haven't got sick of it and I don't think I will. I love the green and gold combination.

Waiting for: Toms Wedges. I've been wearing Toms classic for awhile and I wasn't sure whether to get the wedges when they first came out due to the mixed reviews, but I couldn't resist and got a black pair and it's on the way to me. I'll let you know if it hurts my feet or if it's the best thing after slice bread when it's here.

Wishing for: Better welfare for all the animals in the world, great health for my loved ones &Mr Bond, and more compassion and kindness.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Separation Anxiety

We're hardly like peanut butter and jelly. Tom & Jerry or Itchy & Scratchy might be closer to reality. We fight with each other, scream at each other, drive each other crazy, subject each other to the whole cold shoulder treatment, but we always make up. Angry words are always forgiven and shouting matches quickly forgotten (well, usually at least). Such is my relationship with my mom; an amazing one in fact.

I see my mother once every few months when she flies in for her month-long sojourn, a couple of times a year. A somewhat permanent arrangement that has started over a decade ago. She comes and goes like a seasonal migrating bird and that's the drill. Although it's one that I never quite get used to.

So human beings and animals alike are programmed to get used to things. You do the same thing all the time over some months, or some say 21 days, and it becomes a habit. Repeat that over a couple of years and it'll be like second nature. Only that for my mommy situation here, I simply don't get used to her leaving after every month-long stay. Sixteen years and counting, I say hello to separation anxiety every time I bid my mommy goodbye. Every time she goes, the fiercely independent grown up who could effectively change light bulbs turns into the same homesick whiny teen 16 years ago. I get moody. I get emotional. I get homesick. You get the drift.

This morning when I left for work, I'm that whiny moody adolescent all over again, only that it seems more acute this time. Of course some things in life you really don't get used to but I blame this heightened sense of separation anxiety on aging. The fact that I've grown much older to be reminded of the fact that our time together on this earth is limited; that I've matured enough to really appreciate my mom for who she is and what she's done for me; that I've been living by myself long enough to cherish the company of my own mother; and that I relish that sense of security for the simple reason that she's my mom.

So yes, I'm somewhat moody now because I miss my mom tremendously. 世上只有妈妈好Translation: Mom's the only great thing in the world. Yes, really. Even when she drives me up the wall at times. I love my mom!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Feel Good Supply

"It's too short!"....That's my answer to the standard "How's your weekend?"....Hopefully the lovely tea would make office a wee bit more bearable. Heavy week ahead!
  • Pukka Cleanse, Organic tea with Nettle, Fennel and Peppermint
  • Clipper Chamomile with Lemon Balm & Manuka Honey
  • Dr Bronner's Rose Magic Soap
  • Dr Bronner's Organic Hand Sanitizer

Friday, December 02, 2011

Beagle Freedom Project

I just have to post this wonderful video. The Beagle Freedom Project has a mission to rescue beagles that are caged up for animal testing in laboratories. All of these dogs spent their entire lives in a small cage and the Beagle Freedom Project helps rescue them before putting them up for adoption.

This beautiful clip documented the first time these beagles get to enjoy freedom. It's so heartwarming and I sincerely hope that one day, there'll be no more animal testing. All I want for Christmas this year is a cruelty-free life for every animal that roams the Earth.....

Notable Quotable

"I don't care what you think about me. I don't think of you at all"

-- Coco Chanel

Oh how I love this quote cos it's my kinda of quote...especially to nasty backstabbers/frenemies/jealous peeps etc....fabulous! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Home made cat food

