Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Semi-Hiatus until the end of 2015.

As most of my readers are aware, I've not been updating this blog for the past few months. Was kinda brainstorming here and there a little until my job dropped a bombshell, from a 6-day work week, 8 hours daily to a 5-day work week, 10 to 12 hours long on some days. One thing led to another and I just conveniently forgot quite a lot of things, especially this blog. It's tiring, and I feel like a zombie almost on a daily basis and it would be most rude and insulting to post up new blog posts with a half-assed feeling. It's even worse when the post itself lacks a lively "voice" telling you the wonders and joys of a product and/or sample that went through trial-and-test before it gets unveiled.

It didn't help that I fell sick too often and most days, I'm just too tired after work to actually have the time to sit down and prepare a blog post. (Yes, I write my blog post on the spot. Not pre-write days in advance and schedule them to go live on different dates and times. Although I am looking at this option as a possibility for next years new posts in the event my job schedule is way too overboard to even consider humane) Off-days and Rest-days are even more precious now as it means I get to sleep in a little longer instead of worrying that I cannot wake up early or on-time. It's frustrating when your boss thinks "Oh~ You all get 2 off days now instead of the previous 1-off-day-a-week". It gets even worse when the people who planned job schedules, where instead of just planning for a daily 10-hour work shift where it is less tiring, decides to give you a 8-hour shift, immediately followed by at least one or two 12-hour shifts. It's as if people are planning work shifts for droids and robots, instead of humans.. If you all get and understand my drift -.-"

Meanwhile, I'll continue my semi-hiatus on this blog until the end of this year to adjust to a newly retarded phase of work and hopefully by the start of 2016, I'll settled a little more comfortably in my new work shift hours and be able to churn up almost daily blog posts once more :)

Meanwhile, stay happy, energetic and postive and see you all in 2016 :D

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monthly Topic #33: The Parent Trap

Living with your parents is tough when you're 25 and still being treated like a child.

~Image Source: Kezia Noble~

It's 11am, Sunday morning. Bang... bang... bang... goes my door, followed by the piercing pitch of my mother's voice yelling "Wake up! Come on, wake up! Look at the time!" How many times have I been startled from slumber in that manner after a late night out? How many times have mother and daughter descended into the same old Sunday morning wrangles? To be honest, I've lost count. I'm already 25, single and earning my keep as an account co-ordinator with an advertising agency. But finding my own place is still a pipe-dream, as I struggle rather miserably with my personal finances. I know there's that old saying "beggars can't be choosers", but beggars have a right to privacy and are allowed certain liberties at home aren't they? I keep trying to impress the fact on my parents, but they just don't seem to listen.

Take my mother, for instance. She still hasn't recognized that I am no longer 12 years old. I'm guessing she finds it hard to let go. I could never broach the subject of moving out, having my own space or even making my own decisions. The very suggestion of me leaving home would be absolute sacrilege to her. To impose such a though would have catastrophic consequences. God forbid such unpleasantries, I want none of that. So I hold my tongue and grumble to friends instead. And then there are my father's etched-in-stone house rules:

» No boys allowed home (which has caused many nerve-wrecking episodes when I've to attempt to sneak boyfriends out in broad daylight).

» No friends allowed in the family home without prior permissions.

» Home by 7:30pm for dinner every night.

» No smoking or drinking in the house.

» No vacation plans to be made without consulting my parents first. And, definitely no vacations with boyfrends.

»No loud music.

» Home by 3am after clubbing.

» No phone calls after 11:30pm because I should be asleep by then.

I know I sound like a complete ingrate, but I'll remind you again that I'm a working woman in her mid-20s, and all I want after a hard day at the office is to head back to my very own little sanctuary for some peace and quiet. I don't hate living with my parents, but I wish they'd ease up just a little. Of course, I realize it's not always the parents who are at fault. There are always two sides to every story - I'll admit that I'm a total pain to live with sometimes. After all, none of us are perfect, we're all only human.

Eventually, I will pack my bags and fly from my parents' nest. And that's both a desirable and scary prospect. I'll finally consider myself brave enough to face the social responsibilities and unknown realities of living in the adult world, all the stuff my parents have been shielding and gingerly guiding me through for the past 25 years. When that day comes, I'm sure they'll be nothing but incredibly supportive and proud of me.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Monthly Topic #32: Wanna Be A Sex Bomb?

Here are some suggestions for making the best bed-rocking moves known to man.

~Image Source: Harper's BAZAAR~

Once you've been in a loving relationship for a long time, the sex can become a little, well, routine. It'll be OK, good even, but nothing either of you would describe as the missing chapter of the Karma Sutra. In fact, it's probably similar to the time before, and the time before that... So we thought we'd ask some sexpert guys for advice on how to spice things up. Once you've read the article, you'll be thinking: "I can't do that." Well, we're not suggesting you incorporate every single one of these tips in your bedroom book of tricks. What we are saying is that - and studies back us up on this - making one small variation to your standard routine can make sex an unforgettable experience all over again, because no doubt he'll want to reciprocate in kind. Just remember that you should try something new at least three times - the first time you'll be worried about whether you're doing it right, the second time you'll be thinking about how to make it work for you as well, and by the third, you'll be able to make it your own. So, here we go:

1. My ex used to flash parts of her body at me when we were out in pulic, like a bit of inner thigh. It used to get me so horny.

2. Guaranteed to get me hot is a phone call at work from my wife telling me exactly what she wants to do to me that night - or what she wants me to do to her. I have to pretend I'm talking to a client, so I try to act all cool and collected, but by the time I meet her, I'm almost ready to burst.

3. If she decides to swallow, it's best if she doesn't make a big deal out of it by groaning or quickly wiping her mouth on the pillowcase or the sheet. She should extend the moment instead, by slowly making her way up to my face with little kisses. That way, I can also feel her breasts brush against my body.

4. I used to love it when my ex would spiral her tongue up and down the side of my torso. I wish more women would do it.

5. Tell him you're not wearing underwear when you go out. I guarantee that he won't be able to think about anything else.

6. This move doesn't have a name, but it's a real treat watching my partner rub herself with oil, and then use her naked body to massage mine by rubbing up and down it. I'm instantly ready for business.

7. Don't underestimate the power of a good hand job. Even if she's not sure how fast or how slow, when to loosen her grip and when to tighten it. I'm more than happy to show her how. Just remember, we don't produce a natural lubricant, so make it smoother with a bit of saliva.

8. Men are visual creatures, so I love it when my partner strips for me, teasing me by taking each item off slowly and sexily. I just go wild.

9. You know how multi-tasking is about doing two or more things at once? Well, I like a woman who can do that in bed. So, if she's sucking on my nipples, she might also be cradling my balls, or, if we're having sex, she'll continue to kiss me. It's hot.

10. I don't know many women who like the way they look, but that doesn't mean sex should always be in the dark. So me tip is: let us leave the lights on occasionally. It's great to see her body and it's even better to watch her react to what I'm doing.

11. My nipples are incredibly sensitive, so there's no better sensation than having them licked and then gently blown on - alternating between hot and cold just sends shivers up my spine.

12. Ear-piercing orgasms and creaking beds are great but, for a change, I occasionally like to try doing it as quietly as and with as little movement as possible. It reminds me of sneaking girls into my bedroom when I was young and hoping my parents wouldn't hear. It still has the same illicit thrill.

13. You know what's cool? When my baby wakes me up in the middle of the night because she's gotta have it and she's gotta have it now.

14. Nothing gets me hornier than a woman undressing without saying anything. My partner once did that while I was on the phone, and I just kept losing track of the conversation.

15. My partner once pretended it was her first time, saying we could do anything but 'the deed'. We were so hot and sweaty by the end of it, we both reached orgasm - without intercourse.

16. You know that line of hair from the belly button to the pubic bone? Well, it's called the 'happy trail', and nothing makes me happier than having my wife licking it quite hard down to the base of my penis, before moving back up again.

17. One night I'll never forget is when my partner rubbed some strawberry-flavored lubricant on my nipples. She blew on them and it felt like I was on fire from them being all hot and tingly. Even now, when I smell strawberries...

18. Bring me to the edge then stop, then doing it all over again. It's like taking two sensual steps forward and one back, but I know my final climax will be incredible.

19. Look at me in the eye just as I'm about to orgasm.

20. It's simple: ask for seconds. That tells me how much she wants me.

21. I'm not vain, but a compliment now and then doesn't go astray. Sure, it's no whizz-bang move, but it always make me feel great.

22. Most girls don't realize how good it feels but, if she can squeeze her vaginal muscles when I'm inside her, it just blows my mind - especially when she starts out squeezing slowly, and then gradually speeds up.

23. Women are paranoid about how they smell but I don't want to taste soap and perfume when I'm down there, especially as her natural flavor is so incredibly sexy.

