April 30, 2013

crabtree and evelyn somerset meadow

I know I've been posting quite a bit about Crabtree & Evelyn lately ... can't quite help it, really. I just love the English and vintage vibes it gives out, quite like how French and old country L'Occitane is.

I received this in my email today; an invitation to indulge in Crabtree & Evelyn's latest fragrance range - Somerset Meadow, available starting tomorrow. Looks like I'll be paying their Ipoh store another visit soon.


April 29, 2013

mivva march edition beauty box

I have been letting this particular post roast and stew in my drafts folder for quite some time now but I think it's time to face the music.

I collected my first Mivva from Poslaju a fortnight ago, courtesy of a gorgeous mama at The Missus Blog. I liked how heavy the box felt and could not wait to jump right in their March edition beauty box. I realize Mivva already has its April box out and it's almost May now so extra apologies for the super late post ... let's just say I have been extremely distracted with things on the home front.

I've only had one experience with beauty boxes so this one is quite refreshing and eye opening because it caters to a different target audience - price wise, that is. Thanks Cas for the chance to try this out. So first up, photos!

The theme for March was "Know Your Skin". I love the vintage-ness of the cards with roses on the front and blue polka dots on the back.

April 27, 2013

humbugs from crabtree & evelyn, striped at that too

Yesterday started off with the usual; rush for work in the morning ... rush for report completion in the office. Basically, my weekdays are filled with a rush for rushes so naturally I was looking forward to a few hours of peace and quiet on my own until the kids came home. The in-laws were going to drop the kids home later in the evening so I figured I'd go get me some RnR.

The gods must have been in a cheeky mood yesterday evening because of all the days they could have picked, they had to pick the one day I get some time off to have my car battery sputter and keel over. Le sigh.

Fortunately, this mademoiselle in détresse had a little over half a dozen heroes from AEON security help get me out of the pickle. It really wasn't necessary to have so many guys help jump start my car but then it was still nice to not have to worry about getting my hands dirty.

WORD TO THE WISE ... a  mademoiselle should always have a pair of jumper cables, a bottle of battery water and a bottle of plain water in the car, even if your car is brand spanking new. You never know when the gods might decide to be cheeky with you.

Anyhow ... after all that drama, I got home safe and sound; swayed lil' Kai to dreamland and opened my little bag from Crabtree & Evelyn - a prezzie from a colleague.

Inside was a limited edition notebook from their current Lavendar promotion, a jar of striped humbugs and two sample packettes from the Citron, Honey & Coriander and the Tarroco Orange range - thank you, Jo! 

According to Wikipedia, humbugs are a traditional hard boiled sweet available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They are usually flavoured with peppermint and striped in two different colours, often black and white although mine came in glossy white and burgundy stripes.

Continuing from Wiki, humbugs are also typically cylindrical in shape with rounded ends wrapped in a twist of cellophane or else pinched cylinders with a 90-degree turn between one end and the other - shaped like a pyramid with rounded edges, loose in a bag although mine came in a fancy smancy glass bottle with a gold cap ... very vintage. Love.

The name of the sweet however, is not related to the phrase "Bah, humbug!" derived from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". That expression implies a general dissatisfaction with the Christmas season. However, offering humbugs around Christmas time is now seen by some as humorous or ironic and was featured in an episode of Blackadder in this manner. While awaiting the appearance of a villain in "The Six Napoleans" episode of "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" series, Jeremy Brett as Holmes admonishes Edward Hardwicke's Dr. Watson, while offering Colin Jeavon's Inspector Lestrade one of these sweets with, "Watson, this is no time for humbugs!"

Other than my deliciously striped humbugs which, incidentally isn't loaded with sugary-sweet-diabetes-inducing-sugar and comes with a chewy butter-mint center, there's also a gorgeous limited edition hardcover notebook which I doubt I would ever use; not scented. I still have a letter and card set with a similar lavender design I got on sale and that was five years ago! They are just too pretty to use and the fact that they are limited edition makes it even harder to crack open.

Crabtree & Evelyn sure do know the meaning of indulgence when they printed EXPLORE OUR WORLD OF TRUE INDULGENCE on the cover of their notebook. If you would like to indulge in some indulgence, do check out Crabtree & Evelyn's latest promotion in-store

Have a happy indulgent filled weekend!

April 26, 2013

it's the parent rap, y'all.