I've been a responsible "mother cat" to my Mr Bond. Since taking him to the famed Dr Jean Paul Ly who specializes in nutrition and natural therapy, I've been making homemade wholesome pet food for my furry boy after hearing Dr Ly's lecture on the evilness of commercial pet food.
Now if pet food and nutrition bores you, you might want to skip this post. I'm it's gonna be a somewhat long one on it and I feel the need to do my duty and spread the homemade pet food gospel.
After doing my own extensive research online and speaking with my Aussie friend who's also a vet who advocate homemade raw food, I'm so abhored by the shitty and harmful commercial pet food that I feel the need to do a post on it so whoever read my post with pets might benefit. I mean I'll have to try right? I only wish I had known this earlier and started Mr Bond on good decent food. I try to stop kicking myself for being ignorant until now!
To spare you the eye damage of reading pages after pages of reports and research on why commercial pet food is bad, here's the gist of it:
  • Commercial pet food brands care more about their profit margins than your pets' health. I mean after all, it's a business and they need to make money
  • Low quality ingredients are used in commercial pet food. When they say it's chicken meal, you get chicken parts like feathers (seriously), becks and feet thrown in and that probably make up the biggest bulk since it's cheaper than the real meat parts of the chicken. The same goes for other types of meat
  • Dry food is the worst as they're always processed in high temperature for a prolonged period and all the nutrients are destroyed in the cooking process. Not to mention the amount of preservatives added as it's meant to keep over a long period of time
  • Dry kibbles all have artificial flavors and additives added so that it's tasty to your pets and pets always get addicted to it. Some pets are so addicted that they wouldn't eat anything else. It's the same way some humans are addicted to bad junk food or soda sugared drinks. If your pets are addicted, you don't change brand and they get more profits
  • Dry kibbles have been the main cause for an increase in urinary and kidney diseases in animals. Wet food is better but they, too, are processed in high temperature and their nutrients are gone and protein denatured
  • The evilness of commercial pet food affects cats more compared to dogs as cats are biologically pure carnivore. It means they should be having a very high protein diet (at least 80%) and their bodies aren't meant to digest grains (carbs) and vegetable. Doing so means health issues like diabetes, obesity and kidneys issues etc. Commercial dry food often use plant protein to cut cost since it's cheaper and a lot of feline dry food is nothing but "meat flavored cereal" and it is known to cause kidney diseases and urinary problems that can be lethal
  • A lot of vets push commercial pet food saying it's healthy and optimal but do you know that a lot of these commercial pet food companies actually sponsor and produce education materials for vetinerarian studies???? Very smart of them to brain wash vets
Okay, this is just the gist of it and it's by no means all. Far from it in fact. So with Mr Bond being plagued by urinary problems (one bladder stones removal surgery already) and kidney stones (small ones that got recently discovered), I'm not taking any chance and I'm making homemade cat food good enough for my own consumption (minus the seasoning of course). If I won't eat it, I won't feed it. And here's the recipe that even Mr Bond, the finicky and fussy eater, would eat:
  • Minced LEAN chicken meat. Please remove skin if you're mincing your own meat
  • Pumpkin and brown rice (organic if possible and you can replace pumpkin with carrots or broccoli and even dou miao, but never put onion, garlic and grapes as they are toxic to cats)
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Vitamin E oil (buy the ones in capsulated oil form and you can then squeeze it in)
  • Multi vitamin for your pet (I recommend Life Extension Cat/Dog Mix)
I don't have the exact measurement of it cos Dr Ly told me that it's not that strict but keep in mind that it has to be mainly protein, so I'm doing a 80% protein and 20% veggie and carbs. However, cats with kidney problems would have to take in less protein and I would recommend doing perhaps 50% protein, but check with your vet first.
To make it, it's quite easy breezy. Cook brown rice as how you would cook rice. One cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Simple but make sure you cook the rice well and it's all soft and not half cooked etc. Then cut the pumpkin in chunks and blanch it in boiling water for a while until it's a bit soft but not mushed up. Next, throw both into a food blender and blend into small tiny bits.
Once that's done, mix it with the meat according to the nutritional needs of your cat as mentioned earlier (check with vet if you're unsure). I do a 80% meat and 20% veggie. Add in a tea spoon of flax seed oil and a few drops of vitamin E (2 or 3 drops is fine and not too much cos it's got a bit of bitter taste) per 100g or so. Mix well.
Then group them in small servings that you would feed per meal (I feed about 100g a day, 100g is suitable for cats. For dogs, check with vet), freeze them in the freezer for 3 days. You can clump them into meat balls and cling wrap them before freezing. Freezing the meat for 72 hours would kill off any potential parasites but in general, the meat you get from the super market is pretty safe to begin with.
To feed, take one out and defrost IN THE FRIDGE. It'll take about 8 to 10 hours for a solid lump of frozen meat to defrost nicely in the fridge. So it it out at night to defrost over night so it's in time for the morning and defrost one in the morning so it's in time for night. You get the drift. And here comes the most important part.
It's supposed to be fed raw. Yes, RAW. Raw food diet is the best as both cats and dogs are biologically built to digest raw meat. It's how nature intend it to be. RAW. If they're in the wild, they'll eat their meat raw and cats would hunt for small mice and they eat them raw. According to Dr Ly's over 30 years of veterinarian experience, the healthiest and longest living pets are those who were/are fed raw food diet. I wouldn't elaborate more but do your own research and you'll find out that raw is really the best way to go.
Initially, to help with the switch, you can blanch it a little in boiling water so it's cooked on the outside and raw on the inside. After that, mix in a scoop of multi vitamin and you're ready to serve.
To help transition your kitty to new food, raw one especially, slowly switch over by adding a bit into the current food and slowly adding more over a period until it becomes totally acceptable. Mr Bond was relatively open to it and it took him about 2 weeks to transition fully to raw food.
Once your kitty accepts raw food, to warm up the meat, just cling wrap (use the microwave cling wrap) the meat and put the whole thing in hot water before feeding.
Now, one important note is to discard leftover raw food after you leave it out for an hour. Given the weather here, you don't want to leave it out too long.
It's really easier than it sounds. I really enjoy making cat food these days and I make it once every 2 weeks. Mr Bond has been on it for a little more than a month now and I could see that he's peeing better as raw meat provides more water content which is essential and very crucial for cats with urinary and bladder problems. He's due for a review in about a month's time and I'll then get to know more about how he's doing with the new diet.
If you're interested to switch your furry buddies to healthy homemade diet, please do more research and read more and check with your vets before making the swtich!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marni for H&M

Oh hallelujah! Marni for H&M in March! Overnight queue alert! I hope my buddy still works at H&M next March!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rainbow Connection

Sometimes all it takes is just a nice name for successful marketing. A self-proclaimed muppets fan whose childhood songs included The Rainbow Connection, it's illegal for me to not own the OPI Rainbow Connection from the Muppets Holiday Collection!
It's pretty festive with multi colour glitters and I'm gonna wear it solid. The trick is to paint it with a dabbing movements to deposit all the glitters so they fully pave the nails before sealing it with a thick layer of top coat. I love the metallic look it gives and I absolutely LOVE IT! It's very bling!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

I don't eat Turkey (or meat in general) but I think Turkey Day aka Thanksgiving trumps Christmas.So while eating my Tofurky (aka tofu turkey) with cranberry sauce, here are the things I'm thankful for (an abridged version of course):
  • A roof over my head, enough food to keep me nourished, warm comfy bed (with high thread-count egyptian cotton sheets no less!), and great aircon
  • Hot showers on demand (I know how it's like to have no water for days while being stuck in the lethal Typhoon Morakat in 2009)
  • Relatively good health
  • Family, despite not having them around all the time. I love my parents and sister despite at times we drive each other crazy
  • Having a good upbringing and education my folks gave me
  • The amazing Mr Bond. The best cat ever whom I love to bits
  • My awesome boyfriend who's also my bff
  • The fact that I have a new job that pays better
  • Lovely friends
  • Grey's Anatomy (but I'm angry the next episode is only 3 Jan 2012! Argh cliff hanger woes)
  • NW Tabloid...sorry, but I love my tabloids
  • Accidentally discovered I actually have a $500 travel allowance every month today! Woohoo!
  • Having a fabulous bag collections and a decent wardrobe
And last but not least.....
  • For all the evil people/frenemies/assholes/busy comfort cabs/nay sayers/shit experiences in my life cos they're life's best teachers
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This is love....

