Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy 13th Birthday Google!

I really love the effort taken to spice up the search engine. Take a look at today's Google Doodle.. celebrating it's own 13th birthday. :)

Happy Birthday Google... lol

Monday, September 19, 2011

Shopping diet 101

As I'm aiming to save for a trip, I have started my shopping diet 101.... after a few luxurious splurges these 2 months to celebrate my birthday- hah!

1. Set a budget
My lunch budget is now RM5 for mixed rice and IF I have to eat in those commercialised "kopitiam", my budget is RM10. How you may ask?

Seriously, it is not as easy as it sounds because inflation has gone sky rocket with prices of food going up over every single little excuse i.e. petrol increase, sugar price increase, electricity bill increase, shortage, etc. (And it never goes down back despite the price drop of the said reasons!)

Rule no. 1: DO NOT order any drinks. Go back to your office and drink warm water (it's healthier) or make your hot drinks. Sounds pathetic but a drink cost RM0.50 (chinese tea) to RM2.50 (milk tea) or RM8 for "so-called juices".

Rule no.2: Take smaller portion and less variety.
I actually have to test it out. The aunty who calculates the price of the dishes + rice is not consistent. Sometimes when I reduce to a small portion of rice, she gives discount and sometimes she doesn't. I try to cut down to smaller portion or even take vegetables + tofu instead of any meat to reduce the cost.

On the plus side, I hope I won't gain weight? Lol But sometimes my tongue craves for variety and I tell myself, yes you may have a RM7.50 Sub-of-the-day Subway Sandwich. Lol

2. Avoid Warehouse Sales
Seriously, avoid it like a plague. Preferably avoid even looking at blogs like shoppingnsales or newspaper. Once tempted, once you go and just take a look, once it's a bargain, you're hooked. You'll swipe the credit card and come out feeling happy for getting such a bargain till the bill comes, you're screwed!
Image borrowed from this blog.

On a side note, I found out MPH warehouse sales was over the weekend and it was such a bargain. My friends bought 10 Lonely planet books (quite recent edition) at RM10 each!! Sniff.. it cost RM100 plus over sometimes... Arghhh.... control... sniff... bookss...

3. Avoid Budget Shops
Actually, it'll be obvious what is my weakness... books! So when I found BookXcess in Amcorp Mall, I usually spend RM100-RM200 on books.... arghhh

Hence, that is the next rule: to avoid places with permanent bargains for at least a year. Lol
And perhaps try to finish up reading the books I already have.

4. Stop buying small items
Another shopping trap is Daiso. Seriously, you can get all sorts of little knick-knacks from there for only RM5. Mind you, "only RM5/item". So take caution when you happily throw in little cutesy stuff into your basket and it'll amount to RM50 and above for 10 items. That happened to me when I say all the dogs clothing sold there - so far I've bought at least 5 for my mum's new poodle.

Same goes for candies and drinks from convenient stores like 7eleven. You might think 80 cents for a tube of Polo sweets is nothing much but if you buy it daily... you get the drift.

5.  Eating out
This is something hard to execute. When I go out with my bf, sometimes we like to have a decent meal to treat ourselves. But do you know it cost RM50 for 2 main dishes and drinks just for the 2 of us? Gosh.. if we eat out every weekend... say average, 4 meals (lunch & dinner) for 4 weekends, it will cost us RM800? No point eating poorly cooked, tasteless/over added MSG food in cheap kopitiams because it'll spoil your mood too.

You can save by eating at home. Try cooking and you'll never know your other half actually has hidden culinary skills.

Look out for discounted groceries after 8.30pm in Jaya Jusco supermarket e.g. their fish or even discounted sushi. Then again, some even pay for almost expired food (usually imported food like chocolates, biscuits, etc) to save but I don't think I'll do that ... yet. Lol


In short, if you're really focused in something, you will do it. I wish I could apply this in losing weight and toning my body instead. Somehow, laziness easily creeps in to make me opt for the bed and more shut-eye. ;)

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Do's and Don'ts for Make-up (to increase lifespan)

A little reminder on how we should treat our makeup. We forget that makeup is exposed to germs when it is opened. If we don't take good care of makeup like how we care for food, we will be putting on makeup filled with germs directly on our skin! Imagine that!

There are a few general rules to follow closesly to minimise torturing our skins and potentially making it sensitive, prone to break outs.
  • Keep it clean by cleaning your makeup brushes. It is like the eating utensils that you use to feed yourself. You will only use clean fork and spoons.
  • Not sharing is caring. Sharing your makeup is unsanitary, as it transfers infectious bacteria such as staph, conjunctivitis, yeast, and fungus.
  • Keep it cool. Store makeup in a cool, dry place. even when you are travelling. Direct sunlight can alter the preservatives in your makeup.
  • Stay dry. For liquid makeup, use disposable applicators, such as Q-tips, and give your sponges plenty of drying time so as not to encourage bacteria.
  • Clean your makeup bag. When was the last time you even wash or clear out your makeup bag? It could be collecting bacteria and transferring to your makeup brushes, makeup and ultimately to your face.
  • Think storage How you keep you make-up will determine how long it will last. To make sure your lip gloss lasts for a long time (as well as with other products), keep your make-up in a cool and dark place. Don't leave them out in the sunlight because some of the important ingredients can break down.
  • Keep oxygen out This is the number one enemy for your make-up. Make sure the lids and caps of all your products are kept secured when not in use. Leaving them in the open will result in oxidation.
  • Opt for powder Powder-based make-up usually lasts longer that its cream-based counterpart. All cream make-up has a lifespan of one year. Powder varieties can last up to three years if you use them approprietly