Saw this on Facebook last night and I've probably re-winded and re-played this video a dozen times. So totally true, y'all. I highlighted the parts that I could absolutely relate to in BLUE, like the "second seat-belt". How many of you moms do that too?

Don’t make me count to 1-2-3.
Yeah, it’s the parent rap, y’all.
We may spend most of our time chasing toddlers down,
But we still know how to rock the hizzle.
I don’t even know what you just said.

We USED TO BE COOL back in the day, back on the block.
Watching PG-13 movies STAYING UP WAY AFTER DARK,.
Then we had a COUPLE SHORTIES and now we’re really flossy, 
Cause now we be rollin’ with our own little posse.
In the MINI VAN or in our little wagon.
Let me throw it to the moms cause the LITTLE ONE IS SAGGIN'.

When I’m walking through the mall tryin’ to WRANGLE MY BROOD.
My PB & J's will set your world on fire.
I could make you mac-n-cheese blindfolded on a wire.
Got them EYES IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD - I see all you do.
USING YOUR FULL NAME so you know I ain’t playin’.
And that’s why all my kiddo’s, they keep sayin’.

Mom, mom - she’s the bomb; ROCKING ALL NIGHT TILL THE BREAK OF DAWN.
Cooking them peas so I’ll grow up strong.
Traded in his Porsche for an OLD SEDAN.
Raisin’ those brows if we get outta hand.

When it comes to Candyland, I’m a stone cold player.
Helping out with the homework, I’m an ALGEBRA SLAYER.
WRESTLE THE CAR SEATS INTO PLACE without spillin’ my mug.
If I tuck you in at night, you’ll be as SNUG AS A BUG.
You may not know this yet, but it DOESN'T GROW ON TREES.
Now mama take it please, what ... uh, take it.

I’m droppin’ TIME-OUT'S like they’re hot ...
POTTY TRAINING all my tots ...
Giving knowledge to your brain,
Like “if your friend jumped off a train you don’t have to do the same”.
Now get your toys out of the rain!
I’m CLEANIN' EVERY SPILL, cuttin’ coupons like a vil,
If you need parental skill now you know we are for real!
You don’t think our rhymes are ill, boy?
Then YOU'RE GROUNDED for a mil!

Mom, mom - she’s legit; MAKING US CHILL when we pitch a fit.
Telling us to SHARE and NEVER TO HIT.
If you can’t say something nice PUT A SOCK INTO IT.
Dad, dad, he’s the guy; never gets tired of playing “I Spy”.
The constant barrage of kids asking “WHY?!”.
And he always pretends he needs another tie.

You know money DOESN'T GROW ON TREES.
Why buy the cow if the milk is free?
This won’t hurt you as much as it hurts me ...
CLOSE THAT DOOR, you weren't born in a stable.
SIT UP STRAIGHT and kiss your Aunt Mable.
Get your elbows off the table.
Mom and dad of the year ... check it - that’s the label.

It’s the parent rap, y’all.
And it’s apparent ... we’re great parents
Mom and daddy own the house.

Keep your hands to yourself, boy.
Don’t make me stop this beat, I’ll do it! 
I’ll pull this beat right over!

April 25, 2013

contact information for children in case they get lost

Both my kids are born with an innate sense of utter curiosity. I suppose it's a good thing but sometimes when they wander off exploring, it's then not a good thing especially in today's society.

Which is why whenever I dress lil' Ee for an outing I will slip a piece of paper with our contact details into her pocket or if she's wearing clothing without pockets, I'll paste the information either on the hem of whatever she's wearing all the while telling her what I'm doing. I did this when we toured the States back in 2010 and decided it's best to start again now ... better be prepared then be sorry, right?

This is what I tell her every single time, like a broken-down tape recorder ...
If you get lost and cannot find mama, put your hands in your pocket and give this piece of paper to an aunty or a jie jie. If you have no pockets, then turn the side of your tee-shirt or your dress and pull out the sticker and give the sticker to an aunty or jie jie. Tell the aunty or jie jie to call mama and mama will come find you. Ok?
I balled my eyes out the first time I taught her where to find the paper. It got a little easier after the thirtieth time or so but I still get teary-eyed.  She now knows what I'm going to do and is able to repeat after me but I still do it all the same - a mama's got to do what a mama's got to do.

