Uncategorized

Penny’s second birthday

So I officially stopped vlogging but I thought it would be fun to commemorate Penny’s second birthday with a new vlog!

She’s grown so much and even her teachers say her language is “fantastic”.  She parrots us and Fighter a lot la and she can speak in complete sentences now even if her pronunciation is not exactly fantastic lolol.

Anyway without further ado wtf. Enjoy!

For more on Penny’s birthday and mundane, random updates on us and the kids, see Dayre. ^^

AudShopping Audvertorial

Top Tiah Toys’R’Us Toys

OMG my alliteration title hahahaha. #nailedit

So Fighter’s ultimate wish nowadays is to either a) go to the playground or b) go to Toys”R”Us.  And he very presumptuous one, when we make a trip to Toys”R”Us – whether it’s to buy someone a birthday present – or just to spend a magical afternoon there browsing, he assumes he will be getting a present. :X And Penny who follows whatever Koko says at any time anyway, will also look at me with hopeful eyes, hoping for a toy, any toy!

But no denying Toys”R”Us is magic for little kids and it’s the best place to get a birthday gift, especially when we’re in a hurry hahaha. *I* remember the joy when Mummy and Fat Her Ooi let us go to Toys”R”Us when we’re at the mall. And now my kids are enraptured by the same sense of wonder and joy.

So today I thought I’d write about our favorite toys from Toys”R”Us.  Each child likes different things obviously, but this is a list of the toys that people have given us, or that we bought ourselves that Fighter and Penny, that they both really love and have played with for a long time.  In other words, the most value for money toys hehehe

1) Leap Frog My Own Leaptop Laptop

Coincidentally Fighter and Penny BOTH received this as presents for their first birthdays.

leapfrog blue

Leapfrog pink

So now we have two – one blue, one pink.  I considered selling or giving one away before I HAHAHA realized the stupidity of my plans wtf. They fight over everything now bless my nerves so I’m so glad we kept both, especially cos they both really love it and play with it until now. Mostly when I’m working on my laptop — they’ll pull out their respective Leap Frog laptops and lug them around seriously like the world’s smallest salary men and women.

2) Lego Duplo

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Fighter has tons of these Lego Duplo sets and Penny is slowly building up her own collection too.  And Lego is not cheap ok hahahaha. But they’re worth it cos… when have you ever seen a broken piece lolol. They’re great quality and Duplo blocks are big and easy for toddlers to manuever and set in place.

Penny’s attention span is still non existent wtf but increasingly I see Fighter playing with Duplo bricks for long periods of time, just building towers or houses over and over. ^^ I can imagine him continuing to play with Lego as he grows older and I’d be happy with that!

3) Baby dolls

Not really Fighter, but this little girl here.  She’s mostly very samseng and hyperactive and a terror wtf but she loves and is so gentle with babies! Whenever she sees a baby…. she just calms down, goes all quiet and spends ages just sitting or standing next to the baby, gazing at it.

Once she met baby Kei  and she tried to feed Kei her marshmallow before we hastily pulled her back, much to her disappointment hahaha.

So baby dolls are the best buy for Penny!  She plays with Koko’s toys a lot but she also loves her doll stroller, and she’ll sit with her doll, feed it, undress it, let it poo on its potty and a dozen other tasks before she gets bored.

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Feeding her doll today. Some more before feeding she’ll blow on her spoon hahahaha. Then she’ll use her spoon to “wipe” drips off the doll’s chin like how we do for her hahahahha

4) Just Like Home Baking Set

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Ummm… You think I’m going to say it’s also Penny’s favorite, but no it’s Fighter’s. :X Ever since he started playing with proper toys, he’s loved masak-masak. We have a toddler sized kitchen at home – complete with an array of miniature pots, pans, plates, bowls and whatever utensils you can think of – and the kids play on it every single day I kid you not!  

One of the newer additions to their kitchen is the Just Like Home baking set that Fighter got for Christmas. He fell in love with the mixer (maybe cos it looks like mine) and it was a bit pricey but we got it for him and he loves it and still plays with the set until today.  Helps that the mixer really works like a real one la hahahaha. Recently he’s graduated to putting uncooked rice (errrr) into his masak-masak bowls and measuring cups and carrying it around wtf.  

Maybe he’ll grow up to be the next Jamie Oliver lolol.

5) Play Doh

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OMG the kids have countless sets of Play Doh and it’s never enough! Fighter got a huge Play Doh dessert set for Christmas too. Getting to play with Play Doh is like striking gold for them wtf. Penny usually follows whatever Fighter loves so she’s into Play Doh too lol. I think they play with Play Doh nearly every day (if I let them) and they’ll mould, shape and tear it for ages. I say nearly every day cos sometimes I don’t want them playing with it cos sometimes it breaks into little pieces and gets everywhere. But mostly what Fighter likes to do is tear them into little pieces and lay them in bowls or plates and leave them there like dishes.

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And he never wants to put it away cos he says he’s not done playing and they dry up. -_- It’s the bane of my existence wtf cos Play Doh is not cheap leh hahaha and homemade dough doesn’t last that long either (although there is a more reasonably priced brand from Toys”R”Us called Universe of Imagination).  But the bottom line is, he loves loves dough and I suspect it’s tied to his love of masak-masak too hahaha.

So why I listed out the kids’ favorite toys from Toys”R”Us is because it’s March Deals time!

