Thursday, November 26, 2015

Mederma Christmas Gift Box :)

Just got a nice Christmas package from Mederma Singapore. 
Candy canes, marshmallows, chocolate... all the sweet stuff for this season. :)

I have been using Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy on my belly for a couple of months now. Still no stretchmarks and a few more weeks to go!
Click to read that review. Super chuffed to receive a travel sized tube of this so I can pack this in my hospital bag to take with me
 Also in the gift box is the Mederma Proactive Gel (this retails for $28.90 20g tube at all Guardian and Unity stores). I plan to use it after surgery (I need to have a Csection because of my Placenta Previa Grade 4).

This is supposed to soften, smoothen and replenish. It contains cepalin which is an anti-inflammatory that helps soften scar tissue, allantoin which promotes skin healing and reduces itching, and Aloe Vera which is moisturizing and soothing.

I'm supposed to use it twice a day (as soon as the wound closes) for 8 weeks. If yours is an old scar, it will take 3-6 months.

Here are some Scar reduction tips from Mederma :
1. Avoid extreme temperatures (like sauna) for 6 months to a year. New scars are sensitive and extreme heat or cold will affect the regeneration process of the skin.

2. Regular massage helps support the healing process of the skin. So don't just apply your gel, do rub/massage it in so it will help loosen up the scar tissue.

3. Sunlight does not fade scars, it is a myth. Use sun protection!

4. You can squirt some Mederma proactive gel to lukewarm water and bathe your scar for about 15 minutes. This is best for scars on hands, or elbows, where you can dip the affected area into a small bowl.

5. For larger scars, create a gel dressing. Soften scar tissue first using a warm and moist pad. Then apply the Proactive Gel in a moderately thick layer. Gently massage. And then cover the area with some thin kitchen foil. Put a dressing on top of this to keep it in place over night.

Good tips to know. I feel more prepared :)
You can try this out too if you have any scars you want to get rid off.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Final Outcome of Secret Sister Gift Exchange

2 weeks ago, I took part in the My Secret Sister Gift Exchange that was going viral on Facebook.

It has since died off, you don't see people taking part in it anymore on Facebook. I think because there was a whole slew of people and websites which said that this was a Hoax or a Scam.

Anyway, since I had taken part in it, I wanted to share with you the results. (Click here to read my initial blog post, in case you don't know what gift exchange I'm talking about).

So in exchange for one gift you send out, you are supposed to receive 36 gifts in return. I did say in my initial blog post, that when I started taking part in this exchange, I did not expect 36 back. Having 36 gifts back, would mean that everyone taking part in the exchange would send out a gift to their assigned secret sister like they're supposed to. I didn't expect 36 gifts, because I know not everyone is that honest, there will be some who just take part to receive gifts and then either forget to send out a gift, or too lazy to do so, or just dishonest.

Plus because of the Hoax/Scam warnings about this gift exchange circulating on Facebook, I had some friends pull out of the exchange too, so I knew I didn't have 6 people in my group at the end of it. And I assumed that the friends I did have on board, would have had similar issues with drop out rates from their 6 friends.

Which is fine to me, this exchange is just for fun. The cost to myself is One Gift to send out, which is not a huge investment anyway. No need to get all upset or riled up about it.

People warned others not to take part in this exchange because it's a scam and you will actually not get gifts return. But I knew that logically, this exchange was not a hoax or scam (like those Nigerian scams where they ask you to send them $$$ to sort out your inheritance of millions bahahahahaha). Because I sent out a gift to the girl I was assigned, like I was supposed to. So how can no one receive gifts??? As far as I knew, one person would get a gift, because I did send it out!

So anyway, enough blabbering. Here's the results after 2 weeks:
I got 6 gifts in return. I was very very surprised by the generosity of my secret sisters who did send gifts. You're supposed state if you have any likes/dislikes/preference of gifts (because these secret sisters don't actually know you, so it's helpful to give them an idea).. I just said newborn baby stuff would be great.

here are some small and useful gifts. Gift1- some facemasks for myself. Gift 2- cute socks. Gift 3- A pacifier clip and baby nose snot sucker thingy. Appreciate these very much, thank you.

