December 30, 2014

Post Christmas in Our Home

Christmas in our home was as planned ... blissfully quiet with simple decorations and plenty of good food. With a crazily packed few weeks in the office right before the holidays, I couldn't craft or decorate as much as I wanted to but all in all, I think it was just enough - like we planned.


Gorgeous paper paperwhites by one of my favourite designers - Lia Griffith. It's one of the simplest holiday projects I did this year ... I ended up making two - one for our living room and one for the kitchen.


A simple little Christmas vignette on top my dad's vintage typewriter, inspired by Pinterest using my kid's 2013 Christmas edition LEGO truck, a bottle brush tree and bakers twine.


I could not resist this beautiful pop-up version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at the Big Bad Wolf annual book sale this year. It is gorgeous!



... and the best, for last. Our Christmas tree. 

We wanted to get a bigger tree from Ikea but with my mad schedule, I thought it best to stick to our trusty 3' two decade old tree. Anyhow, if you're wondering about the decorations on the tree for your next Christmas {never too early to plan, right?}, the source list is below.

You will need a Silhouette's software and an online account with them to download the nutcracker and snowflake but I'm sure you can find similar designs via Google which allows you to print and cut by hand. All Lia's design however are available on .pdf.

The Tree  | Myers, Australia
Base Basket | Ikea - no longer available.
Black & White Striped Mat | Ikea.
Gold Wire Mesh Ribbon | AEON.
Nutcracker | Silhouette Online - DIY.
Snowflake | Silhouette Online - DIY.
Circle Ornaments | Lia Griffith - DIY.
Lovebird Topper | Lia Griffith - DIY.
Gold Thread for the Ornaments | Spotlight.

Now, on to the new year!

December 3, 2014

Wicked Christmas Kissed Brownies

Last weekend, we went to our local supermarket for a belated-Thanksgiving dinner grocery shopping. On our list were the usual potatoes, tomatoes ... you know, healthy food. Then right before check-out, I see these ...


Hershey's Kisses are ridiculously priced here where I live and I do mean ridiculous with a capital R, which is why I usually give them a miss. But when I see Hershey's all decked up in Christmas colours and flavours, I usually cave ... which is what happened ... even when each pack cost me a whopping RM14.99. I know - ouch.

And to pile on the damage and add to our impending horizontal expanding waistlines, I baked this later in the evening. I call it the Wicked Christmas Kissed Brownies.


The family love their brownies, especially the husband when you add a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side but since this is not an everyday sort of flavour, they loved it even more. The husband enjoyed the minty truffle bits while the kids went for the candy cane bits. Me, I'm just happy they finished it before I can pile on the pounds to my jiggly bits ... before Christmas.


Looks like we have a Christmas dessert winner so more Wickedly Decadent Christmas Kissed Brownies will definitely be baked this month - shouldn't be too damaging to my wallet since I hid both packets deep in the refrigerator from the kids {... and the husband :-) }.

December 2, 2014

thePaperieMY Christmas Giveaway

With Christmas a little over three weeks away, I thought it would be nice to host a little give away to help with your holiday preparations. 

I'm doing a raffle to give away a set of 6 handmade black & white gift tags, 6 washi-fied medium wooden clothes-pin and 3 meters of red/white bakers twine from thePaperieMY. Enter the raffle information below to enter - you have until midnight on Tuesday, 16 December.

Good luck!
xoxo
jamie

ps: This give away is open only to those with a Malaysia postal address, sorry.

 

December 1, 2014

It's Finally December. Let's Get Sorted for Christmas!

December has finally rolled around and I cannot wait to show you what I've been up to last month! November has been a busy, busy month with financial year-end closing in the office during the week and loads of crafting and snapping {hopefully pretty} photos during the weekends when the kids are in bed.

Christmas is without a doubt one of my favourite holidays. It's filled with magic, love and most importantly of sharing and giving. So, I decided to kick start the holiday season on my blog by sharing something a lot of us tend to neglect when wrapping presents {me included} - pretty gift tags.


As Rachel from Handmade Charlotte aptly wrote, "Wrapping gifts is like baking a cake. The presents are the cake, gift wrap is the icing, and the gift tag is the all-important cherry on top!". It truly is. 