24. It may sound weird, but I melt when she licks, tickles and darts her tongue in and out of my ear, and it's great when she alternates the tempo and stops what she's doing and I can hear how excited she is from her heavy breathing.

25. I love it when my partner keeps her clothes on. Feeling something smooth and soft graze my body makes me desperate to get underneath it. Every now and again, she even keeps her G-string on. I pull it aside and we just go for it.

26. There's nothing better than a woman who's willing to take complete control and direct every one of my moves, telling me exactly what she wants me to do, when and who. It's really sexy to feel like I'm some kind of extra in our own personal pleasure show.

27. It's not just the foreplay and sex for me... what happens afterwards is just as important. When we're just lying there and she runs her fingers over me really gently. It keeps that loving feeling lingering for just a little bit longer.

28. My partner once put a ribbed condom on me inside out, and the sensation of those ridges along my penis during sex was absolute heaven. I've got a warning though: I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a back-up form of birth control, because unless you're ready to embrace parenthood, it's not a risk you want to take.

29. A woman who can make putting on the condom part of foreplay has my vote. My wife has even mastered the technique of slipping it on with her mouth by using her tongue to unroll it over my penis. It gets me hot just thinking about it.

30. Trim each other's pubic hair. The sensation of an electric clipper against my skin does amazing things a little further south.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Monthly Topic #31: Act Like A Man

People talk about getting in touch with their inner child, but what about releasing your inner man? Take your cue from male behavior and put yourself first... for a change. Trust us, you'll love it!

~Image Source: Roger Ebert~

It was at my niece's birthday party that I discovered how useful it is to "play it like a man". We watching the happily screaming kids, and their party food was laid out for them, while we adults were due to eat our "grown-up" meal a couple of hours later. I was starving. I could have eaten a whole child, with or without sauce. What to do? Sneak away to the cafe and order a quick sandwich? Carry on starving stoically? See if anyone else was hungry too, take orders from them and nip down to the nearest hawker stall?

In a guy's shoes
"What would a guy do?" I asked myself. I knew the answer: forget the rest of them, forget etiquette. I'd been up since the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to help my sister prepare this party, skipped breakfast and missed lunch. So I simply walked to a nearby cafe, ordered a sandwich, came back and ate it. No explanation. No "Oh I'm so sorry to eat in front of you all, it's just that..." Didn't bother with any of it. It wasn't a crime. Why should I explain? All I did was put my needs first. Further, I didn't explain myself nor hope that everyone still loved me despite my refusal to self-sacrifice, to think of others, to empathize, assume some of them might be hungry too. And this is how women are conditioned to act. Even if we're the main earners in our families, most of us are either expected to, or take on, an additional caring role. We may do the same job as men now, but we've kept the essentially "female" roles too. Don't you ever find it truly exhausting?

If we're to occupy the same place as men in the workplace, or at least strive to, shouldn't we also have some of their privileges? The best one being the right, occasionally, to put yourself first? To think of your own needs and not bother charging around, trying to please others all the time? Of course this can sound dangerously self-centered. But there's a Chinese proverb too, isn't there? If I am not for me, who will be? Men find this much easier to adhere to, I think, than women. We're taught to please, and we're afraid to court disapproval; terrified of being too selfish. It makes some kind of sense too because we do bear children - so perhaps some of this need to nurture others is innate. But most of us are way off bearing children, so there's no need to constantly put others first in the way that we'll have no choice but to do once we have given birth. Why not take advantage of our childfree state while we can? Why not take a cue from men?

Feel guilty? Naah!
"It's like asking a man if he feels guilty for eating too much chocolate or drinking too many beers on a night out," says my friend Lil. "They look at your like you're crazy or something. What? Me, a man feel guilty? What on earth for?" In fact, time spent in male company can be quite a tonic after too many girlie nights moaning about the size of your thighs (yawn) the number of calories consumed (even bigger yawn) and whether he loves you or not (zzzzzz). Lil again: "Men just don't angst like this. They are far more straightforward in their dealings with their bellies and their wallets. "Okay, maybe they worry a bit about someone they really like and whether she likes them too, and should they make a move now or leave it because she might think they're a bit too keen... That sort of thing. But they wouldn't dream of beating themselves up the way we women do for eating too much or drinking too much."

Men put themselves first because they're allowed to. Not all men are raised by male-worshipping mothers who teach them to expect the best because they deserve it. But many are. And if you have brothers, you'll know how infuriating it can be that you can do three hours of household chores a day that don't even get noticed, but he only has to offer to wash up once in a blue moon to be showered with gratitude. It's like the story of the brother and sister, both busy executives who have moved away from home. The woman visits her parents every weekend, carries out chores for them, bring gifts, is in every way the dutiful daughter? The man comes home for the odd holiday, doesn't do a chore, doesn't offer any financial help and forgets to bring a gift. His mother is always overjoyed to see him but thinks her daughter an ungrateful, selfish child who only visits once a week. No wonder man rarely feel guilt and find it easy to put themselves first. They've been trained to be No. 1 in their world from day one.

Too much empathy
Why should we women act that way sometimes, too? One gift we females tend to have over the boys is empathy. We can feel our way into someone else's soul. We've frequently been taught to think of others first, to imagine how they feel, so why not turn these lessons to our advantage for a change? Let's say they're looking for volunteers at work, to put in a few extra hours on the weekend because there's a big audit due and it'll really help the company. You're planning to move. This is a going-nowhere company and you've already had offers. There is nothing to gain from working over. It might make you feel good to do a good deed but this is work we're talking about. The cut-throat world of commerce, not a friend or family member who needs you. As a woman, the appeal would undoubtedly be directed straight at your heart. It's hard to refuse. Why not duck and let that arrow miss your heart and hit your head instead? Look at it with cold logic. What's in it for you?

"It sounds so selfish to put yourself like this but it's what men do, isn't it?" says Janice, a fellow friend. "And it doesn't seem to fo their careers any harm." Janice is tired of watching the men skive as much as they can at work, ducking the difficult tasks, while taking praise for ideas not their own. "Women will work far harder than they need and waste much time trying to please people - instead of just getting on with the job," adds Janice.

Feminizing men
Men are frequently exhorted to act more like women. We're told that the world of work is becoming more feminized, what with the "knowledge-based" industries like IT booming. Men must get in touch with their softer sides if they're to succeed, goes the mantra. Otherwise, they'll be left behind. Hello? I haven't noticed the world suddenly becoming woman-shaped and orientated, have you? Yes, men could use a few softer skills, the so-called feminine traits. But why should they? If they've nothing to gain from it, believe me, they won't bother. They'll still prefer beer-and-leer nights to sweet talk'n'empathy. They won't become more like us unless they perceive a reason to. And the only time they might be is when they want to get close to a woman. Then they cheerfully admit they'll "play the game" as Thomas candidly told me one night.

"Look, all men know the score: you have to do the touchy feely stuff, and I don't mean physically, unfortunately. Girls like talking and they like you to listen. But to be honest, this is going somewhere really special. I only pretend to be a sweet sensitive guy. I'm there for what I can get, I see no reason why women shouldn't act the same sometimes?" Some men claim we do just that. We pretend to care because we want the diamonds and furs some guys will shower on us. But that's not taking it like a man. Taking it like a man, rather than a gold-digging hussy is being straight, up-front and honest. "I wish women would be more like men," adds Thomas. "It'd sure make life easier if a girl would tell you straight-up whether she was interested or not. Or even when doing something simple, like trying to choose a film to watch together. I hate it when girls say, 'I don't mind. You choose.' You should mind. You should have an opinion. And chances are, you do. Why not come out and say it?"

Say it like a man
Being a man does not mean stomping over everyone else. It just means using your feminine nous to know there are times when saying straight out what you think or want, is far better than namy-pambying around. So the next time your boss calls you for an appraisal ask yourself, "How would a man handle this?" If you're asked to do more than your share at work or at home, think: "Would they ask this if I were a man?" Getting in touch with the inner male warrior inside us all is an excellent way to refuse to be treated like second-class citizens just because we happened to be born with a different set of chromosomes to the guys. Men aren't perfect but nor are they the enemy. We can learn from their straight-talking ways. So if you're ever in a bit of a fix and can't think of a way to deal with it, take a breath and think "man". It might just give you the answer your crave.

How To Do It Like A Man
You're asked to work late with no notice, and you have plans for that night. A woman's way: Reluctantly agree and cancel your carefully laid plans. Moan ceaselessly or mutter under your breath about "inconsiderate people".

A man's way: Say you have plans for that night so no, just can't do it. No more explanation offered. No great, crowd-moving speeches. Just a simple statement of fact: "Sorry, I can't. I have plans."