One of the most amazing love stories that put most heterosexual couples to utter shame....this IS love....

Friday, November 18, 2011

Decked for the weekend

Weekend stash:
-New Weekly (sorry, I'm addicted to tabloids, if the stars get $20million a movie, I want their privacy)
-Gossip Girl
-Grey's Anatomy (OMG OMG I LOVE, LOVE it!!!)

Gonna be a stay-in weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mid Week Perk Me Up

I accidentally bought a necklace. Technically, this isn't a new necklace because I've had the same necklace in another stone but I lost it and so, I'm REPLACING it. So again, technically, I didn't really buy stuff, I merely replaced. 
To say that I've had a crazy week would be an understatement considering I was so busy I didn't have time to pee till 4pm on Monday. The crazy week would be spilling over to the weekend too as I have the misfortune of being mobilized at work this Saturday. Pretty full on for the second week of my new gig. Right at the deep end of the pool but I'm actually swimming fine! Despite the ridiculous rush and madness, I'm thriving on the adrenaline rush cos time passes real fast! Before you know it, it's time to go home! So I deserve a necklace! 

And hello my jade Healing Gem necklace from Dogeared, one of my favorite brands of affordable accessories from the US. I love it's super simple with just a drop of jade (available in many other stones as well as in sterling silver too). Perfect for layering but it's equally beautiful when it's worn alone too. I had so much problem sticking to just buying one but the green and gold combination makes it pop. 
The number one peril of working in town is compulsive shopping! What was supposed to be an innocent trip to follow my colleague to pick up something ended up with me getting a new Dogeared necklace. I'll need to be a hell lot more disciplined these days. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

On all things cute & kiddy

I have a lot lip balms. So many that my collection of lip balm should be a singular noun to indicate its un-countability.  Tube, tin, tub, strawberry, mint, gloss, organic. You name it, I have it. Possibly enough to supply a village truckload full of people.

I've vowed not to buy another one but I simply couldn't resist this limited edition Ettusais Lip Essence with The Little Twin Stars! This is an awesome lip balm which has always been one of my many favourites (read more on my previous post), so it's okay. It's justifiable. I can leave it at my work desk cos I need one at work. I'm sure there's some research out there that has shown employees with no lip balm at desk get less bonus. So yes, off to the cashier it went.

Well, I don't exactly need it but I just want The Little Twin Stars! I mean, hello! It's The Little Twin Stars! Not just random boring nondescript Ettusais Lip Essence but one with The Little Twin Stars on it!

Like most XX-chromosomed Asians, it's in my DNA to love all things cute, especially Japanese characters from Sanrio's entourage of cuteness personified. So yes, I've loved Hello Kitty and The Little Twin Stars unabashedly since age five and I don't see sign of it changing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those freak adults who carry Hello Kitty bag, wear pink Hello Kitty tee shirt with purple bobby pins in my hair but I do like a small cutesy items here and there. A Hello Kitty note pad or key chain for the office keys or perhaps a small cute Little Twin Stars pouch to hold the tampons. Something like that. You get the drift. While friends have grown out of these cute and kiddy things, the compulsion to gravitate towards cutesy stuff is still in me, completely intact.

Being denied of cute kiddy stuff as a child while the rest of my peers had cool Hello Kitty and Sanrio everything, it doesn't take a shrink to tell that childhood deprivation drives my obsession. But another reason that I still do, sometimes excessively, is simply because these cute stuff reminds me of the time when things were simple and when I was easily satisfied with small things.

Childlike, not childish, I would tell whoever grimaced at my cute purchase. We're all supposed to grow up and be an adult and yes we all did, didn't we? After all, we've gone through the growing pains of bitchy high school days, some broken hearts, and perhaps occasional sleep nights of freaking out over credit card debts. So we all qualify to say that we have all grown in some ways. But then whatever happened to those little things that used to make us happy and thrilled? What the hell happened to the days when a chocolate ice cream or a devilishly big slice of Sara Lee pound cake used to be such a treat that you savored it like it's the best thing in the world? What about that thrill of having a new fancy scented erase? How about your good old teddy bear sitting forlornly in the corner of the room that you used to cuddle to sleep? What? You threw it away? How could you? You used to love it so much didn't you?

The magic is gone! What the hell happened?

But you know what? Cute things remind me of those days. The days when I got thrilled and all butterflied over what I take for granted these days. Go look at The Little Twin Stars, Hello Kitty, Miffy et all. They're all happy, chirpy, nothing bad ever happens, and that once magical feeling is back in a utopia of cuteness.

I'm not about to give them up because I've lost so many little things that used to light up my face and in my pensive mood, I mourn for their demise every now and then.

The innocent tube of The Little Twin Stars lip balm made me smile. So no, it's not JUST another lip balm. It's THE Little Twin Stars lip balm and it is quite a big deal! And I'm relieved that it still has that effect on me and I haven't entirely lost .

Friday, November 11, 2011



I've just started a new job and have been kinda busy and thus the lack of posts!

Meanwhile, I've picked up a new hobby and it's making homemade raw pet food. Yes, I'm saying goodbye to the evil commercial pet food that's actually harmful to our furry companion pets after speaking with the super awesome vet Jean Paul Ly who specializes in animal nutrition, and much research later, I'm sold that homemade RAW pet food is the best way to go. Evil profit-oriented pet food companies are probably gonna burn in hell scooping animal poo next time for all the horrible and unhealthy pet food they produce for our furry friends!

But yes, I'm actually having fun making pet food every week for my lovely cat Mr Bond! And seeing him eat up my concoction has been such a rewarding feeling! Will do a post on pet food soon cos I feel obliged to spread the healthy pet food gospel a little!

Now stay tuned!