Before I got married, I use to chuck my gifts into a store bought paper bags and that was that. After I got married, I started wrapping the presents with pretty gift wrap paper and Sharpie-d the name on because the husband commented how plain our presents looked under the tree in a bag. When the kids came along, that's when the whole gift-wrap-with-ribbons-and-twine-and-pom-poms-and-gift-tags started to kick off because I loved seeing the anticipation and reaction on my children's faces {and the husband's} when they see the pretty presents under the tree on Christmas morning. Pinterest is also very much to blame. 

So ... when the husband was busy chasing the kids around the house the last weekend he was home while pretending to be Mr. Tickle Monster, I decided to print out some gift tags from some of my favourite online designers to match our theme this year.


I was going for a classic gold with black and white theme but I couldn't resist throwing in dashes of cheeky red and playful turquoise after one of my absolute favourite designers posted her collection of 2014 Christmas gift tags.



I've included the links where you can download the gift tags for free. You read right - they are free to download for personal use. 

For maximum prettiness, print them out on white plain or textured card stock. I printed mine on 250g white matte art cards and 210g white matte linen Holland paper, both available online here.

Creative Index - 2014 Collection | 2013 Collection
Kiki Creates - Polar Bear Christmas

Look out for tomorrow's post if you would like win a set of six exclusive Christmas gift tags from thePaperieMY!

November 13, 2014

Washi Taping and Baker Twining Kraft-iness

This was the view of my office desk this morning ... and I absolutely loved it even with odd sized paper bits strewn everywhere and I do mean everywhere. You just can't see it because it's been kraft-ily cropped out :-p 


So ... what's the mess all about? 

Well, the CSR team I'm part off at work is organizing an anti-dengue campaign and we're launching it with a talk after lunch today. Then on Saturday morning, we'll be walking-the-walk with a gotong-royong (translated: neighbourhood-clean-up) in one of the worse hit neighbourhood.

These Thank You tags are part of an appreciation gift package for the medical personnels involved in today's talk and the ground crew helping us coordinate on Saturday so we don't get devoured by mosquitoes.


So yeah, it was a pretty good washi-taping, baker-twining kraft-y Thursday morning for me - hoping your day's going swimmingly well too!

October 22, 2014

I'm on Etsy!

Ladies and gentlemen, if there are even any reading my blog, I have an announcement. In case you've been wondering why my posts are these days so sporadic {other than due to my meltdown episode} ... here it is.


I am!

I am finally selling on Etsy after much deliberation and research and am super excited about it. I'm still in the midst of setting up shop and stock - plenty more to do, which is why I've only got two listings to date but hey ... you got to start somewhere, right?

For now, I'm concentrating on ready-made paper items and listing products I actually use myself - got to test 'em products before marketing it to the masses, right? I'll definitely be adding more listings in the coming weeks so please. Hoping to see ya!

October 13, 2014

I'm Dreaming Of A Simple White Christmas

It's never too early to talk Christmas here and this year, I crave a simple white Christmas after almost an entire year of non-stop crazies.

I have been on Pinterest looking out for inspiration and ideas that I could use in our home without my hair turning white or me going bald, especially with two monkeys in the house aged 5 and 2 and here's what I've come up with.


I've also started working on a few simple {... the keyword I'm holding on to dear life here is simple} DIY projects on my Silhouette Portrait; the little white paper houses, the white star pendants and the Scandinavian themed white tree ornaments which I'll be sharing soon. Stay tuned ...

October 1, 2014

The Toddler's Room

I am super excited to share today's post with you. It's the first of my "Three Months of Our House to Home" project which we kick-started last week because I got a little impatient.

When I was away in college, my mum decided to spruce up our family home with a major renovation. She also painted my newly refurbished room in light cornflower blue with matching floors tiles {... insert silence with a few crickets chirping here}.
Dear ma, I know you chose a soft shade of blue because it was calming {and possibly trending that year} but I did ask for off-white walls when you called to tell me you're renovating the house. I also specifically requested that you let me pick the furniture when I got home because I didn't want anything orange in my room. But nope, you did not listen. In fact, I think you snickered at the furniture store when you placed the order and chuckled when the delivery truck arrived with yep ... orange oval furniture ... carted into a blue room and I couldn't do anything about it because I was 13 hours away by plane. Yes ma, I am still traumatised till this day.
Anyhow ... fast forward a few years later, the hubs and I repainted the room in a deep rich shade of brown and made it our home office {... meaning, moved all the orange furniture to the guest room} - I called it the Willie Wonka room, for obvious reasons. Then the kids came along and we moved in with the in-laws for a few months and our home office became a room of convenience where we'd chuck things into when we moved back and didn't know what to do with. The room remained that way the next couple of years and eventually, it became a store.

