Monday, April 01, 2013

Styling & Makeup Workshop - with Giveaway!

I read a recent blog post from a young-ish (and very famour) local female blogger expecting her first child. Like me, she is well into her third trimester, and has to deal with not just tummy the size of a basketball, but also pretty snide comments about how mummies should not be too concerned about their looks.

Erm, I don't know the kind of crowd she hangs out with, but my sympathies goes out to her. Cos as a third-time Mummy myself, I can state for a certainty - that a happy ME makes for a happy Mummy. And things that make ME happy include looking good, having pretty clothes or accessories or putting on nice make-up. I am not saying I agree with all her choices, but to be made to feel that guilty about wanting to look presentable is not cool at all!

Well, as you might be aware, I am a part of a group of Singapore Mom Bloggers, and this group turns ONE this month! It's amazing that this is only the first year, cos in the past 12 months, I've gotten to know so many wonderful mummy bloggers, it provides both companionship (knowing that there are so many others walking the same path as I do) as well as perspective (seeing how other alternative paths turn out for others as well).

As part of SMB's first year birthday bash, I was invited to a special Styling Workshop with some of my other mom blogger friends. It was like attending a high school gathering, without the usual drama. We laughed, we chatted, we posed and we spent the evening in a most delightful manner.

Our trainer for the evening, Florinda of Style Essence, was funny and engaging!

And she gave us some practical examples on what sort of clothes fit which body shapes. Of course in my current state, my shape is more Watermelon than anything else, but still, it was pretty interesting. We learnt which colours suit us more (I suit cool colours, which is good since the majority of my wardrobe is a nice shade of ... black).

The hands-on part (and highlight of the 90-minute workshop) was when Flo gave us a chance to try out Mary Kay's range of skincare products. It was their age-defying range (important as most of us were past 30 years old!), and she taught us some pretty useful tips on how cleansing our face.

I sat with Madeline (far left, blogs at MadPsychMum) and Jiahui (centre, blogs at Mum's The Word) and this was how we looked like coming into the Workshop - all more than a tad tired after a long day at work! Haha!

Our totally unglam shot, with our fringes pinned back and faces clean of any make-up.

All the blogger mummies in this right out of Halloween shot - testing out the face mask (which is one of the products I adore!) I've been to some facial spas, and especially when trying out a new method or product, the spa therapist will sometimes do half of my face first, so that I can see the difference. Well, the same thing here, except that we were the ones to work the magic of the product ourselves. Some of the mummies present has pretty noticeable differences - one has a visible lightening of her skin tone and another even had better defined cheekbones. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Well, after all these unglamourous poses, we went into the final (and most entertaining) part of the evening - makeover time!

It was like becoming 18 all over again, and learning how to dabble with eyeshadow colours, contouring, using eyelash curlers and blushers and the like. I liked that each participant had her own set of brushes and mascara wand (which was cleaned after each use), as I am always a little anal about using "common" brushes.

Here's how we look, all MADE-over! I loved it, and didn't think I would carry off a red lipstick this well, since I hardly use such strong colours for my lips. (Of course my hair tips so need touching up, and I can hardly wait till baby comes out so that I can make a long overdue visit to my hair stylist!)

All of us glama-mamas!

Workshop Giveaway!
Style Essence has generously agreed to sponsor THREE readers to attend the same Workshop as I did. Each Workshop is worth S$150, and so it is a great chance for you to know more about your body shape, suitable colours as well as go for a makeover!

To enter, simply leave a blog comment (with your name & email address)!

The giveaway will last for two weeks, and the 3 winners will be randomly drawn and announced on Monday, 15 April 2013. All the best to all! I know you will have a blast, as I did!

Conditions: Giveaway open to those residing in Singapore only; and Style Essence will be the one to contact you on the details of the workshop.


(Additional photo credits: Adeline & Rachel)

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this Workshop conducted by Style Essence as part of Singapore Mom Bloggers' first birthday bash, and received no compensation. All opinions stated are entirely my own.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Turning Two

My little boy turns two!

How time passes by in a flash... as he graduates from a cute little baby to a precious little toddler. He is affectionate, smiling, always ready with hugs and kisses, and adorable.

We celebrated his birthday about a month earlier, when Daddy was still in town, so his actual day was quite a quiet affair. We (or rather pregnant tired me) will be waiting for Daddy to return to have a proper celebration in school.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: The new Philips AVENT Natural bottles

As a first-time mummy, I remember a couple of years back, I had to make many buying decisions. Pram – all-terrain, lightweight or sturdy? Cot or playpen? Disposable diapers or cloth diapers? Baby sling or carrier, ergonomic or not? And not to mention the myriad of brands to choose from for all kinds of items like bath gels and diaper creams and even pacifiers!

The bottle is another huge decision to make, and with so many brands in the market, I had no clue where to start, really. So thankfully for an informal support group of other mummies in my workplace, I was introduced to the various brands out there, and eventually settled on Philips AVENT for Jay.

Bottles bought. But unfortunately Jay had other plans. And in the Nursery where I placed him from three months old, he was resistant to the bottle teat, and took a long, long time to finish his feed each and every time, screaming and flinching every other moment. I was relieved when he finally learnt how to sip from a straw before he turned one, and that was how we fed him any form of liquids!

Xav was a much easier baby, in the bottle aspect.

photo In fact, even Daddy could easily feed Xav up (a feat he wasn’t up to for Jay)

photo When Philips AVENT launched its brand new Natural range of bottles, they were kind enough to send over a few bottles for Xav to test out as well!

IMG_0332Comparing the old and the new.

As you can see, there are some pretty big changes with the shape of the bottle. The more ergonomic shape makes it easier to grip, and aesthetically more pleasing on the eye to boot!

