Winter skin/body care essentials

Now I know I promised a great write up all about my skincare routine but as cliche as this sounds, life might have swerved me to a side lane just for a lil bit. That entry is hot on its way, I am taking a great deal to re-stock some of my frequently used products and photographing it for the next entry, so I will appreciate if you can hold on to your horses for that.

BUT.. since we are well on our way into June which means that it is officially winter down under here, I really wanted to share a fun-size entree about my favourite all time winter care essentials. We have all been there, with the dry itchy skin, flaky scalp, peeling nose from all that cold/flu ailment, taut face and chapped lips, so what can we start doing in this season to take better care of our glorious layer of skin? I have just the few things for you.

My biggest biggest advice to one and all for winter is DO NOT HAVE A BLOODY LONG HOT WATER BATH!!! Like I know how amazing it is to defrost ourselves from the wintry cold outside with a long hot shower but keep that rub-a-dub session short and sweet. The best bet for not having dry itchy skin in colder months is all about.. preserving natural body oil. If you are always on the roll of having long hot-water showers, you are just stripping your body and skin of its essential, natural oil thus causing it to be itchy and dry. Have bite sized shower sessions and ensure you lather yourself with a great moisturising products.

This also goes for defrosting your delicate frozen fingers under the hot water in the sink, if possible, refrain,you are just causing your palm and your nail beds a disturbance.

While some, if not all my recommended products are a duhhh (like why is she writing on obvious things), many of us including me can do with a good reminder, from time to time. Now for my all time favourite products (for all year round, but especially so in winter):

(1) BLOODY GOOD FACE MOISTURISER
Yes, you read it right, a good facial moisturiser. Not just any ordinary moisturiser but if possible, a thicker consistency moisturiser to keep the dryness at bay. Keep the hydration intact and then take it up a notch about 150% in colder months, your pretty face will thank you. Aint nobody looks good with dry skin, gurl.

If you are like me, I prefer to use a lightweight gel cream for any other months but in the winter, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this particular moisturiser/cream. I have said it many times before and I will repeat until my teeth fall off, this Dr Jart Ceramidin cream is a freaking holy grail product for me especially in the colder months. This is hands down a life-saver in my skincare routine as I personally have tighter skin and flaky nose in winter. Upon application, it honestly feels like you are putting a layer of lard or a thick layer of vaseline petroleum jelly without the grease or slick. I use this mainly in my evening routine and my skin stays deeply moisturised for hours and even throughout the night on end and the best part is, it does not feel heavy and it does not break me out.

What are ceramides?
Ceramides are basically molecules found in our skin naturally, over time and over age, we kind of lose the quantity and quality of ceramides in our skin which then will cause redness, flakiness and wrinkles in general. Ceramidin cream, in general, is a cream that replenishes good ceramides for good skin health-as simple as that and I truly appreciate it.

You can stick onto your favourite moisturiser which is totally fine but I personally like to treat myself with this cream in the winter months-just for that extra TLC. You can get Dr Jart Ceramidin cream in Sephora but I have always gotten mine from Nudie Glow.

(2) SLEEPING MASK
We all have heard of clay mask or sheet masks (which I absolutely love all year round) but what is a sleeping mask, you ask my girlfriend? Let mama explain.

Think of sleeping masks as a hybrid between a night moisturiser and a gel-type mask. You will apply a sleeping mask on your face usually as a very last step in your evening skincare routine BUT to not rinse it off.

Personally for me, by the time I get home every evening and after my shower and skincare routine, I will usually hang around the house for few hours before I go to bed. Usually by the time I hit the sack every night, my face will already get slightly dried up, as it does in the colder months and just by sitting in front of the heater. So what I will do is, I will apply a sleeping mask just maybe 15-30 minutes right after I go to bed, apply as you will a night cream, leave it to be slightly tacky on the face and go to sleep. The sleeping mask will do its job in acting as a thick layer of barrier to the cold air, thus preventing your skin to dry up through the night. You can also use a sleeping mask if you sleep in an air conditioned room and you will like to avoid waking up to dry cracked skin.

The only con to a sleeping mask is, you might end up messing your pillowcase if you do not allow ample time for it to slightly dry on your face-but I am not fussed, I rather have supple skin instead.

My personal favourite sleeping mask is this from Laneige and I love it for many reasons-namely the gel consistency and the light fresh scent. I also appreciate that it is not too sticky to the face, because the last thing I want is to wake up feeling like I applied glue overnight.

(3) BODY MOISTURISER (WHICH IS NOT CHOCKFULL OF FRAGRANCES)
Now this is a pretty silly recommendation, but you will be surprised at how many people out there who do not moisturise. Are you kidding me? I grew up with a mother who, as soon as she sits down in the living room, she will start moisturising her feet and her elbows with a big tub of the traditional Nivea creme’. Guess what, thanks to Mum, I have inherited my love of moisturising too and my skin is so thankful for it. It is bloody second nature to me, I will always have a good body moisturiser anywhere, on my office desk, in my handbag, in my car, in my coffee table in the living room, in my side table in the bedroom, in the vanity drawer in the toilet. You name it, I will always have a Nivea moisturiser lying around.

I personally love Nivea because I can trust it. I can trust that it is not bad for my skin, it never leaves a sticky residue, it dries nicely on my body especially after shower, it does not have funny fragrances and essential oils which in the long run can irritate my skin, it is not chock-full of alcohol which dries up the skin, and it is simply simple and it does its main sole job-in moisturising my body. It is also a homely resemblance to me, reminds me of my childhood and all the great time of being a kid and not having to worry about moisturising. LOL

(4) CRACK HEEL CREAM
Now this is a funny recommendation but one I do not hear often enough.
Especially in colder months, the sole of my feet gets scaly and rough. While I use a sole pumice pretty much every single evening when I shower, I always needed an extra something something for the feet. If you are like me, I will perpetually have frozen feet and toes come winter. My best trick is, to apply a thick cracked heel cream NOT just for the back of my foot but I slather that damn thing on my entire foot and I popped on my thick wooly socks. Trust me when I say, you will wake up to soft baby feet and it will be warm too. You will have no reason to be embarrassed the next time you have to go barefooted into a yoga class.

(5) DRY BODY BRUSH
Body brushing is relatively new and recent in my skincare routine. Initially, I was not sure the concept or the reasoning behind a dry body brush but I soon realise how beneficial a dry body brush is, especially in winter. Think of dry body brushing as combing your hair before shampooing it.

The idea of a dry body brush is to use it on your body dry..so before you popped into the shower, get naked, and use a body brush in upwards circling motion starting from your feet up (avoid tender areas like your chest). Dry body brushing is not only great for exfoliating and sloughing your dry skin cells which tends to accumulate more in winter months, it also helps the growth of new skin cells. It also gives the slightest massaging tendencies to your body and it definitely improves blood circulation. This I know to be true as I personally can feel my blood circulation rushing after I dry body brush and I particularly enjoy this habit because I feel like my skin is much smoother and absorbs the body moisturiser/body oil better afterwards.

I believe I got mine from the brand Manicare from Priceline, and it has been a pretty good body care asset to me.

Also, this goes without saying but to not forget your water intake. We don’t just need heaps of water during summer, we kind of need it all day everyday. What’s your special care essentials for the wintry months? Let me know. Till the next one.. 🙂

My favourite personal recommendations

While I get myself dirty, greasing up my sleeves working on my part II of II of my LDR series, I felt inclined to dash in here quickly and give you guys a swift write up all about my all-time favourite personal recommendations of what I love to listen and watch.

Of those that I simply and literally cannot shut up about.

MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER:
Daily and without fail, amongst other things I do upon waking up (ie: peeing and feeding the cat but not simultaneously or that will be oof, super disastrous), I will start my day listening to motivational speakers on Youtube. Yup. I am one of those people (eyes roll).

There is nothing more than starting my day right by listening to positive people telling me to get a groove on and not giving up. I am sorry if this sounds a little too hocus pocus for you but from time to time I personally feel that we can all benefit with some words of inspirations.

I do have a few motivators who I generally like and listen to on rotation (to name a couple of them: Jay Shetty and Joel Esteen) but I also have a personal favourite motivational speaker who is not only a woman, she is a woman of kick-assery, Mel Robbins.

She was a criminal lawyer turned author and speaker who was about to be bankrupt, alcohol reliant, anxiety diagnosed and almost had a failed marriage before she came up with the 5 seconds rule and turned her life around. I love her simply because she is someone who I can listen to without being bored or annoyed at. She is real and relatable and not fakely polished (mum of 3 kids just running around trying to do life).

I have listened to her audiobook and is forever watching her youtube videos of her “coffee-talk” of her just answering questions about life ordeal, procrastination, finding your inspiration, depression, how to have anchor thoughts etc and how to just live a damn better life. My personal favourite of her many topics is to be someone else’s cheerleader – to always uplift and cheer for someone else’s success and victory, when you ignite positivity in people, you will also indirectly enhance your self-positivity too. I thought that was just effing brilliant.