Now that Lil Ee will be starting primary one soon, she'll be needing a space of her own - a room she can call her own and hopefully, a room where she can contain her mess in. So, after procrastinating for the longest time {... like three-years-longest-time sort of long}, I finally took the plunge and started clearing out the Willie Wonka room. It took me two days, three large bags of things to donate and four large bags of trash to semi-clear the room.

The Willie Wonka room at the end of day one.

The husband came home during the weekend and helped me move the remaining larger pieces of furniture out of the room and gave the floor a good wipe down before he started work. It's amazing how far flooring technology have come these days. All we had to do {... meaning mostly the husband here} was lug 90 kgs worth of grey-ish vinyl home from KL, spend an hour or so grouting, scraping, vacuuming then jigsaw-puzzling on the floors with some fancy-smancy glue and after all that, we get a brand new room.

When is comes to flooring, that is as technical as his wife can get.


Once everything was in place, the room aired out {... the smell of glue lingered on longer than we expected} and the floors given another round of vacuuming, we unleashed the kids. Judging from their expression and the amount of time they spent running around in circles giggling, I think they loved it.

I think it's time I introduce lil Ee to the world of fashion, so she can learn how to pose. However, I am loving my little man's pose - and yes, he is "handsome like daddy".

The next evening after dinner, the husband and I decided to move the bed back in. Then we decided to moved her desk and chair in ... and her bookcase, and a selection of her books, and a selection of her toys. Within an hour, we pretty much moved our toddler out from our room and into hers.



It was a very proud evening for the husband and I - our five year old slept in her room for the very first time that night and woke up bright and early the next day for school - she even made her own bed.

There's still quite a bit of work more to be done to lil Ee's room. I love the floors but I have to admit - the Willie Wonka-ed walls are a tad too dark for a toddler's room. So, my next toddler-room-project is to brighten it up ... a new feature wall in a warm neutral colour, painting the existing furnitures to match, up-cycling {including painting} my grandmother's vintage closet, art for the walls, fix the lop-sided blinds, add curtains to soften the look of the room, a rug for the play area and a new energy efficient air-conditioning unit.

... phew.

It's definitely going to take us a while since I'm trying to keep things on the low end of our budget, but hey ... the room's half done and that in itself is definitely a good start.

September 26, 2014

The Three Months of Our House to Home Project

The first day of October starts next week, which means I'll be kick starting my "Three Months of Our House to Home" project {... oh, Lord help me}.

Inspired by Myquillyn at the nesting place, who is running her 6th annual 31 Days Writing Challenge {... which I am way too chicken to join}, I decided to run something similar here on my own blog and instead of 31 days, I decided to spread it out to three month so I don't end up murdering someone. 

It's not going to be an everyday post for the next three months because God knows I won't be able to keep up with it, but more of challenging myself to finally getting down to purging and de-cluttering and turning our house into a home ... one day at a time from now until December, just in time for a brand new year - hopefully. 

Don't get me wrong - the house we're living in now is an absolute blessing but that's just where it stops at - a house. It doesn't have that warm and cozy, fuzzy-wuzzy, lived in and loved on sort of feel when we walk through the door and that is what I hope to remedy, at least by a tad come the new year.

It's definitely going to take the husband and I quite a while to get to where we want our home to be and feel like but it's a start. So, here's to the next three months, the last three months of 2014; may it be filled with loads of before's and after's with all the ugly-fugglies in between {... and preferably on a budget too}.

September 17, 2014

Hope. It anchors the soul.

Hope. 

It's only one word yet it holds within it so many possibilities and when every thing in your life goes every where else but where you want it to go, hope is all there is to keep you going.

