Friday, 25 December 2015

{Review} Micro-Resurfacing Rejuvenation Express Treatment Part 3

Earlier, I wrote about exercising more as part of my resolution in 2015.  On the same note, having better skin conditions is also one of my 2015 resolution.

I am married.  I am a mother of 2.  But... marriage and motherhood does not equate to being a 黄脸婆 (literally translated to yellow face wife).  As some explain it as being burdened with housework and always busy with family, with no time to look after oneself, she turns into a haggard looking wife.  I believe in "upkeeping" myself despite growing older and having my hands full with work and family.  I try to conceal eye bags, lighten pigmentation and uneven skin tone and of course, putting on makeup to look good every other day.  I often tell friends and colleagues to not call me if they see me outside without makeup because I think I look tired and basically "chui" most of the time.  LOL

But after my fifth session with One Beauty Spa, I thought my skin look so much better.  These days, I go to work with sunblock, CC cream and loose powder.  No thick foundations.  Happier too as it reduces my makeup time.  :)

Like I mention earlier in Part 2, I am going through an intensive weekly programme.  It is designed in such a way to make sure it works effectively.  A real commitment on my part too as I had to adhere to it.  But well, I guess, not much choices if I would like better skin conditions, especially before Chinese New Year, right? 

Proof that my skin is getting used to the 0.25mm-needle roller.  Face does not look red nor looking like it went through some painful procedures.  Just in case you are not aware, the Micro-Resurfacing Rejuvenation treatment is a technique of medical micro-needling, which has been shown to increase the remoulding of the skin by creating thousands of microscopic channels through the skin, to accelerate the formation of new tissue by activating the body's wound healing cascade.  This is an alternative to laser resurfacing but definitely a less invasive procedure. 
Me, after my 5th session
So, if you think you are in need of such an intensive treatment, give One Beauty Spa a call and speak to them regarding your skin concerns.  The friendly staff there will be able to advise you.  :)

Disclosure:  This is part 3 of a series of sponsored reviews by One Beauty Spa.  No monetary compensation was received.  Terms and product information about the product were provided by them.  All photographs and opinions are true to my own.
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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

#Throwback - Great Eastern Women's Run 2015

As we soon wrap up 2015, here is one throwback that is part of my resolution for 2015 which was to exercise more.  Also another resolution in 2016...  One of yours too?
Up early one Sunday morning in November, I joined the other 17,000 participants in the Great Eastern Women's Run that was held annually.  An event that is dedicated to helping everyone live healthier and better, it is Asia's largest all-women race.
2015 also marks Great Eastern’s 10th year of unifying women in health and life.  And with that, the event was held on a bigger scale, with three race categories of 5km Fun Run, 10km and 21.1km.
The last GE run in 2012, I ran 5km with a friend.  This year, I ran 5km too.  And something special this year was that I donned the tu-tu while running! 
In a myriad of hues of pink, blue, yellow and purple in support of three women and children-related charities - Breast Cancer Foundation, Community Chest (Children with Special Needs) and SingHealth Duke-NUS OBGYN Academic Clinical Program, many participants ran with their tu-tus on. 
Finishing in an official time of 26 minutes, it does not seem very satisfactory.  I know I should not compare myself to days when I have been more active.  Hopefully this will spur me to achieve a better result next year.  I love running in the morning and the lovely part was running on a route that brings us around the areas less ventured to on our own.  It was not too hot and humid and the sky was clear, what a perfect time for taking photographs of some of the nicest buildings in Singapore.

Together with some of the Mom Bloggers, another achievement unlocked!
Photo Credit : Great Eastern Women's Run 2015

Great Eastern Women's Run 2016?  Bring it on!
Disclosure: I was invited to the Great Eastern Women's Run 2015.  No monetary compensation was received.  All photographs and opinions are true to my own.

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Monday, 21 December 2015

What Christmas Means to Our Family


December, presents, gatherings.  That's what Christmas meant to me when I was young.  I had no idea what is the true meaning of Christmas.  Christmas is just another Public Holiday in December and if we do have Christmas gatherings with my extended family, I will receive presents!  That was really how I felt then.

Nothing much has changed.  The only major difference I think would be that I am now more of the giver than a receiver.  :D

I still do not know the exact, real meaning of Christmas.  I think it is a time for gift giving and getting together.  I know Santa Claus is not real, and so are the elves and the be-nice-be-good list.  

So what does Christmas really means to our family?  For we are freethinkers.  

Simply, it means a month of friendship, gatherings and fun, apart from the gift giving.  No need to adhere to a schedule, we turn up at most parties that we are invited to, even on weekdays.  We wander around shopping malls, Universal Studios Singapore and along Orchard Road to catch the lightings and the man-made snow, even on weekdays.

We host parties, with family or friends, at times.

We attend parties at friends'.

Photo Credit : Katty
There are always a few parties that will happen every year.  For those, we definitely make time for.  As it is a time parents catch up with one another and the children play together.  And for any parties that are "newly created", we try to attend too.  For it is also the time when friendships are forged and strengthened.

