Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lush Haul

I remember the first time I walked into a Lush store, it was two years ago in Italy. I didn't use my eyes to spot the store. In fact, I used my nose! You could smell the store from at least 20 meters away.

I walked in, had a look around at all the beautiful sweet smelling soaps and bath products, became instantly overwhelmed by the sheer choices available and walked back out.

The next day I finally mustered up the courage to re-enter the store, and aided by the oh-so-friendly-and-knowledgeable store assistants, I bought my first Lush bath bomb and massage bar.

Unfortunately, I never found the opportunity to step into another Lush store again. And somehow or rather, the bath bomb AND massage bar were forgotten, buried under various knick knacks in my dressing table drawer.

Fast forward to last week, I suddenly found a Lush store in Singapore, and somehow my nose dragged me in yet again! Totally dejavu - I got overwhelmed and walked out with only a pack of bath bubbles courtesy of Aiden who got excited over the multi colored PlayDoh like texture. Upon my return to the hotel, I vowed to return after a thorough online research. Armed with knowledge, I returned to the store the very next day and bought their recommended bestsellers. So here I am, sharing the results of my research aka the must haves in your Lush haul!

Honey I Washed The Kids Soap Bar
This solid bar of soap smells like honey and toffee. Sooooo good in the shower. The only thing I hated about it was because it didn't lather much, even when used with a poof. In fact, none of their soap bars lather! (I read that Sultana of Soap lathers slightly better so perhaps that would be my next purchase?) I know I really shouldn't factor lather to cleanliness but I do enjoy my bubbles in the bath. I wish they would make this into a shower gel version!

Jason and the Argan Oil Shampoo Bar
This is a shampoo bar, and such a unique invention too! Compact and perfect for traveling. Lovely rose smell. Unlike the soap bar, this one lathers beautifully. I just rubbed it against my hair, and the friction created an impressive lather. I didn't need to rub much to coat my long and thick hair too. Love it! You just need to make sure you dry out the bar before keeping it in the container, as it is quite prone to breaking into pieces. Note that I still needed to use a conditioner afterwards.

Pearl Massage Bar
This is the massage bar that I bought two years ago. As you can see, it is still in perfect shape and form. It glides smoothly on the skin and smells so delicious. Nowadays I keep it in the fridge for a cooling massage on a hot day.

Hsuan Wen Hua Hair Treatment
This is the only one out of the haul which does not smell good. But, it is such a great hydrating treatment to the hair. According to the instructions, you apply this to DRY hair and leave it in for about 20minutes before rinsing it out and then shampoo and condition as usual. Use it once a week for best results. You will have to use a strong smelling shampoo to mask the smell though. It took me two washes to get rid of the smell.

Ocean Sea Salt Scrub
One of Lush's bestsellers. This is a scrub for both your face and your body. It contains alcohol so don't eat it! *chuckles* Use this to exfoliate once or twice a week for baby soft skin. I love the tangy smell, and it even has a lingering smell afterwards! Suggest you use this as a last step before you step out of the shower. Major love!

Chocolate Lip Scrub
This is a limited edition flavour for Easter. All you need to do is scoop some with your finger, scrub it on your lips, rub your lips together and tadaaaa you're done. You can either lick the remaining particles (taste soooo good) or wipe it off with a towel. I usually do the former! *giggles* Finish with a moisturizing lip balm.

Lush Fun
This is a big hit with the kids. What's not to love about a bath product that also acts as a modeling clay? The kids had a fun time making various shapes in the bathtub, and it made lots of bubbles too! All you need to do is run a small amount under the tap and it will create heaps of bubbles. Comes in many funky colours and smells amazing too. Simply awesome!

Bath Bombs
Bath bombs only last for one use, so choose wisely. Unlike bubble bars, this one does NOT create bubbles. Instead, bath bombs typically fizzle and disintegrate once in contact with water, releasing beautiful colours, glitter and interesting surprises such as rose petals! Soak in the colored water and enjoy a long relaxing bath after a hard day at work.

Well that's it for now! I am looking forward to trying out more Lush (need another trip to Singapore, pronto!) so do share your favourite Lush products in the comments below.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

With all the hoo-haa surrounding the very controversial Beauty and the Beast, I decided not to take my chances with the Malaysia censorship board. Since I was scheduled to be in Singapore the weekend of the release, I took it as a divine sign that I was meant to watch it away from home! Even if it meant paying nearly triple per ticket!

Yes, in Singapore there is no such thing as a child ticket. All movie tickets are the same price and of course with the currency exchange you are bound to be paying triple for everything. Not to forget the popcorn and drinks, plus bus tickets for everyone! In a nutshell it was quite a costly affair for the four of us.