Friday, November 04, 2011

I don't want your life

"Because I don't want your life. It isn't good enough. "

That's exactly what I would say tonight when nosy distant relatives ask me why I'm not married or haven't popped the 2.5 kids.

With the big ass reunion dinner pending, I'm dreading to rekindle any vague family relations from mom's side of the family. Distant relatives I don't know well but whose kids of similar age as I, have been objects of comparison since time immemorial.

Being vertically challenged all my life, it was annoying to say the least when I was lined up with other kids back to back to compare height. Never mind the blow on the confidence. Then came the game of school results comparo, and I didn't fare well either.

The rest of the kids, of course welcomed this comparing game with a boost in their feel good department as reward. So much so that those little evil drones would scream "Let's compare height!!" the moment we meet when even the blind could tell that I'm at the losing end. Not fun. 

As a kid, I wouldn't have thought that genetics issue plays a big part in how tall I'd grow, and neither did I consider the fact that I went to an elite school for the gifted (or rich) and that scoring a "C" there would mean an "A" in other schools. That took me years to realize and even more years to shake off that sense of inferiority.

Adults are so cruel to subject their kids to this kind of rubbish.

To say that I'm not looking forward to tonight would be an understatement, especially when all of those kids have all blossomed into real adults. You know that type of real adults? Married with 2.5 kids type with a tiny apartment and second hand Toyota Camry? Yes, those.  Again, I'm the odd one out and the whole shebang of "Do you have a boyfriend?", "When are you getting married?" or "You should really have kids soon!" ensued. Not fun again.

Society punishes those who don't conform but tonight I shall speak my mind to live up to my reputation as the odd one out. The conformists play nice, stay polite and smile. The odd one out will tell them as it is: "I don't want your life because it's boring. Marriage is redundant. Divorce is messy. Kids are such burden. I want to live life the way I want and it's quite different from yours because yours is frankly, underwhelming. That's why I'm not married with 2.5 kids."

So yes, the odd one out has grown up to not let conformists bully her anymore. So there, I don't want your life.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

November Muse

Hello from Hong Kong! It's already November!!!
Reading: Deluxe. How Luxury lost its lustre by Dana Thomas. In my previous blog post, I wrote about counterfeit goods and how it's a vicious trade that's more than buying a couple of fake bags. A lot of the info came from the book and now I'm reading the entire book. Dana Thomas' book expounds on the history of luxury goods and how the luxury industry is no longer true to its milieu with the emergence of counterfeit business. It's an extremely interesting read!

Listening to: Smash by Martin Solveig. Very happy tunes, especially Hello featuring Dragonette. Perfect for my break in Hong Kong now. Happy music and very snappy.

Drinking: Rainforest Ultimate Acai Meal Replacement. My TCM doctor ordered me to up my protein intake to counteract fatigue. Clearly, my mostly vegetarian diet (probably 95% with some occasional sashimi) isn't giving me enough protein, so roll in the Rainforest Ultimate Acai Meal Replacement. It's a plant protein based shake that gives 25g of protein per shot with an additional dose of nutritious Acai berry. Perfect protein supplement for me.

Using: Ettusais Mineral BB Powder. My Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder died a sudden death thanks to my maid. She dropped it into the toilet bowl and flooded all the powder. End of story. So i bought the Ettusais Mineral BB Powder and it's so good I feel that the Jurlique is destined to fall into the toilet bowl instead! The powder is silky fine and goes on smoothly for a nice even finish. The coverage is light but it's precisely what I want. It's got pretty good staying power for a powder and it does cut shine too. It's a good lighter alternative to the Ettusais Sparkling Pack which I super love too.

Wearing: Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue perfume. I'm revisiting this old favorites. So fresh and I just never get sick of it.

Zara Sequin Skirt. The awesome perfect sequin skirt! It's not too sparkly in this nice nude shade. Pair it with a crisp white shirt and a pair of nude pumps for a sophisticated look that can bring you from day to night. I love it!

Loving: My new Balenciaga Giant Work bag in black and rose gold hardware. I've decided that I kinda hate the Celine Luggage Tote for the simple reason that it's never available. They literally get snapped up the moment they hit the store and honestly, that kind of crazy obsession with it really puts me off wanting one. So when I saw the Balenciaga Giant Work in black and rose gold hardware, I went for it cos I've been wanting the black and rose gold combination for awhile and here it is! A new addition to my Balenciaga family. I'm loving the bigger size than my purple City, very roomy and I love big bags.

Bose QC15 Headphones! I got this as one of my birthday "package" from the amazing Mr Bear. It's such a god sent for flight as it cuts out all the noisy airplane engine sound and you get some lovely quiet time on the plane. It comes with an adapter for the in-flight entertainment system so you can watch movies with awesome sound! Amazing!!

Lusting after: Lanvin flats! I'm always willing to splurge on bags cos good ones last forever, but when it comes to shoes, I'm a total Scrooge cos you stomp on them and then they die. But these Lanvin flats are so damn freaking comfy and well made that I'm really trying very very hard to resist!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Oscar Blandi Hair Lift

In Chinese, there's a fancy term for hair and it's called "The three thousand strands of troubled silk" or "三千烦恼丝", implying the problem-inducing nature of our hair. It can't be more apt, considering there aren't too many people who truly have no issues with the hair they're born with. In fact, I don't know anyone who are 100% happy with their hair.  

While some are complaining about having hair that's too thick, I have flat, limp, baby fine hair as my hair woes. It's annoying because it means bad hair days aplenty. My hair is so flat and limp that I can't have short hair because the style won't stay, especially in the tropical heat. Then, with long hair, the crown gets too flat and heavy. So naturally, my hair woes have long sent me looking for volumnizing products. Years later and lots of money wasted on volumizers that don't deliver, I finally found one that actually does what it promises!

If flat and fine hair is giving you bad hair day, then you would want to go to Sephora and buy Oscar Blandi Hair Lift. Like now! You can thank me later!

