livelaughlove

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Love, Priscilla


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livelaughlove

Bye 2014!

This entry is dedicated to 2014...a most wonderful year! I'm kinda late, writing this 6 days into the new year but hey...better late than never right?

In 2014, our little Preston completed his final year of preschool. It was a year where I saw him develop and grow into someone with a really strong (but shy) personality. He turned 6 towards the end of the year but thankfully, those chubby cheeks of his still remained and i could retain that little bit of "baby-ness" he has left. He continues to be a shy kid and i wonder if it's due to him being an only child but it takes him a lot of time to warm up to new people around him. Even kids! I have so much to say to him but perhaps, i'll do that in the form of an open letter.


2014 is a year i'll always remember as the year we travelled a lot! We did 4 family trips and ventured to new places together.

- January: Taiwan -- Taipei, Nantou, Cingjing
- May: Hong Kong
- September: Australia -- Mooloolaba/Sunshine Coast, Brisbane
- October: Hong Kong & Macau

Each of those trips was special and I really ought to blog about them so that I'll be able to remember everything that happened. A highlight was our September trip to Sunshine Coast because this is where Aug did his very first Ironman 70.3 and we were there to support him throughout the race. He did pretty well & we enjoyed ourselves so much in Australia.


On the work front, I felt that I finally came into my own. There were a few months when it was really tough because i was covering the duties of a dear colleague who was on maternity leave. During those months, I was basically doing the jobs of 2 persons but i'm very proud that i survived. My efforts were validated during a work review when my boss thanked me and i felt very much appreciated. I'm not gunning for any promotion but it would good to receive a deserving performance bonus in 2015 right? :p


For those who know, i have always wanted a second child. Actually, we continued trying to conceive throughout the year but every month, the stork decided to give our house a miss. There were moments i felt really down and there were moments of guilt when Preston casually mentioned that "nobody play (sic) with me". Towards the end of year, Aug and i decided that perhaps it's fated for us to have only one child. So we have decided to stop trying and instead, will be devoting our time, energy & resources to Preston. C'est la vie!


In November, our new house also turned 1 year old and until now, we are still very much enjoying our "new" abode. It's quiet and i like how the whole flat is bright & airy. We have pretty great neighbours and i started cooking a lot more in this house. I'm not a great cook but i have surprised myself with my culinary skills. The year saw us having a lot more home-cooked food and i became a firm believer in eating healthily instead of eating processed/convenience foods.


This post turned out to be a quasi-summary of 2014. May 2015 bring us a whole new year of milestones, wonderful moments and happiness.

Now i have just one wish...let me win Big Sweep tonight? :p
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livelaughlove

*knock knock* Anyone home?

 From blogging almost daily to this...a quiet space on the WWW.

I think i have lost my mojo to blog. Or maybe i'm too busy using spare time to spend it with my family instead of sitting in front of my laptop typing away.

Or it could be as simple as my laptop died on me. So truth be told, I've been "laptop-less" for more than 6 months. Tsk tsk, what about using ipad/iphone to blog? Trust me...it's just not the same! At times, long posts disappear after i've painstakingly typed every single letter using my iPhone. If not, I kept getting error messages while trying to upload a post.

This is getting so hard. And nowadays, it seems that no one really blogs anymore...they are mostly advertorials or reviews? I have done my fair share of reviews but writing to journal feelings & thoughts seem to be fast becoming a lost art.

So how? Should I continue to blog?

Part of me says "yes" as I still have so much to document about life, about Preston's growing years, about our travels (4 trips in 2014!) and everything else. This blog will serve as a memory lane for me.

Part of me says "no" as i have so much on my plate. I'm a FTWM with no helper and a child entering P1 in 2015. I should be spending time on him & family instead of writing.

I need to ponder somemore...
livelaughlove

The durian-loving boy

Durian season is here!!!!

I have been dying (like really craving!) for durians for the past couple of weeks. However, Preston was down with a bout of gastric flu so I refrained from buying any home.

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to Preston's child care for a PTC (Parent-Teacher Conference...more on that in an upcoming post) and took him home earlier than usual. There was a pasar malam right opposite his childcare centre!! And there were 2 stalls selling durians.