From March 7 to April 17, Toys”R”Us’s catalogue is featuring RM20 discount vouchers for beloved brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher Price, Leap Frog.  So if you’re planning to shop now to keep the kids busy this school holidays, now is the time lolol. The catalogues are available in stores so the next time you drop by Toys”R”Us, just pick up the catalogue and cut the vouchers out. ^^

I wanted to give something back to my readers too, and Toys”R”Us has given me 20 metal water bottles to give away to you guys! I actually quite jumped at the chance to collaborate with Toys”R”Us and I’m sure many of you have sweet memories of this store too.  So this is like a thank you from us hehe. Just comment here what your favorite toy (or your kid’s favorite) from Toys”R”Us is/was and leave your email!

AudVerbalDiarrhea

My Personal Constitution

Fatty has recently been reading quite a few self help books and he’s been telling me what he learns as he goes along.  Which is great for me because self-help books sounds like torture to me hahaahaha but I don’t mind if someone whose name starts with F and ends with ATTY summarizes it and tells it to me wtf.

So one of the things he was telling me about is this thing called a “personal constitution”.  Have you ever been so caught up with the day to day, meeting deadlines, doing school runs, non stop wiping poo off your couch (don’t lie we’ve all been there) that when you finally get a breather, you realize that you didn’t effectively get anything significant done?

*raises hands and does Mexican wave*

That’s so me. I may not fully remember the details of what Fatty told me so I may be making things up here and there but this is what I understand.

A personal constitution is like a real country’s constitution – it’s a set of principles that should guide your behavior and actions, for you to live your life by.  It basically covers the values that you hold strong and want to abide by as your life passes, as well as the things you want to achieve in this lifetime.  Things that at the end of your long and hopefully fruitful life, you are satisfied with the way you lived your life.

Your personal constitution functions to remind you of what’s important to you.  It cuts through the nonsense and crap life throws at you every day and helps you focus on the important things and strive towards them.

I could get on with that! Cos I find that happens to me all the time.  With school runs, managing kids, errands and household stuff, plus blogging and everything, I feel like a year could pass by and I swear I’d be busy every single day, but would have achieved nothing.  And I’d stay essentially the same person, or a different person, shaped by circumstances, not who I actually want to be.

So I actually had a brainstorming session with Fatty ok! And together we crafted out my Personal Constitution.  Putting it here for posterity’s sake so I can come back and reread and remind myself. ^^

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Aud’s Personal Constitution

*ahem*

  1. I will be more organized. I’m tired of forgetting everything and relying on the kindness of my friends and family to remember things I gotta do.  Maybe it’s part of my uhhh charm but I’ve battled this flaw for like my whole life ever since I forgot my first homework in Standard 1 wtf.

2. I will procrastinate less.  Actually this along with being disorganized and lazy are my most major character flaws la. I want to be more efficient and not lazy and fight my inner Instant Gratification Monkey so I can get more done, quicker.

3. I will continue to be more compassionate. To be honest, I tend to be quite soft hearted already I think. But sometimes I get too caught up in life or my own problems and I find myself brushing off opportunities to listen more to people, or to help.  I want to remind myself to open my eyes more and do more besides just feeling sympathy and then forgetting about it.

4. I want to always be able to find joy in life! I think I’m there already la actually hahahaha. My baseline emotion is happy and I’m perfectly happy (geddit geddit) with that.  I’m putting this here so I can make it a point to keep finding humor even in crappy situations, and to be as easy going as I am now even as I’m trying to be more… you know. Type A and efficient lolol.
5) I will be a good homemaker.  For my Fatty and my critters!  I don’t think it’s unfeminist of me to want to make a better home for my family… and to be better in this particular field.  I will be tidier, design fancier meals, fix broken things faster.  The problem is, when I focus on one thing I end up letting down the others wtf whoever said women are better at multi tasking lied hahaha. Like if I get into baking, I forget to tidy the cupboards. If I clear the cupboards, I end up not caring what we’re eating. O_O  The truth is, I’m only really good when it comes to the kids.  Hopefully if I’m more organized and efficient, my bad housekeeping will die a natural death wtf.
6) I want to always be open to learning.  When you were a kid, it was always why this why that.  As we grow older though, we lose some of that curiosity and the thirst for knowledge.  But now when I’m older I feel like sometimes I think I know already lazy to listen wtf.  But that shouldn’t be!  What arrogance to think that someone younger or less experienced cannot teach us anything new.  The day we think we have nothing left to learn is the day we stop growing.  And that is a dangerous roadblock to success, wisdom and empathy.

So those are more of the values I want to embody.

These next are the things I want to do.

7) I’d like to be financially comfortable.  Money is not super important to me; if you notice, I rarely talk about money because I don’t think about it much. :X In contrast, when Fatty and I were discussing our goals, I noticed that his focused  strongly on career and financial success compared to mine. But I put this in because I think I should still give myself something to work towards.  So I would like to be financially comfortable on my own – enough for me to not feel the pinch when I shop hahahaha, enough to take care of my parents and my parents in law in their old age (if they need me to), and to give our kids quality education.

8) Since we’re on the topic of money, I want to be more charitable. This is different from just being compassionate cos it involves actual giving.  Like I said, I tend to sympathize for 5 minutes then move on without doing much.  Or I may in a fit of proactivity, give a bunch of money or volunteer but after that one time I slip into slothhood again wtf.  I will try to commit to doing something on a regular basis for the underprivileged.  Which I feel like is one of the harder resolutions here hahahaha cos I’m just.so.damn.lazy.