I keep this in the office as a reminder when my mind wanders where it should not.
Print from Jones Design Company | Frame from Ikea

For those who know me and I mean really, really know me, they'll know that I am not a super duper religious and preach the Bible sort of person. But occasionally, I do open up about His goodness in my life, even after He saw fit to empty a few truckloads of thumb tacks and dump rocks the size of the Himalayan mountains in the middle of my path. I personally wish he would not but I also know it is His way of telling stubborn ol' me, "Yoohoo! Remember Moi?"

The last few months has not been an easy one for me - situations I never thought would or could happen to me did and it flipped my entire world upside down. It was really hard to wake up in the mornings and go on with life as though nothing happened, but I did. I broke down a lot along the way but somehow, I got through it even when it seemed like nothing could mend the utter brokenness and emptiness I felt inside. I kept hearing a voice, His voice telling me, "Have hope, trust Me. All will be fine".

It was hard to hold on to just a mere four letter word; it was a struggle and it still is. But I am learning to and slowly, I see things working out although not all at once - all in His time.

I am still mending and healing, learning to let go and learning to forgive, learning to hold on to hope and trust Him and through it all, I know He's with me reassuring and guiding me ... guiding us, back to the path we've wandered off. Sometimes it's a little voice; sometimes it's in things I see just when I least expected it. He works in ways only you can understand - you only need to listen and open your eyes and see.

There are still a few more things I am holding on to hope for and I pray that it too will be able to iron itself out soon. In the mean time, I think His next lesson for me is patience. Oh, that will be hard one ...

September 8, 2014

Carousel Ride by svgCuts

When svgCuts launched the Carousel Ride kit, I knew I had to add it to my collection. I was a little disappointed that the compatibility states that it only fitted a 12"x12" aka the Cameo which I do not own {... yet}, I decided to get it anyway and try my luck downsizing it to fit the Silhouette Portrait.


I shrunk each piece on file down to 65% and I think at the end of it, it turned out OK. I lost 3" in diameter and cannot fit a standard size cupcake so I improvised and used Ferrero Rocher's instead; the tiny balls of chocolates fit perfectly.

Not all eight horses made it to the carousel though; the Print & Cut feature on my Portrait was acting up - I had to Sharpie parts of the brown on the horse because it kept cutting a few millimetres off {note to self, Google calibration}. Grrr ...

I'm working on something more Christmas-y now so until then, I hope you have a fun week ahead!

September 3, 2014

The Gift of Life: Blood Donation Drive

Here's a sneak peek into a packaging I'm working on for this weekend's Blood Donation Drive happening at the company together with Hospital Raja Pemaisuri Bainun's Blood Bank - thought I'd keep it simple with brown Kraft paper and classic red/white baker's twine.


If you are in Ipoh this weekend ... Saturday, 6 September 2014 ... and would like to participate, please drop me an email { or click here } and I'll send over more details.

September 2, 2014

September & The Two Year-Old

It is finally September - which means, I get some "me time" back after a crazy packed July and August - phew.

The family welcomed September by celebrating our little one's second birthday over the weekend. Nothing fancy, just a small family party with a pre-ordered Snow White & The Seven Dwarf themed cake from Secret Recipe and some McDonalds'. 

 

August 18, 2014

Summer Fair Box Card by svgCuts

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine hinted that she would like something crafty as a present for her birthday and I figured, "Why not?". So yesterday afternoon after a successful kiddies-counting-sheep project, I fired up the Silhouette and decided on svgCuts' gorgeously happy Summer Fair Box Card.

Cutting the files and gluing everything together was easy because Mary makes her creations super intuitive, which is something I love about svgCuts. The hard part was deciding on a colour scheme. So in a race against time to finish before the kids woke up, I decided to stick with Mary's colour scheme - with a few minor changes. 

Now, I live in a part of the world where paper kits are extremely pricey and are not easy to get a whole off whether via the store or online. So I tend to scan the ones I own and hold on to the original kits a little while longer until I can bring myself to cut them up. 

For this little box card, I used a mix of Carta Bella's "True Friends", Graphic 45's "Typography" and some solids plus polka dots from my personal collection. 

August 5, 2014

A Nautical Winnie-ed Weekend

Last Saturday, I spent the first half of it snuggling up for a selfie with my little man during lunch ...


