Falling in love with myself again

You know how after you’re married and have kids, woman may tend to become less focus on self and spend all our energy on our family? We care lesser about how we look, the way we present ourselves in public or even the way we react to situations when our kids are around. For me, I was like that. I became a mother who couldn’t be bothered with how I looked and dressed. Not until now.

Since my getting back to shape journey, I started to want to look better; more so to dress better. I still couldn’t be bothered with make-up but I started buying fitter clothes, more dresses and better looking “going out” clothes. Then I started my new career adventures with AM; that’s where I got a little more aware of how I look when meeting clients and at events. But still I felt make-up was really not necessary and quite a chore for me. And then…

Everything changes.

After I started taking too many selfies with the ASUS Zenfone Selfie!

Even when walking also must take selfie! That’s how vain I become when the phone is in my hands. LOL!

I started to ask myself this… “Hey! I can look that good?! Like really?!” All the likes and positive comments I’m getting with my new profile photos online makes me become even more self-aware that I should really start loving myself again. With proper make-up and a little more effort before heading out, I can actually look as good as those beautified (not a lot lah, just a little bit) taken with the ASUS Zenfone Selfie smartphone which came with dual 13MP back and FRONT cameras!

So crazy about the phone that I had to take a selfie within a selfie while sipping coffee at Starbucks.

Since the day I got my hands on the phone, I just couldn’t help it but take selfies… more selfies… and A LOT more photos of myself! Up to a point I felt I was becoming overly obsessed with the “real” me in the photos. #truestorybtw

Taking good photos is now an essential part of every smartphone experience, but most devices deliver better results on the rear camera than the front. Because of this, selfies are often grainy, noisy and underwhelming. The ZenFone Selfie is bringing ASUS’ high-end imaging performance – known as PixelMaster 2.0 – to both sides of the phone with a killer combination of top-notch hardware and software to get you amazing images every time, no matter what.

Love this shot of the hoop dancers from Cirque du Soleil TOTEM performance. Captured from the front row seats.
Taken with the back camera at Cirque du Soleil TOTEM. Love how the colours POP!

On the front camera, there is the top-of-its-class 13 megapixel Toshiba sensor with an 88-degree wide-angle Largan lens for the most detailed selfies of any phone on the market. And with Real Tone dual-LED flash and an aperture of f/2.2, you’ll be able to get clear shots when there isn’t much light around you.

Wide angle selfie is even more awesome with the help of selfie stick! Taken at Hello Kitty Go Around in Singapore media preview.
Based on the story of KeLian, you can look great in every selfies you take with your favourite celebrity.

There’s also 16 additional modes to take advantage of the super cameras on the ASUS Zenfone Selfie – selfie panorama (for 140-degree angles), auto, manual, HDR, super-resolution, low light, night, depth of field, effect, GIF animation, miniature, time rewind, smart remove, all smiles, slow-mo, time lapse. My favourite mode is of cos the beautification mode! Where you can to see real time even before you touch on the shutter to snap the shot. And the setting is also saved so once you set the level of beautification to your desire, EVERY single shot you take will make you look stunningly good!

Lots of different camera features which I’ve yet to try everything on it yet!
Even with big red nose and funny giant specs, the camera can still detect my face and give me just enough “blush” at the right spot!

The dual-LED Real Tone flash, which is on both front and back, delivers a fantastic combination of yellow and white light to produce well-lit shots that capture your real skin tone.

Taken with the front-facing camera with flash at Cirque du Soleil TOTEM VIP Rouge lounge.
Beautification mode applies to everyone in the photo too! Love this wefie shot with Eve and Jus, fellow mum bloggers at XPC woodwork experience session.

Thanks to all the above unbelievable shots taken with the ASUS Zenfone Selfie, I am going to start practicing my make-up routines again. And on days when I really need to look my best, this pale face of mine will be looking as good (i hope) as the photos I post online. Going to attack cosmetic counters in malls this week!

The beautiful Aqua Blue ASUS Zenfone Selfie is available in stores at S$379, or comes free with most mobile plans when I last checked.


Stop Staring at Me and My Screaming Child

A recent scene at a food court during dinner peak hours got me feeling rather upset and angry. It’s not the hysterical crying from my grouchy toddler nor the mess she created on the table with our Salmon Pepper Rice. What got me very upset was the stare and dagger eyes I received within that few minutes from people around us.

You do not know me nor my child. You do not know what went on before the scene nor why I am doing what I did that very moment. You do not know that the little one was exhausted and grouchy due to lack of sleep for the day. You really do not have the right to stare.