Oh, sometimes her cat Mr Noodle makes a star appearance in her youtube videos and he is just the cutest (but I say that about every cat though).

PODCASTS:
For the most part of my day, I am most-often-than-not listening to podcasts. I am a self-declared new to the world of a podcast junkie. From the time I wake up to the minute I sleep, I am always 99% enthralled in a brilliant podcast. My co-workers know exactly what I am talking about when I start with “By the way I was listening to my podcast and……”.

I have several criterias for me to stick and to leech on a good podcast.

Firstly, I need to know who is talking, it does not matter who they are or if I know the pod-casters personally, I just need to know who is talking, their names and how they look like, I do not care who they are I just need to put a face to the voice for relatibility purposes.

Secondly, they have to be interesting and capturing and their topics need to resonate with either my life or that in the very least I get to have a take-away lesson from it.

My most favourite podcast: Mamamia Out Loud

Outloud is a podcast, made by a Sydney-based company Mamamia from the co-founder Mia herself (in yellow). While I only just recently discovered them, I have been catching up on their episodes since way back to early 2017 (they go even earlier that). Outloud is a podcast primarily chaired by the co-founder herself as just mentioned, Mia and her co-hosts Jessie and Holly (who replaced Monique) and these women are astoundingly intelligent. They are proclaimed enthusiast feminists who are not only able to put a topic on the table and discuss away, they are able to lay their views and insights clearly pristine, agree to disagree maturely, comprehensively intelligent with their choice of words and are profoundly fearless with their thoughts. They talk about everything from royal families, to hollywood or local celebrities, to world wars in Syria, to politics like Trump to botox and fillers to failed fashion to rape and harassments, to just about everything under the sky. These women are just a fresh breath of air.

2nd favourite podcast: You Beauty

You beauty is also a podcast under the Mamamia company but is hosted by Leigh and Kelly, twice a week. This is where I listen to for everything beauty. Leigh and Kelly talk about their favourite makeup and skincare products and regiment, discuss about the listener’s beauty woes about what chemical actives to use, best sunscreen, microblading, different facials, waxing, favourite fragrance (you get the gist). Youbeauty also has a spendy and savey topic which are their weekly product recommendations and Leigh also interview other interesting women on what they are currently using and loving. For something quick and light, I always turn to this podcast and up doing several online purchases. Eeeks.

3rd favourite podcast: This Glorious Mess

This glorious mess is also one of many podcasts under Mamamia, hosted by Holly again and Andrew. Now, this is a funny choice of a podcast for me personally because this glorious mess is a podcast all about parenting. Even though personally I do not have kids yet, I thoroughly enjoy this podcast immensely because of how real their struggles are as parents. If you cannot tell yet, I love real people and real life.

Andrew is a father of two late teens and a young adult and Holly is a mother to two younger kids who talk and discuss openly about every dilemma and funny boo-boos there is in parenthood. They also interview experts to talk about various topics such as bullying in school, game addiction, mental health and also from to time, authors of kiddy books. I just love their banters and their light-hearted convos and best of all, I learned a bunch of knowledge which I have no idea how to dispense with at the monent, sans kid and all but pretty sure this knowledge will come handy one day.

Honourable mention podcast: The gays are revolting

This is the latest podcast which I just chanced upon a week ago but I already love them. The gays are revolting is a Melbourne-based group of gays who as their podcast name suggest talks about everything down under in the queer world. If you know me personally, you will know that I am 101% supportive of the LGTBQ committee. These fellas are witty and so much fun to listen to.

I will suggest however, to stick to them only when you have ample time to spare as their episodes get a tad rambly for my liking. Each of their podcast sessions do go for an hour or more, which tend to make me space off some times. Another con worth mentioning is all 4 of them do tend to sound the same so it is a little teeny weeny hard to differentiate who is who and who is talking at the moment but I thought its worth mentioning them as they keep it really real and fresh and touch on heaps of taboo topics.

All time favourite documentary no: 1- Wild wild country


I cannot for the life of me suggest anything more eye opening than this documentary. I love it so so so much, I have watched it back to back 3 times and anytime, anyone ask for any recommendation, I will direct them to watch this and they will also love it 100%. Without sounding too woo-woo or ambivalent about a specific race, a specific country or a specific lifestyle, I leave this to your own viewing discretion and for you to conjure up your own thoughts. If there are little ears and eyes in your household, I do not recommend watching this in front of them as there are some snippets of nudity, but otherwise, do enjoy.

All time favourite documentary no: 2-The Staircase


If you, quite again, know me personally, then you will know I love nothing more than (1) horror ghost supernatural stories and (b) murder/kidnapping stories. There are so many incredulous fist-tightening, white-knuckling gruesome documentaries out there on Netflix but Staircase is my ultimate favourite. This Staircase documentary is essentially about a famous American author who was accused of murdering his current 2nd wife who.. yes you guess it, apparently died from the fall from their house staircase. This whole doco pretty much spins off from the time he was accused to present day where throughout the entire process, he has a group of videographers to film everything down and eventually developed into this documentary. The underlying message of this doco is that, this author has one heck of the balls of confidence because quite evidently he has managed to maintain his proclamation of innocence throughout.

I was immensely engrossed with this entire doco and was strongly leaning to one side of my judgement when a plot twist thickens and explode into my face.. and I went 360 degrees steered off course. Go watch it.

Now I know I have more than one all time favourite series, and if some of you are a Friends kind of person, well I am a Grey’s Anatomy and Sex and the City kind of person. Funny note: I love Greys Anatomy so much but when Burke left in Season 3, I thought I could not watch anymore. But I persevered and stick to them till season 11 and again newsflash, when Christina Yang had to go, I was like that’s it, I hold my white flag up and I cannot watch beyond that because not only my favourite 2 people are gone from the series, the show is losing its plot, everyone is sleeping with everyone in the hospital and the characters kept dying away which was honestly Shonda Rhimes, pretty weird. (Meredith Grey can continue with her sod life story though)

However, since both GA and SATC are not accessibly viewable, I shall do a mention of my current favourite series that is playing on Netflix and that is How to get away with murder.

Now, there are not many series out there that can quite capture me like how HTGAWM can, from the get go. Basically, a criminal defense attorney who is also a criminal law lecturer started her new semester teaching a bunch of law students, little did she know that she has to be “involved” in more ways than one and while at it, applying what she is essentially preaching.

Before I go, if you are looking for a quick happy-esque positive, easy-to-watch, feel good tv series, I will highly recommend: Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie is a couple of mature ladies who have to carve a new life of their own after being informed by their husbands of more than 40 years in marriage, that their husbands were.. gay partners in love. I have been recommended this series for years by a friend and never got on the bandwagon but once I did, oh boy I could not stop watching.

Off-screen, the main actresses Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are both 81 and 79 years old respectively. I admire them with deep admiration as quite naturally, I do not know many women in that age bracket who are not only active in life but still actively acting with long hours on set and the script memorisation and what-nots, they are the definite bawmb kick-assery women I aspire to become in the future.

That’s it for a quick one. Do let me know if there are any good recommendations that I should watch out for or listen to, I am always open to them. Ta-ta.

How I survive my 6302 km long distance relationship

This has been something that is close and dear to my heart. I will like to use this space to share personal experience and hopefully, dispense some insights and helpful advises for anyone who is going through a similar journey.

Trust me when I say this, I have been there and I know how it all feels. And it was not an entire bed of roses.

I was in a long distance relationship (LDR) with my then-boyfriend-now-husband for few years, as I was living in Singapore and he, in Sydney. It was a gruelling back and forth of travelling 8 hours SG-SYD and SYD-SG. If I can calculate and do the maths on all of our flights and travel expenses, it could have easily been a deposit for a house but I digress. And if you think that was not sucky enough, we were also living apart for 4 months after our wedding purely because I did not want to move to Australia, just yet.

I know first hand, all the worries, all the fears and all the gut heart-wrenching moments of being in a LDR. I understand how lonely it is all the freaking time. Birthdays, valentines, anniversaries, Christmases might all be spend and celebrated alone. And do not get me started about nights, nights are the worst because all you can wish for is to probably have a warm body close but all you really have are negativities in your head and sometimes even tears on your face. Here we go again, another night of loneliness. LOL.

Truth is, you will always be constantly pining and hoping that the distance was not in the equation and that you get to meet each other ever so often like most couples do, but alas. You might also be secretly jealous of all the canoodling couples and you just feel like shouting to no one in particular “Hey, I have a boyfriend!!!!!!!! He just doesn’t live here. It’s a long distance, guyssssss!!!!!!!!!!

I was the first amongst my group of friends and family and still is, the only person to be involved in a LDR. I can be traditional for most things in my life but there are many other things that I am not very conventional, being in a LDR is one of them. Marrying a foreigner is next.