Photo Credit : Meiling of Universal Scribbles
We started a new tradition - to put up a new Christmas ornament each year.  It started last year with the Lego Christmas bauble.  D started to build his own Lego sets around then and the bauble is to remind us in years to come of when he started using his little fingers to build the set all by himself.  We are starting to wonder what next year's ornament will be!

What does Christmas mean to your family?

This post is part of the blog train, "What Christmas Means to Our Family" hosted by PrayerFull Mum.

PrayerFull Mum

Next on the blog train, Mei blogs at Finally Mama about her journey balancing a full time corporate job, a social enterprise for women entrepreneurs ( and most importantly, caring for a multigenerational family of grandparents, hubby and a 4 year old boy.  Read on to find what this special season means to them as they take time to disconnect from the busyness of life and reconnect with what matters. 

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

{Review} Fun with Olympus Tough TG-860

The reason for a Tough camera

Olympus has been around a long time.  I remember my parents having a point and shoot film camera that cost S$400+ like 15 years ago before the digital cameras took over the photography world.  Then in 2009, we got ourselves our first Tough.  Probably the first generation, the photos that came out of it were not what we expected though it really was tough.  :D

Now, with the many different kinds of digital cameras around and each new model introduced getting more sophisticated and powerful, Olympus Stylus T-series only got better.  With courtesy of Olympus Singapore, we had the pleasure to try one of their Tough series cameras, the TG-860 which we used for our recent trip to Penang.

The TG-860 is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof and crushproof. 

Waterproof meaning I can bring it into water, up to depths of 15m underwater.  That said, it meant shooting in the rain too!  Dustproof meaning I can bring it to the beach and not worry about the sand getting into the camera.  Shockproof and crushproof - this camera is built to be able to withstand drops from a height of 2.1m and crushes with a weight of 100kg.  So, I have no worries when my sons handle the camera.

The 180° flip-up monitor is something unseen of for cameras with the features mentioned above.  But, with almost everyone taking selfies and wefies, this is really very useful!  It also helps with shooting in narrow spots and at high-angle and low-angle shooting.

You can read all about its features and specifications here but let us look at the unedited photos (except for some cropping) and our views.

Disclaimer : I am posting photos mostly taken using the Auto mode because I am quite a noob with camera functions.  Thus, if you are someone who has better camera knowledge, I am sure the photos will turn out even better.

We went Escape Theme Park in Penang on a morning.  Photos under bright natural light look as good as many compact cameras. 


Not fast enough.  Which actually is a common complain for compact cameras users.  That's why you need a DSLR.

D took this photo.  His first try at the camera.  Not bad, right?
Time to test the flip-up monitor.  A selfie with the children behind.

This photo makes me question the camera.  Although I think it is not fast enough at times (like the jump shot in one of the photos above), I took this while we were sliding down the slope using the flip-up monitor and it came out not too bad!  I am not hesitant about using the Tough for this shot because I know it is tough enough to be held up while we goes down the slope.  And that if I were to drop it, it will still be good.  Another good point about TG-860 is that I can shoot it with either hand using either of the face button on the left side of the camera. 

Pardon my expression.  :D
Here comes the crucial part.  I thought the underwater photos look pretty decent!  Maybe I am easily pleased, you will think.  Another good thing about the flip-up monitor (yes, I like the flip-up monitor) is that I can angle it such that my head need not go into the water and yet still take the underwater shots.  Cool for parents / people who do not swim or hates submerging their head into the waters or getting their hair wet.


On Auto mode under orange light indoors, photos of my subject were just not up to my expectations.  Maybe I should have played with the functions.  Maybe it will help.  Maybe.

This camera is good for outdoor shots.  With an ultra-wide optical 5x zoom lens starting from 21mm, it is one of the widest zoom lenses in compact cameras.  Together with natural bright lights, it is quite impressive considering its many features.

Taken while seated on a moving trishaw. 

2 moving trishaws at the same time...

One of my best photos.  Lovely, isn't it?

Selling at S$398 now at authorised retailers, it is pretty value for money.  With built-in WiFi as well, it is a decent compact camera (just don't shoot it in low light) which can be used underwater.  All children love water plays and how often we have very little photos of them at one of their happiest times because we are afraid of getting the DSLR, expensive compact cameras and phones wet.  And for that little child who is suddenly into photography, this is the camera that parents need not be worried about them dropping it. 

Disclosure: We had the Olympus TG-860 on loan to us for 3 weeks for the purpose of this review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All photographs and opinions are true to my own.

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Monday, 14 December 2015

Penang, Here We Come!

We went for our family holiday recently to a famous island known as the Pearl of the Orient - Penang.  I think many people have been there before but B and I first stepped into Penang in 2008 when we disembarked to join a land tour for a couple of hours during our Star Cruise holiday. 