HOW TO RESIST?!!???

And the stall owner was so great, opening each durian for me to sample and if it wasn't satisfactory, he would open another one for me. I very much wanted to get the 猫山王 (mao shan wang) type but figured it wasn't as "worth it" since now Aug is the one with stomach flu and can't eat durians. Preston would be happy with pretty much any durian variety so in the end, I bought 2 D24 durians!

The durians were Preston's dessert after dinner and they were yummy!!!! Creamy, soft, fragrant (to us the smell was wonderful) and sweet with tinges of bitterness.

No photos of my MIL & me but here are some of Preston enjoying his durians.

Oh yes, finger-licking good!


In case you couldn't tell, Preston really enjoyed eating the durians. He was going "mmmm" with a look of absolute bliss on his face while eating. He has loved eating this fruit since he was a baby. I guess me eating durians every fortnight during pregnancy helped? In any case, we started him young & fed him teeny bits when he was 8 to 10 months old. He started eating the flesh from one seed (scraped into a bowl) by himself with a spoon when he was 1+. Since then, it has been the point of no return & his fate as a durian-lover was sealed. Haha...


Now we are waiting for Aug to recover so that we can buy more durians and have a feast at home!

livelaughlove

[Review] KLARITY™ Lasertox™ CC Miracle White Lotion

A couple of weeks back, I received a package from the PR folks of Secretive.sg and it contained 2 products from KLARITY™. There was a tube of CC cream & a 2-step sheet mask.

This review is only about the CC cream so do read on!


As you can see from the box, the rainbow hologram made it extremely hard to photograph but one can definitely read that this products has SPF30/PA++ and that it's paraben free.

I would have preferred a product with a 'PA+++' rating but I guess this isn't too bad.

According to KLARITY™ (which is a brand from Korea), this product is not tested on animals (yay!) and even contains diamond powder. However, the bling-bling powder is listed as the very last ingredient so don't expect much since the retail price is only S$29.


Let's talk about the packaging some more!


The CC lotion is housed in a silver squeeze tube, which looks really pretty standing on my dressing table. Opening the screw-top lid reveals an opening which is small enough to control the amount you prefer each time and yet the opening is large enough such that you don't end up squeezing only a teeny amount out each time.

Surprised that this CC lotion is white?? I thought it would "magically" turn into a skin-tinted hue like other Korean CC/BB creams but it didn't. So I decided to read the brochure more carefully. The manufacturer claims that this CC lotion has 11-in-1 functions! Here's what I copied from the website --

KLARITY™ Lasertox™ CC Miracle White Lotion helps to restore your beauty with at least one tone lighter whitening effect instantaneously. The lotion is enriched with diamond powder, giving you the instant glow after application. Also enriched with wild rosehip extract, which is a source of powerful antioxidant, it helps to prolong skin youthfulness.

With sun screen factor SPF30/PA++, Lasertox™ CC Miracle White Lotion protects your skin from harmful UV rays, preventing photo-aging and dark spots. This 11-in-1 multi functions CC lotion is light on skin and colorant free. The non-sticky and non-oily formula leaves skin smoother and hydrated.

11-in-1 Functions:
· WHITENING
· PURIFY
· REPAIR
· FIRMING
· SMOOTH
· SOOTHE
· HYDRATE
· TONE
· ANTI-AGING
· SUN-SCREEN
· WATER-PROOF

Useful tips:
1. The first CC cream with no colorant!
2. Waterproof, stay naturally fair no matter rain or shine.
3. Helps to reduce acnes, lightens acne marks, soothes itchiness, and lightens scar marks.

Ahh... So this is non-tinted CC product! And there are a lot of claims listed right??!! I squeezed out some and spread the product on the back of my hand.

It does blend in very well and there's a visible brightening in my skin tone.


Here's my bare naked face.
(Yikes, the things I do to write an honest review!)

And here's a photo taken after applying the CC lotion.


To make it somewhat easier to compare, here's a 'Before' and 'After'.


Since this is non-tinted, it definitely doesn't provide any coverage at all. As evident from the photo above, you can still see my (horrible) dark eye rings and larger pores are still visible.