Your mother asks you to clean the house for the fifth time this week. You think that you're already doing more than your share. A woman's way: Complain, have a go at the homework, say it's not fair, and why doesn't everyone else do their share, look how much I've already done.

A man's way: Point out you've done plenty already and refuse. No more explanation. To the point. And repeat it, if necessarily, to show you mean it.

You need to take a faulty item back to the store. You know that you have rights but you're not in the mood for any kind of fight. A woman's way: You stutter and practically apologize to the sales person or manager because they sold you something that doesn't work.

A man's way: You point out that the goods are faulty, have your receipt to hand and demand a full refund. You refuse to leave the shop till you have it. Employ the stuck CD method where you keep saying what you want over and over again, until you get it.

Your love partner seems to be cooling towards you. You want to know where you stand but all attempts to sort this prove futile. He simply says, "Everything's fine." A woman's way: You assume it's all your fault. You must have done something wrong. You jump through fire-rimmed hoops, do whatever it takes, to try and please this person and win back the affection you know they once felt for you.

A man's way: You produce the evidence. You point out this person has been "out" several times recently when you called and appears to show little interest. You want to know, one way or another, is this still a going concern or not? (If the answer is not, you walk away head held high, then bawl your eyes out when no-one else can see.)

A friend owes you money. You're flat broke and need it back. Your friend shows no signs of repaying, despite frequent hints, but clearly could afford to repay. A woman's way: You go on and on about how broke you are. You ask ever-so-nicely if they could repay the loan and then meekly accept it when they say that they can't... yet, somehow, have funds for a $800 new dress.

A man's way: You say you want the money back and you want it now. You add the threat that if they don't repay, you go to their parents or employers for that sum. And you never call this person a friend again.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Monthly Topic #30: 10 Signs You're About To Split

Sometimes, two people can hae radically different ideas about where a relationship is going. One can be positive it's over and plannin the break-up spech, while the other is lissfully unaware that there's a problem. Here's how to tell if you're heading for a fall.

~Image Source: StepChange MoneyAware~

Sometimes, the writing's so obviously on the wall, it might as well be in neon. In other relationships, one person's planning the wedding menu while the other is planning to leave. According to couples' counselors, there are vulnerable points in any partnership - and classic, telltale signs you're about to split. How does your love affair measure up?

You Or Your Partner Experience A Major Life Change
A new job, move to a new country, the death of a parent or a best friend - any major life change pushes the strongest relationship into a vulnerable position. Change gives us a new perspective: we're forced to step outside of the same old routine - and even a short break from normality can make us question how happy we really are. Taking a new job or moving town exposes us to new people: it's easy to stay in a so-so relationship if the only males you mix with are the ancient accounts clerk in the family business where you work. Since more than 65 percent of people meet their future spouse at work, changing jobs can turn up more dates than a disco. Even if you are happy, you're battling the boring old partner syndrome when you meet new men. Someone new is always more interesting and if the two of you have chemistry and work closely together, watch out!

Your Relationship Is At A Turning Point
You've been going out for two years now and everyone's asking when you're getting engaged or married. Secretly, you're both wondering the same thing: is it time to move on or move out? If you're comfortable with commitment and each other, this can open the lines to some much-needed discussion. But if one partner needs more time and feels pressure to make a decision immediately, leaving may seem the best solution.

You Don't Make Love As Often As Before
That touch-me-and-I-melt feeling wanes with time in the healthiest relationship - but there's a huge difference between a natural cooling-off period, and the signals that you're about to split. The telltale sign is "the cringe factor": when you do make love, do you enjoy it - or shrink away? If you're simply caught up with the pressures of life, when both of you finally do make love, it's great and you wonder why you don't make the effort more often. But if either of you go into cringe factor, you're in trouble! Your skin crawls, you close your eyes, shut down your senses - it's a horrible feeling, you can't wait for sex to be over! Partners who are in cringe mode will do just about anything to avoid the bedroom. They'll get drunk, pick a fight, invent exotic illnesses, often be the life of the party simply to avoid going home. Usually, affectionate gestures will also vanish.

One Of You Has Sex With Someone Else
Whether it's a night with an ex-boyfriend or a one-night stand on a business trip, having sexual contact with someone other than your partner means major trouble. For a start, you've broken the pact the two of you had to stay faithful to each other; the relationship loses its "special-ness" and you feel less committed. You could also find yourself getting addicted to the risk-taking. If you don't get caught, it's a way of satisfying that 'naughty' side of us. Other people start playing around because they're not sure how they feel, so they start "testing" their feelings. Some people just don't have the guts to say 'I don't love you anymore' so they start cheating. They find it a lot easier to break up by confessing they've been unfaithful. Once a partner strays, the relationship is in dire straits. The theory is that there are three things that hold relationships together; play, passion and company. When we meet someone, we react like children and think 'Wow! Someone I can play with'. When you start seeing other people it means the play has ceased - you're looking around the recapture that feeling with someone else.

The Blinkers Come Off
The blinkers eventually come off in any relationship and flirting with a guy whose pecs rival Arnie's need not mean you're not happily attached. Flirting makes us feel refreshed and desired, and boosts our ego - it's only when you want to take things further that problems start. Occasionally testing your sexual attractiveness for a bit of a laugh is normal; finding yourself constantly fantasizing about different men isn't.

You Send Out Signals That Others Act On
If you're happily involved, people ask you out even if you do flirt with them. Subliminally, you're sending out an "I'm attached" signal even if you are flicking your hair and sliding your fingers along the stem of your wine glass. Start thinking about splitting, however, and it's a different story. I'm not sure if it's a chemical thing or not, though it's certainly said that people give off pheromones. Either way, I do think we advertise your availability. You may have a ring on your finger and appear to be settled in a relationship but from the moment you decide you want an affair, you give off an unconscious 'I'm available' message that people respond to. Sometimes, our signals are quite deliberate. If you're thinking of leaving, you become more aware of your attractiveness and may start flaunting your sex appeal to see how you'd fare if you were single. Same goes for him. If he's skipping bonding with the boys for a lengthy discussion about fashion with a blushing brunette, consider the danger light on and blinking.

You Stop Talking
Once, you called him five times in as many hours, eager to fill him in on everything that happened in your day. Now, you've won that longed-for promotion and find yourself picking up the phone to call someone else first. The nurturing element, the ability to care for each other, is part of the glue that holds us together. If you're not getting the nurturing from him - or feel you're giving too much - you'll turn to others who do it better. Couples who are disenchanted with each other often stop communicating effectively. Conversations fade to a bored "How was work?" thrown over your shoulder as you're chopping up the vegetables. Not talking about the little things stops you feeling in tune with each other. It's a fact of life; the person who knows most about us is often the person we feel closest to. We naturally move closer to the person we share our secrets with.

You Stop Arguing
In a university study, researchers asked a group of single men and woman to name the opposite to love. Their answer, predictably was hate. When the same question was posed to married couples, they answered "indifference" - a far more realistic and accurate response, at least according to psychologists. While you're arguing, the chances are there's still a relationship there that's functioning. It's when you give up on arguing that spells the end. You've got to the stage where you're indifferent: you despair that you'll ever get your needs met and stop trying.

You Start Seeing Faults
That cute little habit she has of distractedly smoothing hair now seems neurotic; his gregarious personality starts to grate. Your rose-colored glasses have been replaced by magnifying glasses and faults you never noticed before now seem glaringly magnified. Sometimes, our partners do change physically or emotionally into someone who doesn't attract us anymore. But more often than not, it's our perceptions that have altered. When you fall out of love, your tolerance level isn't the same. What was endearing becomes annoying. Finding fault also helps us justify wanting to leave. We gather as many faults as possible as a reason for leaving someone. We try to justify why we're about to be mean and nasty.

You Avoid Spending Time Together
Couples who can't even go to the dentist alone are nauseating, but pay attention if you find yourself preferring to do just about everything solo. You're leaving him out because you feel less restricted and more comfortable on your own. Another clincher: when people stop asking you out as a couple. If the tension between you is so obvious that others notice it, your future together is definitely growing less and less certain. It's one of the tail-end signs that you've drifted apart. If you're no longer spending time together, you're no longer communicating or sharing. And of course, it also means you're free to spend time with someone else.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Monthly Topic #29: Beat Those Negative Thoughts

You've been promoted. He told you he loves you. You got that apartment. Congratulations! There's just one problem... a niggling little voice in your head that won't let you enjoy your success. Here's how to silence those negative thoughts for good.

~Image Source: Lifehack - Tips for Life~

Life was going well for Jean, She'd been promoted, received a fabulous salary increase, and her incredibly romantic boyfriend proposed by placing a gorgeous diamond ring on top of her dessert at a swanky restaurant - just like in the movies. So why did Jean call her best friend the next day and practically break down on the phone? "I felt so good, so incredibly happy, that I was terrified it would all go wrong. When you really want something badly, it keeps you going. When you get it, you just get scared it'll all be taken away again," she explains.