Now this is one product that really thickens hair and I can feel the difference for once. It's supposed to be a serum but I find that its focus is still on thickening your hair and doesn't give that swooshy smooth feel that other repair serums do. So I would still use my MoroccanOil before applying this for a boost of extra nourishment.

You apply a dollop (I use one pump) on wet hair from roots to ends before styling it as usual and viola! Fuller thicker hair! If you want extra oomph, apply some volumizing mousse, focusing on the crown bit, before blasting your hair dry with hair dryer. It's great!

The only issue I have is the price. It's going at $45 SGD which is pretty steep and I'm not sure how long a bottle will last. But "Cheap thing not good, good thing not cheap", you get what you pay for. So if you're looking for some serious thickening product, this one works!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Poupée de cire, poupée de son

One of my favourites old French songs....

And 2 more days before the "Emancipation of Miss B" and then back home to see my folks...woohoo...

Happy Public Holiday people!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

(Untitled) Maison Martin Margiela

Et Voila!

Courtesy of the amazing Mr Bear who got me the Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela from the US and I love it! It's a very unique unisex scent that opens with green floral notes of Galbanum and Boxwood that's fresh yet smokey. The smokey incense note with a hint of bitter orange that's almost resin-like (similar to Lalique's Encre Noire) and it's quite apparently though not overwhelming. It's masculine with a wee bit of dirty feel that's dangerously sexy and very bad ass. The dry down has a very light jasmine note that balances out the smokey notes well before it goes into a musky cedar base that is soft but with much transparency for a smokey scent.

In short, it's green floral with smokey notes that is suitable for everyday wear and it's definitely not one of those that smells like another perfume, so if you like green notes and don't want to smell like everyone else, this would be My wannabe nose said it's best as a late summer early autumn scent though the green notes make it appropriate for our hot tropics too. The silage is good and it does last quite well.

Its being wearable is something different from the avant garde fashion house's runway creation, but its wearability is definitely something I welcome. Much as I love fragrances as a work of art, its wearability is of utter importance to me. If I only want to smell it on a blotter and not on myself, then it's not working cos a candle would do the trick. There are many artsy fragrances that fall under that category like many of the Comme des Garçons' perfume creations. So yes, Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela is quite a success, especially with its oh-so beautiful bottle. The simple yet gorgeous flacon is hand dipped into white resin to contrast the green juice so stunningly. Oh, and like any couture stuff, it that comes with its own dust bag too. Simply lovely!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Notable Quotable

"Why do people say 'Grow some balls'? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding."

-- Betty White

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jason Wu for Target

“My muses are always unexpected, a little whimsical. A model, or even a cat.”

Target's collaboration with Jason Wu has got me a bit giddy! I want! Mr Bond would approve! Happy Friday! Hello weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Super Serum

With a name like Super Serum, you would have big expectations and given the avalanche of face products out there promising the world, the name "Super Serum" would normally be a hype; only that for the iS Clinical Super Serum Advance+, I've come to conclude that it is somewhat of a fact.

Say hello to my favourite serum du jour, the iS Clinical Super Serum Advance+! It has successfully knocked my previous favourite, the Aesop Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum, off its reigning throne as Miss B's must-have serum.

Created by innovative clinical skincare brand iS Clinical, the Super Serum Advance+ is brimming with antioxidants that promise to reduce wrinkles, boost collagen, lighten hyper pigmentation and promote scar healing. It's apparently a favourite among many aesthetic doctors and dermatologists. Having been using it for the last one month, I can absolutely see why.

Though I can't speak for wrinkles reduction as I haven't got much (yet), I can vouch for its skin-healing properties. My occasional breakout zit actually healed at an amazingly quick pace. What would have normally taken a week to 10 days to heal was quickly improved within 4 days and I'm truly impressed. The unsightly zit mark faded off quite fast within 2 weeks or so. I can imagine this to be quite a god-sent for those suffering from acne scars.

My skin clarity was given a big boost as well after a mere 2 weeks of usage. On me, it has a pore refining property and my skin tone has evened out quite a bit as well. It has also tamed the crazy freckles from the Bali sun too with its anti pigmentation properties.

The only thing that requires a bit of getting used to is the texture. It absorbs very well but the watery texture makes it a little hard to apply and you'll have to be careful not to overuse the tiny 15ml bottle. Well, it doesn't grow on tree so you wouldn't wanna splash your whole face with it. It takes about 5 drops to spread out on my face each time. A month into using it, I still have about half a bottle left, so it's really not that bad.

Other than that, it's probably the best $140 dollars I've spent on a single skin care product and this is definitely gonna be a in my repertoire of skincare for the long haul. This little bottle is the bee's knees that really packs in some powerful punch. No doubt about it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Notable Quotable

"If human are indeed the most evolved among all the species that populate the earth, we are unusually primitive in the way we treat one another, and how we treat animals. Your pet functions on the premise of unconditional love;even your humble tortoise will not call you a jerk if you do something stupid. And it is this love that can really be disarming."

--Dr Jean-Paul  Ly
The Animal Recovery Centre

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bag to Basics

Blame it on Carrie Bradshaw who started the IT bag trend in Sex & The City with what was possibly the first glorified IT bag, aka the Fendi Baguette. Suddenly, bags have become as important and essential an accessories as weird outfit is to Lady Gaga.

After the Baguette went stale, its successor, the Fendi Spy Bag, hogged the limelight, until the long reigning IT Bag, the Balenciaga Motorcycle bags deck the arms of every celebrities and IT girl wannabes worldwide. Then Chanel gave their classic 2.55 a new lease of life in 2005 with the 2.55 Reissue and celebrities, socialites and the plebs alike raid the Chanel stores, wanting a piece of it. The Mulberry Alexa has been a recent IT favourite that literally turned the Mulberry around and sent their profit rising.Thus is the power of the IT bags!

