AudVerbalDiarrhea

Rejected because of my blog

Recently I got rejected from a very major application that I had submitted.  Remember me mentioning #audsecretproject? Well, that was a big part of it and I was rejected, very politely, but also very firmly.

I appealed, and that got rejected as well hahaha.

To be honest, not only had I put in effort, I’d also invested a lot of heart into my application.  I think this was the most dreaming I’d allowed myself to have since my application to college.  People I talked to who were in the “in” assured me I would be a shoo-in, and so when I got my rejection I was stunned.

The reason? They did not like my “blog persona”.

It took me a while but I crafted an appeal which truthfully, I felt was even better written than my original application hahaha.

Still got turned down.

This is an excerpt of my appeal:

My online persona was born out of aspects of my personality, the community that I and my readers live in, as well as our local culture and communication style.  It is a way of connecting with my readers; those who have followed me for years know I have mantained my values and integrity over the years.  While I realize my style may be unconventional, I believe I have used my influence positively to raise awareness for issues that are important to me.
That being said, my blog is not representative of the person that I am; it is only one facet of my personality…. I mentioned my blog because I believe the skills which I have learned over the years – to market, to persuade and influence, to form bonds – would hold me well in my journey, not because I plan to tie [redacted] to my blog.
They weren’t having it though hahaha.
I have been turned down by clients who felt I was too vulgar.  But I’d never felt the loss, believing it was best to be true to myself and not change my blogging style for outside gain.
But this was the first time that I had ever been rejected by something so important to me on the basis of a blog persona that they disagreed with.
I was in disbelief for a while.  A kind of aching doubt washed over me as I wondered what exactly they disliked about me (or my blog).  For days I rewinded my blog posts in my brain. I’d find myself pulling up my blog on my phone and just scrolling back to see what could I have written that would be distasteful to an outsider.
A lot.
For starters, I do swear quite a bit.  I feel like I’ve toned down in recent years actually, but remember that awful MAS saga? That was enough to resuscitate the potty mouth in me wtf. But could swearing be a reason to exclude someone from a position? Possibly, especially if the position is say, related to children.  But I don’t know, that seems to me an extremely narrow way of looking at it — wouldn’t you expect an otherwise good candidate to be able to hold their tongue, like any other person in a professional setting? I really don’t know.
I guess I also rant a lot. I call out individuals and corporations who I feel deserve it.  Maybe that shouldn’t be up to me — by doing that, am I playing judge and juror?  On the other hand, the way I see it, I have to. In Malaysia, a lot of misdemeanours (or crimes) are unjustly swept under the carpet; it’s become a terrible culture of ours.  If the authorities aren’t doing anything, why should we submit to this culture of being afraid to speak up against injustice or rude behavior?  I’m not saying that my posts are calling out criminal activity wtf, cos they’re usually corporate injustice or social/ethical wrongs, or just people being assholes.
Should I rethink speaking out? I think I could definitely work on being more unbiased and less sensitive lolol. I would work on being less trigger happy and to take a breather first before jumping to reply to scorch someone wtf.
Would I stop calling out or “prosecuting” guilty parties? Uh not to blow own horn la but I believe that I have a pretty developed sense of justice which I use to guide my conscience.  And if I’m wrong I’d apologize or call myself out. I figure I’m as good as anyone to be a judge lol.  But I don’t think I would stop voicing my opinion on rudeness or unfairness.  I have a social media voice and I still believe that I can (and have done) good with it.
That’s the fix I find myself in today.
I got rejected from something very important to me — that would have kicked me off on my journey to achieve #audsecretproject.  Because I was rejected, I am unsure what to do next now. And I failed to gain acceptance, due to my blog which had so far given me so much joy, opportunities, money, friendships… Hell, it even gave me my husband hahahaha. Not least, it gave me a way to form bonds with people I’ve never met, to spread awareness and do more good than I could ever have done otherwise.
So would I ever stop blogging, in order to achieve something I wanted? Probably not.  Would I change the way I blog to be more ‘acceptable’? I don’t really want to either.  However my blog has been perceived, I have stayed as honest as I can throughout the years.  I’ve written about successes and happiness, sadness and failures — heck, even this blog post is about a failure.   The only hurts or grievances I haven’t written about involve people in my lives that are better left unsaid online. I think I’ve consistently maintained my integrity and values which is not what many people can even say, I think?
So no. My blog is here to stay. ^^ And what I need to show people is that while Fourfeetnine is Audrey, all of Audrey is not Fourfeetnine either.
edit:
I received some thoughtful feedback on my post and I think I should add a few more words.  I was too focused on my own thoughts while writing this that I forgot that this has been a new learning experience for me, which I should be grateful for. I think that the party who rejected me did have sound reason to, and I respect the decision and appreciate that they took their time to really review my application.  And to the people who talked to me, they deserve all my thanks for being so patient and helpful in my application journey.
*****
Uhhhh sorry super random and totally not in keeping with this blog post but here’s an announcement!
I’ve been looking for a way to sell off our stuff — as you know from Dayre, I am spring cleaning and attempting to Konmari our house. In an attempt to build a capsule wardrobe, I packed away tons of very nice clothes of mine, as well as the kids’ clothes and shoes that they’ve outgrown but are still nice.  I’ll also be selling some bags, as well as a ton of makeup and skincare that I received from various sponsors and judging for Her World Beauty Awards.  All are new, but some may be opened cos I had to test them for judging. All if used, have only been used once and can be considered new.
IMG-20170328-WA0010
So my friends and I just decided to organize our own market! It’s going to be super casual la. Just us, our stuff and a Saturday afternoon spent with cake and coffee. 😀
Come ok!

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

lego

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.

2017-03-15_12-58-44

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

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-18 at 5.14.54 PM

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

play doh

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.

playdoh

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. ^^

2017-03-12_12-24-27

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.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

..

.

.

.

DSC03751-01

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.

DSC03737-01

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.

DSC03722-01

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. -_-

DSC03729-01

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.

IMG_20170301_173432-01

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.

IMG_20170301_180323-01

Um showing Robi and baby doll how to dance. O_O

DSC03747-01

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

DSC03743-01

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

2016-11-02_10-01-04

Instagram.

IMG_20161030_102144

Reality

On obliging kids posing for beautiful photos

2016-11-02_09-46-07

Instagram

IMG_20161027_143142

Reality

On beautiful Pinterest worthy houses

IMG_20161102_100903

Instagram (credit to @meganpunelli)

2016-08-17_12-07-52

Reality

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

 

lmb

 

Instagram (credit to @littlemissbento)

REALITY

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

On selfies

2016-11-02_09-51-23

Instagram

2016-11-02_09-47-09

Reality #iwokeuplikethis

On showing off your hard earned fitness bod

IMG_20161102_101250

Instagram (credit to @bobostephanie yums)

2016-11-02_09-51-48

Reality (credit to my contouring stick)

On postpartum bodies

IMG_20161102_124842

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

2015-04-12 10.52.28 1

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!!!!

IMG_20170224_145757-01

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…

IMG_20170224_145444-01

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.

2017-02-24_03-23-33

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!

2017-02-24_03-03-40

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

2017-02-14_11-58-22

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.

2017-02-14_11-57-51

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.

2017-02-03_11-14-50

“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.

IMG_20170129_180342

AudAngry

Update: Malaysia Airlines wants to make amends

Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 12.49.09 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 4.21.04 PM

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.