Zara is in the period where she is learning to cope with her emotions and anger. Her form of telling us she is not happy or wants to do things her way but got rejected is to throw her biggest fit anywhere anytime. Doesn’t matter if we were in a crowded mall, if she doesn’t get the attention she demanded she would simply throw her butt onto the floor and give her loudest cry.

If she’s restricted to movement and has no way of throwing herself to the ground, she would start her hysterical crying and screaming that will send any embarrassed parents carrying her away from the crowded public space.

But for me, I do just the opposite. I let her be. Because she will eventually stop. She needs to learn that crying or throwing tantrums doesn’t get things fixed. She will just get overly tired after the outpouring of emotions and she will feel worst than before.

We have been doing this to her since she turned two in August. Her period of terrible two is triple times more than what we had to encounter with Ayra. Our number two is much more strong headed and I may say much smarter than how we thought she really is. She know how to take over our mind and drive us crazy just so she gets what she wants; all the time.

Though I really am not bothered by how strangers think about our actions and way of handling the situation, but I just can’t stand them whispering amongst their companions and the stabbing dagger stares from them. You may be an expert in child discipline in your own rights, but please mind your own business and keep your eyes away from us.

I wonder how would they feel when they are in the same situation themselves and being starred at for the whole duration. #notsoniceright


Ayra The Funtastic Four

Everyday I look at you, with 100% focus, I see a different you. You have grown so so much and I am asking myself where has my little Ayra gone. Your words, your actions, the way you scream and cry, the way you interact with your toys bringing them to life and how you can transform from a 3+ year old to like a 7 year old instantly; you are always amusing me.

I have been treating you rather unfairly lately, wanting you to behave like a big girl and stop crying and screaming for little things every day, just because you are turning four. How silly of me to do that! You are ONLY four!! And I must admit you have been doing very very well already.

You have learned to give-in to your younger sister at play, you will off the TV, pack your toys and switch off the lights and fan when its time for bed, you let me explain to you why things should be done the right way and the one-thousand-and-one reasons why you need to listen to your parents. You know when to give in and accept that you are wrong.

Ayra, my darling 4 year old, you really have been growing up well and Mummy is very proud of you.

We do of course still have our many days of unnecessary melt-down, screaming and angry moments, creating too much blue and red memory balls in our long-term memory. All these will one day be gone and forgotten and those which ended up into our core memory will serve as a reminder of how and why we do things the way we are. It is ok to cry when we are sad, but screaming just because you cannot get what you want or due to the lack of rest is really not acceptable, Mummy will help you get over this phase so you know how to better control your emotions.

I love it when you wake up with a big smile and jumping out of bed on your own. I love it when you “lecture” me for not doing things I promised to do and you really sounded like an adult, just like how I would say the same to you too! (insert sweet voice of Ayra) “Mummy you know right, you are always working working working, you must remember to cut my nails ok. You must remember you promise to play with me and bring Meimei go out you know. Mummy you know?“.

Thank you for being such a lovable, smart, outspoken (when with me) and understanding 4 year old. Together we will do more happy things, we will guide and teach one another the many joyful things in life, we will share and create many many yellow memory balls and we will share our emotions and cry if we have to. Mummy promise you I will do my best to provide you with the best I can and love you 101%, and also will always remember to give you and Zara 100% focus everyday, even if its just for that short 30 minutes.

Happy 4th Birthday my darling girl!

Stay curious, keep smiling and fill our family with your love. Please try to be less shy when surrounded by family members and friends, Mummy know you can be the way you are even in big groups too. You just need to pretend everyone you don’t recognise as invisible and they cannot see you. LOVE LOVE LOVE you very much Ayra. Happy birthday darling!

Zara The Terrific Two

That day when I walked out from the kitchen with your huge rainbow cake, that smile on your face lighted from within you, that precious moment I wished I had captured it on video or photo. That sweet innocent delighted smile witnessed by myself and your grandma, I wish I will never ever forget. Now a yellow memory ball stored in my core memory powering my family planet.

Today you turn two. My second born, the one who reminds me of me.

You may be the stronger headed child, with incredible will power and that special instinct to know exactly when to do what you know would drive everyone insane. The totally opposite as your elder sister whom you just have to snatch every single thing she is holding in her hands all the time! And yes she does that a lot too to you. Mummy is slowly getting used to this and started letting the two of you sort things out on your own.