 IMG_0336The shape of the bottle teat has also seen some major change – and I personally like that the length of the teat has been reduced, as I’ve always felt it’s been a little too long for a small newborn. It also fits better into the bottle, reducing leakage.

The old design comes with the adaptor ring, which goes around the neck of the bottle before screwing on the cap. And sometimes in my sleep-deprived hazy nights (and some days), I’d forget to put on the rings and pooof! Out spills the milk! Well, I am happy to report that the new Natural bottles have since done away with the additional ring, making them easier to put together. As any Mummy having to feed the kids at 3 a.m. in the morning will attest to, 3 seconds saved is 3 seconds more to sleep. Simply precious.

Unless the old range, which comes in 3 different sizes (4, 9 and 11 ounces), the new Natural bottle comes in only 2 sizes (4 and 9 ounces). Which suits me fine since Xav doesn’t drink more than 9 ounces at a single feed. The bottle teats continue to come in 4 different feeding flows.

Preparing for my third kid also means I have yet another few months of breast milk expressing, and bottle feeds ahead *gulp!* So I am happy to have the chance to fully test out the new bottles on her!

Disclaimer: This advertorial post is a part of a series of conversations between Philip AVENT Singapore and SANses. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Philips Avent Banner

Thursday, March 28, 2013

3 weeks to go

Okay yes, three weeks to go for me to reach my 37th week of pregnancy. Which, to the non-parents among you, means that I would be in the “safe” zone to pop my little one. And given that Xavier was born on the first day of the 37th week, things are looking up to my little princess coming earlier than her 9 May due date.

So yes, I am excited about that.

But I am even more excited and looking forward, cos it would also mean the return of my hubby from Sydney. He’s been overseas for the past month, and it has been … tiring. Things are different with Daddy around, especially when Mummy is about the size of a walking blue whale with a 7kg basketball strapped to the waist. Which gives me the speed of a tranquilized leopard  and the stamina of a hibernating bear. Loads of fun for two active toddlers, as you can imagine. Thankfully we have shifted to my mom’s place, and the extra pair of hands helps – even if simply to bring the kids down for some bubble blowing fun, or to the nearest 7-11 for ice-cream… It simply means I get 15 minutes of peace.


Another time I miss about not having the hubs around is during the kids’ nap and bed times. I cannot decide which is the lesser of the two evils: Making the kids sleep individually or making them sleep together. It either requires a lot of time, or a lot of effort – and the downside to making them sleep separately is when the first kid doesn’t sleep before the second one comes in – which kinda nullifies the point of divide and (trying to) conquer. Guess bed time routines are easier when there are TWO parents to take turns! Haha!

Hubbies come in useful when it comes to feet rubs and back massages, important to ease one as heavily pregnant as I. Haha!

But more than this, I miss the conversations we have, and the meals shared, and the burdens, now we make do with the almost-daily Face-Time (thank God for technology!) where the kids have a chance to see Daddy up close and personal.

So Jay is learning to count down. I told him last week – 4 more weeks to Daddy’s return, which means four more church services and four more cookery classes (at school), and this helps him keep tabs on the time as well!

How about you? Counting down to anything special?

Don’t forget to link up if you too have a Talkative post to share!'s Talkative Thursdays

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Childlike faith

Xav 3

Jay 3Two cheeky boys!

I had an interesting conversation with a fellow Mummy, who was a little intrigued that my kids would say their own prayers at bed time, and wanted to find out a little more.

Both Jay and Xav first started praying by themselves early – and this was mainly because they started speaking independently at a pretty young age (18 months for Jay, and about 22 months for Xav). With Jay it was a natural progression, because he was so active when we were saying our bedtime prayers, that we asked him to pray just so he would sit still. Haha! But it worked pretty well, and after a few months of simple prayers, he learnt to “converse” with God (and also give a good hint to us at the same time).

Jay started out praying very simply: “Thank you God for a wonderful day. Bless Daddy, bless Mummy and bless Jayvon. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

And this is almost exactly how Xav prays now. Of cos, he also includes himself and his younger sister!

The moment Jay started understanding that he could really pray whatever was on his heart, it was then that his prayers really started taking ”flight” and showing what he was thinking of.

When he was into his animal phase, where he would be crazy over all sorts of animals and had a stupendous vocabulary of animal names, he would pray for as many animals as he could recite.

Some “memorable” prayers Jay has made over the years (all entirely thought up by himself):

At 5 years old:

(When Nic was in Sydney) “…let Australia not have any … erm… earthquake or… erm… let the earth open up and keep Daddy safe…”

“... bless Daddy even as he is setting up the Christmas tree, give him strength so he can be strong and finish the tree fast...”

“Dear God, thank You for a wonderful day in church. I got so many toys and the teachers got me popcorn and candy floss! Bless Xavier, Mummy and the whole family. Bless Titah and bless Titah's country. Let it not have any volcanoes so no more people will get hurt or die. Bless Titah's country to be as blessed as Singapore as well. In Jesus's name. Amen.”

“… heal Xavier. Let him not cough anymore please God. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

At 4 years old:

“Thank You God  for such a wonderful day. Can You bring us to buy a lot of toys? I'd like the blue dinosaur for Christmas. Amen.”

To me, getting the kids to pray helps them understand the concept of a God who always hears our cries and prayers, and of course when the kids hear the way the hubs and I pray, I suppose that helps to shape how they word their prayers as well. Of course, I would be the first to admit, my prayer hardly ever cover third-world nations, so I suppose his “burden” for them comes from his conversations with my domestic helper on her homeland, and watching documentaries and movies like Slumdog Millionaire.

I am grateful for my two kids, and seeing the world through their innocent eyes and childlike faith also never fails to encourage me (and the cheekiness sends me into peals of laughter the next second).