No one could understand how distressing it is at times and some even question as to whether the relationship is real, because out of sight is out of mind?. Most were ambivalent and were being bah-humbug about my LDR and queried me whether I should be bothered with all the troubles, hassles and if it is really worth it? Some others wittily challenged me into thinking that it is so easy to be susceptible to cheating because of the distance and to which I always always said, “Cheating is cheating, it knows no distance because even people staying under one roof can cheat”. True story: I even have a friend who asked me if I should be fearful because there might be a suspicion that my partner is an ISIS member, because he comes from Middle East and he grows a beard sometimes? Tsk tsk tsk, your master degree ought to be thrown into the rubbish bin, you shallow person you.

So here is a fantastic pointer for LDR, do not listen to the naysayers. There will be heaps of random people who will come and go with their half-baked advices and 2-cents-opinions but ultimately, you have to be strong and you have to know deep down that if they have nothing concrete and useful to bring to the table, treat them all like white noise.

My continuum relationship has *fingers crossed* hopefully been a huge answer to all those questions and doubts. It is not easy BUT it is doable. LDR can be a monumental blessing in disguise and in my case, is a happy ending.

So how you may ask, did I overcome the entire kerfuffle of long distance hardship and above and beyond everything else, how to sustain the relationship? Read on:

No. 1 – JUST FREAKING DO IT
Yes you read it right, just do it.
Take the plunge, go for gold because the time is now.
What are you really waiting for? For a sign from the high above?
Or for that prince charming in your local neighbourhood to come sweep you up? If that’s what you really want, you do you boo. But if you really hand on heart, do want to pursue love in a LDR, just start now.

If you feel it in the depth of your guts that something awesome is going to come out of this whole ordeal at the end of it, I say stick to your guns and ride it out. After all honey, it is not going to storm forever, the sun will eventually arise.

You will thank yourself years later for listening and heeding your gut feeling, and hey if all fails, you get to pat yourself and you tell your brave soul, you have done everything that you possibly can in your might and you have given your best. Leave it all up to fate to do its job.  But before that, you have to try and you have to try hard.

No: 2 – SHARE EVERYTHING
I take it that once you have decided to be committed in a LDR with your partner, that you are 101% head over heels with that lucky someone.
Good on ya.
While I understand that in a relationship, there should be some degree of privacy, in a LDR, you cannot afford to be personal and private. What do I mean by this? Normal couples can meet up at the end of the day or over the weekends and catch up on lost times, but in a LDR, you simply cannot. What you can do though, is share everything from the moment you wake up to the time you sleep.

I know I know this is hard work (nobody say it is going to be easy, friends) and most men like my husband are not too crazy about the idea of taking and sharing selfies daily and giving an update of date/time/venue but you know what, I did it and he did it. We shared a lot.

Sharing is extremely crucial in a LDR because you want to avoid thoughts of doubts, you want no negativity to creep up on you because this can easily happen with distance.
Where is my bf tonight, who is he hanging out with, he said he will be home and he is not picking up my calls? –You do not need this rubbish.

Also, sharing is an amazing way to make your partner feel included. I don’t know about you but I love to be included even by means of details. My husband is a pretty friendly guy, that plus the combination of his social culture, is always spending time outside with friends. One of the many things I loved and truly appreciated in our LDR was that he face-timed me almost every single night and sometimes couple of times a day, and especially so when he is out and about, all his friends will expect no less that a face-time call is going to happen whenever he hangs out with them. In this way, I know what he is up, I get to chat with his friends and then I can go to sleep with a smile on my face, satiated with the fact that he did not forget me today.

I am more of a wordy person so our days in an LDR is a bunch of my texts to him on just about anything. Sometimes, I will tell him about my plans on the weekend, what I dreamed yesterday, what I did with my family and friends, what I shopped for and the list goes on and on. I can text him non stop.

You just have to make time and put in the effort even when the going gets tough, even when the day is effed up busy or even if you are annoyed at someone in your life, you just have to invest some time to share and update your partner.

Also, I totally understand about time difference, while ours back then was a mere 2-3 hours difference, I completely sympathise some of you who has that 12 hours time difference. Just make it work and all the power to you!!

From time to time, me and my husband will send letters and care packages as a sweet gesture to each other. If you are students in a LDR and budget is tight, stick to the traditional snail mail and postcards or send a lengthy lovey-dovey email. Like I say, its all about efforts and the sky is the limit on this.

You have no idea how many text messages, video calls and funny memes I shared with my husband over the years. On hindsight, when I was applying for spouse partner visa here in Australia, I have bundles and bundles of communication proof, it is beyond ridiculous.

On an extra point of sharing everything on communication, I urge everyone in a LDR to be very careful of how you communicate over text as most of the times, the point of the message in written communication can easily be misconstrued.

True story: There was a time long long time ago, I replied to my husband “whatever” in a text message, and I have completely meant that to be a bimbo-flip-my-hair kind of “whatever”, but he who is not a particularly over sensitive fella, took it to be the rude version of a “whatever”, and long story short, it did not go down very well.

So when in doubt or if you have a problem brewing, withhold the discussion and find a suitable time to call your partner up to have a proper face to face video call. Seeing each other’s faces is better at times like that.

No: 3 – KEEP YOURSELF BUSY
And by busy, I do not mean “busy”.
Girls and guys, there is no better way to see the days go by other than having your own activities. Don’t sit at home all day long and moan about not being with each other, it will not solve the situation and it will make you go crazy, so don’t do that.
What you can do is to go out and have a freaking life, you are not dying so why not enjoy yourself? Responsibly of course.
If you have a hobby or a recreational activity, don’t drop it and keep at it.

My husband has always been and will forever be a busy bumble bee, his days and nights are pretty much about work-so that really keep him busy round the clock. Most of my Singapore peeps knew I did a lot of yoga back in the days and I really appreciated having something I could do after work, which could take my mind off. For me also, I hung out a lot with my mother and friends over the weekends. I now, appreciated those weekends of hanging out and catching up because now that I have moved far far away, I can no longer do that.

Another tip will be to pick up a part time job on the weekends (I didn’t do this because I am clearly lazy) but having a little extra income on the side is very beneficial when you are making plans to meet or to eventually bridge the gap.

No: 4 – PLAN SMALL GOALS TOGETHER
Being in a LDR with no end in sight can be a little taxing and the future might seem so so bleak, that I understand. After all, you do not want to just be dating someone who is not there.. forever.

So, do plan short term goals to just to keep the excitement up.

If you are like me and my husband who are both working adults, plan to fly and visit each other. We are also lucky that we are only 8 hours flights away, as compared to other couples who can be pretty much at two different ends of the world.

Every time we get to see each other, it is top-of-the-world liberating. It reminds me of how solid our relationship is, it gives a fresh meaning to holding on to this LDR and it also gives a solid determination to why I am trying hard in this LDR. And pssst girls, though I know this is not much of a consolation, the “sparks” (code name for: s*x) when you rekindled in a long distance relationship.. is phenomenal. Just putting it out there. *winks*

Whatever it is, there must be at least a small goal to meet up for the both of you to look forward to it. Keep it exciting!

And finally guys, no: 5 – Bridge the bloody gap.
Decide early on to bridge the gap as an end goal.
I know it may not be an accessible decision for all, some of you might be away for long studies or military or work commitments but the decision has to be made. That crucial conversation of “what is going to happen to us?” have to be pondered on, it is not to be thrown in the air kind of situation. You do not want to be dating someone “invisible” forever till you turn gray, so know early on exactly where you guys are standing in the relationship. Will it be a LDR for 3 years and you come home situation or will it be a LDR for 5 years till I get my PHD and then we move to a new city to start a new life together kind of situation? Be ballsy, be brave and have that talk way early on before the get-go and in doing so, protect yourself and your heart from getting hurt down the line.

For me personally, the decision has always been to do a LDR for as long as we can stretch till we get married and then eventually I will move to Sydney to join him, predominantly because my office desk job was more mobile. My husband has moved abroad, created his life and his business for over 15 years and it will only be selfish and inconsiderate of me to make him have to fold it all up and move to me. Compromise, guys and try to be nice when making life decisions.

And now, I am going to sound like your grandmother saying this but here are a few salient points to take home:
Trust the entire process and trust your partner of course. LDR will not work if there is no faith, trust and efforts. At every juncture of the way, do not resort to negativity and remember to go back to the essence of why you are doing what you are doing. If it is for love, then be entirely in love with the process. Have faith and do it with sincerity and entirety of your heart. If you are 100% sincere and positive, the outlook of your whole relationship is going to be more at ease.

I know this is lame and it is also downright cliche, but just do it for love. Believe in it and believe in yourself. You got this!

On the next entry, I will continue with part II and write on some helpful tips and pointers of what one should do AFTER the decision has been made to take that prodigious leap of faith in finally bridging the gap. (ie: what you should do when moving countries to join your love one)

Will write more. Hang on to your grandma panties, everyone!!!

Letter to my mother..

Over the years of my existence on the face of this planet, I have never once sat down and utter a proper thank you to the person who laboured and birthed me.