... and the second half running around like a headless chicken. The outcome of my headless-chicken-run stint - tadah!; a nautical Winnie & Friends themed birthday party set-up I helped design for a friend.

July 24, 2014

You Will Be Home, Soon.



"On golden wings, the angels soar from watching us forever more.
From their viewpoint in the air; a better place than what was there.

On golden wings, the angels fly ... shooting starts across the sky.
Life's burden around their feet, we'll meet them there when our life's complete.

On golden wings, the angels dance ... happy the deceits of life are passed.
They're past the toils, past the snares. Happy now in heaven at last.

On golden wings, the angels rise ... leaving withered bodies behind.
Living forever in our souls. They're still here ... just invisible, you know."

~ Emily Dana ~



RIP, crew and passengers of MH17. 
You will be home, soon.
Stay strong, Malaysia.

July 14, 2014

Frozen Party #2

It does get a little frustrating when something which you've been planning for for weeks goes bust at the very last minute. The original birthday cake plan involved two round tiers of Frozen-ness; the bottom tier at 9" while the top faux tier at 6". When I collected the bottom tier from the grand dame of butter cakes; Nancy Chong, it was 6", square and absolutely frosted. Oh well ... a mama's got to do what a mama's got to do - on to Plan B.

I reworked the original faux 6" cake by adding some extra snowflakes and of course, Olaf {...we cannot have a Frozen themed birthday cake without Olaf!} and moved a few things around to hide tiny holes from curious toddler fingers from Party #1 and pock marks from lazy me who did not knead the gum paste enough.


July 12, 2014

Frozen Party #1: Toddler Sings "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?", Mama Screams "Let It Go!"

When the words "Mama, I want a Frozen birthday this year!" came out from my toddler's mouth, I rolled my eyes and muttered, "Oh no. Lord help me." Actually, I rolled my eyes and they did a couple of somersaults around my eye sockets while I muttered, "Oh no. Lord help me."

It's almost a year since I first clicked {Play} on our player and it's been almost a year that I've watched that Disney animated movie every ... single ... night. I've also had to listen to Elsa belt out "Let It Go!" every single weekday morning when I drive my toddler to kindergarten. On repeat. It's a half hour drive so you do the maths.

Lil Ee turned 5 last weekend and she celebrated it in true Arendelle style ... twice. Yup, my toddler had two birthday parties. I know ... spoiled brat. Anyhow, the first party was with her kindergarten classmates. Since it was her first official birthday party with friends her age, this mama pulled out all the stops and went to town with her Silhouette and glitter glue.


Be forewarned ... this will be a very photo heavy post filled with all things that is Frozen.

May 17, 2014

Just What I Needed ...


Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
Anne Frank.

{... smile}

Beautiful words ... something I sorely need reminding of now, which is why this wallpaper is up on my desktop at work, at home and on my smartphone's lock screen - it just makes my heart feel lighter, like a warm fuzzy wuzzy hug on a cold rainy day. Definitely something to share, no?

You can find this desktop and many others just as beautiful from Breanna Rose's blog here. Happy weekend!

May 16, 2014

Happy Teacher's Day!

With Teacher's Day coming up, I asked my little girl last week if she'd like to give her kindergarten teacher a thank you present - her face lit up like a Christmas tree on Christmas morning and she nodded enthusiastically.

I showed lil Ee what I had in mind; Jamie Lane's Pencil Holders; she has 8 designs available on Silhouette Online and my little girl chose the Flower Pencil Holder {... a very good choice, baby girl! Mama would have selected that one too}.

I spent Monday evening setting up the files by adding patterns to the blank cut files; salmon and pink polka dots for the base and vintage chevron pink for the inner insert and lid. I added chalkboard black for the flag and decided that one was not enough, so I made three ... fine, I am slightly obsessive compulsive.

After printing and cutting out the pieces, I laid them out on an old piece of newspaper and sprayed on a few layers of clear lacquer to keep the ink from smudging, in case it got wet. This will after all, pass through the hands of 1 four year old and kept in a class with 9 other four year olds "><

While waiting for the pieces to dry, I went to work cutting out the pieces for the flowers from pink coloured card stock for the petals and yellow for the stamens. I then glued them together using a staple in my craft stash - double sided tape. The first flower took a while to figure out but once it was done, the others was easy. It does however, take patience and I am not particularly blessed with an abundance of it. Sigh.

