Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Days Past


First it's what you look for in a holiday. Is it peace of mind, new adventures on the off beaten path & food heaven? Then YES, that's why we go back. In fact this place has more variety than our east coast islands, although those are heavenly too. 












Thursday, May 23, 2019

30s Skin Woes and Sheet Masks

I've never been one with perfect porcelain skin ever. In fact, I'm that person who struggles with imperfect, blemished skin since I was 14. My skin is high maintenance and sensitive. My best skin record was when I was on Accutane in uni.. imagine that. Second best was during all my pregnancies, funny enough!

So entering 30s, I don't know what to expect. And because I've always had difficult skin, I really make it a point to wear sunscreen at least, everyday. But after giving birth to Hassan, I noticed my skin had red blotches that never went away. This birth, coincides with me turning 30, so I don't know whether it's because of my third pregnancy or is it just me turning 30.

Another thing I dislike about my skin is the pores. I naturally have big pores man. They get clogged so easily. How I long to have baby skin like my babies! But alas...

So this year I started looking for serums and lotions and whatever that could improve my skin's overall appearance. I'm currently taking vitamin C. That's not much but it's better than not taking anything, right? Plus vitamin C is an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants slow down or stop the processes that damage the cells in our body.

My plan is to actually attack this skin problem inside and out. The vitamin C was the "inside".

On the outside, I found this skincare range The Ordinary which like it's name, is very basic, and each product is a no-frills active ingredient that works directly to correct a specific the skin problem. I like it so far, I can see minor improvement on my skin. It doesn't break out my skin, so that's good. I just have to be consistent using it I guess.

Then, most recently, I thought of sheet masks. Actually, me and hubs were watching a Shark Tank episode where someone was pitching a sheet mask when it occurred... to hubs. He was like, "how come you never tried sheet masks? You're always complaining about your skin yada yada."

So I went to Watson's and just FOUND OUT that there's a whole section dedicated to JUST sheet masks. I'm so left behind! Apparently the korean skin care craze is currently hitting Malaysian shores and sheet masks are part of them. They're also so cheap! RM10 for 4 pieces really?? Well it depends on the brand but the pharmacist showed me two of their popular brands.. one is Dr Morita and another one is Noblesse.



I'm using Noblesse because they're dirt cheap but I get to use it 4-5 times a week. Have to say.. I love these sheet masks! They actually brightened up my skin and those red blotches I was talking about? They slowly fade away with each mask I use. Unbelievable.

Which made me think... so all this while my skin problem is dehydration? I guess so, I've always thought it's something to do with the sun exposure.

For now, these are my staples. And I will continue using them because they make my skin feel so good! 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Shut Up and Drive

I'm usually quiet outside, unless there's something to say, by which I'm quite outspoken. You know, like issues. Lately I don't know who I am.. it seems like I'm morphing but I don't know into what yet. I believe our trials & tribulations really shape you to be your current self and I'm still discovering what I am. 

Watching my kids grow, I'm convinced of something. That we inherit personalities and tendencies. Like my 2nd born Ibrahim, who is a dead ringer of my husband. Nobody taught him to walk like that or behave like that. A tendency that I have since little is being a little feminist. Like trying to prove that girls can do this and that.. a little bit of female empowerment and encouraging other girls to do the same. 

So that's interesting. I believe to be successful you have to go with the flow of what drives you. It's not easier, but it helps when things get tough. Because your inner drive is forcing you to go forward even when the odds are against you. 

My life challenge has always been about proving myself worthy. It's funny, but my fear has always been that I become a nobody. When I was 8.. I remember our math teacher coming into the classroom to announce that we're having a congak test that day. We weren't prepped beforehand.. I did miserably.. It was for timetables 2 and 3. I scored 2/15 or something like that. 

I was so scarred that I remember the incident like it was yesterday. The fear of getting the answers wrong, and the fear of scoring last in the class! The dread, the horror. 

It was this incident that made me so intent on becoming an "A" math student. Just to prove that I'm not stupid and I can do math. And yes I also went on to do engineering, which again comes down to proving I'm not stupid in math. I STILL have trouble with congak. I get flustered if anyone asks me 34+59 on the spot. The struggle is real people. 

But after graduating uni, that's when I decided that I'm done proving my worthiness in math. Yes it sounds ridiculous but that was also why I NEVER applied even one engineering job after graduating. I went straight into sales & marketing. 

Proving my worth in this line is a totally different animal. 

So I'm just curious, what drives you to do what you're doing? Is it fear? Is it burning desire for something? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

STTN Baby



When you're a mom of three, a few things that really matters to us just seem weird to other people. We say words like STTN, SAHM, WAHM. Like yay finally STTN! Anyway, my kids aren't fully STTN or Sleeping Through The Night. Why is this so important? Because when you get woken up a few times at night for the past 2 years literally, you kinda look forward to it.