However, my skin looks brighter and more hydrated. In fact, I checked the ingredient list and H2O is listed as the 1st ingredient. Applying this CC lotion feels more like applying a lightweight, water-based sunscreen on my face. Now, this IS what I like most about this product and lotion is a very apt word since the texture is definitely light i.e. not like a cream. I found it hydrating enough as a day moisturizer (for my normal/combi skin type) and it sat well on my skin without any stickiness. I also liked the delicate floral scent but if you are sensitive to scents, then you may not like it. It's not that big a deal though since the scent disappears soon after spreading the lotion on your face.

When I tested this for the 1st time, I applied my HG Lancôme powder foundation over it and here's the completed look below.


My skin doesn't look ghastly white or mask-like after applying makeup over it. Something which irks and scares me! My skin got shiny after 2-3pm, which is usual for me. Again, I wish it came with higher/better sun protection but I think the compromise would be the texture of this lotion.


Here's a photo of me again wearing and testing the CC lotion to work yesterday.

Overall verdict? B+

Pros:
- lightweight
- hydrating
- didn't break me out
- comes with sun protection
- fuss-free packaging

Cons:
- not tinted
- doesn't conceal skin problems
- only rated PA++


For the price, I would personally buy a tube to use as a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen. However, it would be necessary to still use concealer to hide blemishes and pigmentation.

livelaughlove

Not quite a fish (yet)

A couple of months back, Preston started swimming lessons.

The reasons were aplenty:

1) He loves the water.
2) Water safety! He has a tendency to 不知天高地厚 (roughly translated to mean "be unaware of danger") and it's important he knows some basic survival skills in water.
3) We are heading to Australia later this year and will be at the beach/pool a lot.
4) Build up his lungs as he has sensitive airways.

I initially wanted to form a private swim class with my SIL & her boys but she declined as she felt her kids were too young. So I relied on reviews & Google to suss out a few swim schools/coaches.

There were some criteria that must be met -- location of public pool (obviously Sengkang), class timing, fees & max number of students per class. In the end, I settled on Singapore Swimming Academy and Preston was placed in the Beginner class with Coach Lawrence Ang.

The swim cap & goggles are provided by the school. This makes it easier for the coaches to identify the kids in their charge.


At his 1st lesson:

And his coaches (sometimes there was an assistant around) are great! I sit under the shade and observe his weekly lessons so I can keep tabs on things. His coaches are patient and they don't force the kids to do stuff they aren't ready for. For example, Preston was kind of apprehensive about putting his entire head underwater to blow bubbles. So Coach Ang took it slow with him and on his 3rd lesson, he finally did it and Preston was so gleeful!


Subsequent lessons:


2 weeks ago...


You can see some progress as Preston gets strapped on with more (and different floats).

At this point, Preston is definitely still unable to swim. However, his water confidence level has increased a lot. He jumps straight into the learner pool (around 1m deep) whenever it's time for class. He's learning the breaststroke at the moment but for now, he still needs to work on perfecting his kick so that he can move well in water.

Can't wait for him to move onto the next stage -- coordinating his arms & legs while holding his breath underwater. Now, that will definitely be interesting!

livelaughlove

Children's Season 2014

A couple of weekends ago, we decided to check out Children's Season 2014 at the National Museum of Singapore.

This year's theme?? Masak-masak!


I love how they displayed the theme so appropriately with alphabet blocks. :) I'm not exactly sure but I think "masak" is a Malay word and it means play?

The play areas are located on the 2nd & 3rd floors of the museum.

We arrived just in time for a story-telling session by a volunteer advocating the rights of children, something to do with the United Nations.

Oops a blurry shot.

There Preston was, sneaking a glance at me to ensure that I was waiting nearby since parents were not allowed into the story-telling area.


Can I be brutally honest?? The introduction by the volunteer was waaaayyyy too long. The kids were starting to get restless and it wasn't very apt to tell these kids about their rights. Come on, most were preschoolers and I seriously doubt they understood.

The saving grace was the 1st story as it was about dinosaurs. Thank goodness for that because Preston is a huge fan of dinosaurs nowadays!


After that, we went to explore other areas!


Daddy got into the spirit of things too.