Gift 4- a diaper bag. Pink! I like!! thank you. :)

Gift 5- Calironia Baby products from Pupsik Studio, it even had a personal message from Anne. Aww, thank you so much, I've heard great things about this brand and can't wait to use it on baby.

Gift 6- A tummy time mat for baby which this person (Joy) ordered from Qoo10 and sent to me. OMG! I was going to get one of these, but with ALL the newborn stuff I had to buy, I was putting a tummy mat or play mat on hold until after baby was born. Now I have one and it's perfect! Thank you.

All in all, I'm happy I took part. Hope my secret sister enjoys her gift from me too. And that all those who took part and sent out a gift, got something in return.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

An Affordable Honeymoon Worth Remembering

So you’re getting married, congratulations! You’ve set a budget, you know exactly what you’re looking for and you’re planning who is going to be invited. Just one quick question – have you thought about your honeymoon? I’m at that age where a lot of my friends are getting engaged and planning their nuptials (a few for the second time). The first question I always ask is – what are you planning for the honeymoon? And most of the time I get a sort of blank stare and an ‘I hadn’t even thought that far yet’ answer.
Weddings can be expensive, so unless you have a very rich relative who is known for paying for the honeymoon as a wedding gift (I’m convinced that only happens in the movies!), you’re going to have to add that to your budget as well. Now you want your honeymoon to be as romantic and luxurious as possible, and with the following guide you won’t have to compromise on either of those!

What do you want?

The first step to planning your honeymoon (and any trip for that matter) is to decide exactly what you want – what is essential and what are you willing to live without for your first days as a married couple? Now start thinking about how much you’re willing to spend on your honeymoon – this budget needs to cover accommodation, travel, food and entertainment for the duration so make sure it’s a fair figure or else you’ll never stick to it! Also, if you want to make some extra savings on the ceremony or accessories, you can get many of the items you will need at Kohl's with multiple discounts when you use coupons, which will let you maximize your honeymoon budget.

Leverage A Travel Agents Contacts
I’m not often someone who advises using a
travel agent, but at the end of the day you want your travel planning to be as stress free as possible. And in this case a travel agent is a good choice. They can often save you a fair amount on travel packages which include accommodation and travel, and sometimes even on packages that include your food and drink as well! Make sure you’re choosing an agent who specialises in the type of trip you’re planning – don’t go to a safari travel agent if you’re interested in a luxury cruise!

Create A Honeymoon Registry

There are some travel agencies and tour operators who offer a registry service for their honeymoon packages. They collect, track and then apply any contributions your wedding guests make towards your honeymoon expenses. Instead of creating a gift registry with items you don’t really need, why not have your guests contribute towards the honeymoon of your dreams? There are even a few that allow your guests to sponsor honeymoon activities such as a romantic meal or a sunset cruise.

Honeymoon In The Off-Season

Now this has two benefits. Not only will you be avoiding the usual holiday crowds, but off season rates are much lower than peak season rates. Now off-season doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be dealing with terrible weather, for many destinations it just means that for whatever reason they don’t normally have vacationers during those times. If you have a specific destination in mind then delay your honeymoon until the off season (or shoulder season if weather is a factor), and if it doesn’t matter where you are then choose anywhere that has nice weather, the activities you enjoy and few holiday makers.

Honeymoon In The Area

Nobody ever said that your honeymoon has to be in some far away destination that you can only revisit on special occasions. Remember that the closer your destination is, the less your travel costs will be. So opt to fly, or even drive to somewhere that is only a few hours away. And if you’re really smart, then have your wedding nearby so that you don’t have very far to travel after the reception.

You may even get discounted prices because some guests may opt to spend the night and drive back in the morning. Just remember that some guests may not be able to attend a wedding that is far away, so that is also something to consider (no your wedding is not just about you!).

A Honeymoon Is Just A Fancy Name For A Holiday

That’s right, there is nothing really unique about a honeymoon if you think about it logically. Except for the fact that it’s normally just a trip for two and that romantic activities are the norm. But what that means is that every budget travel guide you’ve ever read will apply to budgeting for your honeymoon. Vacation rentals, alternative airports, cheaper airlines, using any travel points you may have, using travel sites, etc. all apply to saving on a honeymoon as well. The only difference is that if you mention this is going to be your honeymoon, there are some holiday providers that will comp a few extras. This could be a room upgrade, a slightly cheaper fee, free champagne and chocolates and sometimes even a romantic meal in a fancy restaurant. Even local groceries, butchers and pubs are likely to help you celebrate in some way if you let them know you’re spending your first days as a married couple in their town.