You're Not Alone

Jean has a very understanding friend who, rather than tell her to grow up and accept her good fortune, agreed and told her, "I know exactly what you're talking about. You're suffering from the Big Foot syndrome." The Big Foot Syndrome, or what I call the "Where d'you think you're going" syndrome, is when life unexpectedly gets good or simply stops being awful. You start to think, Oh yes, when's the Big Foot gonna drop on my head and squash me flat? The Big Foot is very clever. It knows when to leave you alone. And it knows when to strike - just as you think your life is turning a corner, bang! Down it comes. You didn't think you'd get away with any real happiness now, did you? Most people have some degree of self-doubt and question their own worth, especially when success has come to them. There are some arrogant souls who act like they deserve the best and mean it. But nice people - people like you and me - question the randomness of good fortune far more than we question the bad. In a society where hard work is supposed to be its own reward, we expect to earn favors and even when we do, we still question our own worth.But there's something more insidious to this Big Foot fear: for some women, women like Jean, there's a message from childhood that says she doesn't deserve to be happy. So, rather than enjoy the success she worked hard for, she's full of self-doubt. Taken to the extreme, this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy - you don't think you deserve happiness, so you work like a demon to ruin it for yourself.

Stop Self-Doubt

Fortunately, Jean's great pal assured her that she was indeed entitled to her success and warned her not to blow it with too much self-analysis. Carol was not so lucky. The eldest child of three sisters and one younger brother, Carol had always grown up in her younger brother's shadow. "My parents wanted a boy first, so I was a huge disappointment to them. When the longed-for-boy, Alan, arrived, he was treated like the eldest and received all the favors and accolades a first-born usually does. Then, when my sisters Leanne and Margaret came along, my parents accepted them as girls because they had their boy then." This might sound like sour grapes but I know Carol well and I know her parents too. The favoritism towards Alan is painfully obvious. You don't need to be a psychologist to recognize it. Example: when Alan started work, his adoring mother dressed him from head to toe in Armani to ensure the world knew her boy was going to amount to something. A year earlier, when Carol had graduated from university and found a decent job, her mother reluctantly gave her a $0 gift voucher with a grudging "well done".

Alan has found love, happiness and career success. Carol? Now the other side of 30, she's never had a relationship that's lasted more than six months. As soon as a man tells Carol he loves, or even likes her, she does her damnedest to ruin it. Or so it seems. Carol didn't recognize this until Alan's wedding last year. Then, like suddenly acquiring vision for the first time, she felt desperately lonely and left out. She pulled her best friend aside - typically Carol had taken a girlfriend to the bash, not a boyfriend - and wept so copiously her friend nearly called an ambulance. Her friend had never seen such heartbreaking distress. "I wanted to smash her smug, self-satisfied parents in the face for making Carol feel so bad," says her friend. But Alan's wedding was a huge turning point for Carol. Tired to trying to compete with her younger brother, she dropped out of her well-paid publishing job and opened a New Age center. Here, she came in contact with therapists for the first time, and realized that rather than helping others, she desperately needed to help yourself. "I know my case is probably a bit extreme but in many ways, that actually makes it easier to 'cure', because the messages I got from my childhood were so blatant and cruel," she says. For Carol, the answer has been to distance her self from her family. That means avoiding traditional get-togethers and keeping all contact to a bare minimum. "There's no point trying to explain to my mother. Not that I haven't tried. But I've realized now that it's easier and much less painful not to see her at all."

Removed from the cause of her low self-esteem, the cloud above Carol has gradually, though not completely, disappeared. When something happens that makes her happy, or she catches herself enjoying a special sunset or simply feeling good, she tried to savor the moment and silence the "it won't last" voices. "If you can literally live in the moment, rather than worrying about the next one, the fear of everything going wrong is easier to handle," she advises. These negative thoughts that tell us we don't deserve happiness or success are not only the voices of our parents or our teachers. They are all around. Psychologist Louise Beech explains: "It's part of the human make-up to find it easier to be negative about someone or something than positive. No-one knows the reason for this, but it's why we tend to believe the criticisms and not the praise. An actress will read 58 great notices but cry her heart out over the 59th that is mildly critical. In the same way, we all tend to believe our bad critics over our good."

Positive Thinking

Even the great and good can be afraid that their happiness will be snatched away from them. Talking about his mid-life crisis, which he explored in The Information, author Martin Amis told an interviewer that although the crisis was over, better times bring their own concerns. "Happiness has a very strong mixture of paranoia. Beforehand, when you're struggling and you have worries, it kind of toughens you up. Makes you resilient. You think, They can't throw anymore at me now. But when you're happy, you expect a 747 to land on your head or a building to collapse on top of you. Disaster is around every corner," said the award-winning novelist. So what to do? If, like most people, you accept the randomness of bad luck, then why not accept the good too? Because fortune is indeed random. We can work hard to win that promotion, plum jo or the kind of social life we've always wanted. But no matter how hard you try, luck will always play some part. Sometimes it will go against you, but like tossing a coin, it's equally likely to go your way.

No-one has only bad luck or good. It's merely a matter of interpretation. Lottery winners might say, "Why me?", but why not them? Those who think they go through life experiencing nothing but bad luck simply ignore the times when fortune has favored them. They color their life black, not because it is, but because that's how they view it It's familiar and safe. But even if things have always gone wrong, some people manage to stay optimistic. Take Joan, who as a child, grew used to disappointment. "I can't remember how many times I was promised something that never happened, like going to the theater, having an overseas holiday, or indeed any kind of holiday. "None of it ever happened because my parents never had any spare money. But I still manage to look forward to things now, long after the experience should have triumphed over anticipation." However, the disappointment when something goes wrong is still crushing. "And when something I've always looked forward to does come off, I suffer dreadful anti-climaxes afterwards," Joan adds. "But that's the price I am prepared to pay to remain an optimist. Even though w rarely got the treats we were promised, at least our parents had their hearts in the right place. They taught us to look forward to the future. Maybe that's where I get my optimism from."

Louise Beech has a theory about this apparent contradiction. "Not all aspects of our personality can be explained by reference to childhood experiences. We still don't know the whole story on what makes a person's character. Perhaps some of us are born optimists or maybe we inherit this trait. Psychologists used to think everyone was born with a blank slate onto which their upbringing imprinted their personality. We no longer believe that." That's brilliant news because it means we're not prisoners of the way we've been told to be, or what we've been told will happen. We can always reinvent ourselves the way we'd rather be. And wouldn't you rather believe you deserve whatever good fortune comes your way than believe you don't?

Get Your Hope Back

As well as taking Carol's advice about living for the moment, you can send your black clouds of doubt packing by doing some simple self-esteem exercises (see 7 ways To Sink Self-Doubt), because believing "It will all go wrong" is a classic sign of low self-esteem. Everyone is entitled to happiness. If life appears to treat you badly, it's not because you deserve it or that you've done anything wrong to bring it about. Events are haphazard and rarely follow any kind of pattern. A spot of what psychologists call cognitive restructuring - I'll explain in a minute - can turn such negativity around in a flash. All that fancy expression means is, "see things another way". Interpret events to suit you. So if your roof falls, your boyfriend leaves you and your boss sacks you, don't shrug and say, "Serves me right, I'm a failure, I'm gonna go eat worms." Restructure it and tell yourself: "So I'm going through a rough patch, but I'll get through this and it will make me stronger because I'm a survivor." Then, when things do start to go well - and they will, they always do - accept it wholeheartedly instead of peering at the ceiling, wondering when the roof's gonna cave in again. I can't promise you that the roof won't ever cave in ...but why spend your life looking upwards waiting for the world to crash about you? None of us can make the Big Foot vanish forever, but why give it more room in your brain that it deserves?

7 Ways To Sink Self-Doubt

» Keep your birthday and Christmas cards. Whenever life cuts up rough, get them out and remember how much you are liked and valued.

» Each morning, tell your bathroom mirror reflection how wonderful and worthy you are. It might seem silly but it does work. This is what psychologists call "affirmation".

»Write down at least 10 aspects of yourself that you like or find admirable.

» Join forces with a friend and tell each other how special you are.

» When you need some kind of appraisal, say at work, ask for your good points to be given first.We always hear what is said first more clearly. It'll take the sting out of any criticisms that may follow.

» Give up dieting and take up exercise instead. It works better and releases endorphins into the system; these are the body's natural opiates and they're better than any illegal substitutes.