A million thank-yous are never sufficient in this lifetime for her. What I certainly lacked in my verbal appreciation, I have and will forever made it up with filial piety and adoration. I know in the hearts of hearts that I am a good daughter to her and she will no doubt, affirm the same. Gee, confident much.

To my mother in reading far far away from me physically but never far from the dear dear heart.. thank you for letting me go.

I know it was not an easy decision for you to see your only daughter move countries and continue her life in leaps and bounds as someone’s wife. Moving away at 31 for love, while it is clearly my cheeky choice, was not at all an easy feat at the slightest. Hand on heart, we both certainly know that we never saw that day coming. I know since I have moved away, you have as much as I have too, lost a big chunk of your heart. I know you will never stop worrying for me and the uncertain future, as most mothers do but trust me you need not fret, I am in great hands.

I want you to know that I am well-loved and I am taken great care of abundantly. Your son in law is an amazing guy and most times I ponder what have I done to ever deserve him or his purest heart. He is quite the angel, as it turns out to be. Same cannot be said about the daughter you raised LOL. I give you my words, as I have always done, that I will not nag at your precious son in law too much till his ears bleed. It is challenging indeed as he often annoys me with his “where is your neck?” jokes but I will try to be patient with him. Operative word being.. try.

Thank you for showing me what honesty is. Brutal honesty is not glamorous and we both know that living in this world which can sometimes be filled with fabrication of lies and “sweet-talking” is difficult, but you never backed down from saying the truth and the truth sucks and it stings. Most of your family or friends do not always like to hear what you have to say and have always misinterpreted your outspoken personality as being “difficult” or “she is always angry”. But I know you and I know your truth. And nothing else matters. Everyone else can roll in mud with their shit-stirrings.

Out of a room full of people with their mouths shut close, you have always been the brazen one to stand up and say what’s right. You are an undeniable courageous force of nature to be reckoned with.

Unfortunately, that particular genes of yours have not been kindly passed on to me. My honesty complexity that I have, tend to make me cotton wool people’s feelings too much. But you of all people know the reason why I cannot be too comfortable and too open too soon.. if I get crudely honest, I am also very rudely honest and there are not many people who can handle the truth. Thankfully enough, while I may not always be frank with my spoken words, I am reassuringly true on my written ones.

Thank you for teaching me how to cook. That is one heck of a transferable trait you can ever upskilled on me as a kid. I have since not starved and also have the ability to make others not famished too.

I remembered when I was 8 or 9 years old, you left me alone in the house with only a pot full of cooked rice. I got hungry soon after you left (as usual, hungry always) and on that very momentous day, that pot of white rice became my first wok of fried rice and the rest is indisputably history. You were so proud of what I did, you told that story to everyone for years.

Gosh, I despised it when I was so so little and you will yell for me to come in the kitchen every single time you are cooking. I was swearing under my breath so much because as a kid, I just wanted to watch cartoons or read my book or hang out with my handphone in my teens and not go to war with the hot oil in the kitchen!!! You always tell me that I should not only be great academically, I have to be great all freaking around. But THANK YOU for pulling me in the kitchen every single time, NOT because you believe only girls belong to the kitchen but you were teaching me one of the best life survival skill there is. I cannot say there are many young girls who can disembowel fishes, dissect a whole chicken and cook that damn 8 parters of a chicken, collate 13 spices and 7 vegetables, make 5 dishes under 2 hours and serve a house full of guests as a kid, but through all those years of me crying in sympathetic pain when I cut my hand with the sharp knife and all those hot oil splattering on my face and body, you have taught me to buck the fuck up and make bloody good food, at that.

You and Dad are awesome awesome cooks and there is hardly a day in my entire life that I go without home cooked food. I now,sadly miss home cooked food beyond any words I can possibly say. Nobody’s food is ever the same as yours because it was simply not made with your love.

Thank you for being both a fierce mother and yet still have a heart full of love, warmth and compassion. At that, I have to thank you for whacking the shiet out of me when I was growing up. The way you raised me in your non-bullshit ways taught me a world of discipline. You were never shy to put me straight in my place if I ever get a slight tad sassy and I could never lie to your face without you smelling my dead pack rat secret out. While many others might frown upon putting a hand on your child as a way of teaching them the right manners, on hindsight I believed that has made me a better person growing up with manners and respect. Me and my brother have never gone visiting to anyone’s house and run into any of their rooms without permission, neither have we acted like starving kids in someone’s house (well fed before going out anywhere) or we never threw tantrums in public. When my mother says No, it is a resounding No.

You can have my word that if I were to ever be given the life opportunity to be a parent, I will raise them the exact same way as you did for me and my brother; ie the clothes hanger and the belt will definitely come out very so often to play- after all, no shame or shade in saying this but we turned out fine and that’s the best of a raising any mother can do. You are and will forever be, my role model.

Thank you for being my no. 1 life supporter. You have always given me the utmost trust and freedom for me to run my life while always keeping me in line whenever I go astray. I love that while you tell me to go out and enjoy and wear that short skirt and put makeup on and not be grubby, you will always check on me and call me every single night I am out-that to me is a balance parenting skill.

If I ever ask you for an opinion, you will always ask me what does my heart desires and what I think is right. You will always always tell me to choose happiness above all else. Your trust in me is impeccable and I really appreciate that.

Even way before feminism even exist, you have always told me to do well as a woman first before settling myself down in a cliche way. You never believe that females should hang out at home unemployed waiting on hands and feet. After all, back in the 80s when most women are stay at home mums, you were out working hard since I was a baby and only stopping when me and my brother are way into our adulthood and could give you and Dad a little breather. You have showed me what it was like to work a full day outside and come home and be a mom and wife too, staying up late through the night cooking away and doing all the chores and making sure we get our homeworks done while checking in on your family and friends. You are unrelentless, you have done everything and more without asking for anything in return and yet, you never say you are ever tired. How you do it all, is still beyond unfathomable to me.

You have always been that cool mum every girl wants and it took me years to realise why my friends love hanging out with you and are secretly texting you instead of me. (No hard feelings, Momster). You are cool and you are fun and you are care-free with your thoughts and you are always the life of the party. You are always a friend when I need one and a mother at all times. I remembered when I got my heart broken for the first time and you just came home from work and immediately knew what was wrong, you just hugged me and let me cry without asking inquisitively.

Thank you for being an astounding and supportive spouse to Dad and teaching me that marriage is a damn bloody job in itself, and oh boy are you stellar as a wife. You teach me by example for over 30 years of my life to just never give up. You are strong, you are fierce, you are painstakingly patient and you are fiercely loyal to your loved ones. You will not take no for an answer or exit the easy way out every time you stumble in life.

Thank you for teaching me to not settle for second or third best and thank you for always connoting to me that when choosing a life partner, try to pass the strikingly good looking ones or those blokes who are not meek in their potrayal of lavish lifestyle or elite existence. You have always strongly opined that looks do not last perpetually forever, everyone will eventually become old, most men might go bald and money if managed poorly will dry up inevitably. Instead, you always tell me to choose a man who is not only a well rounded respectful person, but also find someone who is hardworking and mild tempered.

Momster, I am who I am today because of you and if I were to re-do my entire life all over again, I will not have it any other way in a heartbeat.

You have stood up for me when no one cared, you have hold my hands through all my life joys and life obstacles, you have spurred me on with energy and calm my nerves down through turmoils, you are a tolerant listener and an endearing advice dispenser, you are a selfless soul and you are a giver, you are a confidante and a cheery shopping buddy, you are simply just the best and I will never finish saying thanks to you in this entire lifetime and more.

Remember and know this as you already have, I will always and forever love you.

Your bombster

What it REALLY feels like to be in your 30s..

You might have already guessed my age if you have read my previous entries so I am not going to bore you anymore with the finer details.. but just for digs, I will divulge that it has been several years since that big dirty thirty birthday has passed.

So friends, I celebrated mine with a big bang..oops sorry, pardon me excuse me, I meant to say with the big apple, because me and my ex-friend (KIDDING, NOT EX JUST YET) flew 27 hours from Singapore to New York for a celebration. (She is also a fellow Octo baby so we were having a conjoined twin moment.) I digress. It is also momentous for me to point out that it was a very lengthy flight, my friend has giraffe legs and I have taken the responsibility to book us some “special extra-leg-space inflight seats”. To surmise, those special seats happened to be seats infront of a frigging toilet, we were so blessed to then undertook the diligent voluntary tasks of tracking down passengers’ communal activities throughout the entirety of the flight. (We could guessed if they had the curry beef or the chicken pormodoro pasta for lunch. Yep!!)

Quite clearly, that shiet (pardon the pun) went down exceptionally well and the entire trip was, all in all, a welcoming experience to the new decade. SUCCESS ALL AROUND!!!!

Now sisters.. and of course brothers (no gender discrimination here), 30s is NOT the new 20s. You might like to muse so, but regrettably, when you turn 30, you are not a spring chicken no more my dear, at least this for sure I know, I creak like a bloody old mattress with rusty springs underneath it.