I've also started pasting the paper on the hem of lil' Kai's tee or onesies when we go out. I do however dread the moment when I have to start teaching the same to lil' Kai. The mental image and tge thought of losing my chubby cheeks ... it's just too hard to process.

Anyhow, I found these pretty auto-fill labels which you can download for free from World Label. I figured if I have to do something so downright depressing, I might as well add some colour to it.

The pattern I used for Adrianna can be downloaded here and the pattern I used for Ethan can be found here. I chose to include my child's name, both mine and their grandpa's cell phone because we always have our cell phones next to us. I also included my in-law's house address plus their home telephone number because I know there will always be someone home.

To create something similar for your children, fill in your required information - you will need to change the size of the font if you're adding more than 3 lines - just press CONTROL+E in Adobe Reader, print onto normal A4 or sticker paper and cut according to shape. Just remember to remove it before throwing it into wash, especially if you're using an inkjet printer.

Another option is to laminate the cut-out A4 or print directly onto fabric and pin it onto the hem with a safety pin so you can reuse them. I suppose until I learn to print on fabric, for now I think I'll do it the old-fashioned way.

Be safe!

April 24, 2013

celebrate mother's day with crabtree & evelyn

Mother's Day is just around the corner so why not pamper your mom with a set of these classic luxuries from Crabtree & Evelyn: Rosewater, Lily, Wisteria and Iris. Promotions begins 18th April 2013 and is limited to four sets per customer, while stocks lasts. 

{ click here if you are unable to view the above image }


April 23, 2013

see by chloé

Launched in February 2012, SeeByChloé is Chloé's new fragrance and is targetted at the eighteen to thirty years young audience with a "mischievious, rock-and-roll edge". I don't know about you but as a thirty-something, my rock-and-roll ship has long sailed and is probably beached on the shores of Timbuktu by now. When you have two kids plus the husband and a full time job, being mischievious is just too exhausting.

So, does wearing SeeByChloé as a fragrance work in conjuring up such an image by scent alone when I am downright lazy physically and mentally to be mischievious, a bit too horizontal width-wise to pull off the roll-and-roll leather jacket look and will not wear pink just to appear edgy at thirty-something? The last time I checked - NOPE ... although I do like the fragrance as a fragrance alone - full stop with nothing more to it.

SeeByChloé is packaged in an audacious pink glossy box and created by perfumer Michel Almairac who also created my other favourite perfume - Anna Sui Secret Wish, SeeByChloé is an energetically urban yet playful floral-fruity feminine fragrance that takes on a surprising twist in its notes. It also claims to "embody feminity while blending masculine codes in a urban-chic way" - whatever that means.

All I know is that I received a 12ml sample vile from online Sephora US; an indulgent haul courtesy of my mom and I quite enjoy the fragrance as a daytime scent. It works well in the office environment too since it has garnered quite a few "I love the perfume you're wearing! What is it?" statements.
The composition opens with TOP NOTES of bergamot and crisp apple blossoms which then melds into a floral MIDDLE NOTE medly of jasmine and ylang ylang. The BASE NOTE has in it my favourite scent - vanilla but it also comes with a hint of sandalwood.

Now that we've covered the fancy shmancy description ala professional perfumer style, I'll try to describe the scent in more simple to understand everyday terms ala my style - without the need for more coffee.

First whiff off the vial, the words "soft, not cloyingly sweet and refreshing with a milky bitter twist" comes to mind. Then spritzed on skin, the tart and crisp smell of apples and sweet ylang ylang came through pretty strong - it sort of smells like slicing a ripe refrigerated apple down the center then adding a small drop of "Palmolive Aroma Shower Gel with Lavendar, Ylang Ylang and Patchouli" right on the core then taking a sniff of it. It's a weird way to describe the scent but it's the first thing I thought of, except SeeByChloé's version is much better and refined.

After a few minutes, the jasmine came through and lingered quite a while on my skin before melding into a soft warm vanilla note with a hint of sweetness without being cloying, slightly spicy without chocking up the nostrils and then that unique milky bitter twist that I just cannot quite describe. Some of my guinea pigs girlfriends were not able to pick up that milky bitterness while others could pick it up immediately - I suppose it all boils down to skin chemistry.

Packaging wise, SeeByChloé comes in a multi-faceted bottle with a silver ring, glass pleats with three very adorable little feet at its base which reminds me of a vintage bird cage; definitely a nice addition to your dresser - I read the 30 ml bottle is especially cute. The words SeeByChloé are also emblazoned across the cap base in hot fuschia.