» Try to find something that you can laugh at, at least 10 times a day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Samples Received & Redeemed: May 2015

Well, I think I am getting sick even more easily as compared to last month. Got a cold around a month ago, and my cold is still lingering on like a jilted lover LOL Have been sleeping with a blocked nose for the last 3 weeks or so and I am back to having coughing fits. And the best part? The weather is unusually hot and humid, which makes getting a cold seems like some magical event -_- Hence the lack of posts for the past month, since trying to sleep with blocked nose just makes me even more tired. It doesn't even feel like I slept at all...

Good news is that, I've finally gotten a new digital camera solely for blogging purposes. Expect somewhat nicer photos as compared to previous ones. And digital cameras nowadays have video recording as well, good for future video uploads. But for now, I'll take advantage of the video recording function for my main blog at the moment.

And I didn't have much chance to sift through for free samples recently too, but a little shoutout to The Swanple over at theswanple.blogspot.sg/, Miss Ivy is also an avid product sampler too and I got loads of links for old and previously released samples from her blog when I was just starting to get this blog up too :D

Anyway, less yakking from me as I bring you that monthly long-awaited blog post du jour:

Got to hear about Neostrata hosting a sampling activity, seems like they are becoming regular. So, it is easier to keep their FB page on your Bookmark to check back every now and then. I received:

  • Ultra Brightening Cleanser x 1 @ 2ml
  • Illuminating Serum x 1 @ 2ml
  • Pigment Controller x 1 @ 2ml

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: This sample redemption is over. I got to the Triple Firming Neck Cream Free Samples. If you want to try it out, just go over to NeoStrata Singapore FB page at NeoStrata.SG/app_160430850678443, Like their page and fill in your details. Samples will be mailed to your mailbox :D

Bio-Essence was also hosting a sampling activity. I got the 24K Bio-Gold Gold Water x 1 @ 3g.

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: Sampling is over :(

Well, I always get compliments for my hair. Looks healthy and that I should keep it black instead of coloring so it also brings out my "pale" skin-tone as well LOL I got my hands on the Diane Repair Hair Mask EXTRA Damage Repair at 200g.

My only tip is that, if you have virgin hair, like literally non-colored, non-bleached and non-treated hair, just leave it as it is, that means no coloring, bleaching or anything that will destroy hair. As it means you have to spend more money just to make sure it looks and stay healthy. But if it's colored, bleached, treated, permed, whatever you have done to it, always always use hair conditioner if you wash your hair everyday. At least once or twice a week, use a hair mask to maintain the condition of your hair. This way, even if your hair isn't virgin hair, it will still look healthy. It doesn't even matter whether your scalp is naturally healthy or have dandruff and you have to use anti-dandruff shampoo, still get down to using a conditioner. Your hair will thank you in the long run :D

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: No sample for redemption.

Saw NTUC having a Kleenex promotion, a 3-pack bundle and it costs less than S$4.00. Somewhat forgot the actual price already, but it's inexpensive. Since I have oily/combination face that has some sort of angst issues with pimples, it wouldn't hurt to get it. I can bring it to work everyday :D

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: No sample for redemption.

Why not like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PuNiaosProductReviews to be informed of latest samples I found, which is duly updated? Also includes updates to health, beauty & lifestyle tips at least once a day. It will definitely save you the trouble of having to hunt them down :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

iLa Spa Night Cream Rejuvenating Skin Cells Review

WHAT IS IT: iLa Spa Night Cream Rejuvenating Skin Cells
iLa Spa Night Cream Rejuvenating Skin Cells

iLa Spa Night Cream Rejuvenating Skin Cells
iLa Spa Night Cream Rejuvenating Skin Cells: ila’s luscious Night Cream aids the restorative benefits of sleep, penetrating skin’s innermost layers to support from deep within. Fatty acids from the marapuama tree restore elasticity and visibly enhance tone and texture while antioxidants repair free radical damage caused by pollution and harsh weather. Potent but entirely natural skin cell rejuvenators, including essential fatty acids and fresh royal jelly, stimulate deep cellular processes helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

iLa Spa Night Cream Rejuvenating Skin Cells
Directions for usage is stated clearly. Although it is a Night Cream, I personally find that it's still rather rich for my combination skin. Even though just a really small amount is more than sufficient for the entire face, it still feels like it's too much though. So, I generally use just a small tiny dot and in the event it doesn't sufficiently cover the entire face, another small tiny dot again.

iLa Spa Night Cream Rejuvenating Skin Cells
You can see that it is really thick and creamy, so, a really small tiny dot is what you should start with to prevent over-moisturizing.

iLa Spa Night Cream Rejuvenating Skin Cells
My skin looks hydrated and moisturized instantly. And depending on how little or how much you apply, the amount of stickiness you feel on your skin varies. As I use a small tiny dot of Night Cream, it doesn't feel as if my skin is too sticky or oily at all.

VERDICT: The scent itself is so heavenly that just one sniff is enough to fool you into thinking you are having a moment at a Spa instead of at home. It helps that the brand name has the word "Spa" in it as well. Just sniffing it before you actually use it just makes your mind goes a flutter as you imagine all the goodness your skin is going to feel and get when you finally apply the product itself to your skin just before bedtime.

As Singapore isn't really a cool climate type of country, so I generally only use it when the night is colder than usual, which typically means never. But it does help with the fact that because Singapore is such a hot and humid country that it is normal to sleep with the air-conditioner on at the coldest or the electric fan at full blast. Just perfect for using it on a nightly basis, in this case.

As it is a Night Cream, it is really thick, heavy and creamy and I personally found out that applying only a small tiny dab, just half a pea size is actually more than enough to cover the entire face to give it the moisture it needed. Technically, we should also use a Night Cream instead of a Night Lotion. Reason being, our skin loses moisture at night while we sleep. So, my presumption is that, using a Night Lotion means that your skin will lose just as much moisture while you sleep. But when using a Night Cream instead, even though we do lose moisture from our skin, it won't be that much of a significant loss as we are using a Night Cream (heavy and thick) instead of Night Lotion (light and lightweight).

I personally like how the Night Cream doesn't feel heavy, sticky nor oily on my face, which I attribute the reason to applying sparingly to avoid the greasiness and stickiness encountered with thick and heavy skin creams. As I tend to roll around in bed at night, I sometimes wake up to see imprints of folded sheets leftover on parts of my face, they tend to fade away after a while. But after using this Night Cream, these "imprints" are no longer seen on my face when I wake up in the morning. Yay!!


WHAT I THINK: As both the Day Cream and Night Cream is similar in texture and consistency, and the fact that both pots looked literally the same, with the exception of the words stating whether it's Day or Night, one can easily apply the wrong cream at the wrong time of the day without careful looking. So, a tiny half-pea size dab is definitely more than enough, no matter how dry or oily your skin is.

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: No sample for redemption.

Why not like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PuNiaosProductReviews to be informed of latest samples I found, which is duly updated? Also includes updates to health, beauty & lifestyle tips at least once a day. It will definitely save you the trouble of having to hunt them down :)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Samples Received & Redeemed: April 2015

Well, I seemed to be a pro at getting ill recently. Right after my health wasn't going well just 2 weeks ago, now I'm down with a bad sore throat. My voice sounds too impossibly girl for my own taste if I really attempt to talk, in my humblest opinion. Other than that, it's gravitating between voice-less and way too low and way too huskier. Oh well, never mind that. Took a few days to also figure out that it's almost impossible to upload images from my phone to my laptop, have to literally sync everything to Facebook. It's a big roundabout way as mentioned in last month's Samples Received & Redeemed.

SaSa was previously having a massive island-wide and store-wide discount. Was a little tempted to look-see around, at least I now know I can still get My Scheming masks from SaSa although I have no idea why I cannot get it from Watsons anymore :( Anyway, despite having so much "massive" discounts, I personally felt that most of the items didn't seem to look discounted, in terms of price-wise. What made it even worse is that, considering that Singaporeans tend to be dumb, stupid, goondu and blind when you flash the word "Sale" and "Discount" in their eyes, it wouldn't kill to inform every paying customer that membership only costs a maximum spending of S$80 to sign up, instead of the usual S$200. (FYI, there's a dumb, stupid, goondu and blind girl writing this blog post too..)

Bottom line is that, despite you have a slightly longer cashiering process with each customer due to them actually spending that actual $80 just for the sake of getting a cheaper membership, you still ultimately get them to spend additional just for the sake of the membership, am I right? But it seems they can't be bothered with this little deduction. Their main concern, priority and focus for that "Sale" and "Discount" period is to ensure that each and every customer that walked into their store and started browsing around should have a small empty basket thrusted into their hands just so they can have a tiny-as-hell basket to place their purchases in before bringing everything to the counter to pay.