9) I will create something that will leave a long lasting impact on the community. Wah so noble like this wtf.  But like how money may be the key motivation for Fatty, I realized leaving a sort of legacy is mine.  I’m not talking about building a huge company or anything but I would love to be able to start a movement, an organization that creates lasting positive change on my community or country. (And I have an idea already but not how to go about achieving it FML.) Yea I’m aware it sounds very pompous and geli. But it may not be purely altruistic, mind you. I just want to after I die, go into the afterlife and hao lian.

10) I will continue to be the pillar of the family!! *possessive* *cue thunderclaps wtf* One reason why I’m perfectly content to work from home via a super flexible and unstable job is that it is really important to me to be there for my family.  I want to be the one doing the kid-raising because I am a jealous ass mom *stares at helpers* :X. No seriously, our helpers are great but I like being hands on with the kids now especially when they’re so young, and being their go-to person for everything.  Likewise, it’s even more important that I am Fatty’s pillar as well – for him to talk things through, to lean on, and to hold his burdens.  So while I may in the very near future be busy with #audsecretproject, I will strive to remain this pillar for my family.

*

I thought this would be an interesting thing to write about cos readers my age (or younger?) would be able to identify. I’m already 30 leh! I have the most another 30 years to do something really substantial with my life. So this personal constitution would be like a roadmap to see where I get.

Give it a try, guys! And share your Personal Constitutions with me. :)

 

Audvertorial

Fighter and Penny’s new sibling

Hi everyone I have an important announcement to make.

So ever since Penny started school, I’ve been having mixed feelings.  Besides having a bit of space to myself to breathe and rest my brain/legs, I’m actually a bit bittersweet cos my little baby, who used to sleep at weird hours and gobble puree from a baby spoon is now a toddler going to school on her own! Unpacking her own bag and bottle and everything.

Teacher even told me today that she thinks Penny wants her job LOLOL. Cos when Teacher is playing the guitar in front during music, Penny stands next to her and does all her actions better than her hahahahaha.

I miss my baby. T____T Makes me feel like having another baby to replace her hahahahaha.

So I would like to announce….

Our fifth family member.

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Everyone, meet Robi Tiah.

HAHAHAHAHA sorry guys! Jokes jokes. My uterus is still untenanted.

We received this Robi, this little guy, created from advanced Japanese technology and very cute design.  He’s a sort of robot buddy, invented as a toy and a unique activity for family members to enjoy – by assembling him and playing with him together.

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This Robi is actually a special Malaysian/Singaporean prototype and besides English, can also speak BM, Chinese and Manglish lol. His eyes are LED and light up with different colors hahaha.  

And he can also talk, sing, dance and control selected household appliances.  Cos he emits infrared signals like a remote control to operate compatible TV sets. Hahahaha omg hilarious.

He also has a pretty extensive vocabulary of more than 250 phrases, in all the languages I’d mentioned. The interesting thing about Robi though is this. Back when I was a little girl, there was this magazine called Bugz. I don’t know if any of you remember this but the magazine was basically all about erm…. bugs.  Insects and arachnids hahahahaha yea that was my interest back then – creepy crawlies wtf.   So every 2 weeks or something they’d have a new issue and I collected nearly all of them.  And every issue would come up with some small toy or freebie; often it was a part of a bug model and you had to collect all the issues to get all the parts to assemble a giant spider or something (which I did).  

I remember Ooib was into another magazine that was about dinosaurs and he assembled a whole glow in the dark skeleton of T-Rex hahahaha.

Anyway Robi is like that too.  You don’t buy a Robi on its own; instead you buy the weekly magazine DeAgostini and each issue will come with a Robi part and simple assembly instructions, as well as educational articles about robotics and science. Over the course of 70 issues, parents (and tech geeks) will be able to build Robi, in the process spending time with their kids as a family. ^^

I love this! Too often today we’re too busy, preferring to schedule classes and activities for our kids, or giving them a tablet to keep them busy.  This is a much better way to pass time as a family! Learning and building something together. My kids are too young so we can’t do that yet but I’m looking forward to the day we can!  

But in the meantime, Robi makers sent us our very own (assembled) Robi! I really wanna blog this cos these are actual conversations between the kids and me and omg those two are hilarious hahaha.

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Fighter: What’s this mommy?  
Me: It’s our new robot friend!
Fighter: Ooh bubble wrap! 
Penny: Ooh babbo rat!

Both start stomping on the bubble wrap. -_-

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I told them that Robi needs to rest and charge first before he can play with them.  Both of them immediately said Good night to him lolol.

Here’s Penny saying “Oo Nai” (good night) to Robi and giving him a loving pat hahaha.   IMG_20170301_173657-01

When Robi was fully charged the next day, I brought him over to the kids who happened to be eating dinner.

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Here’s Penny offering her pacifier to their new friend hahahahaha. DSC03732-01

And now offering her doll as sacrifice wtf.

Penny: “Yook! Bibi doh!” (Look! Baby doll!)

They’re soooo cute with Robi I cannot hahahaha.They basically take him for real and I think Penny was trying to be hospitable, offering him her pacifier and showing him her toys hahahaha.

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Um showing Robi and baby doll how to dance. O_O

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Fighter at one point even kept telling Robi I love you hahahahha.

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And right now someone is sleeping with Robi next to him hahahahaha. The kids really love him so ya lah this is their new baby wtf. Now I need to plot how to distract Fighter so he won’t insist on bringing Robi to school with him tomorrow lol. 