Zara you are such a lovable and forgivable little girl. Your crazy laughter is insatiable and will forever be contagious. I love mumbling into your tummy just to hear you giggle and laugh, tickling you so much that both of us would lay flat laughing together.

You love to squeeze between me and my computer whenever you have a chance to; squeezing my thighs, blocking my view with your baby scented head, and the occasional head tilted back with big round eyes asking for my attention (or to let you watch YouTube on my mobile).

Our body clock seems to be working in sync every night, with every gentle stir in your bed (which is in no way connected to mine) I get awaken too. And when the clock strikes 0330/0500 we would both be awake and we know what you will ask for next. Then it repeats again around 0800/0900. It’s ok you know to ask for milk, but Mummy really hope you can sleep through every night so we can all have good undisturbed sleep. Oh and Mummy is still very puzzled how you can transform your sleeping position so many times every night! Some of your favourite pose are with both arms and legs wide open spinning 360-degree a couple of times, snuggling on your tummy with all arms and legs hidden out of sight and the most disturbing one must be you climbing up onto my bed and pushing yourself into my underarm and smelling it through the night.

For everything you do and will be doing in the days ahead, Mummy hope you will always have your goofy and cheeky planet working; bringing more laughter into our house.

Happy Birthday Zara!

May you one day (soon) stop looking for your Tu-Tu and show everyone more of your unblocked adorable face. Love you ge zillion!

Sleep, all else can wait till the next day

The Loving Mum - Reflection of The Mum

The past couple of weeks had been hectic and exhausting for me, in health, energy, mind, body and even my soul. All along I thought I am a mum with super power and an everlasting battery to boost my power. But I was wrong. I am no super mum and my battery gets drained out too; even faster if I failed to address its call for a recharge.

Since the start of August, members in the family had taken turns to fall weak and ill. Started with the Dad who then passed on the virus baton to the littlest in the family. With everyone is close proximity and both girls staying home since I cannot bring just one girl to school while the other is unwell, the elder one fell ill soon after just as the littlest was recovering.

For mums with two little ones you would know all these leads to only one thing – lack of sleep. I was having less than 5 hours of sleep for the entire two weeks each day and just as I got to go into deep sleep, someone would need my attention and I’ll be awake again. After two weeks of this on-going lack of rest, and me continuing to push myself to get things and work done into the late nights, led me to my final breakdown.

I knew my body was screaming for attention, I knew I needed to get myself to the doctor, and I knew very well I needed to take care of myself before I can take care of others. But all these didn’t lead me to doing what I know was right. I pushed on and on and then that very day I just couldn’t do anything at all.

Well, I did try, but the pain, sore and aching bones and joints, the constant hammering in my head led me to remaining motionless and still in the living room while I watched my two girls keeping themselves occupied. The toys all over, the crazy mess, the biscuit crumbs over the floor… all these didn’t matter anymore.

When the father came home that day, with him also feeling under the weather, I surrendered. Not giving anymore thoughts into what if and can he handle the girls alone. I just had to go get myself lots of rest and sleep. With two extra strong Panadol and a good 12 hours of sleep, I was able to continue my routine the next day.

This period was probably one of the hardest I’ve ever experienced since I became a mum. It really takes a lot of care and discipline to maintain a healthy mind and body. And it is even more important for mums to take proper care of ourselves, because the family needs me more than I needed myself. This a lesson learned.

From now on, I would leave whatever there may be waiting for my attention and action till the following day. No more late night blogging, replying of emails, preparing the campaign pitch not even any leisure activity. When it’s time to sleep, I MUST sleep. Because I don’t want to suffer the same torture I did to myself and my body.

Goodbye Bad Hair Day, The Loving Mum tries Atomy Herbal Hair Care

Since I got my hair permed earlier this year I have been trying out different hair care to tame my dry permed hair. I’ve tried salon recommended shampoo, highly rated and expensive O&M series and ended up not using them beyond the first week, coz my hair was just not suitable.

When I was recommended to give Atomy Herbal Hair Care series a try I hesitated worried that the products will be too expensive since they are from Korea and only available online. But after I registered for Atomy’s free membership, I realized their products are not that expensive and rather cost effective too if I purchase in quantity of fours.

I started off with Atomy Herbal Hair Treatment ($18) and after the first few washes I love how my hair become smoother and easier to manage. When my first tube of hair treatment is running out, I purchased Atomy Herbal Shampoo ($22) and Atomy Herbal Conditioner ($22) too. (Price indicated are for members purchase per quantity from Atomy online store. Retail price in store may vary.)