And worse of all? The staff is so bloody bochup, that instead of having a single-transaction receipt to qualify, they should allow maximum 2 same day receipt, or 2 same week receipts to qualify for the membership. This is one of the single reasons why I seldom shop at SaSa, much less consider spending S$200 inside their shop for a membership. It's like, in the end run, you're just a SaSa instead of a Watsons or a Guardian Pharmacy. What the hell type of crap do you actually have in there that justifies me spending at least S$200 each visit? If you're asking me to spend close to S$200 at Watsons and Guardian Pharmacy, it's not that hard since it's like a personal life and toiletries shop. But spending S$200 on purely makeup-related purchases at SaSa?

Which brings to the question of: Just how many mascaras, eyeliners, blushers, foundation/loose powder, lipsticks and makeup removers each person has to buy just to hit that S$200 cap, if said person is only intent and hell-bent on not getting the expensive and well-known brands, just don't mind cheaper alternatives? And considering the fact that makeup has a very short shelf-life life-span, just how fast do you expect a woman to use up her makeup so nothing would go to waste?

Anyways, here's a look at what I bagged for S$40++ before I had that realization stated above.

  • Foot Peeling Mask 10 Days Miracle x 3 @ 40ml each
  • Baby Smooth Purifying Cleansing Oil (Peach Extract and Sunflower Oil) @ 145ml

I actually bought 3 of the foot peeling mask since they had a "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" promo although I think I was charged the full price for each one individually. I used one on the same night I got home and was expecting to see the dead skin peeling off my foot in less than a week. It took a little more than 2 weeks to see a small sign of peeling. And get this, it's not like there were signs of peeling anywhere. It's a small spot here, then the peeling seemed to subsided and then another spot peeling, subsided. Then on to the next spot, so on and so forth. I doubt it's the product being ineffective, more like I scrubbed and cleansed my feet quite decently. Which probably contributed to the lack of skin peeling I was passionately anticipating for xD Another reason why I do not buy foot peeling jelly of any sort, unless it works on the lower part of my legs as well.

  • Mirror-Powder Puff-Powder Compartment thingy
  • Gliders Soft-Ties x 5 colors

I recently changed to a loose powder type instead of the regular foundation powder, so I thought I should get this for easy application of powder on my face. My poor makeup brush (a.k.a the one and only I am using as of now) has been overly abused, overly used and overly washed, it's a miracle that none of the bristles are falling off. Yet. As for the Gliders Soft-Ties, do you noticed that if you used the other type of rubber band that is encased in thread/ribbon/whatever it's called to gather up your hair in a pony-tail. It actually leave some sort of a line or crease on the back of your head, just right on top of your hair. Rather unsightly if you have natural straight hair that looks healthy and full and the thread-encased rubber band isn't really gentle on your hair and scalp either.

Because we get the misconception that even though it is a rubber band, but technically, the actual rubber band itself is encased inside a spool of thread. Therefore, we subconsciously think that if the rubber band itself is loose, we just need to tighten it a little more so that pony-tail won't drop off. Again that subconsciousness, even if 'I' were to tighten up the rubber band on my ponytail, my hair won't "hurt" because there's a spool of thread encasing the actual rubber band. And that my dearies, is how you get to mistreat, manhandle and abuse your hair over-time.

Hence, the weird decision on my part to try and use these Gliders Soft-Ties instead to better take care of my hair and scalp. If I am not wrong, you probably can make a similar one if you hav a stash of embroidery stuffs lying around. Just get those elastic bands that you need for the waistband of your pants or skirts, wrap and sewn-up strip of cloth around the elastic band. On-the-spot Gliders Soft-Ties, and you can have your own individuality because it's hand-made by you :D

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: No samples for redemption.

Was browsing around JEM and WestGate area recently, when I recalled that overly-hyped Tokyu Hands is already opened at WestGate and hence decided to pop in for a visit and see if anyone catches my eye and fancy. It's the same as every girl, on the outside we scoff but on the inside, it's all "OMIGOSH!! I MUST HAVE THAT J*SYCF*TS*C!!!!" Although I do have to admit, Tokyu Hands is just too way over-hyped. In actuality, it's a rather well conceptualized, organized, neat and tidy shop. It seemed so large from other beauty bloggers photos, but it isn't. So, no worries about browsing around until your legs give out. But on the contrary, if you are someone who likes to take his or her time browsing through every single item they have there, I sure bet you would need at least a solid 4 to 6 hours in there just to carefully browse each and every item.

I took multiple u-turns back to the makeup remover shelf because I wanted and at the same time, wasn't so sure if I wanted this makeup remover. Same thing happened with the hand cream shelves in there too. And the same happened with the bags, purses, pouches shelves too. In the end, I only walked away with 2 items as I needed those the most.

Tokyu Hands
  • Tsururi Pore Peeling Ghassoul Powder @ 55g
  • Panna Pompa Cleansing Water Blood Orange @ 300ml

Like I keep mentioning, pore peeling jelly, creams and the likes are stuffs I wouldn't buy partly because my face is decently well-cleansed. So using pore peeling products is practically wasted on my face. However, pore peeling products aren't just limited to the face only. Anyway on your body that has a layer of skin, you can use it on as well. Let's see, arm-pits are a good place. We think that regular showering and gently scrubbing with a shower puff is enough to cleanse the arm-pits. But in actuality, it isn't.

Another example I can visualize: Imagine that 2 to 3 months later, you started noticing a faint smell coming from your armpits. Despite using deodorants on a daily basis, as much as twice a day. Showering every day without fail, also as much as twice a day too. It still gets a little sweat-smelling after a while. This is where pore peeling products come into play in an effective manner. Before using a pore peeling product on the armpit, smelly right? In the midst of using a pore peeling product on your armpit, you will be amazed to see so much dead skin cells are being rubbed off, it's almost magical but on a wrong perception though. After using a pore peeling product, the smell on your armpit is noticeable gone and your armpit feels so much cleaner and the pores there don't feel so clogged up. And best of all? Your armpit don't look so "darK' as compared to prior using a pore peeling product.

There you have it, the perfect reason for using a pore peeling product on your armpit too!

As for the makeup remover, the panda face on the product convinced me I should buy it. I'm a sucka for panda faces :D

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: No samples for redemption. But previously, the old uncle cashier wanted me to like Tokyu Hands facebook page so I can get a free pen. I couldn't say No to free pens, could I? xD

Bifesta was hosting a sampling activity previously. I got the Bifesta Cleansing Lotion SEBUM (Cotton Type) x 2 cotton pads @ 11.8ml

Actually, it's not the first time I gotten free samples from Bifesta. They are always hosting sampling activities every now and then. If you missed the current one, just wait out for the next one.

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: Samples should be available as the online sample request form is still working. Go over to http://goo.gl/forms/DmrcKZ6nvL and fill in your details. Wait for the sample to arrive in your mailbox.

Was lingering around 7-Eleven, wondering if I should get in on the Mickey Mouse keychain faze or not. I always never participate in these type of shady stuffs, because the #1 reason is: "Sorry, cannot choose keychain hor~~" And I was right -_- I got the Dumbo one when in reality, I wanted the original Mickey Mouse or the black-and-white Mickey with a top hat. But well, life sucks, and it always turns out better in the end anyway.

Singapore Press Holdings
  • Cosmopolitan - Not pictured
  • Women's Weekly - Downy Unstoppables In-wash Scent Booster x 1 @ 30g
  • Style: - Laura Mercier Foundation Primer X 1 @ 30ml

I bought the Cosmopolitan because the #1 thing that strike my fancy was the small heading that said "Tips To Stop Feeling So Damn Tired". Yep, blow S$5 on a small article in a magazine that may or not may help with my tiredness..

I love my clothes and laundry smelling like it didn't come out of the washing machine, but instead from something more magical. In short, I never like the smell of detergent on my clothes all these years. If possible, the smell of air and sunshine is the best. But I don't live in a field full of meadow or whatever, so the next best thing is to get a Scent Booster such as this.

Laura Mercier = Expensive product. Since there's a sample being given away, no doubt I would get it and have a try and see if it's good to invest in on a long-term basis.

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: Stocks recalled. You have to call up Singapore Press Holding and ask if they have any more stocks left.

Let's just say I already knew in advance, around 1.5 to 2 weeks early, that TBS is coming out with a Fuji range. So, I was naturally excited when the range was finally "released" for the general public to purchase. My only question is that, it claimed to have been harvested around the hills of Mt. Fuji, but... do TBS know that there's a small patch of area at the base of Mt. Fuji which is commonly known as the Suicide Forest? :O So, which base of Mt. Fuji were this product range harvested from? D;

The Body Shop
  • Fuji Green Tea Body Wash @ 250ml
  • Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet @ 200ml
  • Fuji Green Tea Eau De Cologne @ 100ml

Just FYI, I don't get the entire full range for every range released. The body butters are too rich for my skin. I once slid across the floor, after forgetting that I was sitting on the floor earlier. Dangerous times.. I normally get the shower, body lotion or sorbet and the EDT or EDP instead. These are like my 3 essentials from any range at TBS. Unless my skin is really peeling and flaky to the point I looked like I am shedding skin, then I would consider getting the body butter. If not, the body lotion despite being lighter is more than enough to get skin moisturized thoroughly without the thick, cloying and oily feeling.