There is a Robi event next week if any of you guys are interested in checking it out!  It’s on 10-12 Mar at 1 Utama (High Street), and there will be a performance of 100 Robis dancing hahahaha Robi flash mob ok. Other activities include customized games and giveaways. ^^

DeAgostini magazines will be available in 7-Eleven, Borders, Cold Storage, Hamleys, Jasons Food Hall, Kinokuniya, Mercato, MPH, myNEWS.com, Pansing, Popular, RadioShack, Times, WHSmith, as well as on the Robi website. For more on what Robi can do:

This post was written in collaboration with Robi.

AudParenting Audvertorial

Instagram vs Reality

I love Instagram! Do you love Instagram?

I love how pretty Instagram photos are.  A couple of years ago Instagram was full of boring hipsterish photos of autumn leaves or sunsets or whatever.  And nobody edited their photos and only used Instagram’s inbuilt filters.  Boring!

Nowadays Instagram is chock full of beautiful, curated, carefully edited photos.  Everything is well thought of, well photographed using DSLRs and the like, edited with gorgeous filters that match so your feed looks uniform, and even posted with thought, placing selfies, scenery shots, flatlays and food shots alternately for better aesthetics.

In fact, let me give you a behind the scenes tour of the creation of perfect Instagram photos.

On happy, cute, smiling kids

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Instagram.

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Reality

On obliging kids posing for beautiful photos

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Instagram

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Reality

On beautiful Pinterest worthy houses

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Instagram (credit to @meganpunelli)

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Reality

On delectable Instagram worthy food prepared with love and consumed heartily by family members

 

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Instagram (credit to @littlemissbento)

REALITY

Reality (credit to me, trying to make homemade Reese’s pieces)

On selfies

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Instagram

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Reality #iwokeuplikethis

On showing off your hard earned fitness bod

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Instagram (credit to @bobostephanie yums)

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Reality (credit to my contouring stick)

On postpartum bodies

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Instagram (credit to @sarah.green_x who bounced back 2 weeks post partum with a totally flat tummy)

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Reality
Instagram can be a joy to scroll through and an inspiration to us ordinary humans… except when it makes you feel  like something your kid left in a diaper.

We humans are naturally attracted to creating, looking at beautiful things and Instagram is just a bigger manifestation of that human desire.  But the downside is that it makes us all feel inadequate.  We drool over and envy other people’s perfect moments, then we turn back and look at our lives which feel mediocre in comparison.  This is especially true if you’re a mom.

I feel it as a mother.  I do.  You have your IG moms with perfectly coiffed hair; my own hair is stringy and stiff because something dried on the ends.  You have your moms with beautiful Pinterest worthy houses and I just stepped on a piece of Fighter’s Lego.  With dried Play Doh on the bottom.

You see moms who stay slim throughout their pregnancy and they’re taking OOTDs wearing heels; I was buying new slippers because none of my shoes fit anymore and my head merged with my neck when I was pregnant.

You see pictures of handsome little boys dressed their dapper best in skinny pants, boots and maybe a blazer.  Or maybe they’re extra hipster in harem pants and black outfits; while my son has no concept of laundry and wants to wear the same Batman tshirt for three days straight, even to take a bath.

The one that gets me the most is those damn kyaraben meals!  Who got time to cut out 1mm long seaweed pieces to stick on rice ball Pikachu’s face!?  And your kids actually eat it? Why mine like to use rice to make pattern on the floor one WTF.

Being a parent is probably the most stressful job in the world.  Society judges you, your relatives give you unrequited nagging and you judge yourself every day of your life.

Whatever kind of mom you are – stay at home, full time working, working from home – you will go through days (if not every day) feeling like you could do better and promising to do more the next day.  Because we want to be the best we can for our children.

So don’t let what you see on social media affect you.  Some people are just blessed but that does not mean their lives are perfect; it just means they’re gifted in one area.  Because nothing goes our way all the time.  Accidents will occur, a cake will be burnt, your kid will spill grape juice on your beige sofa.  Everyone wants to shares the best pieces of their lives but that doesn’t mean the other bad, funny, regular parts of  life don’t happen.

Let’s keep it real, Moms! (and every other person).  Don’t be afraid to show the boring, tiresome bits of your day because all these make up a life that is uniquely ours.  As someone (Dave Willis, apparently) once said,

There are no perfect parents, and there are no perfect children but there are plenty of perfect moments along the way.

To this end, Mamee Monster Biskidz have made an ad that shows perception vs reality in today’s world where being a mom is more high pressured than ever because of the advent of social media and oversharing.


You may spot a couple of familiar faces. 😀

Mamee Monster Biskidz is a new, thin and crispy biscuit that kids can eat in between meals and not have it affect their appetite for main meals.  It contains DHA and is a source of Calcium and vitamins. :)  They know about vitamins and they also know what moms today struggle with. 😛

Everyone has an #imperfectmom story.  What’s yours?

This post was written in collaboration with Mamee Monster Biskidz

 

Audvertorial

A serum that doesn’t feel greasy

I think I’m actually quite hardworking when it comes to taking care of my skin (face skin la my body skin is suffering and my shins look like there’s scales hahahaha).  I do the whole rigamole – double cleanse, tone, eye cream, moisturize, sunblock.

But one thing I never got into was serum.  Serum is the step after toner and before moisturizer and is supposed to add ‘oomph’ into your skincare routine by providing extra moisture to your skin.

But the thing is….most serums are damn greasy. D: Because their primary role is hydration, most of them leave a greasy, sticky feeling on my face which I hate.  Apparently it’s supposed to be like that but I cannot get over having a sticky face with my hair stuck to my nose or whatever hahahaha.

So I’d always skipped serum la.  Just applied my moisturizer and prayed for good skin hahahaha.

But here we go.  Finally a serum that’s not oily!!!!