Add in a full spread of lunch at the hotel and a shopping spree at Smiggle on Orchard Road... *so broke*

I decided to watch it at Shaw Theatres - Lido, which is just across the street from our hotel. Slightly more expensive than the typical cinemas (the likes of TGV and GSC in Singapore) but I rationalized the decision - at least it meant that I didn't have to pay for MRT tickets or taxi to get everyone across town.

Booking was seamless and I paid for it online using my credit card. Upon arrival, I switched my online tickets for physical tickets (one must have paper proof of watching Beauty and the Beast!) *chuckles* However, the line for popcorn was horrendous. But they had nachos! With a generous portion of cheese sauce or salsa. I miss those days when we used to have nachos at TGV *sob sob*

Sharing my childhood memory with my young man.

Shaw Theaters - Lido.

Anyway, the movie was really really good. It kept true to the animated original, and I found myself singing to the songs from my childhood. Evergreen tunes! Certainly brought back memories from the classic Disney. I also found a new sense of appreciation for the lyrics in the musical. Dulu pakai main bantai nyanyi jer. At 10 years old, singing about how I wanted more than this provincial life??? Now that I am older, I realized the narrative impact and how the words complemented the movie beautifully. My maid on the other hand couldn't understand anything (they only had Chinese subtitles), but even she enjoyed herself. We were all so swept up with the movie, we didn't realize that the movie was over two hours long.

As for the controversial 'gay' scenes, honestly they weren't glaringly noticeable. It lasted a fraction of a second, hardly nothing to justify banning the movie completely in Malaysia. Aiden didn't even ask about it... Heck even my maid didn't notice it!

The good news is that it is finally coming to Malaysia at the end of the month. Trust me - go and watch it. You won't regret it one bit.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Last night was one of the most terrifying nights of my life. 

I am currently in Singapore with the kids and the maid. For a business trip, and also for Beauty and the Beast (that deserves a special blogpost altogether). Hubby stayed home as he had to work. 

As soon as we arrived in Singapore, Ian started developing a fever. My maid had packed paracetamol syrup but no suppository medication so we gave him the syrup to keep the fever down. His fever persisted that night and continued through yesterday morning till the afternoon. While I was at work, the maid kept his fever down by sponging plus paracetamol syrup. Right after work, I decided to bring everyone out for dinner and at the same time, visit a pharmacy to get a stronger medication such as suppository Voren. 

Ian was still having a fever then but he was active as usual. He didn't want to walk so my maid carried him while I went to the pharmacy. To my surprise, Singapore doesn't allow Voren/Voltaren to be sold over the pharmacy counter without a prescription. So I was left with either a suppository paracetamol or oral ibuprofen. Since I needed something that would give him a quick relief, especially for the impending night, I decided to take the suppository. It was only two hours after the paracetamol syrup but since he was still feverish I decided to give him the supp anyway. Right after the supp we went to Swensens to have dinner.

As we were looking at the menu to order, Ian looked slightly drowsy so I laid him down on my lap. He didn't feel so hot anymore. Suddenly he jerked, and started whimpering. I started panicking. I calmed him down and placed my palm on his chest. I felt his heart hammering away very fast. My maternal instincts were giving me warning signals. I watched him closely. He looked sleepy and he started to close his eyes and then he jerked again. I called out to him to keep him awake and he started whimpering. I knew something was really wrong. The only thought in my head was that I had overdosed him on paracetamol. 

Packed our things and left the restaurant (nasib baik tak order makan lagi). Ran to the information counter to ask for the nearest clinic. None on Orchard Road was open at that hour. Closest option was the hospital. Which would obviously cost a bomb with our horrible currency. Weighed my options. Ian cried and said "Ian shakit". I asked where and he pointed to his heart. I freaked out. Called a doctor friend and told her the dosage I had given. She comforted me by saying that I hadn't overdosed him. But that she was worried about the jerking and advised me to head to the hospital as she was worried that he probably had a fit. I remember thinking to myself, "Why would he have a fit, he's not that hot!" 

Called a cab and headed to the nearest hospital - Mount Elizabeth. Called Hubby on the way but because I was too panicky, I couldn't explain what happened properly. Hung up the phone in haste. Arrived at emergency and they took his temperature and measured his heart rate. His heart rate was so high, the alarm started beeping! And can you believe that his temperature was 40.5! I don't know why he didn't feel like 40.5 degrees! I felt so angry at myself. I felt like such a horrible mother!!! My son was having a 40.5 degree fever and I wanted to have dinner at Swensens???

Trying to coax Ian to eat by offering him macarons, while Aiden goofed around with his toy stethoscope.

