Tuesday, September 22, 2015

5 Beauty Tips To Save Mommy’s Time & Keep Her Sane

Being a helper-less mom with 3 kids under 6 to care for, one of which is still a breastfeeding infant, a husband to cook for, a few business ventures to manage (and trying to keep them afloat!), I tend to get frustrated about how I’m always the last one to get ready for anything; and by then, because we are already pressed for time, I’d be thankful to be able to have my teeth brushed and have on my tattered jeans (it’s fashion. I insist) and a clean top. Any top, with no stains and doesn't smell like sweat and yesterday’s dinner and is within reach.

See the thing is, let’s do real here. It’s a ginormous lie if I say I am happy enough to just see that everyone in the household is happy as a lark because mama has cleaned and fed them, never mind the fact that I'm still in my dirty pajamas and starving like a wolf. You know the saying “a hungry man is an angry man”? Yeah, newsflash, it applies to women too.

Truth is, I feel like I keep giving all of me 24/7/365/forever but no one is taking care of me in return and that bums me a lot. The “what about me?” syndrome unconsciously saps my energy and makes me grouchy, which I realized, it has got to stop at some point (at least don’t let it happen so often haha).

So then I figured if anyone would take care of me is really, myself because hey, I don’t think I’d trust my husband to actually dress me or that I would take any beauty advice from my 4-year-old (who thinks wearing a purple leggings under a floral dress is a must).

I started doing “things”, practical little things, to help save me time and they actually work for me. Here I'm sharing a few tips and I hope they will save your life too, well for a little while at least.

1.   Eyebrow embroidery

That’s my first plunge, a little pricey, I admit, but for the long run, it saves me time and money to buy eyebrow pencils AND sanity!

I did some research and found one technician who offers an affordable price, is skilled, and comes with good reviews. The result? Best decision I've ever made in my entire career as a mother! Now, I don’t need to stand in front of the mirror for hours trying to get that perfect black caterpillars (according to my girls) drawn on my brows, and then only to have my hair all pulled out because I got so frustrated with the results of my rushed, shaky hands.

2.   Eyelash extension

This is still on my to-do list. But same theory from above applies here too. With this, you won’t need to bother about curling your eyelashes plus it gives the illusion of you lining your eyes, so that’s cool. This will give you that put together look even without makeup on. But this might require a little more effort to maintain, I understand that you will need a touch up every 1-2 months.

3.  Invest in your hair

I just came back from the salon 2 days ago and I am slapping myself silly for not getting this done earlier! I mean, I felt like a whole new person after I emerged from under my hairstylist’s hair dryer. And I was excited. And happy. And I just love my new do!

But the thing is, I didn't do much – just a digital perm and hair treatment, and I now rock a head of soft curls that lends me an edgy but romantic look. And! Permed hair needs no combing! Ding! Ding! Ding! Just get a good curling lotion, rub it on after hair wash, blow dry (or not hehehe), and you’re good to go. And this means, you skip the step where you need to style your hair before heading out! That just-wake-up-bed-hair-beach-waves is forever in trend ladies!

Note:  remember only use a wide tooth comb to detangle your wet hair. The tip is to smooth out all the tangles while in the shower with hair conditioner, after wash, comb it through, and then curling lotion and don’t touch it any more lest you break up your curls and waves, leaving them looking scruffy and that perm might just won’t last as long.

If perming is not your thing, then do consider relaxing your hair (a treatment term, not literally relaxing. Your hair. Ok never mind, just ask your hairstylist.), the effect is natural-looking straight hair with good bounce and volume. Or even just get your hair a trim and color. Instant lift let me assure you. If all else fails, this leads me to tip numero four.

4.  Buns
Like, literally hair buns. Youtube tutorials are abound on the internet land teaching hipster girls ahem like us how to give that X factor to our go-to hairstyles – ponytails and buns. Master one or two quick tricks, couple it with cool accessories like a pair of big assed sunnies/aviators-only-cool-kids-wear, and let me congratulate you for being the yummiest mommy ever gracing the wet market.