Makeup Lifespan: What salesgirl never tell you

Seriously, I never knew makeup have specific lifespan till a few years back. For someone who seldom uses makeup, the makeup usually is left in the makeup bag for years. Hence, I seriously feel I should share this information or reminder to myself.

1. Makeup Lifespan Symbol
Did you know that there is a little symbol on the packaging which shows a little container with e.g. "12M" on your makeup? The "M" symbolises the months of the makeup lifespan after it is opened.

2. Recommended Makeup Lifespan
I've summarised some recommended lifespan from online sources. My opinions are highlighted in blue. Warning signs of "to toss the makeup" is highlighted in red.

MakeupToss it...
Shelf life: 1 year. Once opened the shelf life decreases to 4 months.
Life span: Typical everyday use for approximately 1-2 months
Once mascara is exposed to air the product will begin to dry. Pumping the brush back-and-forth into mascara container can also reduce the life span
(I don't follow this because I seldom use mascara as it will make my eyelashes too long and hit my glasses. I only use them when I wear contacts for events... sigh. On another note, I'm told if you wash off the ones you don't use, you can keep it to brush your eyelashes)
Warning signs = Change in odor, texture, or color
Shelf life: 2 years
Life span: Water-based liquid foundation typically last for 3-6 months with everyday use while oil-based foundation can last longer; approximately 6-9 months.
(I wonder what about BB cream and those all-in-one foundation? I guess one year would be your safest bet)
Warning signs = thickening, altered color, or change in odor
Shelf life: 2 years.
Life span: Typically lasts for 2 months with everyday use.
Once oil visibly separates from product indicates that a product is starting to age.
(I rarely use concealer not because I have no scars or blemishes but am too lazy for this step. Lol. Unless it's a stick.)
Warning signs = color change or thickening
Shelf life: 2 years for press powder and 2-5 years for loose powder.
Life span: Both typically last for 3-6 months with everyday use.
With powders, do not blot your face with the same sponge you use to remove oil from your face; the powder will harden when the sponge is placed back into the compact and the life span will be dramatically cut. Wash a used sponge with shampoo after 1-2 weeks and toss if the sponge gets too soiled.
(I don't use powder... maybe I should start using? ;p)
Warning signs = texture change when applying, dryness or change in color
Shelf life: 2 years
Life span: When it comes to blush, you can keep it up to two years because of its powder form. Using cream blush, you can keep it tops for one year. Assuming you are using your fingers to apply, this will cause acceleration in bacteria building.
Now you know the lifespan, how do you tell then if your make-up is off? Simple, in three (I always use this and find that it is important to wash the makeup brushes weekly to avoid contamination to your blush.)
Warning signs = texture change when applying, dryness or change in color
Eye shadow
Shelf life: 2-5 Years
Life span: Typical everyday use for eye shadow is 9-12 months.
Warning signs = texture change when applying, dryness or change in color
Shelf life: 2 years
Life span: Full-size pencil eye liners with typical everyday use 3-6 months; this is also dependent on sharpening. Retractable eye liners can last up to 9 months.
Liquid eyeliner is very much like mascara so watch out for the same telltale sign. The longest shelf life liquid eyeliners have is roughly six months. Maintain its lifespan by avoiding direct sunlight exposure or keeping its lid open for a long time.Because the eye is such a sensitive place, using expired make-up can bring about many problems and damages
Warning signs = Change in odor, texture, or color
 Lipstick / lip gloss
Shelf life: Up to 4 Years.
Life span: Typical everyday use for 6-12months
A good lip product can last up to two years. But don't expect the colour to remain the same. It won't look as fresh on your lips as it was the first day you bought it. Also, the amount of water in a lipstick and lip gloss make it ideal for both to become breeding grounds. And like the mascara, don't pump air into your lip gloss as this will promote bacteria breeding
Warning signs = If the lipstick ages and has a rancid smell or odd odor, toss it.
Lip liner
Shelf life: Similar to eye Liner, 2 years.
Life span: Typical everyday use will last up to 3-6 months depending on whether you use lip pencils to only line the lips, or to line the lips and fill in color
Warning signs = Change in odor, texture, or color
Wash twice or once a month with mild detergent or shampoo. Throw when bristles start to fall. The secret to makeup application is a good blending brush.
Nail polish
One year
Makeup sponges
Wash after each use, then throw away after a month. Use disposable ones intead. (Honestly - I don't use them - I use fingers which I'm told is unhygenic but I find warm fingers can make the foundation blend easily... )

This reminds me to evaluate my makeup bag.. ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hitting the "3-0".