I felt so lonely then. Without Hubby by my side and alone di negara orang without any support system. Tak kenal anyone other than my work colleagues which I would rather not call unless it's a serious life and death emergency. 

Anyway to cut a long story short, the doctor said that I did give him too much paracetamol but because it was just one episode he wasn't that worried. The fit was probably because of the fever but since it was very short and as long as it didn't last longer than ten minutes, no rolling eyes backwards and stuff like that, then there was nothing to be worried about. The influenza test came back negative as well. He gave supp Voren and advised us to stay away from Paracetamol for at least 12 hours to purge his system off the 'extra' dose. After about two hours in the hospital, he allowed us to go home. Ian also looked like his old self, happily playing with Aiden. And finally, I was able to smile again.

Ian smiling again, two hours after the dramatic hospital entrance. Hospital concierge provided a care package for the kids - a toy stethoscope and a body anatomy matching card game! 

I told my maid the hospital bill was about the same price as her flight ticket back home for Raya this year. She smiled sheepishly. Anyway, it's not her fault. I should have reminded her to pack the complete set of medication. Expensive lesson learnt. Always bring supp Voren and a thermometer when traveling.

I thought Prince Court was nice, but Mount Elizabeth was way nicer! Friendly staff, amazing amenities and the entire hospital smelt so good!

Last picture before we headed back to the hotel.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Random Thoughts While Cramming for Aiden's Exams

I've said this once and I'll say it again - I think the standard of public education in Malaysia is tough on kids. It is hard enough that Aiden's Bahasa Malaysia literacy is still below par, but what is it about giving crazy Mathematic sums to an 8-year old??? Does Malaysia really think that by making the syllabus harder, we will produce cleverer kids?

Anyway, Aiden is having his last day of exams tomorrow. His last paper is Pendidikan Islam, and I am not proud to admit that I usually leave the coaching of that subject for Hubby. (Hey, this mother has bent over backwards for the core subjects i.e. Malay, English, Maths and Science!) So for today, I can breath normally - hence why I am blogging at this hour.

I'd just like to share some random thoughts that came to mind while I was teaching Aiden for his core subjects:

  • For BM: What's with the diftong, digraf and such? I don't remember learning it during school! I actually had to google what it meant... and if one had to google it, it meant that one never had to use it when one was older!
  • For BM: Muram, simpati, mendung, bangkit, muara, rumpai,sulam, cuai, nyiur, maklumat, skital,segak, lekuk, sajian, perpaduan. Here are some of the words in his Tahun 2 workbook... bombastic enough for Aiden to leave him absolutely clueless. *sigh*
  • For Science: What's the benefit of having to remember which jari is used for typing which alphabet on the keyboard? I am a single finger typer, and proud of it! My typing skills and speed can rival most conventional keyboard loving folks too!
  • For Maths: I don't remember doing these complicated sums when I was 8. Probably when I was 10. I'll give you an example: A sold 1 bag. B sold 2 bags more than A. C sold 3 bags more than B. Okay, you must be thinking... the question is probably, how many bags did C sell? No! The question was, what is the difference of bags sold between A and C! Oh, replace the numbers with ratus numbers, and replace the English words to Malay. That was the question. #ipulledmyhairsohardthatnight
  • For Maths: I see darab coming up!!! Didn't we do this when we were in Standard 4 or something??? OMG OMG OMG #pullshairevenharder
  • For English... Hmmm... I actually have no qualms with English. Probably because it is too easy for Aiden's level. That is the problem with coming out of an English medium kindergarten. It simply doesn't correspond to the level of English syllabus at Sekolah Kebangsaan! The latter is super easy if compared to his kindy classmates who has moved on to international school.
Anyway, as a reward for completing his exams, I decided to allow Aiden to inherit my Enid Blyton books. Rummaged through my bookshelves, and guess what I found???

This book is 25 years old! *chuckles* I am such a hoarder!

P.S: Since I'm reminiscing about childhood memories, who else is frustrated about the Beauty and the Beast ban in Malaysia? I am so frustrated, that I am contemplating watching it in Singapore with the kids, since I will be there again for a business trip next week. *sigh* Disney and the Malaysia censorship board... please come to your senses!

Friday, March 10, 2017

No Rice!!!

(No, this post is soooo not about me. I am such a rice person, as is Aiden. In contrary, this post is about Ian!)