When all the pieces dried and finally in place, I started assembling them; first the base, the inner insert then the lid. I then wrapped baker's twine around the lid for texture but still found the whole thing a bit bare. So I added a doll from Lettering Delight's Sew Cute collection and a vintage banner from their preview collection - Merry Month Of May, which is available only during checkout in May.

Here's what it looked like with my watercolour pencils as test pencils.


I was feeling quite accomplished and decided to post the photo on to my Facebook page and then the husband had to make a comment about the eyes looking like something out of Halloween; he was fortunate he made the comment 150 kms away because I was sick, tired and super cranky when I read it {... snort. Men!}

After work the next day, I went out and bought matching buttons and attempted to glue it on with my glue gun only to find out that the buttons were too small. Sigh ... "smart" classic me. So, I printed out another doll, sprayed on clear lacquer, waited for the lacquer to dry and glued on the mini buttons. So now, this is what the final product looks like. 



The look on my little girl's face when she saw her finished present was priceless. Now she's super excited about Teacher' Day and hopefully Teacher Tammy likes her present as much as my little girl.


May 9, 2014

Please be gentle with me. I'm doing my best

stumbled upon this post via The Nester yesterday and by the time I finished reading the article, I was sobbing like a little girl who just dropped her cone of ice cream on the streets while hugging a box of Kleenex. Fortunately, no one was home to witness the moment.

If I could wear a sign around my neck, I would definitely be wearing this one: 'Please be gentle with me. I'm doing my best.' This isn't something I would normally ask of others but it would be nice if people around me cared enough to try and take the time to understand why I am the way I am; that I'm going through a rough patch right now and I really am doing the best that I know how to. It would be so much better than telling me that I'm doing this wrong or that I should have done it another way.


When you're broken on the inside yet have to put on a brave front every single day for the sake of two beautiful children because you want the best for them, it does wear a person down significantly.

It will be 3 years come June that the husband quit his previous job and left home to work in another state 2 hours away from us. Lil Ee was not even 2 when he left and come July, she'll be turning 5. In all honesty, I am exhausted; emotionally, mentally and physically from having to be a father and a mother to both my kids until the weekends when their daddy is home, all while holding on to a full time job and keeping the house and the bills together on my own.

I am thankful for my in-laws who have taken one of my biggest worries away - taking care of my kids when I'm at work, but sometimes I wish my marriage was normal. In fact, I crave normal. Hope is the only thing left that I can cling on to these days because it gives me a picture of a better tomorrow and that in itself helps me get through the day without breaking down {... too much} and God knows, I've had my fair share of breakdowns in the last 5 years.

My hope ... just one, for now; that the husband can find a job closer to home so we can be a normal family for once. Too much to ask?

April 25, 2014

Eye Candy Friday - Marc Jacobs LoveMarc Lip Gel in 114 Understudy

Whenever I'm in the Capitol capital, I make it a point to drop by Sephora and stalk its aisles because I'm Sephora deprived where I live. The hubs doesn't mind the traffic jam as much when I ask to be dropped off because I always walk out a happy woman ... and a happy woman I was last weekend because I went home with this; Marc Jacobs' LoveMarc Lip Gel in 114 Understudy.

A review is on the way but for now, some eye-candy ...




Have a happy weekend, everyone!

April 23, 2014

Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner

Last year was quite an adventurous year for me when it came to all things makeup. I got myself quite a stash load of products; some got me raving like a lunatic and some, got me cussing in six languages ... maybe, two languages and four dialects.

This year, my bank account decreed that I should be less adventurous ... but when a product launches to rave beauty blog reviews, it calls to me like a siren call and this was my April siren call - the Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner in Violet Night.


When I first read about the Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner at Paris B's, it got me curious as to how good it really was so while I was in KL last week, I paid Bobbi Brown at Sunway Pyramid a visit.

The Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner is Bobbi Brown's first retractable pencil. The formula claims to deliver pigmented colour and precision lining. It also boasts a 12-hour wear and is water, sweat and humidity resistant ... all these combined got me testing all six shades available at the counter and I went home with Violet Night; a black/purple shade with subtle shimmery bits which isn't visible when applied.