Now, how a vintage glass birdcage with hot pink words on it tie up with a "mischievious rocker chic" chick is quite beyond me - but since I like the fragrance so I'll just leave it as it is.

{ image credit from jm!: SeeByChloe Fragrance Launch }

Thelilacbox is running a series of SeeByChloé tease-post on their Facebook page where they will be posting four videos for SeeByChloé. Watch it all and at the end of the four videos, they have a little suprise in store ... and when they say "little surprise", it usually is a jaw-dropping "big surprise". Head on over to their page, like them and stay tuned!


April 21, 2013

you are more beautiful than you think

A few days ago while browsing through Facebook, I came across a YouTube video and it got me curious. So, I searched further and found a longer complete video and I think every girl and women should watch it.

Women are their own worst beauty critics. In fact, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. Dove is committed to building positive self-esteem and inspiring women and girls to reach their full potential. That's why we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that proves to women something very important;
"You are more beautiful than you think."
I totally agree with the statement that women are their own worst beauty critics. Even the most beautiful women in the world will find something to complain about. It also does not help that society has a rule about what it takes to be beautiful {i.e. The Devil Wears Prada} and worse is when people in your own family follow it and make you feel downright low about yourself. 

I always tell my daughter that she is beautiful, no matter what and it's not because I am her mother. It's because I know what its like growing up and being surrounded by people who think they are better than I am; people who tell me I'm fat and no matter how much weight I loose I am just not skinny enough by their standards or I'm not tall enough or my hair isn't long and silky enough or my head is too big for my face.

These very same people have also commented that my daughter is too small built and her legs are too dotted with mosquito bite scars or bruises from bumps for a girl and the list just goes on and on.

I would like my daughter {and son} to grow up loving themselves. The husband and I can only shower them with all our love and acceptance and hope for the best but we know for a fact that they are both indeed beautiful children, both inside and out ... although they do drive this mama up the wall then down and back up again.

Always remember girls, you are more beautiful than you think and don't let the person next to you tell you otherwise because they aren't the one living underneath your skin - you are.

April 19, 2013

a letter: one sorry mess of a malaysian education system

As Malaysia's 13th general election {GE13} draws near, all social media will naturally be filled with both side attacking each other; some with facts and some with lies. Sometimes I laugh at the childishness of these people who call themselves politicians, while others my blood boils with the downright stupidity {sorry, there really isn't any other word to describe it unless you use my dear dad's term, "goblok-ness"} of others.

I work in an environment where English is key. Yet university graduates with supposedly above average grades who apply for an Assistant Manager's position in the company will either freeze or reply me in Bahasa Malaysia when all I said was, "Did you bring an extra copy of your certificates?". Don't even get me started on their cover letters!

Where has the standard of English in our country gone? Just thinking about it makes me want to slap someone ... I cannot imagine both my kids growing up in an environment that is "copy off the blackboard, memorize into brain and paste onto exam sheet" then go completely blank in the real world. I just cannot!

Then last week, I received an email from a colleague of mine about the state of our Malaysian education system, written by Mr. Koon Yew Yin; an investor and philanthropist and founder of the IJM Group, Gamuda & Mudajaya and felt I had to share. I normally refrain from posting these sort of posts but after reading through it, I felt I just had to ... for my children. 

April 18, 2013

battle of the huile - caudalíe vs nuxe

A long long time ago so long to the point that I don't even remember how long ago it truly was, I bought my first bottle of oil for use on skin. It was from Guardian and it was made by Nivea. I thought it was a grand idea, until I gave it a go. It felt like slathering on a highly fragranced concoction of diluted minyak chap kapak on my arm - overnight, my arm started to break out in one of the itchiest rash I've ever experienced ... for a week. Needless to say, I've have steered clear of oils since.

Then in a span of one week in early April, I received not one but two bottles of oils; a 100ml bottle of Caudalíe Huile Divine {courtesy of my mom and Sephora US} and 50ml bottle of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse {courtesy of TheLilacBox}. 

My arms shuddered in fear but I was actually excited about giving them a go because I've read nothing but rave reviews about Caudalíe Huile Divine so I did a little raving myself too when my mom bought me a bottle. Then, when I received my bottle of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, according to Google it too apparently shared the same raves.