Many IT bags and hefty credit card bills later, I found myself lusting after the Celine Luggage Tote in Mini Size and in red. None is available. All out of stock. Please be on the waiting list ( vulgar!). I've heard how some people would fight over it or harass the shop assistants just to land themselves a piece. I've personally seen how a rude local socialite publicly humiliated the shop assistant for not reserving one for her. A couple of friends trawl sites after sites day-in day-out from Bergdorf, Neiman Marcus to Saks hoping to find one. Much as I'm amazed by the effort put in to scoring an IT bag, I'm equally put off by it. After all, if you devote the same amount of energy you have for the Celine to helping in a soup kitchen, there will be a hell lot less people starving. It's really just a bag, or "a piece of stitched together animal hide" that my friend Ah Meow would aptly put it.

So my operation to score the Celine Luggage Tote has been aborted. If it happens, then good, but no more searching for it. Meanwhile, to satisfy my hunger for a new bag (I haven't bought one since my Balenciaga last December),  I'm now going back to basic, exploring non-IT bags that are just as beautiful and with good craftsmanship.And here comes the French and English Confectionery - A couture accessories shop created by Cordwainer-trained designer/maker, Lucie, who specialises in handmade leather bags and shoes. All in very affordable prices.

Expertly handmade in small quantities in a secret London workshop (ohh, don't you just love anything secretive?), Lucie's bags feature clean classic lines inspired by her 1970s childhood. The designs are basic and evergreen with excellent leather and craftsmanship. I treated myself to a small yellow patent leather sling satchel with scallop edges.

The perfect weekend bag. It even holds my Kindle.

See how even the stitching is?

I love it so much! The stitches are perfect and you can see how they are carefully made with no frays. It's just the right size for all your basic essentials, perfect for the weekend when you want to go hands-free without lugging a bigger bag. The fact that it's handmade by one person makes it extra special, it's a little like the equivalent of provenance of art pieces.

If this has tickled your fancy in getting yourself one, they do have an Etsy outlet you can check out on.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The wonderful Mr Bond

I love my cat Mr Bond! Like A LOT! So much I just have to write and gush about him.

What most people don't know is that he wasn't planned, as in I wasn't intending to keep him initially. In 2003, after losing my first cat, I swore not to keep another one because the pain of losing a pet was so painful I was left in depression for the longest of time. Nothing could take that pain away and it's so profound that I still bawl my eyes out thinking about it these days and it's been more than 10 years. You never get over the loss of pets and loved ones, period. It gets easier, but you don't get over that. So no, no more cats for me I announced.

Then one day, my then-boyfriend and I, innocently walked into a pet store along Thomson Road for fun and there Mr Bond was, looking all coy and way too cute in a little cage. There were a couple of black and white British Shorthair there too who happened to be from the same litter but there's no contesting that Mr Bond is the most outstandingly cute one.

It wasn't a "And the rest was history" story because firstly, I believe in adopting not buying. There are many kitties out there who could use a home, so why buy one? Cats are cats and they're all wonderful. Secondly, I just wasn't ready. But after getting harassed by my ex, I thought okay, no harm playing with him cos it's free, he would get to come out of the cage a bit and I could still say no and walk out. Only that Mr Bond was so horrified of people and refused to get out.

"He's cute but he's got personality problems, he's not fun and he's afraid of people. Get his siblings instead, they are more playful and fun, this one nobody wants him I'm quite sure, he's been around here for awhile already. Very long already in fact. Not that good to be honest," said the pet store guy, and the perfect sales pitch was made.

The "this one nobody wants him" bit broke my heart. Being a long supporter of the underdog, or under-cat, in this case, I softened. In fact, he was so unwanted that the store people couldn't wait to get rid of him and for a British Shorthair, he was a mere $250, a quarter of what a British Shorthair would cost. The fact that it was during the peak of SARS period probably made the prices of kitty cats dropped to its all time low too. My ex immediately whipped out his credit card and I didn't stop him. I haven't looked back since.

It's been a wonderful 8 years and I can't imagine not having him. Some months back, we both went through major trauma that had me crying for nights and burst out in tears in the office. We discovered he had both bladder and kidney stones. The bladder stones had been removed since through surgery but the small kidney stones remained. Our wonderful vet said we have to keep it under observation as the stones aren't big and we just need to monitor and keep it in control and hopefully, not have them cause any trouble.

If there's anything good that comes out of the health drama, it is that I'm reminded not to take him for granted. I haven't been the best pet owner before and there were times I've taken him for granted. The health issues literally grabbed me by my neck like a blistering hot tong and shook me hard. A little wake up call to appreciate the wonderful Mr Bond all over again.

I'm now going all out to get him healthy and I'm taking him to see a vet that specializes in Traditional Chinese Medicine to see if there's any way to shrink or even get rid of the kidney stones using herbs.

Friends tell me I'm crazy, spending so much on a cat when I'm not exactly the richest person around with big fat pay check. What they don't understand is that, Mr Bond is my family. Especially when I've been living alone for more than 10 years now away from my own family. He's family and is the love of my life.

Boyfriends came and went, but Mr Bond is forever faithful. He's here whenever I'm home, he snuggles up to me when he knows I'm sad, and there were a couple of times when he literally came up to me and licked my tears off my face. So yes, I'll give him the same I would give to any family members or loved ones. After all, it's just money. You can always make the money back.