I can't believe I'm 30. I no longer feel that I took my SPM exam recently but more like I graduated from university not too long ago. In fact, it's been half a decade of working years since then. Time flies as usual and I've learned to "live life a little" and splurge on myself.

How I celebrated my 30th Birthday?
1. Close friends treated me to dinners. :)
Yes, it's all about food, quality time together and celebrating life. I'll write a review of all the food next week. Thank you all dear friends.

2. Diamond are a girl's best friend.
My "alphabeth buddies" decided to get me little sparkles to commemorate my age. Just nice, I was thinking of extending my earrings collection. Thanks gals! :)

3. A short break from work
A weekend over in Langkawi to unwind for 2012. However, weather wasn't really on our side but still it was refreshing. Thanks dearie!

4. Fragrance
My long time perfume, 'Anna Sui-Secret Wish Magic Romance' has finally finished and I was looking for a replacement. Actually, I thought of getting 'Lancome Tresor In Love' but my brother said I shouldn't and get something nicer for myself. It shows I like something more flowery and light but I find the stronger ones can be offensive if accidentally over-sprayed on.

Hence, after a few sprays around -I ended up with Chanel Eau Tendre.
"CHANCE, the country’s bestselling fragrance family, reveals its newest facet, CHANCE EAU TENDRE. CHANEL Master Perfumer Jacques Polge reimagines the decidedly young scent in a constellation of tender and vibrant notes, at once delicate and airy, with an intoxicatingly light, fruity trail. "

A side note, I didn't really checked the prices in KL when I bought the perfume in Langkawi Airport. It ended up the same price. Lol

5. Skincare
I've reduced my budget to Pharmacy skincare but I couldn't help splurging today to try SK-II Pitera Essence Set. I overhead some colleagues talking about a trial set and saw it in Female magazine too.

It retails at RM199 for 1 facial treatment essence (75ml), 1 facial treatment clear lotion (40ml) and 1 facial treatment mask. The cleanser was a sample thrown in for my birthday. lol

6. Air ticket for 2012 holiday
Can't believe I finally did it.. can't wait to go but most of all, need to stop splurging to save for this trip!

7. Ipad2
I secretly wished for an Ipad2 when it came out. My elder brother has an Ipad. Then my younger bro bought it immediately after it launched but I still held on. Thank God... my loved ones knew my desire and my mum told me she wanted to get one for me.

However, when I saw this idea competition, I told myself, "What if I won myself an Ipad2 instead". I thanked God for helping me persevere and not backing out the very last minute of finishing my design to submit. When my friend told me I won... I couldn't believe it but secretly thank God for fulfilling my wish. This is definately from You, Lord! You heard my wishes too and my desire not to trouble my loved ones to get it for me. :)  Thanks to my bf for his support and buying the accessories for my new toy! :)

9. Racer-back Tank Tops
Ironically, when I was in my 20's, I always thought I was fleshy and didn't wear sleevelss or tight fitting clothes. Now I am 30, I want to wear them.

So here I am with flabby arms and more obvious muffin-tops, I decided I want to wear racer-back tank tops. I even decided to embrace getting size "L" instead of hoping to lose weight to look better in all my size "M" tops. My bf got me a few - I chose and he just paid it. Lol

* FYI, F.O.S. sells 3 tops for RM30. One top retails at RM13.90. However, there is a promotion currently which to celebrate Malaysia day. So I got these 3 tops for only RM21. That makes it RM7 each. Wow!
F.O.S is giving an additional 30% discount exclusively to 
F.O.S beloved Facebook Fans & Twitter Followers

Just show this voucher on your smartphone 
at the cashier counter when you are ready to pay
If you don't have a smartphone, print out the voucher,
including the barcode below, & show it to them

*Terms & conditions apply*
*Valid for 3 days only*
*Ends September 18, 2011*


In short, as I head out for another birthday dinner. I thank God for loved ones, close friends and best of all, the favours God has always showered me from the very beginning. I pray the 30's will be an eventful decade whereby I can be more fruitful to God and a good influence to others around me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Approaching the next decade...

As the clock ticks, my age creeps nearer to a new decade. Last year, I wanted to celebrate the end of this decade by having an all-girls getaway but it didn't happen. Instead, I have a little trip and a cosy dinner with close friends.

This makes me need to list out my" accomplishment" or "new experiences I've tried" in my last year of my 20's. I always write down the new experiences I've done in my diary (a reflection of the year before) for years already. Here is my humble list.

1. Joined a bride's race. Lol.... I appeared a few seconds in a video clip online. Was short by few minutes for third place due to the challenge.

2. Got proposed.

3. Finally permed my hair. The wavy type right at the end.

4. Joined some architectural competitions.

5. Won myself an Ipad2.

I've been wanting to blog about all these but been "workaholic". So homework for this long weekend due to Malaysia Day and my new-decade day - blog about my past events and highlight the goodies my beloved friends, family got me to celebrate my birthday