I figured the industry has had about ten or so years to pucker up on their act and ingredients so I gave them a go a week each. Since me and me arms survived the experiment, I suppose a review is very much in order.

April 16, 2013

burberry beauty fresh glow luminous fluid revisited ... full size plus samples!

I'll be honest. Up until I tried out their primer - the Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid courtesy of The Lilac Box's Valentines Edition, the thought of owning anything from Burberry never crossed my mind. Let's face it, Burberry does not come cheap - this deliciously gorgeous Burberry silk scarf in iconic Trench Check will set you back RM1,395 ... definitely a big ouch. 

Fortunately, their beauty line isn't as painful ... well, I mean it is. All premium brands are, just less so and perhaps it's because of that, dearest husband took the time and drove to Suria KLCC - on his own, I might add - and brought home a bag with my very own full sized bottle of Burberry Beauty Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid plus samples!

April 15, 2013

twine-ing the night away

I've pinned a lot of DIYs for my "Making Our House into a Home" project on Pinterest but time hasn't been very coorperative with me until last night when the kids fell asleep and I had to wait for my bread to bake {I finally got me a breadmaker}.

I was {and still am} down with the flu and my brain cells wasn't firing too well so I decided to DIY something easy for our huge and quite bare Ikea shelf next to my make-shift computer & crafts table in the living room - twined bottles, since they are all the rage now on Pinterest.

April 11, 2013

viktor & rolf flowerbomb

Viktor&Rolf's "Flowerbomb" is a fragrance that you either love or hate; it's hard to stand in between the two on this one. When my mom gave me a budget to get whatever I wanted from Sephora US {she's super strict with me when I was kid but spoils me when I'm a full grown adult with two kids of my own ... *rolls eyes*}, this fragrance was on the top of my list but with a price tag starting from USD$50 for a 0.68 oz bottle, I held back a little. I didn't want a rollerball either because it just isn't "Flowerbomb" without the bottle.

April 10, 2013

lil' ee's first handwritten letter

When I was a mini me donkey years ago, cute stationary sets such as these cost a bomb or maybe it felt like it cost a bomb because I was on an weekly allowance therefore budget-less for all things cute. My parents are very practical folks so when it came to stationary, cute over functionality was an absolute no-no.

However, it's a completely different story altogether with lil' Ee ... this mama seems to be on a mission to give her kids what she didn't have even when they didn't ask for them and with Mr. DIY sprouting up everywhere in Ipoh {and I mean everywhere}, I tend to overindulge in cute stationary sets. It's hard to resist when they are only RM1.80 per set!


April 9, 2013

lilly pulitzer {10 november 1931 – 7 april 2013}

Lilly Pulitzer is a name that I've never heard before let alone associate with fashion or beauty until two weeks ago when my mom handed over my haul from Macy's and Sephora US. Inside the bag was a very colourful makeup pouch with the badge "Lilly Pulitzer for Estée Lauder". It was a beautiful collaboration of colours between a beauty and fashion giant ... whimsical yet chic at the same time.

That's when I decided to Google Lilly Pulitzer, which sadly isn't available in Malaysia.

April 8, 2013

the lilac box march '13 edition

While delusional me is still Google-ing on how get my own army of minions to help me cope with the aftermath of moving home, reality hath beckoned me into finally finishing up this post which has been sitting in my "drafts" folder for over a week - the second edition of very addictive The Lilac Box.

The edition saw the guys excel in bow-tying ... I kid you not. I love to DIY but I cannot, for the life of me tie a pretty or perfect ribbon. There were three perfectly tied ribbons in all shapes, textures and sizes from the outside to the inside of this edition of The Lilac Box and coming from men, that's pretty darn impressive.

April 4, 2013

an overload of huile

Last weekend's move home spilled over to Tuesday and home still looks like a war zone on Wednesday. Le sigh. Unless I have a battalion of minions {preferably as cute as Felonios Gru's}, I shall not and will not make another move again, ever ... never! 

If the husband is reading this, he's probably giving me the "eye roll" and mouthing NEVER SAY NEVER, DEAR WIFE. Hmprh ... But on the bright side, my mom's home for a two weeks from US and I am thoroughly enjoying an overload of beauty products, including timely additions from The Lilac Box and a very gorgeous mama

Here's a sneak peak into what I'm working on, just so you know that I'm still alive and very much kicking up a storm dust here {cough! cough!} ... stay tuned.