There was another huge room filled with installation art, made of cardboard. The kids could also make a cardboard house for a nominal fee but Preston wasn't keen.


And the highlight was the inflatable slide/bouncy castle right outside the museum. The "dragon" slide is modeled after the playgrounds of my childhood...back then, such playground had sand, ceramic tiles, a super smooth slide (whoosh!) and old-fashioned fun!


Too bad it was such a scorching hot day!!!

Preston only climbed up the ladder and decided he had enough. Why? The plastic was so hot that fun was out of the question for him. The other kids didn't seem to mind though. :p

Overall, we didn't find it as fun or interactive as the one at SAM last year. Preston didn't ask to go again so it's a very honest indicator. I personally found it rather boring and it seemed more suitable for older kids. Not preschoolers and toddlers.

livelaughlove

[Review] SexyLook Micro Inject Mask - Aloe Vera

I was contacted by the folks at Secretive about some new sheet masks and after finding out more about my skincare concerns, they sent me 2 different types of sheet masks to try out. Ta-dah!

First, I gotta state that I have combination skin which is prone to break-outs. I battled a bad bout of acne in my mid-20s and until today, I still get zits popping out. I'm also very fair and slightly sensitive to products containing alcohol.


They couldn't have arrived at a more opportune time! I have been spending a lot more time than usual outdoors and I'm sure my skin is in need of some TLC. Look at how generous they are with the masks -- a whole box of the Lovemore Thermal Water Brightening and 3 pieces of the SexyLook Micro Inject Mask (Aloe Vera)!

Over the past 1 week, I have tried all 3 pieces of this new SexyLook Aloe Vera Micro Inject Mask and here's how the packaging looks. Today's review will be focusing on this particular mask. Aren't you intrigued by its name?


On the back of the individual packaging was a whole load of information about the goodness of this sheet mask. It claims to be the latest technology from Japan but don't be mistaken, this product is made in Taiwan.


Did your eyes zoom onto the "Natural Ingredients" and "No Paraben" parts?

It supposedly has "double penetration effect with skin-friendly natural fibre ergonomic design". Let's see how "invisible" this really is!

This is what the mask looks like when you remove it from the packaging. Dripping with the essence!

The mask supposedly is enriched with aloe vera and cucumber extracts for "maximum hydration". Sounds good? It also lists marine algae extract, hyaluronic acid and dasmascus rose among its ingredients. According to SexyLook, this means that skin is moisturised and will appear to have less visible fine lines since skin dryness will be reduced.


Before you continue reading, be warned that you'll be seeing a number of UNEDITED, CLOSE-UP photos of my bare face. These were taken under the harsh lights of my bathroom and I swear I didn't touch up the photos or applied any makeup.

Be warned!!!!


I remove the white plastic backing from the mask and fitted it over my face.


Once that is done, the blue outer layer can be removed gingerly....this step proved rather difficult because the actual sheet mask is reeaaalllllyyyy thin! I actually tore a bit of the 1st mask i tried on!


It's so thin you can see my freckles!!!!! Ack!

And as instructed, I left it on for about 20 minutes and proceeded to relax on my bed. (My bedroom has warm lighting, this is why this photo has a warmer tint to it.) As you can see, the mask fits my face pretty well and the essence had a consistency which was thick enough not to drip all over my chest/neck.



Once time was up, I removed the mask! (Please pardon my untamed and ungroomed brows...i was really busy lately and didn't have time to get my brow trimmed.) Skin immediately felt plumped and definitely looked hydrated.


To show you how saturated the mask is with the essence, I squeezed out the remaining essence. See how much there is!!!!
Don't waste it!!! I smeared it over my legs, knees & elbows since it's meant to have hydrating effect right? :p



So what do I think about these masks?

PROS:
1) I didn't break out after using the masks.
2) They had a pleasant scent.
3) The mask wasn't a mess to use i.e. didn't drip everywhere.
4) My skin felt really supple and looked visibly plumped up the next day. In fact, my makeup seemed to stay on better the next day!

CONS:
1) The sheet mask is really fragile so you have to be super careful!
2) Fragrance is listed as an ingredient (albeit the last one) so you may want to test if your skin will react adversely to it.