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Introducing Madrex VCx100 Future in Serum. 

It’s a Japanese brand!  While Korean brands are crazy innovative these days, most Japanese brands I’ve tried are solidly reliable and well suited for our skin, and I stick with them over the years.

But I’ve never heard of Madrex before.  Maybe because it’s actually quite atas (cos I always use drug store brands hahahaha), having been used on Paris runways for the past 5 years, and is apparently the choice of many famous makeup artists in Japan!

Madrex has a range of color cosmetics and specialized skincare, and they approached me to review the VCx100 Future in Serum. 😀  They just launched in Malaysia but it’s apparently very big in Japan already.

I didn’t know anything about this serum when I first tested it out.  It didn’t even occur to me that it was a serum because…

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Consistency is watery, like toner with an orange tinge.  The orange actually reminds me of Vitamin C hahaha.

I normally drop a tiny amount each time – smaller than a ten cent coin or 2-3 drops and pat it on my face after toner.

It absorbs in quickly and the main thing I noticed is that….

IT LEAVES NO STICKY FEELING.

Madrex, are you guys sure this is even serum lolol.

I follow up with my usual moisturizer and sunblock and I don’t feel more sticky or greasy than normal.  😀 😀

It’s main component is Vitamin C, which is proven to have brightening properties!  Also contains hyaluronic acid which I love cos I find it adequate for my dry skin, and again doesn’t feel greasy.

The VCx100 formula has a molecular structure that’s 1/100 times smaller than normal which means it can penetrate deeper and faster.  Maybe that’s why I felt it absorbed quite fast hahaha good for mornings when I have to rush to drop kids at school.  The structure is also more effective cos ordinary vitamin C tends to be unstable and does not penetrate skin that well.

So Future in Serum not only hydrates, it penetrates the skin, targeting problems like fine lines (me!!!) and large pores (not me but good to know lol).

I’ve only been using it over the last few days so it’s hard for me to tell whether it’s really effective or not.  But I’ll say this.

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Today I was a parent chaperone for Fighter’s school field trip.  We went to a park and had a picnic hahaha very cute ok.  Normally I tan easily and unevenly fml even after sunblock btw, and after excursions like this, I come back with my face all gray and patchy super FML one!

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But today…. Touch wood ok but I am seeing a tanned, rosy and EVEN face in the mirror even after suffering for hours in the heat!  I’m not sure why, but the only thing that’s changed is that I’m using VCx100 Future in Serum.   So if you’re wondering if it’s effectively brightening? I think so. :)

If you’re interested in getting one yourself, head over to www.jp-my.com/madrex and use my codeMDX4F9 until 30th April 2017 to enjoy RM20 off every RM100 purchase!

This post was written in collaboration with Madrex.

AudVerbalDiarrhea

On coming to terms with growing older

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This week I turned 32.

It’s happened. I’m smack in the middle of my 30s. It’s gotten so that I can’t even remember exactly how old I am off the top of my head – I have to think about my birth year for a second and count backwards.  On the other hand, I can remember perfectly how old Fatty and the kids are, down to the months. ._.

They say, with age comes wisdom, but maybe with age also comes self love.

It’s not that I didn’t love myself, far from it. I was always very sure of myself, confident in my abilities and accepting of my flaws.  It definitely helped that I (uhh ok sounds bigheaded la feel free to vomit) was perceived as pretty/cute all through my twenties.  Life tends to be easier when you’re pretty and I coasted along, secure in my looks, my dressing sense, and charm.

But in the superficial world of social media, youth and trendiness trumps all.

And today, I am 32. Two toddlers came out of my uterus and my C section scar.  My eyes now crinkle when I smile, and my cheeks are no longer as plump as they used to be.  My eyebags are bigger than ever.  My baby pouch is probably going to stick with me for life and my boobs are misshapen fml so underwired bras are my new BFF.

No lie, I mourned the loss of my youth and the ravages of motherhood on my face and body.  I’d quickly scroll past Instagram photos of 20 year old girls with toned tummies and long, lean thighs since they were only sad reminders of my not so long ago past lolol.  I scrutinized other women’s faces, marveling at their perfect un-saggy double eyelids and searching for signs of fillers or botox hahaha.

I couldn’t even depend on the predictability of my wardrobe anymore.  What used to be uniform for me – skater skirts, cropped tops, short shorts seemed too try hard, too clingy to my fats, too Taylor Swift. Everything I wore or liked seemed to fit in the category ‘made for women ten years younger’ and uncomfortable for my age and role in life.  So my wardrobe has evolved to suit my current needs – looser, longer, and better for heavy lifting hahaha. But I felt adrift. I, whose identity tied in so strongly to my looks, started to feel unsure about the person I was.

In a big to reclaim the person I thought I used to be, I started doing Kayla’s BBG program (also cos it’s free wtf). I weighed myself every day. I’d always loved shopping but now I shopped more impulsively, trying to buy beauty.  I even contemplated getting surgery for my eyebags and boobs.

Then something happened. I don’t know why or how, but slowly I started to ease past this somewhat identity crisis.  Instead of trying to squeeze myself back into my 24 inch shorts, I just went out and bought roomier sizes. I stopped BBG (because sorry it may be effective but it’s boring like anything T_T); instead I signed up for muay Thai classes and asked to follow Fatty to his badminton sessions.  I may not be toning target areas but I don’t feel the need to anymore, just to be active.  In the biggest change, I got sick of shopping.