My 20s was a pretty chaotic mayhem and just about many years of being dishevelled and disarray. I was a clueless cat pretending to know stuff about life, when we all know that in your 20s, you are practically wet behind your ears and your mama is still washing your underwear for you. Well for me, sometimes my dad does the laundry on the weekend.. ok, that’s a different story for another blog.

Thanks to TubbyT for this brilliant topic suggestion and just for cackles (she is turning 30 in couple of months so this is pretty apt I’d say), I compiled a few tongue-in-cheek personal pointers about skimming life in your 30s. This is, I reiterate, my personal experience, so if you are reading along and your ego alarm is beeping with “I already did that/It already happened to me in my 20s”, remember that life is not a competition and there are no awards to be given out here but more power to you, honey.

The best part of being in your 30s is.. your newfound attitude.
It is called the F*ck-it attitude.
See, I have always been generally blase about what evolves around me in my 20s, I will be lying if I say I am never wary about what others think of me. I do care but never for long (hence why I never got around to the losing weight memo, it is currently on no.72 on my to do list), but my I-dont-care attitude legit got even worse now that I am in my 30s.
Sorry what was that? You don’t like my face. Oh I know but I JUST DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK OF ME, BECKY!!!
If you don’t pay my rent or put food on my table or in my mouth (whichever is convenient), I will no longer coven about your perceptions and standpoints. Sorry, a little standoffish but this is L.I.F.E. If you are going round your block, absorbing like a sponge what every tom, dick or harry opined about you, you will be a rotting weed shrivelling with strangers’ incessant stance on life. Move on with your own independent thoughts.

In my 20s, I will rock up to work every single day with a full face of makeup, starched shirts and tight skirts and ankle-breaking stilettos.
Now in my 30s, on a good weekend , you might just be lucky enough to catch me in my grey tattered brooklyn tshirt, denim cut-offs riding up my butt cheeks, ratty havaianas and certainly no bra. Do I care? Abso-fcking-lutely not.

In your 30s, accept that life is more free-ing, as cliche as this may be. Sure, always keep your morale compass in check and your standards relatively high, but other trifling things that goes around in your life in your 30s, is just that.. trivial and merely petty. You might expect to be slightly less edgier and “looser”around those tight knit beliefs you held out for so long in your 20s. Expect that in your 30s, nothing much will really earth-shatter and shake your ground, you are a cool confident cat. (Have always been but even more so, now)

In your 30s, your social activities will significantly be redefined
Back in my 20s and in Singapore, I knocked off work no earlier than 7 or 8 pm and then I will gallivant around the office, have a little frolick with my working mates and I will officially strut off for my post-work cafe hours at about 9. We have ladies nights on Wednesdays, pretend to be normal human beings on Thursdays and then we do it all over again on Friday nights and lets not talk about the weekends.

10pm NOW is my official sleeping time. 10pm NOW is me in my pajamas, my Yankee candle warmly litted, lavender aromatherapy oil on freshly laundered pillow case, my dinner taken and tomorrow’s lunch packed away, my snacks in front of me and Netflix to be watched. And of course, where’s my cat? Is she napping, has she taken her dinner for the 45th time since I come home from work and has she been given her chin rubs? See, equally busy if not busier now.

Anyways, yes of course, these days I still anticipate the weekends, I am not dead in my soul just yet guys, weekends is still very important for me because that’s when my Coles delivery man will show up at my door. He is providing my sustenance, so surely that’s exciting.

Expect that in your 30s, turning up and showing up for public events does not come naturally with enthusiasm of life, it does however come with a basket of sorry-I cannot-make-it excuses and a woeful of hesitations. I have to admit it does take heaps of efforts to leave the house sometimes.
Sorry, will there be people in your party?
Yes? Oh, I can’t come then, I need to hang out with my cat
.

I genuinely feel that it its not that being in our 30s, we have lost the zest, but I feel like at the back of our heads we know that we have done most of it all in our 20s and that was one hell of a tiring decade. Sure, you will still keep up on with the social whats-ups but only for prodigious events and momentous landmarks of your love and dear ones, those that you really bother to show your face to and for those who you really care for. Otherwise I bet that you will rather be nicely cocooned with a good book, a good telly in the crooks of your own home. (or if you are like my said beforementioned friend, she prefers to clean for 6 hours on a Friday night, but hey, that’s her style and I am not judging)

Now on the very odd rare occasion that I do go out (insert celebratory woohooss and party sprinklers sound effect), my pre-game now is a tad different to my pre-game in my 20s. My pre-game in my 20s is starting out at 12pm and then I will lost my plot mid-way and I will not really be sure what happened in the end..hmmmmm
But NOW in my 30s, my pre-game secret is a mixed concoction of 3 in 1 coffee and panadol extra. And of course, I do not have to remind you that I have to be home by 9pm. Yass queens, nan-life has officially happened.

Hangovers in your 30s last for just about..17 days and then some.
Long gone were the days where I will trot home way past midnight.. on a working day, slept with a face full of makeup drunk or no drunk, and then to spring out of my bed ninja style next morning and do life with gusto all over again. It does not matter how much alco is in my system the night before, it will mysteriously resets itself come dawn. That was my 20s.

These days, I will get a tad too excited about going out, had a few too many just before said event, puked on people and on ownself, lost a piece or two of my own clothing, cried pitifully to husband that my head is spinning ala Kylie Minogue style and that I am going to die very soon, reaching home at 7pm to puke even more and sleep for 13 hours straight and of course die in embarrassment on the couch for the whole of the next day. Irregardless, it goes without saying that, there will be that silent vow of alco-celibacy for about 4 months or as such time when the said embarrassment dissipates.

Ahh life.

In your 20s, you are crispy Maccas french fries
In your 30s, you are officially a mashed potato from your local pub
God, I am so emotional these days, I cannot even tell you why. I swear it came from nowhere. Like out of the blue, the aliens from the sensitivity planet came and has audaciously poked me with one of their over-sensitive poison while I was sleeping one night.

One of my cousins might remember this story, when we were growing up (I think we were only 9 or 10), the world wide web aka the internet is still very fuzzy about certain viewing controls so much so that we happened to stumble onto some “funny” websites which then lead us to cheekily google and watch beheading videos (my idea, not his). I know this is very naughty of us. I remembered that he cried his head off, he wailed while he scuttle all over the house. I am pretty convinced that those videos are staged and faked but it did not help my cousin’s yowling. Meanwhile I continued to watch till the very end and then some more and all throughout, I just laugh like.. proper hearty laugh, I actually thought it was funny (of course on hindsight now, that is very satanic of me, but back then I did not think very much of it). I could sleep peacefully that night but I really cannot say the same for my cousin. Sowie 😦

I think when God made me, HE skipped out on the sensitivity part. I was cold-hearted blood curdling beast of a child, I will not cry for much. However, what HE missed out on me all throughout my yuppie-hood of a life, he certainly has over-blessed me in my 30s. I am now, a woman wrapped in cotton wool, I am now proud to declare that I am a messy crying shambles 30 seconds into watching reunion videos of dogs and their soldier owners on Youtube (thank you God for the generous gift of emotions in my 30s, you did not have to, but thank you kindly)

Expect that in your 30s, you will be a slight softie. You have officially phased through your hard-core moments in your 20s and all that pent-up punk ass attitude has blanched out. You are, my friend, no longer that raw carrot, you are now a pureed carrot. Sweet and mashed.

In my 20s, I will stagger in front of the mirror and wonder for like 5 seconds if I have taken off last night’s contact lenses, but these days in my 30s, I will stand in front of the mirror while listening to morning positive affirmation videos, and tell myself that “Today is a good day, I am beautiful and strong and confident and I am exactly where I need to be in life”. I will do exactly what the random man on the motivation video says, and then I will see my husband laughing at me from the corner of my eye. Let’s ignore him, he is jealous that I am in-tune with my body and that the universe is aligned with my visualisations.

I will then spend 10 minutes doing my morning meditation, for the fear that failing which, I will crawl to the office and bite my grumpy boss’s head off.

In your 20s, your drive and your strut is HD crystal clear quality but when you reach your 30s, expect that most things including your drive in life is fairly mellow and nebulous; cloudy and hazy round the edges.

In your 30s, your circle of friends is specifically tapered..
Expect to no longer be a social butterfly and that most people will repulse the daylight out of you. Most people will also, at this juncture of your life, cut you out ala Project Runway elimination round. When this happens, take a deep breath and say thank you next (no kidding), simply move on. It is fine when this happens because now that you are in your 30s remember that you do not need… yes what’s that? Yup, toxic friendship. I do not need to remind you that your time is very precious and that you need to eat your joint supplement and hit the sack by 9pm.