Most important of all, he's really made me a better person and here's why.....
  • He makes me a more compassionate person.
  • I'm more dedicated and disciplined on being more vegetarian (I said "more" because I'm not 100%, at times I relent and give in).
  • He always helps me re-focus on the things that matter in life (ie. things money can't buy).
  • He's taught me of patience and perseverance when I deal with his health issues.
  • He's made me a calmer person because my mood affects him. Pet owners project their emotions on their pets and they feel what you feel.
  • He's made me more generous and helpful. Keeping pets can be expensive. It's heartbreaking to know not all animals get medical care because of cost and having struggled through heavy bills before, I understand the pain and pressure and now I donate to the cat welfare society regularly, especially to their special appeal. The money I save from buying a new outfit could make a huge difference to lives of both the animals and their caregiver and it's far more rewarding.
In short, I've been a much better person since Mr Bond "adopted" me. Pets are amazing with their unconditional love. I know he doesn't and can't read my blog but I still want to thank my amazing Mr Bond for being the love of my life! Here's a sandpaper kiss to you! xxx

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jealousy Not Required

Saw this on Facebook. I couldn't resist posting this cos it's so bitchy and funny. Especially after being hounded by my douchebag ex's psycho new squeeze recently. LOL!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First World Guilt

I was in Grade 4 when I first experienced "First World Guilt" during a visit to rural China with my maternal grandparents. A homecoming trip of sort for my maternal grandparents who left China decades ago to pursue a better life overseas. It was a holiday of a different kind and a big deviation from the usual cool and easy "all taken care of" type of luxury packaged sightseeing tours I was used to.

There was electricity, but it was a single light bulb in the dim house. There was a bathroom with running water, but no water heater in the cold harsh winter. There were beds, but in the form of humble thin mattresses. There was surely food, but simple and strictly home-cooked. There were schools but the kids didn't have proper stationery and were still using razor blades to sharpen pencils. You get the picture.

Being a kid of the same age, the image of a pint-size rosy-cheeked school girl sharpening her pencil (singular please) with a dangerous blade left a deep impression on me .When I got back to Hong Kong, I reached for my piggy bank, dug out the little money in there, purchased a bunch of cool stationery supplies, and had them mailed over to the many little friends I made in China. And I stopped complaining, albeit temporarily, that I didn't have that latest Hello Kitty mechanical pencil for that season. That possibly was the first time ever that I counted my blessings in life.

Of course I was fully aware of the less fortunate around the world before that trip. During the Ethiopian famine of 84', schools were dishing out tiny coin banks shaped as of a bread loaf for students to gather donations for famine relief. Images of starving brown babies in the media formed perfect back drop for moms warning their kids to finish up all their food, lest they would get reincarnated as starved brown babies in their next lives. So yes, I was aware of the fact that there were needy people around. It was, however, a different thing, when you see the less fortunate in person during your holidays. Since Grade 4 and despite having trotted around the world with wanderlust quite a bit, the whole First World Guilt hasn't stopped bugging me every time I travel to a lesser developed country. 

The latest First World Guilt was felt in Bali about a month ago. While I was happily tanning and sipping virgin mojitos at hipster joints like The Potato Head and Ku De Ta in Seminyak, the numerous Balinese people selling ubiquitous tourist souvenirs, sunglasses and hats by the beach made me feel bad. Nothing like the throngs of professional child beggars I've seen in the streets of India for sure, but not the easiest job nonetheless, standing in the hot sun by the beach the whole day all year round .

Looking at their sun wrinkled faces made me wonder if they would secretly or openly wish to be the ones tanning and sipping virgin mojitos by the deck instead. If they do, do they feel that way everyday? Have they sold enough for the day? If not, oh no, what's gonna happen? How many family members are they supporting? Going into the guilt trip over drive seems to be my brain's super power since age ten.

After some mulling over Dalai Lama's books, I had a mental nudge, reminding me not to judge others with my own standards. That sympathy arising from First World Guilts might well be redundant because these people are just as happy, if not happier than I am. That it doesn't take what makes me happy, material or otherwise, to make others happy. That sympathy has its place and time, and is only a positive thing when it is truly required.

I guess for the China trip, the spoilt first world 10-year-old mind of mine might have conveniently forgotten to register quite a lot of other observations too; that the dim light from a single light bulb made good atmosphere for family chats and banters, that every hot sponge bath was something awesome to look forward to, that the thin mattresses were where the kids huddled every night for cool bed-time stories told by real human and not machines, that the eggs cracked into my simple noodle were so fresh it was just taken from the hen, and most importantly, that young school kids (and adults for that matter) sharpening their pencils with primitive blades actually wore a huge genuine smile that radiates from within. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Notable Quotable

"Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

--Steve Jobs

Friday, October 07, 2011

Dr Lipp

It's a case of nips for the lips with Dr Lipp The Original Nipple Balm for the Lips. And it's a good one. What started off as a balm for sore nipples for breast-feeding mother has become one of the best lip balms I've tried.

It's 100% Organic Medical Grade Lanolin that is an excellent long lasting lip balm that is free of paraben, sodium laurel sulphates, petrochemical derivatives, fragrance and colourings. This balm multitasks too, and you can use it for dry skin, nappy rash and even to sooth an itchy mozzie bite though it works best as a lip balm. A little dab keeps my lips moisturized overnight in the arctic aircon condition of my room (the only way I can sleep soundly) and I wake up to soft moist lips every morning. I've definitely got myself a keeper here.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

RIP Steve

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Steve Jobs

Thanks for the craziness...I'm trading my BB for iPhone next I promise

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Of love and kidneys

With a pretty impressive track record of "Crash & Burn" in the relationship department, I thought I would have a better idea of what that elusive thing called Love is. My past naivety had me thinking that every heart break I suffered earned me imaginary stripes in the quest of understanding love.

The teens years were days of infatuation where the dreamy concept of "forever" smoked up a heady fog that tricked me into thinking puppy love was meant to last. Then, with the demise of the teenage dreams and many Kleenex tissue boxes later, the early 20s was a quest of finding "The One" where the first major break up with "Who You Thought Was The One" possibly gave you your first emotional trauma in life. You realized there are not just ONE but there are many possible ONES. Then, mid 20s was a period of trial-and-error where you find out what you like and what you don't. By early 30s, you've possibly matured into knowing what you want and have hopefully found it.