5. Long term hair removal maybe?
I haven’t got this done but am toying with the idea. This essentially cuts down my time in the shower because well, no shaving needed! There are tons of beauty salons out there that offer hair removal services which you can check out. Keep an eye out on groupon, et al too for good deals. I heard the current on-trend technology is electrolysis? If you have done it, share your views!

There. 5 tips. Do you have any to share? Do mommies the world over a big fat favour and add on to the list by sharing your tips down below at the comment section! :)

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Testimony. Our 2014 In One Page.

Shared this testimony on AG Connect (Jan 2015 issue); I'm posting the unedited version here. Be blessed! :)


The year 2014 had been a year of high ups and pit downs. We had an exciting start to the year as we organized our first family trip overseas and had the time of our life! At the same time, we were offered opportunities to travel as well as a chance to be on a TV show; to top it off, we had just bought a place of our own and renovation works were going on. Soon, we moved in to our new nest and found out I was pregnant with our third baby, one whom we prayed for – a boy – and God answered our prayers! We were elated!

As we rejoice with the happenings and blessings in that season of our family life, one visit to the doctor’s during the first trimester have robbed our joy. The doctor told us that our baby could be a Down syndrome baby. One statement and suddenly, everything became bleak and hopeless as we didn't know what to expect or how to cope with such a child if what the doctor said was true. We won’t deny that abortion was one of the first things that crossed our minds. But God is good, during that dark period, He sent people – both friends and strangers – to encourage us through one sermon that hit home and word of affirmation that gave us courage. He told us to seek Him, trust Him and press on. It was a breakthrough since then and we regained hope to move on by faith.

The pregnancy was dull and I didn't enjoy it, because although I consciously chose to trust that His gift is perfect, the many what if’s were continuously bothering me. I was grumpy and felt a piece of me was missing. Things got almost unbearable for me towards the end of the pregnancy as I started experiencing severe vomiting, heartburn, and breathlessness; I couldn't sleep at night nor take solids, and I was constantly thirsty. This went on for about a month, all the while having 2 young daughters to take care of. If you asked me now how I went through it, I can only say God sustains.

On the 15th of December, my family realized something was amiss and insisted that I went to the hospital. On the 16th, the doctor told us that my liver, kidneys, and heart were getting weaker, hence an emergency c-sect had to be performed on me to deliver the baby.  On the 17th, the doctors confirmed that I was infected with leptospirosis (rat’s urine disease). At that time I was unconscious and was placed in ICU, doctors weren't able to give any hope that I would walk out of this alive. I was later told that had we left it untreated for another 2 more days, that’d be the end of me. The thought of dying due to this crazy, utterly random condition truly have me shudder in heartache and fear but God is amazing!

His hands were truly apparent in this entire ordeal and I'm humbled by His grace, mercy, love, and healing upon me and my family. I am so blessed with a wonderful husband, parents and family members who went through hell trying to hold the fort, and themselves, the entire time, for me and my children. Words can't describe the emotional turmoil they go through everyday not receiving confirmed positive news from the doctors regarding the progress of my health. I truly, sincerely thank God for them!

And that suspected Down syndrome baby? He was a perfect, healthy 6.8 pounder. Results showed that he wasn’t affected by nor was he the cause of the condition. I didn't get to see him until almost a week later but when we did, we both hit it off really well and I was so glad to be able to nurse him too. 

He was named Everett Micaiah Jason – Everett meaning courage, and Micaiah, who is like God? God gave us courage to carry him through despite the doctor’s suspicion. And if it wasn't for him, the outcome of the entire event will be very different. 

We wanted him to be brave, yet he was the one who gave us courage during the ordeal. And God, truly who is like Him? I almost lost my life and my family, His grace has preserved me! Doctors declared both Everett and I a clean bill of health and we were able to go home in time for Christmas.

Christmas 2014 was made meaningful for our family because God has given us an amazing gift and we realized, Jesus is the only reason for the season!