The Body Shop
  • Forbidden Flower Shower Gel @ 250ml
  • Forbidden Flower Eau De Toilette @ 30ml
  • Winding Key - For hand creams

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: No samples for redemption. But then, everyone is going mad for the Fuji Green Tea range, so this is one of the released range that shouldn't be ignore if you want a little Zen in your life.

Dr Young
I received an email mailer which stated that Dr Young was giving out samples. So, I signed up for it :D The samples I received were:
  • Triple Action B.B SPF 33 PA+++ x 1 sachet
  • Anti Dryness Camellia Deep Cleansing Foam x 1 sachet
  • Timeless Forever Young Bamboo Blooming Booster x 1 sahcet

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: Link doesn't seem to be working now :(

The Sample Store
Carina Lau Sea Lily Whitening Mask x 1 @ 26ml

The only free sample available from TSS after all this time, was a little disappointed. But at the same time, if there's more of other samples, it'll probably be something I've already tried before though. I always get mixed feelings whenever I go over to TSS to check out which free samples are available for grabs.

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: Fully redeemed. I don't see this product anywhere on the "Free Samples" page now :(

Saw this on the shelves for a couple of years now, but as I was using another hair removal product, I had to give this a miss. Now that my other hair removal cream is almost finishing, it's high time I get a new one to try. I have mostly in-grown hair, which is a pain in the butt most of the time :(

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: No samples for redemption.

Why not like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PuNiaosProductReviews to be informed of latest samples I found, which is duly updated? Also includes updates to health, beauty & lifestyle tips at least once a day. It will definitely save you the trouble of having to hunt them down :)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Monthly Topic #28: Do You Work For A Jerk?

They lie, cheat and steal, howl and scream, ansd suck you dry before tossing you aside. Bad bosses: you can't live with them and you can't run them over, so here's how to cope with their problems personalities.

~Image Source: Business Insider Singapore~

Bad Boss Type: The Burglar

How To Spot Them:
This person happily adapts other people's ideas to advance his own career. You thought of a way to reduce office stationery overheads? Your boss is with the accountant right now, mouthing off about his cost-cutting plan. You have a great campaign idea for a client? Your boss is on the phone, telling them all about it. How will you ever get anywhere if your contributions aren't recognised?

Coping Strategy: If you're a member of the support staff, it can be very difficult. Try to document your ideas, keep them in a file and, when your appraisal comes around, point out that this is what you contributed and why you deserve a promotion or a raise. Another suggestion is to only put your ideas forward at staff meetings, when more than one person will hear them. If you're higher up the career ladder, put your suggestions in a memo or e-mail to your boss that you "cc" to other colleagues or supervisors. You can add a note saying, "This is an idea I had that I'd like input on from other people," to cover your reason for cc-ing it.

Bad Boss Type: The Swinger

How To Spot Them:
Easily confused with The Terrorist, but the difference is that this boss has moments of total approachability mixed with tantrums. Mandy, a 25-year-old architect, used to gauge her boss's mood by monitoring his coffees. Two double lattes and the door closed meant troule; a cappucino and leisurely browsing through the newspaper signalled his mood was sweet. He was tolerant and open to ideas; in the next instant, he screamed about even the simplest things. "You never really know what sort of day you were going to have," Mandy says. "I was constantly on edge."

Coping Strategy: Career advisers say the sanity-saving move here is to determine some kind of pattern to their behaviour. Then, when you've worked out when the bad moods are most likely to hit, the best thing you can do is to stay away. When you think the boss is in a good mood, that's the time to approach.

Bad Boss Type: The Vampire

How To Spot Them:
He feels it's his prerogative to call you at home at night or on weekends. And if he needs you to work late, or on Saturday, you'd better count yourself in. And if you have the bad luck to be his secretary, he'll want you to run his personal life, do his errands and lie to his partner too.

Coping Strategy: Before you take a job, you should find out if you'll be required to work weekends, or perform personal errands. If the answer is "sometimes", that means "yes". If you're managerial staff, you will probably want to come in on Saturdays or work late if required, to show that you are professional. However, this shouldn't be the case all the time. If you're support staff, ask if some of your work could be delegated elsewhere, or if there's anything you can start earlier in the day or week, to eliminate last minute panic. With personal errands, either make a game of it or look for another job. Some people like the chance to get out of the office, while others find such chores humiliating. If it's the latter, tell the boss you have work you need to finish, and that doing those errands will mean it doesn't happen.

Bad Boss Type: The Gal Pal

How To Spot Them:
No power trips or whip-cracking here - this boss just wants to be liked. It might start with a simple invitation to lunch. Next, it's dinner - soon you'll find it almost impossible to disagree with her over work issues. After all, you're friends. To her, that means unconditional support - something you may not always be willing to give.

Coping Strategy: It's good to work in a friendly place, but you need to know where to draw the line. However reluctant your boss is to lay down the law, she does need to exercise authority - and that means not getting too personal. Find reasons to gently refuse her invitations. While you don't want to be too aloof at work, you may want to politely let your boss know that you prefer to keep your personal and business lives separate.

Bad Boss Type: The Conspiracy Theorist

How To Spot Them:
You're called into the boss office's. She wants to know why you were talking to the MD in the lift today. In fact, you said, "Hello, which floor?" Trouble is, this boss is convinced you're out to get her job. She will treat good ideas with fear and suspicion, and will eyeball the outfit you wear to work if it's more expensive than hers, or if you look better in it. Watch out! If she suspects you're dressing for success, or sucking up to senior management, you'll be out of there faster than she can say, "You're fired!"

Coping Strategy: You have to give this boss positive feedback. Make sure she knows you admire and look up to her - reassure her that you're not after her job. Make sure she knows you're willing to be a part of her team, and you're not working hard just to outshine her.

Bad Boss Type: The Terrorist

How To Spot Them:
He yells. Screams. The office is a warzone. You leave the office with your head ringing and your hopes destroyed. Says Linda, a 27-year-old web designer. "it didn't seem to matter what I did, I couldn't please my boss. He'd argue about everything, even the most simple design points or ideas. And if I answered back, or in any way tried to defend myself, he'd go crazy."

Coping Strategy: The terrorist boss may have a basic personality disorder that dates back to when your boss was the school bully. Unfortunately, often the only solution is to leave. If you want to stick it out, you'll have to ensure your performance is constantly up to scratch, so there are fewer reasons for tantrums. You must also resist the impulse to fight back, or the battle will intensify. It's important that you try not to escape the situation. Remain calm and, when your boss has settled down, apologise if their anger was caused by something you did. If it wasn't, tell yourself that your boss's anger is not personal and try not to take it that way. You could also try going for a quick 10 minutes walk, by then, you should have cooled off a little and won't say anything you'll regret. Or try deep breathing, as you chant to yourself: "I will not kill my boss, I will not kill my boss..."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rausch Willowbark Treatment Shampoo Review

WHAT IS IT: Rausch Willowbark Treatment Shampoo
Rausch Willowbark Treatment Shampoo

Rausch Willowbark Treatment Shampoo
Rausch Willowbark Treatment Shampoo: Lasting and gentle relief from oily dandruff flakes combined with hair loss. Conditions and soothes the scalp with coconut palm oil and extracts of thyme and willow bark.

Rausch Willowbark Treatment Shampoo
The shampoo itself looks like gel-like ribena, to be honest in terms of color xD

Rausch Willowbark Treatment Shampoo
It suds pretty decently, but surprisingly, is easy to rinse off with 2 washes. Doesn't leave itchy after-feel on the scalp after washing off the product off my hair and scalp.

VERDICT: I personally find the scent of this shampoo a little minty, which I like it just fine. Normally, mint-scented shampoo guarantees a cooling effect on the scalp after using it. It's a herbal-mint type of scent that thankfully doesn't make you feel nauseous at all. Normally, brandname shampoos with a long history tend to have this particular type of scent that reminds you of your grandparents, but not with this one. It's always a pleasure to want to take a sniff out of this shampoo each time before you want to use it.

The consistency and texture of this shampoo is clear and gel-like with the color of diluted ribena. My apologies for the lack of "imagination" with regards to color-types. I personally find that the shampoo itself feels just like most ordinary gel-like shampoos, although I am personally glad it didn't feel like once it got onto my hands a.k.a skin, it feels as if it's hard to wash off. On the contrary, it is relatively easy to foam it up which ensures that the shampoo foam itself reaches and cleanses my scalp. And it also washes off rather easily too, only 2 rinse/wash-over, last I checked. It's rather sucky when shampoo foam takes more than 4 rinses to get if off your hair and scalp totally.