I don’t know what came over me! Maybe it’s all those sustainable fashion articles I read on Huffington Post. Maybe it’s my overflowing closet which I have to clear every few months.  Maybe it’s the austerity drive Fatty and I are now on hahahaha. But I’m suddenly tired of the cycle of consumerism that’s been *ahem* consuming me.  And I’ve been slowly working on a capsule wardrobe which will enable me to stop shopping yet wear different outfits! (More on this in a later blog post)

I realized my life goal is not to be fit or look young – because ain’t nobody got time to go to the gym daily or count calories yo.  It’s to age with grace, and to be comfortable in my own skin. Even if it’s 32 years old lol.  And on my 32nd birthday, I finally feel that I am. :)

My own skin is that of a 32 year old mom of two and wife of one good, loving man.  My skin comes with silver stretch marks and stomach flab.  I may not be able to wear bandage dresses anymore but I can still rock a good pair of culottes and not bulge in the wrong places.  I may have to draw on my abs with eyeliner WTF and buy more eye serum but I can also do sit ups and carry 20kg of toddler ahaha.  Considered damn good for me already.

Even more significantly, social media activity doesn’t bother me anymore. I look at photos of girls in sports bras with bemused admiration instead of envy.  Not getting an invite to the next ‘it’ event is fine, it just means I get to put my kids to bed.  I have fine lines but I also have these two children that are worth more than a billion wrinkles.

I have realized not to hold on to the past because while you may lose some, in the future you also gain much more.  So hello, motherhood and growing older with all your fine lines, chaos, and wisdom. I embrace you.

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AudParenting

Why am I so small?

Fighter usually asks the most random questions so the other day when he piped up, “Mommy?” I thought it would be no different.

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“Mommy,” he went. “How old is Chase?”

(Chase is his best friend.)

“Chase is the same age as you, darling. He’s three, turning four this year just like you.”

“Oh.” He paused.  “But why is Chase so big and I’m so small?”

My heart cracked in half.

I didn’t think it would be this soon but my very small son has noticed the difference between him and his peers.  Since he was born, a teeny premature baby who weighed only 1.1 kg, he was always tiny for his age, hovering around 5th-10th percentile for his weight and height.

They say premature babies catch up to their peers at around age two, but at two, Fighter dropped off the chart to 0 percentile. :X Which means to say, 100% of kids his age are bigger than him wtf.  It was obvious last year when he joined N1, and it’s even more striking now in N2, the year his classmates and him turn four.  Most of them tower at least a head above him now, when last year some kids were still closer to his size.  And he’s noticed.

Fighter’s emotional and mental development is pretty amazing to us.  Maybe we’re just doting parents hahahaha but his grasp of language is fantastic and so is his level of perception!  I think he’s a precocious child but it’s just his size…………

I keep thinking he should catch up sooner or later…. but it seems like he’s getting left further and further behind. T____T   Do you know he and Penny are nearly the same size already until people think they’re twins!? One person even asked me who is older WTF.  (And Penny is in the 50th percentile for her age, which means Fighter is basically the size of an average two year old fhl.)

Size seems like an awfully superficial thing to worry about; I can hear people rolling their eyes and telling me you should be glad he’s normal and healthy and everything else.  I am! You have no idea how much we’re aware of how lucky we got with this little guy (and his sister) – no major health issues, to be the bright, loving, awesome little kids they’re turning out to be.

But size does matter.  You hear about all these studies saying that taller people earn more, perceived better, more successful etc. They may or may not be true but what I worry about is…

Fighter getting picked on in school because of his size.
Fighter getting rejected by girls because of his height.
Fighter developing self confidence issues because of his height.
Fighter developing a chip on his shoulder because of his size.

Being a short guy is one thing, being a guy who could possibly be four feet nine is another wtf.  Having flaws to overcome brings a certain strength to character sure.  And sure, I had that burden to bear myself but I’m a girl! It’s not as bad for a girl!  And I have unbelievably thick skin! What if Fighter doesn’t? but I’m not sure I want this 4’9″ burden on my son leh. :((((

I actually asked our pediatrician about this the last time we saw him.  Dr A told me it’s cos Fighter was a preemie, plus half his genes are from me wtf and Fatty isn’t that tall either, to balance out my height genes wtf. (To Fatty’s annoyance hahahaha).  He actually recommended a specialist for pediatric growth so Imma make an appointment.

In the meantime we’re shower him with more love and support.

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AudAngry

Update: Malaysia Airlines wants to make amends

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MAS has responded.  They actually replied pretty promptly, late in the evening on CNY eve but I was too tied up with reunion to update yet.

I actually asked if they could set up a special hotline or email address or something specifically catered to passengers who encountered flight problems this Chinese New Year.  But they said that anyone who was affected this festive period can go through their regular channels instead as mentioned above.  To make it easier, I’m putting them down here.

MAS website
Email :customer@malaysiaairlines.com
Facebook
Twitter @MAS

They have pledged to sort out the cases whose passengers were affected this festive period the soonest so let’s give them another chance. Please direct your complaints there and I hope MAS will be accountable for their issues.

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Taken from the MAVCOM website (Malaysian Aviation Commission).

These are your rights if you’re ever denied boarding. Good cos I myself didn’t know this until this incident either. Please take note guys if any airlines try to pull a fast one on you again.

There were a few people who condemned me for overreacting. One remarked he hardly thought that this Malaysia Airlines mess ‘ruined my Chinese New Year’ and that I overreacted over a small issue.  He said I caused a lot of PR damage and named me a keyboard warrior.  (Hmm funny I thought keyboard warriors were usually anonymous.)