Fast forward to 2015, we were back there, this time for 4 days, 3 nights with our children and my Mum.  Together with another friend and her family, we had our many firsts.  :D

First try at the public phone.  Do you know that alls made to Singapore numbers from the public telephone inside the departure halls of Changi Airport are free?  I remember when I was young and mobile phones do not exist yet, this was such fun.  Oops! 
Short trips on budget airlines booked at least a couple of months before meant slightly cheaper tickets especially during the school holidays, which is also the peak periods for everything - air tickets, hotels, attractions and so on.  #KiasuAuntyModeOn

Just a short 1.5 hours flight from Singapore, it's interesting that our car ride to our accommodation for the 3 nights is just as long (when there's a jam).  All roads clear aka no rain, no peak periods like working class knockoff time, it probably would have been only 45 mins.  So try to refrain from leaving the airport during peak hours if you hate being stuck in jams.  But if there is no choice, then sit back and enjoy the views.  Note that regardless whether there is a jam or not, your taxi fare will not increase with the jump in the meter fare due to waiting.  This is because taxis in Penang charges by a negotiatable flat rate, not by meter.

Golden Sands Resort, Penang is one of the most family friendly resort along Batu Ferringhi.  There is no lack of activities in this almost self-contained resort if one decides not to venture out.  As I am a Golden Circle Member, check-in is at the Cool Lounge.

This Lounge is indeed pretty cool.  While I do up the paperwork, the boys had their eyes glued to the television.  To me, this is quite good because I am able to still see them and need not shout / scream at them to stop running around or getting out of my sight.

Also inside the Cool Lounge is an array of amusements.  Board games, adult and children-friendly cyber corners and books.  The gym is also next to it and can accessed from the Cool Lounge.

There is no lack of seating areas around the resort.

Together with my Mum, I have 3 adults and 2 children.  Each of the 387 guestroom in the resort can accommodate up to 2 adults and 2 children and thus we had 2 rooms.  Luckily, we were given 2 connecting Deluxe Sea Facing rooms.

The view from my room's balcony.  Loving this panoramic coastal view, especially every morning when dawn breaks.  No lack of seating area as I mentioned earlier - indoors or outdoors.

Non-carpeted room, the furniture does not look old though it has been around for quite some time.  Standard room features with a king-sized bed or twin beds with a spacious bathroom with either a bathtub or a standing shower.  We had both!  I would have preferred a standing shower but the kids totally adore bathtubs!  Every night they go, can we play in the bathtub?  Of course, supervised.  :)

We reached Penang in the late afternoon and soon, it was dinner time.  We wanted to venture out and thus, walked around the nearby night market.  There are plenty of choices, both inside the resort and outside.  Across the resort, I can have KFC or McDonald's.

But we decided to try the local hawker fare.

The wanton mee and Bak Ku Teh were not bad.  But this Char Koay Teow and Fried Oyster were so-so.

The night passes and in every morning, a new adventure awaits.

Breakfast is served at Garden Cafe.  However, the first morning we were there, Garden Cafe was packed.  We then had our breakfast at the Sigi's Bar and Grill, on the Beach!!!

Though the items available were not as varied as those in Garden Cafe, it did not bother us.  Because the sky, sea, sand and sun compensated everything.  And the kids played with the sand after their breakfast while the adults continued munching away.  The outdoors - who needs gadgets when the sand is more fun.

Breakfast with a view.
There is a hop-on-hop-off tourist bus available in Penang and the bus-stop is just right outside Golden Sands Resort.  However, we made use of the shuttle bus services available at the resort to get to the places we want for two days - shuttle bus to Hotel Jen in Georgetown (to venture around the famous wall murals) and shuttle bus to Escape Theme Park.  Those two full days of fun outside the resort, I will blog about it later.

Everyday, there is fun for everyone if one decides to stay in the resort.  The kids club activities look pretty interesting and maybe, one day in the future, when the boys are older, I will leave them there  while I go venturing out for all the famous Penang hawker food.  Haha!

Swimming pools are never boring, are they?  Especially when there is a children's pool with a slide.

Good to know!
The next highlight has got to be this!  Need I say more?

The highlights of the Adventure Zone is the thrilling drop slides, available in three levels, named the "Hyperglide Astra Drop", "Double Drop" and "Demon Drop".  What a mouthful.

I wanted to try the Demon Drop with a vertical drop of 7.3m.  Oh, you need to be in long sleeves to try that.  But I chickened out after looking down when I was there.  LOL.  D gamely went for it though.  Kids!  How I salute them at times.  

But proof that I tried the other drop slide which is a hit with some adults and many children.  I lost count of how many times the children went down the slides and each slide down, I see a happy face.  

The "Toddler Zone" caters to children of four years' old and below.  

While the children are at play, adults can sit around and do their own things.

So, there you go.  Golden Sands Resort, with comprehensive recreation facilities and also free Wi-Fi if you decide you have to connect to the world.

We left Penang, with many stuff accomplished and a stronger family bond.  Till the next holiday!

Golden Sands Resort, Penang
Batu Feringgi Beach, Penang, 11100 Malaysia

Offers can be found on Golden Sands Resort's website and if you are looking for a relaxing trip with good food everywhere, book a stay now.  :)

Disclosure: A 2-night stay was sponsored by Golden Sands Resort, Penang.  Our 3rd night stay and the connecting room for 3 nights were paid by us.  No monetary compensation was received.  All photographs and opinions are true to my own.

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