Last Thoughts

And my final tip for honeymooners is to enjoy the trip. Whether you’ve delayed the honeymoon for any reason or you went straight from the reception to the airport, this vacation is a private celebration of the fact that you have chosen to spend the rest of your days with this one person.

Treasure every moment, do silly, soppy romantic things and take photos of everything. Wake up late, go to bed early, kiss each other whenever the urge takes you and hold hands all the time. Giggle together, laugh at everything you see and enjoy this time together. Marriage is not all fun and games, there are going to be times when you want to kill your significant other, times when you question your relationship and times that you wonder why the hell you got married. And sometimes the only thing that keeps you hanging on are the
honeymoon memories, so make them beautiful!

Monday, November 16, 2015

5 Kinds of Annoying People You Meet While Pregnant

Pregnancy is a long long road .... 10 months (40 weeks)! That's almost a whole year. And through this journey (33 weeks so far) I've met some pretty annoying types of people. Some pregnant women gripe about the belly toucher. I don't mind belly touchers. Maybe because my belly not huge, so no one really bothers with the touching lol.

But here are 5 kinds of people who have annoyed me so far.

The Cave woman

Oh, she's been through it all... natural child birth... no epidural... no painkillers. Maybe she had a home birth, hypno birth, or gave birth catching the baby with her one free hand as it popped out, while simultaneously cooking dinner with her other hand.

Which is fine, it is after all, her choice. But what is annoying is when the pro natural advocates get all judgy towards women who have had medical intervention, who got an epidural, who had csections, etc... as if these women's experience of childbirth is any less than their own, simply because they did not do it cavewoman style. For them, a birth experience has to be pro natural and vaginal... no matter whatttttttttt.

Even though, I personally do think that if medical advancements are there to add to the comfort of the process or especially to ensure the safety of your baby, then you're a fool not to make use of it. However, it is none of my business what other women choose, so I would never try to talk someone out of having a home birth etc. Similarly, it's not a cavewomen's place to tell another women that her birth experience is any less meaningful simply because she has had (or needed) medical intervention.

The Pro Breast Milk Advocate
oh yeah? Hmm.. ok. Humble much?
Now don't get me wrong. I do understand how breastmilk is better than formula in terms of antibodies. I aim to direct latch and breast feed my baby (more so because, I know I would hate washing bottles, and formula milk is so expensive, and breast feeding can help  burn loads of calories). But if I am unable to do so (after great efforts), then I will just use formula milk. I was a formula milk baby, I was born blue, and had to stay in hospital .... and I turned out FINE.

But the annoying people are those who feel every mother should breastfeed.. no matter whattttttttt.

I see that a lot in the mummy groups on Facebook. Like one woman would write a post asking other members for advice on weaning her baby. So people comment and say - oh when I weaned my son, I got a pill from the gynea to stop milk production. Someone else will say she used cabbage leaves to cut supply. Perhaps another will comment to say you should gradually cut down the number of feeds, to prevent engorgement. BUT there will always be at least one Nazi cow who will say - "Breast milk is best for baby... formula milk pales in comparison."

HELLO! You are missing the point here, the lady is asking about advice on weaning, not asking if breast milk or formula milk is better. One cannot breast feed a child to infinity okay. And I'm pretty sure the mummy who wants to wean her baby off breast milk, knows how great breast milk is. She is making an informed decision to wean and she has her reasons for wanting to do so. It is not for you to remind her how much better breast milk is. All she is asking is advice on how best to wean... if you don't know the answer, shut up. No need to comment about how great you are because you still breast feed despite blah blah...

You know, just last week, one mum was saying that she started supplementing her preemie with formula milk on the specialist's advice, as it would help with reflux because it's thicker than breast milk (this baby was a 28 weeker, so he was very premature and still in NICU), . Most members were encouraging her, and reassuring her that having to mix feed (by adding formula milk) is ok, and saying how well her baby has done so far. Then one person says:
This is a 28 week preemie leh! He didn't even make it to 3rd trimester and he was born already. I'm sure the doctors are not taking his nutrition lightly, and just suggesting formula milk on a whim and fancy. Yes you breastfeed, and you read a lot on google but you are no specialist. Formula milk is not poison man. So stop trying to talk mums out of using it when their baby needs it. Please get your head around that.