Another reader, who after accusing me of ‘cyber bullying MAS’ – really? I didn’t think I was more famous than MAS to be able to ‘use my influence to bring them down’ – told me my rant made me look like ‘a short tempered lady’ and nothing would come out of my blog post; all it would serve is make me look bad.  In fact, I was baffled when she asked me, “I’ve also had bad flight experiences. Since I don’t have a blog, should I write in to the newspapers about it?”

Huh??? Is she really asking this question?

YES. The answer is YES YOU SHOULD.

You know what guys? If I hadn’t written that post, maybe MAS would have continued ignoring us all.  If I didn’t cause “a lot of PR damage”, maybe this issue (which also affected so many other passengers) would not have escalated high enough for action to take place.  Six months from now, we’ll all probably be still banging out angry follow up emails, or dialing in to their hotlines trying to speak to a human customer rep.

For those of you who say “Nothing good will happen la. All you achieve is making yourself look like a spoiled brat.”

I beg to differ. The emails above happened.  All I have to say is, you don’t try, you never know. Never stop yourself from standing up for what you think is right just because you’re scared of how it makes you look. Every hero in history stood for their beliefs and for the truth. Galileo, Thomas Jefferson, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi… I seriously doubt they cared about how they “looked” wtf.

I’m not saying I’m that level la OMG far from it. -_- All I want is my dues and for everyone else who got stranded thanks to bad customer service.  But if anyone says, “don’t do it cos you look stupid!”, this should be your rebuttal to these unfathomable people.

Anyway, I really for those who were treated poorly by MAS this festive season or if you know any friends or relatives who were, please please contact MAS through their official channels.  I sincerely hope they will sincerely fix their customer problems.  Feel free to share this information and leave a comment to let me know if MAS have been keeping to their word. I hope they do cos I honestly did like our national carrier before all this happened.

Thank you and Gong Xi Fa Cai, everyone!

Audrey.

AudAngry

Malaysia Airlines lies and cheats: How MAS ruined our Chinese New Year

I’m not new to taking flights, obviously.  I’ve had my fair share of good service and bad service.  Years ago, I had terrible service from Fireflyz and I wrote a scathing post about the experience here.  I still think it serves them right, and if you google ‘Fireflyz’ my blog post is the second link, right after the Fireflyz website.

Today Malaysia Airlines screwed us over and that’s why I’m writing this post.

We booked flights back to Penang for Chinese New Year for today, 26 Jan 2017.  With one toddler and one baby, we didn’t want to take the risk of getting caught in the highway jam.  We used our Enrich points to redeem us adults and Fighter’s tickets.  Penny is still an infant and we purchased her infant seat with cash.  Our flight was MH 1140, scheduled for 11.15 am, from KLIA.

We arrived at the airport at 9.45 am, a whole hour and a half before the flight.  Ample time right?  Considering that this is a domestic flight and we didn’t even have luggage with us to check in – we had sent our luggage off with my brother in law who was driving down to Penang.

Since Fatty is an Enrich Gold member we went to check in as usual at the Business Class counter.

This is the conversation that took place between Fatty and the counter staff.

Staff: I’m sorry, you checked in too late.
Fatty: Huh what do you mean too late? We’re here 1.5 hours before the flight to check in.
Staff: Yea, because check in is open 48 hours before a flight…. Other people already checked in before you so there are no more seats.
Fatty: So? I’m not late to check in what. And I have my tickets!

Then only the staff sheepishly admitted that the flight had been overbooked, and that she would put us on the next flight, at 4 pm.

I was managing the kids behind Fatty and overheard bits and pieces of their conversation.  By the time I came up to the counter, the staff had disappeared, presumably to talk to her supervisor.  Waited a bit for her and my blood boiled in the meantime wtf.  She didn’t come back so I took Fighter with me and tried to find someone else to talk to.

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Counter we were at.

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Which had this sign standing next to it. 60 minutes before? I have 30 minutes more! What are you going to say?

I went to another counter and demanded an explanation and got one – the second counter staff explained that an earlier flight had been canceled, and they had put the passengers on our flight, effectively kicking us off our flight even though we had done nothing wrong.

By then, she informed me that the first staff serving us had returned and asked me to go back and talk to her, probably very relieved to get me out of her hair.

We ended up not taking a flight back; instead we went back to get our car and drove all the way to Penang with no supplies – no potty for emergencies in the car, no milk powder, extra diapers or change of clothes.  Nothing that we would need for the kids.

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Stuck in the car suffering with no space between two car seats because our BIL drove our van back. Thanks to MAS, my shoulders and back hurts from not being able to sit properly for 4 hours.

TL;DR: Here’s what MAS did to us.

1.Gave away our seats to other passengers even though we’ve paid for them and booked us on the next flight, without considering the implication and inconvenience to us.  How are we supposed to wait for 6 hours in the airport with two toddlers?! They offered us lounge access – which is useless cos we already have it as Enrich members; this is not a compensation at all!!!

2. Did NOT inform us beforehand so we can change our plans.  If we had known earlier we wouldn’t have rushed to the airport so early.  As it is, we made our way to the airport so we can be stranded there for the next 6 hours.

3. Did NOT process a refund for us.  The counter staff told us it was their policy that passengers who want a refund have to write in and apply.  Later when we spoke to the duty manager, he told us that Enrich does not normally refund points, maybe only 1 person out of 100 gets refunded.  So we basically have a 99% chance of losing the points that we used for our tickets.      