See preceding toxic friend post for further details

In your 30s, you certainly do not run for the bus and you most surely do not chase, just about anyone
Background story: I met my husband when I was inching closer to the end of my 20s. I was then, “single” for about 4-5 years, before which I was actually engaged to be married to another heck of a man. (no shade, we have cordially moved on)-I actually love how I am relaying my history in a backward fashion manner. Anywho, one of the first few conversations that I had with my now-husband-then-random-Italian looking-man, was that I certainly have shelved the idea of a marriage because of my previous scars but if things were to turn out for the good for us, I will NOT like to play the stringing-me-along-for-years-and-then-you-will-dump me game. It was very unlike me to not chicken out on grave matters of the heart but I also blazon on to him that I am not in the market for a pen-pal seeing that we are living in different continents, so 2 unequivocal choices either we become strangers OR we become serious. That poor man decided to take the less than smart route and long story short, he is now stuck with me forever. Bless him.

In your 20s, you are bothered, to dress up, to flirt, to play, to wait, to ponder, to evaluate and then wait some more and then play a little more and then flirt and flirt and wait.
In your 30s, it is either black or white, left or right, love or no love. Expect that you know you will deserve no less than a bunch of malarkeys and baloneys from a bunch of random dudettes. You know what you want from the get-go and you will propel forward in pursue of what your heart desires. You, in your 30s, do not waste superflous time. Decisiveness, if it has not come to you in your 20s, will hit you in your face in your 30s. It will hit you hard, like a smack with a chair kind of hard.

Everything is painful when you wake up
Remember my waking up like a ninja story earlier, that ninja has now long retired, mate. These days, almost every morning when I wake up, it is a slow rise out of the bed, not because I am busy thanking the universe and God consecutively that I am still alive (yes I do the thanking, later on in the day after my brekkie) but it is a slow rise out of the bed because I am just meticulously making sure that my torso is still intact, my sole did not get swollen overnight, my hip did not get dislocated from all that tossing and turning, my knees are doing fine and that I did not grow a beard overnight (hairy girls problem). These days, I will sit for 3 hours at work, stand up to go to the loo and will walk away like a hunchback of notre dame with my back almost 30 degrees lower to the ground, I swear with age comes gravity, I SWEAR (first is the back and then the boobs, and then nevermind..!!)

I use to never be an ardent fan of the painkillers but I am now officially, a walking pharmacy. In my 20s, I am invincible and I was never afraid to die. Now in my 30s, I get tension migraines all the time, just by thinking about stress. I may not be stress just yet, but just thinking about stress makes me stress and then the migraines will come, and out comes my ye’faithful alliance, Panadol E!! I carry with me a buffet of drugs to cover my impending sickness (JUST IN CASE, GUYS. ALWAYS BE PREPARED), because you will never know who might give you the flu next.

It will happen either gradually or overnight. But, all at once, you will soon realise that those extensive nights from the long gruelling years of you standing in your 6 inch high heels, rocking and gyrating to the music is going to affect you and your creaky knees. All those late nights and early wake-ups effed your sleeping patterns, your body is no longer the one that functions impecabbly well in your 20s, it just does not. It is like, overnight, my left knee decide to check out and say, SEE YAAAAAAAAA!!! I kid you not, even my collarbone is creaking and I have never even attempted a headstand successfully before, so I have no idea how that came about.

Sometimes, I wonder if this is a natural process to humble one to slow down and appreciate what is left of the body. I know that it will not get any better moving forward in life but one can only hope that this body deterioration will just hold up and take its own bloody time, because why thank you, I still prefer to walk and not be rolled around when I am 60. Fingers crossed!!!

In my 20s, my makeup routine every morning was a 20 products step
In my 30s..my skincare routine is all of only 13 steps +++
Well, I can yap all day and all night about skincare because that is my recent mojo, having turned 30. I AM NOW UTTERLY BESOTTED WITH SKINCARE so you can come and talk to me about them!!!

I am (not a shameless plug I swear) in the midst of churning up my skincare entry and that should drop in a month or so, which I am ridiculously enthralled about because I will like to share with friends and family what truly helped to transform my problematic skin to… hmm less problematic skin (gosh why am I speaking like a Loreal spokesperson, my pores are laughing right now) .

But just touching on this briefly, in my 20s, I have an absolutely non-existent pedantic skincare routine, I have 1 Neutrogena cleanser, a face full of 99 problems and a wardrobe full of makeup. What I lacked in skin health, I make it up in 7 layers of foundation. I never leave home without makeup, in my 20s, like never ever. It was not until I moved to Sydney and was hit with a tsunami of realisation that my face is literally cracking and flaking with deep set lines around my mouth, a nose full of blackheads and inflamed blemishes, and no, not because it was in the middle of winter but my face was actually peeling in the middle of freaking summer. So if that is not a problem big enough to garner my attention, I do not know what is. Oh, for the love of serums and essences.

My memory is pristine..not
Wait.. why am I talking about my memory again???

I am a very gassy adult now.. and I am not proud of it
Like pant-ripping gassy every. single. day after lunch
I wish I am one of those people who can angelically burp silently and be-gone with the unnecessary tummy wind for the day. I am not a pro burper so that is one skill I cannot hone at. I, however just need 30 bloody private seconds in my office toilet to rip it out. JUST 30 SECONDS GUYS, PLEASE DON’T COME BARGING IN EVERY MINUTE!! MAMA NEEDS TO UN-WIND FOR A SECOND!! OKAY MAYBE NOT A SECOND, MAYBE GIVE ME JUST 30 SECONDS. THANKS!!

Why do we get so gassy as we get older? I was not gassy in my 20s and I certainly have no issues with bloated stomach back then. Sure I was never in shape but I never have bowel problems or gassy problems or any problems, for that matter. It is so effing embarrassing. Every single day after lunch, on the dot of 2pm onwards, my stomach will start playing a full rendition of 16-string quartet from the sydney opera house performance. No matter if I eat good or I eat rubbish, all the wind in the world will be amazingly trapped in my 6-packs abs. I will be silently holding that tornado of a gas in me until I reach home and it is so uncomfortable for hours. I do not reckon it is healthy but I do not really have a choice. There are days where I am pretty convinced, I will do a teeny stretch and let one rip out. And then I will never come to back work again, the next day or any other day moving forward.

These are all I can whipped up at the moment and I had every bit of fun conjuring this entry up, as I hope you were, when you are reading this.

I know I know, 30s is not that old and some of you might read this and say “ohoh wait till you are in your 40s/50s/60s” but nonetheless, we are all human on our own life paths and the most stellar recourse is to practice your gratitude every single day, irregardless of which age bracket you are. We are all given this opportunity of a life for a reason, and let that not be in vain.

If you are ushering your 30s, it will most certainly be a pleasurable time of your life so enjoy, enjoy and enjoy (note to self). It is a decade of fresh certainties and in whichever way you feel like you have come undone in your 20s, your 30s will be where you ravel your life back.

Not all my questions have been answered in life, for sure, but for the most part of it, all the doubts in my 20s have been mostly satiated. All I can say is bring it on 40 and the rest of my life, because you know what they always say, life has only just begun.


Toxic Friendship

ain’t this the truth

The blatant truth is, writing about toxic friendship, is equivalent to treading muddy water. It is nothing but a grey area where people do not wish to broach, much less discuss about. Classify this as a taboo, you may, for it might as well be.

After all, friendship is only…a cross between being in a “blood runs thicker than water” family bond and a relationship without the romance aspect. Some will say “Oh it is just friendship, it is whatever, people come people go, do not take it too hard, should not matter too much”.

Well, kudos to you if you have that people-come-people-go mentality, bet you can sleep easy at night. But for some others,  there are people out there who value friendship as seriously as other relationships in life. For others, friendship is everything- they might not have family anymore or they personally do not want to be tied down in a relationship, so friendship is one area in their lives that they invest in whole heartedly and in totality.

I will not delve too much about what personally transpired as I feel like in all fairness, there are 2 sides to a coin and my mum has always taught me enough manners for me to not blow smoke behind someone’s ass. However, for the sole purpose of blogging this down, I will attempt to beat myself around this topic, with the utmost respect and decency for the ex-friend in question.

I had a friend whom I have known since I was 12 going on 13, I am now for reference, 33 going on 34. Yup, that was only the longest 20 years of my life I can never get back, all masked in the name of friendship. 20 good years gone, therefore by and by, this gives me major credits to be talking about the toxicity of a friendship per se. This person (respectfully) is now a has-been in my life.

When we met, we were tiny un-impressionable girls not knowing any better in life. We grew up to become teens, young adults and eventually adults with jobs and life responsibilities and eventually looking for commitments. Quite obviously, over the years, we have both changed as a person, in our insights, goals and missions but the last thing that I was hoping for in a person, was a change of morale.


The Good
The good thing about toxic friendship is knowing, learning and experiencing what it is like first hand to be with someone who calls you her best friend but in reciprocation, me just being in a limbo of a life, not knowing exactly how to react except to just go with the flow. Her flow.

The Bad
The bad thing about toxic friendship is.. where shall I begin?