Then there are those mums who are over suppliers, and pump and pump and pump and hoard a whopping frozen milk stash. Which is fine... but don't you get how insensitive you are being by flaunting your over supply in those mummies FB groups by posting a picture of your freezer full of milk... and be all like - OMG look how much liquid gold I pumped today. Way too much for my little one.  While just a few posts below yours, there are women getting sad and desperate because their milk supply hasn't kicked in yet. These mummies FB groups exist for people to to support each other and seek advice from other mummies. Not for you to inflate your ego. (Seriously, how do you think a picture of your freezer bursting with milk is going to be beneficial to anyone?)

There are also some who make their breast milk into soaps and shower gels, bottle it up and give to their relatives and friends. Yes, breast milk is good for your skin.. but ... eeee.. yucks. I don't want to use your breast milk as my shower gel la.

The Pseudo Medical Fetal Medicine Specialist
Bahahaa... I have had enough of these 'specialists'. No medical back ground. No experience in the field of maternal fetal medicine or obstetrics... but like they've had a baby before, so it makes them specialists too.

Small belly... means your baby is too small. Even though I have friends who have huge bellies now, much larger than mine and their baby when scanned is measuring either the same as mine or smaller!

With regards to my placenta previa, oh boy, how these specialists have trivialized it... from telling me, nah you don't need a csection, your doctor wants it cos it's just convenient for him. (My placenta is completely over my cervix you know... if I labour, I will hemorrhage and my baby will be starved of oxygen because you cannot deliver the placenta first and then wait for the baby to come out after). So don't be so clever dispensing bullshit advice please.

There's also one friend who tried to get me to do Spinning Babies (this is for when your baby is not head down, you do this spinning exercise thing and get baby to go in the right position for birth, so not breech or transverse.)  But hello my dear specialist, placenta previa is not the same as just having the baby in the wrong position. In fact, my baby IS head down, and has been locked and ready in that position for many weeks now. My doctor was surprised when I mentioned that some idiot told me do spinning babies lol.  I'm not supposed to even do kegels or any exercise la, because the placenta being over the cervix is a very risky position for bleeds and abruption.

The I've Done it and I was Fine! type of mother
Why you so cautious???!!! I ate sashimi and raw oysters... and drank alcohol while pregnant and my baby turned out fine!

I avoid raw meat and raw seafood. I don't drink or smoke. Simply because I don't feel comfortable taking those risks. You can if you want to. But please don't act as if you deserve a medal for putting your baby through the most risks during pregnancy.

And because I'm still on modified bed rest... and my friends ask me out, but I can't go. There are some who say.. oh they were on bed rest too towards the end of their pregnancy.. but they still got up and went out shopping... and they were fine!!!

But they failed to see the difference between their bedrest and min... they were adviced to bedrest because they got too big like a whale, or had excruciating back aches so had to lie down more....  or their ankles swelled, so had to rest with feet up in bed more. Bed rest for the mother's comfort is NOT the same as being on bed rest for the baby's safety. Women who are on bed rest for complete previas do it to prevent a bleed, or to ensure that the baby gets enough oxygen and nutrients (because the position of the placenta over the cervix makes it work at a less optimum level, less blood flow to baby etc)... or for women who have even more serious conditions like incompetent cervix or Pre Eclampsia and need bed rest to prevent the baby from being born too prematurely.

The Lucky One
Ok, although I find this kind of pregnant woman mildly annoying.. it's through no fault of hers. I'm just envious that she has an uncomplicated and problem free pregnancy. I would also like to be out and about, and paint the nursery, and go shopping in actual physical shops... but because of my previa restrictions, I can't. But it's ok, I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel... not long more to go.  :)

Did you meet any annoying types of people while you were pregnant?? Also I hope as hell I don't become one of these types of annoying women later on.. and start posting pics of my freezer full of breast milk lol... Please tell me if I do. (I understand how some women feel it's an accomplishment la, because it's hard work, but not everyone is bothered about how much breast milk you can pump and hoard)!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Is the Secret Sister Gift Exchange Really a Hoax?? I don't think so.