This isn't my first retractable pencil eyeliner. SkinFood has one; the Eggplant Waterproof Eyeline Auto Pencil. I bought one last year but did not write about it even though I finished the one and went out and repurchased a second. It was a convenient little invention but I wasn't particularly blown away by its formula.

I tight-line my upper lids for work almost every day because it's a natural look that gives the illusion of lush lashes and because I cannot draw a straight line on my upper lids to save my life. I also have oily lids and all the eye liners I've used before would migrate from the upper to lower lids, casting a panda-like shadow which does not look good on me ... no matter how trendy the smokey-eye look may be.

I've been using Bobbi Brown's Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner to tight line my upper lids for half a week now and I actually have no complains about it, well ... other than the price; it retails for RM90. I know - ouch! But, is it worth the price?

The formula glides on creamy, which means no tugging on skin whenever I tight line - great for an ageing vain pot like me but it also means product will finish faster.

Once on, it's quite budge proof - even after a full day in the office and running mama errands after, there was very minimal product transfer from my upper to lower lids unlike my previous eyeliner purchases. The fact that I didn't have to check the mirror for the panda eye effect every half hour or so, was impressive.

Bobbi Brown's Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner is growing on me. I like that there are 6 gorgeous shades to choose from, I like that the formula glides on creamy and I love that it doesn't give me the panda eye effect. However, I hate that there aren't any Bobbi Brown counters where I live and I'm finding it a little hard to swallow the RM90 price tag ...

What are your thoughts?

April 17, 2014

Give Thanks ... Inspiration for Lil Ee's Room

"In everything, give thanks." 

Part of a verse from 1 Thessalonian 5:15, I think it's a reminder a parent like me and my kids sorely needs. I love my kids. I tell them I love them, hug and kiss them every single day. If I can afford it, I'd splurge on whatever they want and buy them whatever I think they need which in return make for two pretty ungrateful kids.

Ee and Kai really are good kids but sometimes what a child wants may not be what a child needs, which applies to Ee's room. If my four-year old had a free reign on what she wanted in her room, it'd cost me my retirement fund - I kid you not.

So I decided that as a parent, to be sensible and as the only person working on this project, to be pragmatic on what goes into lil Ee's room. I created a little design board to help me plan my purchases since I'm on a shoestring budget but most importantly, it's going to help me stay on track when I go shopping for paint, furniture and storage.

Here's what I have put up on the design board ...

 
The verse in 1 Thessalonian 5:18 will be the focal point for lil Ee's room. It might be a little deep for a four-year old but I am hoping that if she looks at it often enough, in time she might understand and learn to appreciate everything that she has ... which is a lot more than what her mama had when she was her age, but let's not launch into that age old adage, shall we?

Functional storage for book and toys are a huge must, especially for this toddler. She might be tiny in size but she is extremely skilled in hoarding anything and everything. So, instead of cute and girly furniture which in my opinion is quite over-rated, I'm thinking about going unconventional with the IKEA's Expedit system which I think is a versatile piece of furniture.

    I'll let the design board do most of the talking but expect lots of creamy whites and grey in lil Ee's room. I'll also be putting a lot of my pins in Pinterest to the test. 

    This is to-date the biggest and most elaborate project I'm going to take-on and I am absolutely terrified although oddly excited at the same time. The decision has been made, now all that's left to do is clear out the room, furnish and decorate. Easy, right?

    p.s.: ... the husband chuckled when he read the last sentence.

    April 15, 2014

    What I've Been Up To Since January ...

    A huge thank you, if you've dropped by to check up on me and I am very sorry that I have not been updating. I wish I could say I've found my niche over the last couple of months but the truth is, it is as elusive as the bat cave. 

    The first quarter of the year has been much more hectic than I had anticipated. Ee started kindergarten in January, which means every morning now starts an extra hour earlier for me ... and I am not a morning person, even after almost five years of motherhood. 


    My little man also has been going through a rough patch in the last 6 months or so - blame teething. Fortunately, he's now able to enjoy what he loves most - eating, after four baby molars finally made an appearance a fortnight ago ... all together. 