Toxic friendship is..everything that does not feels right.
Through the long treacherous years, the friendship never felt organic. There was for lack of better words and as cliche as this will sound, a lack of chemistry. Something will always feel choreographed, something will always feel forced. For the most part of it, comfort will not be a word I described our bond. I always felt hesitant-both in my words and actions. I was struggling to live a life full of hidden lies around her and the friendship, not that she knew who I really was to be honest, but I had to dumb things down so I can portray a more decent and “angelic” side of me. In truth, I was a facade. A deceitful facade. Not one I am proud of either.

Toxic friendship.. is all about her, and none for me.
Sure, I will hear her rant about the guy who she dated for 7 years but have never been introduced to me, and listen endlessly I will do. But as soon as the table is turned, after she is done ranting with her weekly updates of the phantom relationship and sucky colleagues and annoying sisters and everything in between, she will be perpetually exhausted and too drenched to listen to me and my own life stories.
Add this up to tumultuous years of me listening to her and no one to return the favour, I AM JUST SO FREAKING DONE. A little consideration would be nice somehow. I am not anyone’s 1800 help hotline, if she has not yet learn, communication goes both ways, we have got to chat, we have got to discuss and we explore suggestions together. It does not only start and finish with..you.

Toxic friendship..is being judged, always.
For years and years, she was not privy to my truth and deep dark secrets, as I felt like that there was a huge judgement weighing over our friendship. Every move and every step throughout my life will be over-casted and shadowed by her discernment. Gone clubbing on a Friday night? Distasteful. Weekend away with another girlfriend? Unclassy. Got a new lover? Unchastity.

Quite clearly it is a reflection on both ways, I felt that I never knew who she truly was and I felt that there must be a colossal part of her life story that is not being told to me either, but told to others in her other circle of friends. What a way to make your best friend feel special? Needless to say, honesty was not our strongest suit.

I have never trusted her with anything, neither a secret nor any random object. Why you may ask? Because she never trusted me with hers. I remembered being engaged once before, and in this engagement party, all I asked for was just simply a favor of holding on to the gifts that was given by my guests. Just hang on to it for few hours, or pass it on to my Mum who is busy welcoming the guests. Can she do it? She could but did not want to. She said no I can’t and walked away. She left me discombobulated that day. She simply cannot rise up to a simple favour and she calls me her best friend. Ponder on that.

Have you ever think of the person you will call in the dire needs of an emergency? Me too. Very bleakly, she will never be the first person to pop in my head. The idea of calling her when I need some help followed by her impending questions and the judging and the whys and the oh my gods and eventually the I cannot come right now, is insufferable. That is, to put it very plainly, just so sad, if you are not able to trust someone whom is supposed to be there for you through thick and thin. And trust me, I have always been there for her.

Toxic friendship is.. over possession of my life, my time, my space, my emotions.
She wants to be the one and the only one that matters, when it comes to friendship. Sure, I will come and meet your 458 friends from all walks of your life but does she ever take any effing efforts to know the other people in my life, my friends from tertiary, my friends from work etc, even any love interest I might have at any time? Na-da. No questions asked, no interest shown, just absolutely nothing. Zilch. It is like as if, if she does not ask, maybe the people in my life will mysteriously disappear? That she thinks in this tiny bubble, there is no one else but her and me?

There have been multiple occasions where new people will come in my life and I will be excited to share them with her over meet ups or gatherings, but she was just not into it. Either she never made the effort and turned up or she will do so in disdain and in recent years, talked about my friends in passing with such hatred. Seriously? I could never mention new friends I have made to her because the jealousy that I can sense dripping from her is just unbearable. That is not friendship my friend, that is just being selfish. That’s being over controlling to a point of suffocation.

Toxic friendship is manipulation.. at its worst.
If she was not in a good mood, I cannot be in a good mood. If she was feeling grumpy and shitty, I was expected to shrivel and cower around. If we were ever quarrelling which was quite often, dare I say that it was over the limits of a normal friendship, she will never be the first to say sorry. NEVER. She was never at fault because she was always the best, make no mistakes about that. The ego just killed me through and through, sometimes the tension was so thick in the air, you can slice it with a knife. She would dictate when she is done being in a slum and when she wants to go on being shitty. The world apparently evolves around her, while I waited around walking on eggshells. That’s not a friendship, that’s treating me like a punching bag of emotions.

Toxic friendship.. is not standing up for me on my wedding day.
My wedding day, is only the most important day of my life. No biggie.
Never asking me if I need help with my wedding plans, but only telling me that I should let her know if I need her because she was “not used to all of this” whole wedding thingy, when in fact she has sisters and cousins and friends who are all married and she was knee deep into it. Making me invite some of her friends whom I barely know only because she would be “awkward” on her own best friend’s wedding day. Running off with her own friends halfway through my wedding and me discovering later on, through one of her invited friend’s Facebook post that they have gallivanted off to have high tea in a hotel in the middle of my wedding without a word or saying goodbye. Who does that?

And again, struggling to fly and visit me once I have moved because it is “too awkward” with the idea of staying in the same house as me when I am sleeping with my own husband in another room. Weird? Oh yeah, you have no idea.

Toxic friendship is also.. leaving all your single friends once you get married.
Girls, do not do this. Be it when you find a new man, engaged, married, do not be a classified missing person. Your friends were there in your life long before the man waltz in, do not abandon your friends just because you have a “new life” now. When you do this, you are giving off a very pungent message of ” I need you only when I am bored or single or both”, Please do not treat others like dirt.

Thanks to another toxic friend of mine, I personally learn not to ditch my other friends now that I am married. Never mind that I was a maid of honour in her wedding, the years of being her friends, the laughter and the tears, the time, the money, the effort, the energy, the respect of her cultures and tradition, never mind all of that because that sister got a new man. Never saw it coming that she was post-haste to ditch all of her single friends once she said I do.

Toxic friendship.. can be a million and one other things.
The list does honestly goes on. It branches from criticising you about your life decisions, body weight, career move OR it can also go to the other end of spectrum of using you as a portable ATM machine-this friend will only comes to you when he/she is broke and in need of moolahs. The said friend will usually not surface for repayment. The list is long and unforgiving.

Am I a toxic friend?
You bet I was (notice I popped the word “was” instead of “am”). I will be the first to raise my hand and say, I was not a great friend. Gosh, in fact I was pretty shitty myself. I was not always there, I bullied some of my friends emotionally and physically (Yes, making someone go down on her knees and hands to save my stucked heel in a gutter on a clubbing drunken night while yelling at them to do it faster-yes been there done that).

I was not always great.

But I grew up and I noticed every single time I am being mean to my dearest of friends, I feel bad if I hang out with someone and talks about me instead of listening to them, I don’t feel the greatest if I have to lie just to cancel our meet up plans.
And yes, I learn.
I attempt and attempt hard and painstakingly to make conscious efforts to grow some balls and be nice to people around me. I am aware that every single one around me have different problems and struggles every single day, being nasty towards them does not make me richer, smarter or better. Being mean or grumpy to people around me only makes me- malevolent, baleful, antagonistic.

But toxic friends do not always notice these, they do not always want to learn and they surely do not want to change, they just want to exist to torment scapegoats in their life for their pleasures and benefits.

Toxic friends are not fun to have, so why do we still have them anyway?
Because sometimes, if you are like me, you just want to do right onto others. Being rude and telling toxic people to scram was never high in my to do list, in fact I did not even know how horrible the friendship was turning out to be until years later when these people in question truly showed their flamboyant colours. By then, the milk will already have curdled.

The takeaway….
If there is anything that you can take away from reading a chunk of my word diarrhoea, I will say that the best lesson to learn is, to nip it in the bud.

If you are befriending anyone and realise that there is something off, you do not feel amazingly great being around that person, you do not think that the person is being friends with you for the right reason, the person abuse you with words etc, or just whatever it is, you can walk away. Just walk away. Remove yourself from a situation which does not suit you, it is your life, your choice and your power. You do not have to hang around them just because you cannot say no, just because you are such a nice person and you do not want to hurt anyone.

Take it from me and learn that, a week will become a month and will become a year and eventually will become 20 years before you know it. You will be saving yourself a world of heartaches in the future when you realised that the friendship was not worth it at all. Save yourself before others. It is only self-loving and righteous to do so.  You only owe yourself that much respect.

Learn that cutting some of your “friends” off from your life is not evil or cruel. It is a right of passage, think of it as cleaning out your wardrobe ala Marie Kondo style-get rid of clothes that you don’t wear anymore to make space for new clothes that will put a smile to your face. Friends are not clothes, that I know, but that is a good analogy to start with.

Remember that we only have 24 hours in a day, not a second less or a minute more. So, choose wisely who you welcome in your life, who you approve of staying in it and who you allow to take up your time. It is noble to show up for everyone, but what is left of you at the end of the day? Not much, honestly. Don’t you think your mind and soul deserves more than just a wiped out brain and a broken soul?