Can you believe that Ian has never had rice, ever.. in his life! He hates rice... We've had pretty viscous struggles with rice, but he still wins every time. (Imagine me holding him down and forcing him a spoonful of rice!) Even if I hide the rice, he would manage to 'filter' it in his mouth and spit it out. In the end, I gave up. Also, typical second child syndrome, I wasn't too particularly worried about his lack of interest in food. (Kalau Aiden dulu, when he went through the same phase, I brought him to the pediatrician and bought toddler recipe books just to entice him to eat!) 

So for the longest time, Ian survived on fries, Oreos/Chipsmore, roti canai and milk! He was constantly asking for milk. He didn't gain weight and was able to fit into his 2 year old clothes. However, since we came back from Ipoh (and all those hours I spent feeding him at the hotel breakfast buffet!!), I noticed that Ian is starting to gain weight! His cheeks are chubbier and his thighs are fun to squeeze! Macam chicken drumsticks! *giggles*

A photo of Ian in his "solat baju"... posing at the Ipoh hotel parking. Check out the cheeks!

He still hates rice guts, but at least he is now open to a more elaborate choice of food. Here is what he's into nowadays, other than his staple fries, roti canai, cookies and milk: 

French toast
Pancakes with maple syrup
Pappa Rich's thick toast with susu
Cereal with milk
Cream crackers cicah Milo
Macaroni and cheese
Keropok and papadom 
Any type of cakes
Macaron shells
Karipap, albeit only the sides 
Roti canai and roti tisu

Still picky, tapi boleh laaaaa. Don't know when he'll start eating rice, but I hope it's soon!

What are we going to do with that hair???

Since I'm already sharing about Ian's milestone meal antics, let me share a few snippets about Ian that made us laugh:

Me: Ian, where is your school?
Ian: Ekbebek (at the back)

Me: Do you want to go to school?
Ian: Yes... Kids!
Me: Real Kids?
Ian: Yes! I want to bring talet (tablet)...
Me: No... you can't bring your tablet! But you can bring your lunch box and water bottle.
Ian: Ok!

(While listening to the radio in the car)
Ian: Mummy, I want my song!
Me: *confused* What's your song?
Ian: Noh noh noh!
Me: Oooooo...(Maroon 5 - Don't Wanna Know)
Aiden: Oh, my favourite song is "Once I was seven years old..."
Me: Oooooo...(Lukas Graham - 7 Years)

Pelat words:
Delu = blue
Fivi = TV

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Back In The Office

Hi peeps!

It is my first week back at the office.. and I am swamped with emails!

I spent my first day waddling through my inbox, and it was a nasty surprise for me to find a couple of work related emails asking me why I wasn't responding. Unfortunately due to my abrupt leave, my regional nature of work, andddd the absence of an out of office reply, not everyone knew that I was on emergency plus compassionate leave. Apparently only the local team, a few select colleagues and of course my boss in Houston were aware. *sigh*

I spent that morning sending apologetic emails whilst trying to recover with work so that everyone could get back on track. I left the office way way way past my normal time that day - sampai lampu office automatically terpadam at one point, which I took as a sign that it was time to leave! But Alhamdulillah, once I explained to everyone why I was away, they were very understanding. Risau jugak that my working relationship with my colleagues would be affected due to this.

Also, I am grateful that it is bonus month. This year's bonus is significantly less than last year, but at least ada daripada takde. Some companies are not even giving bonuses this year. Unfortunately the bonus portion that I usually segregate for handbags and such, dah habis untuk bayar my father's hospital bills and our extended stay in several hotels in Ipoh. Takpelah... I look at it as my last contribution to my father. After this I wouldn't be contributing anymore to him. In fact, I don't even know whether I will return to Ipoh anytime soon. There isn't anything anymore there for me.

Kids are recovering from their nomadic lifestyle. They enjoyed the Ipoh trip very much... Ian siap ade withdrawal period as soon as we arrived home. He kept saying, "I want hotel...." Huhu Ian, you think Mummy chop duit issit??? Aiden on the other hand is now struggling with his backlog of homework. Next week is exam week and I have been quite the tiger mum these past few nights!

Emotionally, I am doing alright. As I said, I have never been close to my father hence as soon as we arrived home it felt as if nothing had changed. In fact, as soon as I got into town, I went to Ikea for a shopping spree. (Hey, shopping is therapeutic!) But I will never forget the traumatic experience leading up to my father's demise. To be part of the decision making process in pulling the plug. I wish that none of you would ever have to be part of such a life and death decision.

Aiden asked me a really hard question the morning we decided to bring my father home. He asked, "Why are you bringing kampung datuk home if you know that he is going to die at home?" 

Tough question to answer to a 7 year old boy...

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I promise to write more. I've got my whole trip to India to blog about too... God knows when that will be!

Hubby's attempt at cheering me up - Aglio Olio with buttered lobster. *yum*
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