    On the blog front, I have been moving things around and throwing out codes that were slowing things down. It's now sporting a cleaner, less cluttered look which I am absolutely digging - makes me wonder why I've never done it before?

    It's also a prelude to what's happening on the home front, where I finally started working on Ee's bedroom. It will be awhile before I finish as I'm tackling it on my own, what with the hubs working full-time in another state but I suppose going at it solo isn't a bad thing - I'm opinionated enough to drive myself nuts.

    On the artsy farty end, I've been working on a little something I am hoping to incorporate into Ee's birthday in a few month's time. I've only gotten as far as a sketch because my four year old is Miss Extremely Fickle Minded - a few months ago, her list of favourite things only included Frozen and ballet. The very same list has since expanded to include Alice In Wonderland, Snow White and Beauty & The Beast. Last week, she tried to negotiate Kung Fu Panda into the list. Perhaps by the time her birthday comes along, that list might have shrunk ... this mama can wish, right?


    Plenty to keep me occupied, but I will be back ... soon.

    March 4, 2014

    Registration for Primary One is Exhausting!


    ... and it truly is!

    I was quite rudely awoken by monsieur Pachebal a few mornings ago, just when I was about to have a moment with Klaus Mikhaelson only to realise that staring back at me {... and at the freakish hour of five in the morning, mind you} is the fact that I'll be standing in line for a few hours, in the company of other equally sleepy parents, waiting for the gates of a school to open so we can register our kid for primary one.

    Yup! It's that time in life where being a parent means you have to haul yourself out of your cozy warm bed at ridiculous hours of the morning to ensure that your currently ungrateful five year old will, in two year's time get accepted into a good school and hopefully, hop on the right path to a brighter tomorrow; one where she can afford to hire someone to stand in line for her for three hours to register her kid to primary one when the time comes. 

    Right ... so after standing in line for three hours in four inch Christian Sirianos because my brain forgot to tell me to wear flats, I finally got my hands on these elusive bright green fluorescent papers. 


    I call them elusive because if you're like me and did a whole lot of Google before, well ... be prepared for a whole lot of irrelevant staring back at you. It's not Google's fault; it's the state's fault. Other than Selangor, which has an online registration process that eliminates the "crazy standing in line at ridiculous hours of a working day" process, other states like mine has nothing and I really do mean nothing. The state's education portal is a mess and I cannot even find a smidgen of a paragraph that highlights the registration process. Frustrating being a Malaysian parent, isn't it?

    So I did the next best thing; ask other mothers {aka my classmates and colleagues} who have gone through it before and here's what I summed up:
    1. Regardless of which month your child is born is, as long as he/she is turns five in the year - it is time to register him/her for primary one.
    2. Registration for all government school starts on the first Monday of March each year. Go early if your school of choice is a popular cluster school ... but if you can't make it, you can still register any time during office hours until the end of March. The only risk you take here if that the school's quota may already be filled up and your application will be declined.
    3. Acceptance Letters will be mailed out in August the following year. If you have not received yours by end August, you can check with the school you registered with beginning September.
    Here's a basic list of information and documents I prepared and took with me, except number four - that I'll have to submit end of the year.
    1. Child's original and photocopy birth certificate. The school will stamp their stamp with a registration number {usually, your queue number} when you submit your forms.
    2. Photocopy of both parent's NRIC.
    3. Original and photocopy of any utility bill with your current residential address. Some schools {like mine} may not need this if the address on your child's birth certificate is the same as that on the bill, but always keep the option of an original and a photocopy open.
    4. Your child's kindergarten assessment results. If you child is in the first year of kindergarten, the school will allow you until end of the year to submit the report.
    Other information you may need to prepare:
    1. Have both your husband and your office address and telephone number in hand; some schools may require this information - mine did.
    2. Also have your emergency contact's details on hand {full name, NRIC, address, home and cell phone number}, just in case. Again, this requirement varies between schools.
    3. Measure the distance from your residence to the school. If you forget, power up Google Maps on your smart phone, enter your home address and start the navigation sequence. You can get an estimated distance from there.
    Hope all that helps! Now, I'm going to finish my report here in the office, head home and hopefully continue where I left off with Klaus ...