As soon as I hit 30, my field of vision when it pertains to who are my real friends, staggered significantly. I have no time for funny and fake friends, friends of a season, friends who are passing by because I simply don’t. My time and what’s left of this heartache is simply too precious to be given up for some senseless bidding in an auction. I am in this life for only true quality friendship, not quantity. If I am spending time with you and making the efforts with you, you are in my team. You are my person.

Always remember that  YOU ARE  A GLASS COMPLETELY FULL, not half empty neither half full. You are a strong driven soul who does not need bad friendships or fake relationship to dictate how amazing you really are.

Remember, you are enough.
People who come into your life and stay, are only lucky and blessed to be in the presence of a company of a great soul.

If you are in the thick of a toxic friendship, get rid of it. If you are catching yourself being a toxic friend onto others, remember that we may all never be a perfect friend but we can always lean on the side of being a better friend. Start now.

I was shamed for NOT child- proofing my house..

About a year ago, having moved into our new place, me and my husband graciously and big-heartedly invited a bunch of our friends to progressively, over the weeks, trickled down and grace their presence by checking out our new abode. We were, needless to say, clearly elated.

(Bear in mind that this event transpired many moons ago)

Now, something happened during one of our house parties which has scorched me quite significantly. I have shoved that bad experience as a back burner to the back of my head but felt the urge to write this down to share my despair. 

Now before I lurge on my rant, let me preface this by saying, as a childless married woman, I do not abhor mothers, neither do I despise children. I have cousins and many friends who bear kids and I very luckily have a lovely mother, an amazing late grandmother and a group of doting aunties all of whom are mothers with child or children, so I have absolutely nothing against mothers in general. I, too may or may not be a mother myself in the unforeseeable future, therefore this will be a colossal god-forbid-I-don’t-become-one-of-you memo note to self.

So let me tell you what actually transpired this whole chain of events.

One weekend, upon our invite, a particular friend came over with her pack of children and husband. Yeah!!!

We welcomed them warmly. Within minutes, the said friend started unpacking her luggage (operative word being: luggage) of her children’s toys and stationery, strewn all over my living room for her kids to crawl, roll and play with. I am perfectly fine with these, she does have, after all adorable children and as long as they are happy as guests, I as a host could not be any grander. 

Shortly after, her kids got bored and started running around the house (as most kids do). She started yelling and chasing her kids around the house, causing them to be more hysterical by the second. In one instance, the said friend got fed up, walked to me in a huff and puffed “You should think about child proofing your house, you have glass tables with sharp edges and it is not safe for kids”

And that my friends, was what perplexed me and boy oh boy, was I not pleased at all.

In my rushing stupor of trying to be a good host, I apologised and brushed it off. This, very sadly, did not happen once but TWICE.. to my face. When she made the same comment on the latter occasion, she got a rise in me, to which I less-than-politely quipped “but we do not have kids yet so why should we child proof our house?”. Her answer appalled me, she replied “oh yeah, but right now, my kids are here and they can knock their head into your table”. 

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????????

Pardon me for lifting your clearly blinded eyes but never mind about my glass tables, how about all the tiny toys and the little crayons or markers on my floor where your kids could have run, slipped and fall on???

Let me get this straight. So, you want me to child proof my house not as a precautionary measure for the unforeseeable future of us having kids BUT for the sole benefit of YOUR kids only who come over, once in every freaking blue moon.

It left me flabbergasted and I sat thinking -If my house is that perilous and treacherous for your precious children, why did you bother returning knowing we have sharp-edged furniture that your amazing kids will knock into?

And whatever happens to, taking care of your own children instead of being a sour puss to the host. After all, we could have simply excluded you and your precious family out of our invites… very simply. 

Does this mean that every single time an elderly comes to visit our house, we have to panic and install a ramp to the bathroom, retiled the floors to make them non slippery and triple-cushioned the bejesus out of every seat in the house because god forbid, they will fall down and die. See, I do not wish to belittle and minute this situation, neither am I trying to be rude but try to reason with me and make me see light of this conundrum.

Just for the record, let me clarify further by saying I do not have atomic bombs, open knife blades, poison bits or mouse traps left callously around the house. While decorating the house, we did not set it out in a purposeful manner that a child will come in, trips and injure him or herself. We may be childless but we are far from being an inhumane or barbaric person.

Let me resume about the said friend and her super-mum antics.

We sat down and have a casual chat about topics like returning to work after maternity leave. Without getting into in-depth details, we (unshockingly) became slightly heated in our discussions. Look, I will never enforce my point of view as being the righteous one, neither will I say her perception is wrong. We are, after all just having a casual chat, one which I was hoping to be a normal one, often made by 2 mature adults who can have a healthy banter while still respecting each other.

However, very very disappointingly, the said friend hastily ended our chat by commenting to me “WELL, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW ANYTHING BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A MOTHER YET”.

No shiet, jose!! Aren’t you a smart woman for stating the obvious.

Not once but in two swooping occasions, had I felt that I was shamed for not child-proofing my own house for her benefit which by the way I painstakingly decorated it myself and might I add is a gorgeous place, I have also been outrightly shamed about having an opinion which I will never know any better because duhh, I have not had a child yet. 

My question is, since when it is okay for a woman to shame another woman for having a house that is not safe for YOUR kids and worse, shaming another woman for not having kids yet, therefore un-enabling them to be entitled to their own point of view? 

Am I being too sensitive here or was that tone of smugness I detect from her and (most) mothers out there, implicating that since I am childless, I have yet to experience shiet about life.

Needless to say, I have not and has no future desires to invite her and her precious little family over into my “harmful dungeon” of a house. Rest assured that there will never be a place for shallow minded nimwits in my life or my non-child-safe house.

Since when do most women these days (and I reiterate: MOST) felt like they are above and beyond superior to make childless women feel extremely alienating and patronizing? Did I miss this memo and wake up to an era of highly condescending women who thinks and feel that they are all that once they become mothers? 

Sure, I understand that as a mother, you worry for the safety of your children but the onus is not on me to ensure your child does not fall down and split his or her head open, kids are kids, they make booboos anywhere and everywhere, therefore trips and falls are inevitable. You of all people should know that.

I come with me a myriad of life, I am not a perky 21 year old teeny bopper, I am a woman in my 30s with a decent education and have gone to work in a dog-eat-dog society for over 12 years. I know how monsters manifest, and I can assure you I am not one them. 

Sure, I don’t understand what it is to be a mother..yet but I still can empathize because I am not a completely ignorant heartless woman. I sure do know a thing or two as to how the world goes round. So, don’t you dare walk into my house and make me feel exclusionary and invalidate my arguments? You are not God, don’t act like one.

Never you dare to undermine my womanhood with a statement like “you wouldn’t know it because you don’t have kids yet”, because you will never know the truth if me and my husband are trying to conceive and struggling for one or we have may or may not have fertility problems or we personally just do not wish to be parents. So, if you do not know anything, please do not run your mouth.

I am not sure who will end up reading my rant but if you happen to be a mother particularly a new smug mother, let’s all have a little decency to be courteous in trying to get our opinions across. Before you were bearing kids, you are and still am a woman. So, be a woman who is not only intelligent and courageous, but also be a woman of dignity and supports and uplift fellow women too. Do not bring another sister down.

Try as you might to not project your points of views to anyone as a hormone raging, sleep deprived, love and support lacking newly mother, because here are the sad facts: 

(1) I did not ask you to go and have kids and;

(2) I certainly did not ask you for your 2 cents worth of pedantic opinions as to whether or not I should child proof my house in accordance to your needs.

My house, my rules. You are absolutely NOT welcome here any more.

P/S: In my next entry, I will be sharing my experience on toxic friendship and officially closing the doors on someone I used to call a friend after 20 years of friendship. 🙂

I know you are curious

Image result for cat hi

Hi friends

or any random stranger passing by and reading this..you’re a friend too, don’t worry, I’m not fussy.

I will probably not have any idea on how you stumble on this but hey, I was born Erni but for the sake of confusing everyone (my mother and my husband included), I like to go around by the name ErniE.

I used to blog in my late teens through my early 20s, so if you have mad googling skills, you might still stumble upon my old entries (yes yes you can read them but don’t stay too long there observing my hey days photos, make sure you come back to this space, because it’s better here I promise)

I love to write, and I think I am naturally witty at it. That’s just me though, might not be the most charismatic person in the bloody ballroom but boy oh boy can I write.. (fun fact: that’s also how I seduce my husband-with my incessant texting and complex jargon and him replying to me once every 2 days, often so very confused-poor guy)

So, what happened was after about 10 years of not blogging-one day I was daydreaming while waiting for the bus home in 37 degrees of NSW dry heat and a thought just came to me (insert freaking light bulb moment) to go back to writing my gibberish. Like hello, duhh…

And I told myself well, if no one is to read them, that’s perfectly fine, it will be my own personal gibberish of thoughts.

Trust me, my friend, you have no idea what goes on in this big scalpy head of mine, so many things to tell and nowhere to spill em’ so onto a blog it goes. Enjoy!!

oh by the way, I am a crazy cat lady meowww