My final verdict? Highly recommended. It's very affordable at S$3.50 per mask and so convenient to use. I really liked that my skin didn't react negatively to these masks and how my skin felt when I woke up the next day.

livelaughlove

Surgeries. Of circumcision & wisdom tooth removal.

Over the last 5 days, both Preston & I underwent surgery.

For Preston, his phimosis condition still showed no signs of improvement so his pediatric urologist confirmed that he would need circumcision. If not, he would have to continue suffering from infections at the foreskin (aka pain during urination due to an inflamed & swollen foreskin).

So last Friday, we checked into Mt Alvernia Hospital for day surgery. The senior staff nurse at the day surgery told us that the procedure would take max 30 minutes & the anesthetist said Preston would be sedated by breathing through a mask. To give our little guy credit, he remained calm & listened to instructions from the moment he changed into the hospital gown, right till they transferred him onto the operating table.

The moment he was sedated, I left the operating theatre & waited outside with Hubby. Preston was the youngest patient admitted for day surgery that day & he got a lot of attention from the nurses. They even thanked me for preparing Preston well as he didn't cry at all before the surgery & didn't show any resistance or anxiety. *proud mama moment*

Preston was very disoriented when he was roused from the GA & he cried. I think he wasn't in any pain due to the anesthesia but he probably felt scared when he woke up in an unfamiliar environment. He fell back asleep & was in a much much better mood when he woke up. 3 hours after surgery, we got the green light to head home!!!

Preston has been a real trooper these couple of days. The only painkiller he has been taking is paracetamol & the pain is now minimal. As his urologist advised, he has been walking/eating/playing/sleeping half naked since last Friday since he cannot wear any pants or even briefs. This explains why our front door is closed & all the blinds in the house are drawn down!

According to what I've been told & my own research online, his scab should start falling off at the end of the week. We have a post-op review with the doc this Saturday and I hope to hear good news!!!


~~~~~~~~~

In comparison, my surgery seems less serious. I needed to remove the remaining 2 wisdom teeth I had i.e. the left upper & lower ones. The operation took place last Saturday afternoon. My MIL stayed home with Preston while Hubby kept me company. The procedure took around 30 minutes too but it felt like the longest half-hour I have ever spent!

Dr Kumar worked fast though he had to use the drill many times to break my lower wisdom tooth into smaller pieces. I really find the whole experience very surreal as I could see & hear everything but couldn't feel anything in my mouth except for some pressure.

Post surgery, swelling didn't seem as bad as the previous surgery and I wasn't in pain due to the very strong painkillers prescribed. I can feel a slight dull ache in my lower jaw though and for some reason, wish soooo hard I can have some potato chips. Lol... I'm on medical leave till this Friday so it's a good thing cos both Preston & I have each other for company during our recovery.


So there you have it. 2 surgeries carried out over 2 consecutive days in our household. We had to turn down relatives who wanted to visit our new place (it's still the Lunar New Year period) and we felt very bad but no choice, it's really not a good time!

livelaughlove

Renovation continues...

It has been a month since renovation started and things have even progressing well. Frankly, I want things to move more quickly. (I blame my impatient nature for that!) However, I know that certain things take time.

It has been crazy trying to schedule deliveries & fit furniture shopping into weekends. Coupled with Preston's weekly Berries class, we are left with precious time to settle as much as we could without taking leave excessively on weekdays.

Here are some photos...


And Hubby wasn't satisfied with the pillar at the corner and insisted that it should be removed. We left it to our ID to solve the problem & he did!


Ahhh, a "seamless" unobtrusive look from entrance into our planned living & study rooms.

Our vinyl flooring was laid on Tuesday, 17 September & the whole place looks much better!


We almost opted for tiles for we have old folks & a kid at home. Falls *touchwood* could potentially lead to a lot of medical problems so we went for vinyl strips. Laminate flooring, as experienced by us in our current home, tends to be noisy i.e. creaky & amplifies footsteps. So it ended up being our 2nd option.


Our window grilles were installed yesterday! Now I no longer have to watch Preston like a hawk when he goes to our new place. It's a sigh of relief especially he enjoys playing at the service yard.

More updates to come soon! I'm off to enjoy what's left of my Sunday.