One thing I notice about having two kids so close in age.. is one would be getting over one stage.. and the other would suddenly enter that particular stage. So it's like dealing with a prolonged stage. It's wonderful and chaotic.

So Ibrahim has gotten all his teeth.. and stopped waking up at night, he sleeps like a log now. Hassan on the other hand, has started the waking-up-screaming phase, which is a mixture of tooth growth and nightmares.

We tried putting Naila to sleep in a separate room, but sometimes she ends up disrupting us in the middle of the night. Seriously feels like we never left the newborn stage at night! I'm still waking up a few times to calm Hassan down.

But one good thing is that they know how to put themselves to sleep. A few months ago, I almost got into a depression because I was sleeping at 9pm every night. Yes. Totally depressed for sleeping early. It'll be nice if it was my choice.. but it wasn't. I was putting the kids to sleep and I fell asleep accidentally because the bed was cool, and soft and I'm normally already tired at the end of the day.

What I did was to dig back all my materials on self soothing. Yes it's very controversial and many people don't agree with it, but if it draws the line between happy and insanity, you might wanna give it a try.

And once it worked, sanity restored 100%. I had my leisure night time again. I'll share some best practices for self soothing some other time but it seriously saved my life.

Hassan is 1.5 years now.. he should be fully STTN by the time he's 2-ish. Basically it's another year. I can do this! 

Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 and Burpees

I started becoming serious about exercise/working out since last year, after giving birth to Hassan my third. At the time, I felt like I lost myself physically and emotionally. I didn't recognize myself in the mirror. I was outwardly fine, but I had inner demons. Exercise helped me a lot.. improved my mood. Made me happy to see fat shrinking and everything tightening up.

Along the way, I slowed down, started feeling useless then started back. The body does not bounce back after 2 consecutive pregnancies I tell ya. It's hard work and diet. And you have to keep reminding yourself to correct your posture, because after literally being pregnant for 2 years, you just get used to slumping. It's all the nursing, the bump-carrying and the baby carrying.

Yeah I'm so jealous of my husband because he doesn't understand how much my body is being used! It's something that husbands will never understand. It's the mom's inner circle secret. And by the way, having the first child at 26 vs 3rd child at 30 doesn't sound like much difference but OWH the difference it makes. 1st child was a breeeze.

Anyway, point is, going into 2019, I'm gana up my game. Ganna stay consistent with 3 workouts a week at 20 minutes. How do I workout? There's plenty of workout videos for women out there.. I used to like Zuzka Light.. but then found Pamela Reif and I'm loving that at the moment. On top of that, we also walk around the park for 3-5km during weekends.

I would love to start swimming again at least once a week. We started cutting out sugary drinks this year.. I'd continue doing this.

Most of all, I wanna teach my children the healthy and active lifestyle from when they're little. So it becomes second nature to them.

So yup I just told you guys my health goal in 2019. Nothing too ambitious. Something to counter mommyhood and life fatigue :)

Happy 2019. May the new year bring renewed hope and success to all of you.

Monday, November 19, 2018

31 Mantra

Now that I've entered my 30s, I realize a few things. I'm a bit weary, a bit wiser and more obsessed with certain things over others. I personally am right in the middle of child rearing wonderland and the quest of a super career. These two don't blend well. Modern advice is, don't try to balance life and work. So I'm taking it. I've thrown balance out the window.

I'm the type of person who writes letters to her future self. Writes goals at the start of a new year. Looking back at goals 2016-2018, I achieved maybe one or two off the list. I would feel kind of depressed. Then I ask myself, why am I not achieving these goals? Is it my choice? When I answered yes, I felt better. So I decided to compromise on some things.

Then I was thinking, everyone has their challenges. Great people are great despite their challenges. Kind people are kind despite their challenges. My mindset in the past has been.. I need money to be the best I can be. It's shallow but empowering at the time. Roaring 20s. Then I got hit over and over. I started thinking.. what's the lesson in all of this? Is this simply my fate? what is life trying to teach me? Sometimes I cry "why me"?

I feel humbled and grounded. A little bit wiser, a little bit stronger.

I never truly appreciated the saying "pressure makes diamonds" before. But I think I understand a little now.

It's funny you think you know yourself all these while but you keep discovering something when you're forced to dig in. I'm not who I was 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago. It's been a crazy steep learning curve on all sides and I'm just glad I'm still in for the ride.

So what's my mantra when I turned 30? Be patient and kind. Also, make it happen!
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