And after using and washing the shampoo off my hair and scalp, it leaves this really cooling and tingling sensation. Almost similar to the sensation and feeling you get when you use Head 'n' Shoulders Anti-dandruff Shampoo. It has this really comfortable cooling and tingling feeling on your scalp, which reminds you that your hair and scalp is well-cleansed, but without the feeling that the natural oil from your hair and scalp has been thoroughly stripped off. Even when my hair is finally dry, I didn't get any itchy feelings on my scalp. Which I think is rather rare when shampoos promises, but never delivers.

My scalp feels calm and soothed, like a baby. Not sure what my scalp will say if it can talk though. But my hair doesn't feel and look oily, and neither does it feel too overly dry. And get this, I didn't use my regular conditioner when trial-testing shampoo samples, unless the shampoo sample comes with it's own conditioner and/or treatment sample as well. But thankfully, this shampoo when used alone doesn't make my hair feel dry nor tangled up without warning since my hair sometimes have a mind of it's own and starts the tangling process from the ends without and "external" influences such as a breeze, to quote for example.


WHAT I THINK: I love the smell, I love how it is easy to foam up and rinsed off without too much trouble. And I especially love how my hair doesn't feel dry and my scalp doesn't feel itchy or irritated after usage. This is one of those products I would consider using on a long-term basis.

WHERE TO REDEEM SAMPLE: Samples fully redeemed.

Why not like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PuNiaosProductReviews to be informed of latest samples I found, which is duly updated? Also includes updates to health, beauty & lifestyle tips at least once a day. It will definitely save you the trouble of having to hunt them down :)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Monthly Topic #27: How To Talk To A Man

Stop worrying about the difficulties of sending signals from Venus to Mars - Here is a solution to better communication in your relationship.

~Image Source: The Telegraph~

You've heard it a million times - the secret to a good relationship is communication. And it's totally true; without it a relationship can quickly wither. So how come we haven't learned to be better at it? Put simply, it's because men and women communicate in such different ways that we may appear to be speaking foreighn languages sometimes. Tell me everything I don't know, I hear you cry. Well, let's get specific about the most common communication problems between the sexes and how to deal with them.

The "thing" Thing

Problem: The most significant of these differences is that women primarily focus on people, whereas men make objects their No. 1 priority. This trait is evident from early childhood and manifests itself in the way men prefer to discuss business, sports, gadgets and how things work. Or, as Dr Ken Druck, author of The Secrets Men Keep, says, "Men are adept at talking about things, rather than their feelings about the things." Women, on the other hand, communicate mostly about people and their responses, problems, reactions, failings and foibles. Even at work, women are far more likely to e sensitive to how individuals work together, tensions within a work group, or how best to create a smooth workin environment. The shared experience of a conversation is crucial to women, who will often ask questions to maintain the momentum of the interaction, whereas men simply regard questions - and often conversations - as an efficient manner of exchanging information. This is further complicated by the fact that, linguistically speaking, men live in a world of competition where every exchange has a winner and a loser - whereas women collaborate.

Solution: Try to talk about the things he loves, stuff like football and Ferraris. Although it may seem to have the emotional nourishment of a Matt Le Blanc movie, he will feel closer to you for having shared something that he is passionate about. And he should return the favour. Point out that it's through talking about people and their experiences that you form the strongest bond with them. While "thing" talk is fine, explain that you find it almost impersonal and distancing - as if he's feeling afraid to reveal his innermost self.

Jekyll And Hide

Problem: You're at a party and he's hoggin' the floor, telling joke after joke. But you get into the car to go home and it's as if he's metamorphosed into an mute chauffeur. Not a word. This behaviour relates back to the "things" versus "people" conversation mentality. More specifically, the intimate circumstances of home life or even a car ride are better suited to women's style of communication. "While women sometimes express to express," explains relationships Joe Tannenbaum, :men almost always express to resolve. These respective traits cause most damage in times of relationship strife, as many women feel 'the relationship' is working as long as we can talk about it.' Men, on the other hand, are usually more inclined to take the view that 'the relationship is not working if we have to talk about it'."

Solution:When you're alone together, be mindful of engulfing him in conversations about subjects - such as people, emotions and people's emotions - with which he's not comfortable. This is not to say these conversations should not take place. After all, you deserve emotional sustenance and he needs training. Try to make sure he understands that you like to talk for the sake of talking because suich an emotional exchange makes you feel closer to him.

A Paler Shade of Grey

Problem: Men live in a world that's black and white, whereas women inhabit one that's coloured by a million different shades of grey. Men are on a mission to make a point, they assume that women have the same agenda and become frustrated with what they see as pointless tangents. A case in point: my friend's colleague has a shocking taste in men. It's one loser after another. Recently, we met the latest instalment in this cavalcade of mediocrity and I muttered "yet another beauty". My friend, on the other hand, the head of the Freud squad, was interested in why her colleague kept selecting below-par suitors. Did it make her feel superior? Did it give her an easy out when the heady romance wore off? Was this the kind of man her father was? While I feel this approach does have its merits, these theories - whether prove or unproven - do nothing to alter the reality of the situation. Yet men's penchant for sticking to facts have dangerous consequences. Especially when communicating with women who read between the lines. "What men find worth telling are facts about such topics as history, sports, politics are how things work," wrote Deborah Tannen in You Just Don't Understand. "Women often perceive the telling of facts as lecturing, which not only does NOT carry a meta-message of rapport, but carries instead of a meta-message of condescension: I am the teacher, you are the student. I'm knowledgeable, you're ignorant."

Solution: Say what you mean to him and try not to over-analyse what he says to you. Nine times out of 10, he's being straight down the line, I swear. He, in turn, has to develop patience with your right to analyse what others say and do, as it is your way of understanding the world around you. (Plus, it's probably far more sophisticated than his blinkered approach). Let him understand that by sharing your analytical revelations with him, you feel more intimate as a couple.

Laying Down The Law

Problem: Historically speaking, men have had the power, the money and the patriarchy to back them up when making demands. Women, however, have had to be more circusmpect and diplomatic about attaning their goals and have been rather unjustly accused of being sneaky and manipulative. But the reverse is true in the private domain: "When trying to negotiate mutual preferences and decisions, women are often more indirect than men," explains Deborah Tannen. "But when it comes to talking about their personal relationships and feelings, it's the men who are indirect."

Solution: Quit saying things like "What would you think if we were to..." or "I'm not sure if this is right but..." or "If it's ok with you." If you want to do something, tell him. If you want to say something, say it.

The Word Race

Problem: How many times have you been chatting with a man when you begin to suspect that instead of listening, he's simply waiting for you to pause for breath so that he can jump in with his point of view? Plenty, I'll bet. Women tend to be better listeners than men, who often perceive the role of listener as inferior. As a result, they'll often challenge the speaker, or more specifically, their facts. "Since women tend to build rapport, they're inclined to play down their expertise rather than display it," notes Tannen. Women tend to view the roles of talker and listener as equal in the quest to enhance understanding and intimacy. Facts, figures and power plays rarely figures in these talks. Listening is one of the greatest communication challenge within a relationship. Many couples feel that because they've been together so long, each knows how the other thinks and feels, without having to listen or ask. "This becomes particularly apparent when they argue," says Dr Bob Montgomery in Living & Loving Together. "Both are so busy preparing the next verbal salvo inside their heads that neither has the time to listen to what the other has actually said."

Solution: Since your listening skills are probably more than adequate and his are probably practically non-existent, it would be wiser not to live in hope of re-wiring his brain. Instead of pleading for him to not only listen to you but also indicate that he's actually comprehending what you're saying, become proactive and make him hear you. Hone your speaking skills, don't be afraid to challenge him and it worst comes to worst, give him a taste of his own reticence by cutting down the amount of verbal and non-verbal feedback you gave while he's spouting forth.

To The Rescue

Problem: The final major communication battleground between the sexes is that of crisis. When women go to their mate with an emotional problem, they seek empathy and understanding. Unfortunately, what they receive are solutions: a plan of action to resolve and therefore negate the dilemma. Not so fast, Einsten. Men fail to understand that women have cottoned only the true healing power of empathy and they like giving it as much as they need to receive it. Most guys also don't realise that women like to talk a problem out, elaborating details and experiencing an emotional catharsis, which is as important as any conclusion they might reach.

Solution: Point out to your man that although his ready-made problem-solvers to your every emotional problem are appreciated, you'd be far better supported through such crisis if he were aware of the following three responses from Chris Evatt's He & She:

» She is upset, wants empathy now and advice some other time - maybe even never.

» She is upset, wants empathy now and solutions only after she expresses her feelings.

» She is not upset and wants to discuss a solution to the problem.