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4.  Although Fatty told the staff to cancel our tickets and give us a refund, she printed out boarding passes for the 4pm flight anyway before hustling us to the duty manager.  In the haste, I just took the passes together with our ICs and passports and it didn’t occur to me until now that she effectively checked us in. EVEN THOUGH WE SAID TO CANCEL. So it becomes our fault now that we did not take the flight.

WHAT THE FLYING FUCK.

HOW CAN THEY KICK US OFF A FLIGHT WHEN WE ARE NOT LATE? HOW CAN THEY SIMPLY GIVE AWAY OUR SEATS LIKE THAT? WHY IS IT THAT THEIR INCOMPETENCY BECOMES OUR BURDEN TO BEAR?

If we were late to check in, I can understand assuming we’re a no show and giving our seats away.  But they CANNOT preemptively give away seats like that la FFS.  Those earlier passengers sorry dudes but they should be on standby, until we give up our flights. Not the other way round!

HOW CAN THEY ASSIGN A FLIGHT TO US FOR NO GOOD REASON WHEN THE LATER FLIGHT IS SUPER TROUBLESOME AND IMPOSSIBLE FOR US?

If we took the 430 flight, we would arrive in Penang at 530.  By the time we arrive home, it would be 7 pm at least.  Kids don’t need to eat dinner? Don’t need to sleep is it?

HOW CAN THEY REFUSE TO REFUND US IF WE USED POINTS? POINTS IS NOT MONEY AH?

So basically MAS just cheated us right!? Took our money and never delivered the service.  The duty manager told us to write in, but why should we even have to do that!? They caused us this extreme inconvenience and we are further inconvenienced by having to write in to get a refund.  Your fault you just freaking give us back our money la! And we won’t even get the refund for sure, according to the duty manager, because they already gave us another option, so it’s our choice to not take the flight.

WHAT NONSENSE IS THIS? IT IS NOT MY CHOICE TO FLY AT 4 PM. HOW IS THAT MY CHOICE? YOU GAVE ME NO CHOICE AT ALL, MAS.

HOW CAN THEY CHECK US IN ANYWAY WHEN WE SPECIFICALLY SAID ‘PLEASE CANCEL AND GIVE US A REFUND????

It is further putting the burden of blame on us right!? Cos then they can say, oh you already checked in ma, means you are taking the flight already. Let me be very clear: WE DID NOT CHECK IN. WE ASKED FOR A CANCELATION AND A REFUND. YOU, MAS, CHECKED US IN WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION.

I cannot believe the utter ridiculousness of this whole scenario.  It’s disgraceful, the utter disrespect MAS is showing to us.  They blatantly swindled us, then treated us with contempt by assigning a random flight that is at a terrible time for us, and issued no compensation or refund.

And if you think we’re the only unlucky ones, you are wrong.  I saw people talking on social media that MAS has been doing this over the last two days to unfortunate passengers.  Even the duty manager himself admitted to us that “today is not as bad as yesterday”, we can get the next flight considered good already.

EH SUCK MY NON EXISTENT DICK LA MAS. YOU ARE NOT A BUDGET AIRLINE. You can say, this happens with budget airlines all the time, and yes it does.  But the difference is at the price we’re paying, we’re getting service equal to or worse than budget airlines.  You are so disrespectful and incompetent and inconsiderate, I cannot.

When MAS went through all that missing plane sagas, we still continued to fly them.  Some people switched to other airlines on purpose but we still flew MAS when we could to support them.  We believed that those incidents are out of their control and it doesn’t mean that they’re a bad airline.

Now? Don’t make me laugh. To screw us and all the other passengers like this, you don’t deserve my faith, liking, respect. You definitely don’t deserve our patronage. If they were really apologetic and showed effort in trying to refund or compensate us, I could still accept it and move on. Just give me a reason to believe in your sincerity! Sadly, you did not.  Thanks for ruining the start to our Chinese New Year.  That was really fun.

You got your chance. Now this is my turn. I am going to blow this up as big as I can.  I’m going to share this blog post on all my social media platforms and I hope you guys can help me do the same.  Send to everyone you can.  They cannot be allowed to get away with such cheating and deplorable customer service. If they do, they will continue to do this in future.  I’m so angry I’m considering buying Facebook and Instagram ads to spread the word HAHAHAHAH.

Please comment here if you have been screwed over by Malaysia Airlines in this manner this festive season so they can take notice. I am going to lobby for a refund and compensation over the extremely shitty way they’ve treated us paying customers.

Thank you for reading! Sorry my post is so long and ranty.

Aud.

P/S: Looking at the comments coming in, OMG MAS is horrendous! WTF kind of service are they running!? Duh but I will strongly say PLEASE DON’T EVER FLY MALAYSIA AIRLINES IF YOU CAN HELP IT.  People say fly at your own risk, but besides the risk of flying itself, you also have the risk of getting effed over by unscrupulous scumbags so yea.

PP/S: Fatty’s account of this incident here.

UPDATE 7.35 pm, 27 Jan 2017:

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MAS reached out to me at 9.30 am today. I just didn’t have time to update until now.

I really appreciate that they have extended contact and tried to make amends!  But I can’t help feeling that it’s only because my blog post went viral (thank you so much for sharing it btw!!!).  I told them I don’t expect anything besides what I’m entitled to (a full refund) so I’m appreciative.

But I don’t want to be singled out for special treatment because of my blog post. I’m not the only person affected by their overbooking this CNY and I asked if they would make amends for everyone else affected this time.  I would ask for everyone else ever wronged hahaha but I think that would be too difficult and too much for them to stomach.  One step at a time.  Cross fingers for their reply!

UPDATE:

Malaysia Airlines have issued a response to my request. See the update HERE.