The Hollywood-movie type of intense crazy passionate love might make your heart skip a beat thinking you've found LOVE, but what builds up quickly and madly sometimes and quite often fades off just as quickly. Embarrassing was recalling the many times where I thought "This is IT!", just to have them ended in shambles. The many divorced friends around bear testimony to this and the movie "Closer" has an excellent quote that aptly describes the whole falling in and out of intense love relationships. In it, Jude Law's character says "If you believe in love at first time, you never stop looking." When the intensity is gone, you'll go find someone else to be intense with. This much I know and this much I can attest to.

Slow and steady seems to win the race corny as it sounds. Go for the turtle, not the rabbit. As an ex junkie for that heady rush of new love's excitement, I've come to a point where I appreciate the comfort of the slow and steady approach. Level-headed good. Melodrama bad. Simple logic. And just as I think I'm all zen and grown-up with my outlook on love , a casual dinner conversation with my friend last night made me realize, perhaps, I knew nothing after all.

When asked when she first realized her love for her boyfriend of over 10 years and now husband-to-be, my friend,T, the impending bride, said it was only after three years or so that she knew she truly loves him. Six month to a year was the answer I was expecting and my surprised look prompted her to elaborate:

"Come on, the first 2 years don't count because you're new together and it's honeymoon. I love him earlier then but it wasn't the type where I would give him one of my kidneys to save his life kind of love. When it hit the three-year mark, I love him enough to know I would want to spend the rest of my life with him. It wasn't crazy Hollywood type, it was very comfortable and deep."

And she meant the kidney part. What I thought was a figure of speech description was indeed what she meant. She would give him one of her kidneys to save him. Now THAT is love. The irony was that among our group of friends, T was often made fun of for being seemingly cold, boring and too pragmatic that we were forever giving her useless tips from magazines like sexy lingerie to spice up her love life. As she was slowly but surely building her love with her fiance, the rest of us were going through break ups after break ups.

I need to revisit what I think love is now, considering the fact that I wouldn't give a kidney to save the ex whom I considered to be most in love with even at the peak of the lovey dovey epic.

Would you give a kidney to your partner/spouse/lover/boyfriend/girlfriend when push comes to shove?

I think I need to call my parents tonight to ask them their views on this. After all, they have been married for 33 years, lived through what seems like the non-Hollywood movie kind of love but are still very much happy together till these days, "Turtle Couple" style.

Monday, October 03, 2011

October Muse

Reading: The Secret History of the World by Mark Booth. If you would like to challenge what you've been taught on our history, this book is for you. History is the story of the winners and Mark Booth uncovers some of the hidden history carefully concealed and deflected by religious groups and the secret societies of the world. It also touches on the Mystery schools associated with many famous leaders, scientists, author and in general, people of high power. If you like all the conspiracy theories in The Da Vinci Code, then you'll have to read this one. I actually got this book some time back but left it n the book shelf but then after reading the topic of mind control programme from artist Kim Noble's case, I got so interested in all the secrets different governments and authorities of power are trying to hide. Interesting read though it gets a bit out of the world, but like I said, it's about challenging what you're taught to believe in.

Watching: 3 Idiots. Recommended by my sister and all the rage in Hong Kong now, this 2009 Hindi film is a three-hour comedy extravaganza about the education system in India. I  caught it over the weekend and it's freaking awesome! Very funny yet heartwarming with lots of LOL moments and lovely location at the end of the movie.

Listening to: The Best of Beatles. Every now and then, when I've run out of things to listen to, I'll go back to one of the classics, and this month it is The Beatles. I love them and it's always a perennial favorite because it reminds me of the time when I took on a holiday job in Esprit and they played The Beatles on the shop floor a lot. It was such happy times, so The Beatles is always my happy music.

Wearing: TopShop lace top. I like that this has a vintage mama-san feel to it. It's very comfy with a loose relaxed fit and mixes well with jeans for a Friday dress-down chic. Pair it with bright coloured heels for an extra pop of colour.

Jewel Rocks Amazonite bracelet. I can't get enough of Jewel Rocks bracelets and I absolutely regret not getting more while I was in Bali. I wear it almost everyday and their pieces make awesome choice for stacking into an arm party as coined by Men Repeller.

Using: Clarins Liquid Bronzer. Don't let the sun-kissed skin fade! It was compliment after compliment since coming back from Bali with a hint of tan! Self-tanner is the best choice if you want a sun-kissed glow without the UV Rays damaged. It's especially important for me since I don't tan well at all and will normally burn instead. So fake it, don't bake it.

Also using Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder. I'm cutting down foundation and I only wear foundation once in a while. So to keep the skin matte, cut shine after applying moisturizer and set concealer , I use a translucent powder instead. I've used the Lavender version some time back but didn't quite like it then cos it's too dry for me. This Rose version seems to be a little better for dry skin. Not sure if it's due to an improved formula but the Rose Silk Finishing Powder does a pretty good job at keeping the skin matte without drying it out. The nice hint of rose scent is an extra plus.

Loving: Kindle.Yes, I relented. I was adamant about not having electronic book because I love the smell of books and the feel of flipping pages the old school way. BUT, I want to read more while I'm out commuting on public transport and let's face it, books can be bulky to lug around, not to mention the pesky dog ears that I absolutely abhor. So I traded pulp for plastic and I'm actually loving it. I read more now because the Kindle is so light and small and it's always with me. I still buy and collect books despite the Kindle. Just that now I'm collecting mostly graphic books instead.

Also loving China Glaze For Audrey nail polish. Thing is, Essie is still the best nail polish and China Glaze isn't even anywhere near Essie but this lovely teal colour is irresistible, especially among the sea of ubiquitous baby blue. It's probably named For Audrey because it's the Tiffany blue and in honour of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's. China Glaze isn't easy to paint on because the texture is really thick and it tends to streak. After messing it up many tries, the trick to paint it is doing just 1 coat but with more polish on the brush and yes, it's thick enough to give a good saturation of colour with just one coat. That's how viscous it is. The good thing about it, however, is that it lasts and doesn't chip even without a top coat. So something's gotta give I guess.


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