Now gone were the days of dry fizzy hair! Having used Atomy Herbal Hair Care for more than a month now, my hair is in better shape and condition. No more fizzy and unmanageable hair!

Everyday I enjoy a herbal infused hair wash (I love the smell!) followed by a refreshing minty hair conditioning. And once or twice a week I would follow up the conditioning with Atomy Herbal Hair Treatment too, it gives my hair even more conditioning and I love how soft my once messy and dry hair feels now. After my daily wash, I do not even need to blow dry (cos I am one lazy woman), I just combed and twist my curls then let it dry naturally. On days when I need to look better, I’ll apply some hair treatment oil (none Atomy product because they don’t have any styling products).

Can you see the difference? These photos were taken on days after I started using Atomy Hair Care products.  
Can you tell I am one happy shopper of Atomy? 🙂

There is one more hair care product which I have yet try, the Atomy Hair Treatment Liquid, which is supposed to help keep your pores clean and keep your hair healthy. You bet I am going to add into my cart for my next purchase. Yes!

Besides hair care products, Atomy also has got a wide range of skin care, beauty, body, oral, health supplements, snacks and even household items. The range of products will be growing over time and as their CEO shared, they hope to be one of the world’s biggest online retail mall. Big dreams they have!

Atomy’s masstige strategy is to provide absolute quality products at an absolute price.

Atomy is a direct marketing and distribution company. Consumers buy direct from their global online stores and if they want to, they can in return generate some revenue from it too. Started in 2009 in Korea, Atomy distributed beauty and health supplements. fast forward 6 years, they are now distributing in Korea, USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and just this year they arrived in Singapore! And in the next few months, Atomy will also be available in Malaysia, Indonesia and more neighbouring countries. This can only mean even more opportunities for our local active sales masters and distributors.

If you are keen to start your own business with little capital, I can help link you up so you can sign-up for your own Atomy FREE membership too. No sign-up fee, no minimum purchase nor monthly spend and no commitment period too. If you like it you just buy and use the products yourself and if you really really love Atomy’s products, you can start building a possible sustainable business on your own too. Email orternatives@gmail.com if you are keen to find out more or fill up this contact form.

And now a giveaway!

Because I love the Atomy Herbal Hair products so much, I am going to share the benefits with one lucky reader of The Loving Mum. Follow the following steps to take part:

  1. Like and follow The Loving Mum on Facebook
  2. Follow The Loving Mum (@claudia10) on Instagram
  3. Share this Facebook post and tag 3 friends who needs some hair pampering

One lucky winner will be picked at random from all the comments posted in this Facebook post. This giveaway ends at 2359 hr on 21 August 2015. Winner will receive 1 x Atomy Hair Shampoo, 1 x Atomy Hair Conditioner and 1 x Atomy Hair Treatment, total worth $62.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post nor am I paid to write about this. I am a consumer of Atomy and is still considering building my small business with them, but because I really love their hair care products I wanted to share it with you. 

Lunch Date with Daughter with Pizza and Fries

I am such a lousy mum! After a great lunch date with Ayra in Oct 2014, I haven’t been able to do another one for almost a year. I promised myself that I need to do it more often, but work and appointments took over almost every available lunch hours over the past year and more in the coming months. But still, its better to have a once-a-blue-moon opportunity than to never have any. So when we had a chance to go out on a mother-elder-daughter only date few weeks ago, we pampered ourselves a little with a nice slow lunch. No rushing, no feeding just good yummilicious lunch with my girl.

See that face when she truffle fries was served? Never mind its not that healthy, that smile and giggle makes all worries go away. Just eat and enjoy!

Lunch that day was at Skinny Pizza, because she requested for fries and then later pizza. I could only think of one place where I can enjoy pizza with her without having to feel that guilty since I was supposed to be avoiding eating processed carb then.

We ordered a Wild Truffled Mushroom, truffle fries and ice cold drink for me. Can you tell I had a bad craving for truffles that day? LOL!

Ayra enjoyed the crispy thin pizza crust and fries, while I had lots of wild truffled mushroom and rocket leaves.

Of course we couldn’t finish the entire pizza so we requested them to pack the left over for us. But the silly mummy left the box of pizza in the ladies and totally forgot about it! Only realized our pizza was missing in the evening when we were on our way home. Too excited about the day’s activities and little things like this are easily forgotten.

Hope we can do more of such girly date out and not just that once a year! I love seeing her so happy.