So I just participated in the Secret Sister Gift Exchange.

I've seen it on my friends' walls on Facebook for the past couple of weeks.. but I never participated.... because bah... give one gift and receive 36 in return? Surely it's schemey!?

But my curiosity got the better of me today. And I joined in.

So how it works is... You join someone's gift exchange. You send out one gift to the receiver that is assigned to u. Then you get 6 of your friends to join the gift exchange. And these 6 people will get 6 of their own friends to join. Down the line, you get a turn to be the receiver of gift. And it ends up being 6X6 = 36 gifts.

Now,  I'm pretty sure some assholes will join this gift exchange to receive gifts... and yet never bother to send out that ONE gift to the person they were assigned to mail a gift to. I expect I would receive less than 36 gifts. Which is fine... 36 is A LOT anyway.

I guess it all boils down to the honesty of people participating in this.

I sent a gift to a girl called Josephine that was assigned to me. So she will at least receive one gift from this Secret Sister Gift Exchange. I refuse to believe that there are not more honest people out there. So she should be getting more than 1 gift.

In a couple of weeks, when all the gifts are due to come in... I will update you on how many gifts I received, and even share with you pic of the gifts. Should be interesting to find out how this Secret Sister gift thingy pans out.
And besides, it doesn't take a huge investment from me. Just a $10 gift to my secret recipient... who I don't even know in person. Even if I get no gifts in return because the 36 people who were assigned to gift me something all turned out to be dishonest... meh. It's their own karma.

There's many nay sayers on Facebook saying it's a hoax, or chain mail (erm. it's not a hoax or chain mail la. There are articles on blogs and websites saying... don't join this gift exchange hoaxy thing because you will not receive any gifts back! What nonsense... because... if you sent out a gift like you're supposed to... then SOMEBODY must be getting something. How can no one receive gifts?

And there are people who think it's risky because you have to give your address (so people who are assigned to be your secret Santa can mail the gift to you) . Like maybe got psycho out there. But Huh... U don't give address how ppl gonna get the gift to you?  I give people my address almost daily when I buy things from sites like Carousell la.

Eventually, it will fizzle out as the novelty wears off. And people will not be interested in joining. But for now, it seems like good fun.

I believe that all 6 friends of mine who joined my exchange, will be sending a gift to the girl (her name is Evelyn, btw) they were assigned to gift.

I admit I may not receive the 36 gifts in return 'ideal'... but there will be some gifts, and yes, my face will light up when I get them... because who doesn't like little surprises!)

I refuse to believe that all 36 people (who are friends of mine and friends of friends) can be so shit, over a small act of giving. I also don't feel that the people who join have any malicious intentions. Stay tuned... will update u 2 weeks from now okay! :)


Friday, October 30, 2015

Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy Cream

A month ago I blogged about all the Stretch Mark creams I was using.(Click here to read that post) Well, so far still okay, no stretchmarks on my belly and I'm a week shy of 8 months pregnant. They say, once you see your baby, you won't care about whatever stretch marks you have.... err... okay, but my rationale is ... if I can do whatever I can to prevent or make it less jia lat, then I will. It's just a matter of applying a cream/oil a couple of times a day, it's not a painstaking amount of effort (actually, I do it at least 3 times a day lol).
A couple of weeks ago, I added another tube of cream to my stash. It's from Mederma. It's priced around $35.80 (150g tube) and you can get it at pharmacies.

The difference between this one and all the others I've been trying is that it contains Hyaluronic acid. Now I know this ingredient works great for hydrating my face (I've been using Hada Labo, which has hyaluronic acid, on my face and swear by it)... so I am confident it's a vital ingredient in a stretchmark cream too. The cream locks in moisture and binds up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

Texture wise, it feels slightly lighter than my Shea Butter based creams, and muchhhhh lighter than the cocoa butter based creams. Absorbs very well, without a greasy feeling. I can put my clothes on immediately after application.

I will pack this one in my hospital bag too, because it's breastfeeding safe. Made from natural and safe ingredients. So it will be convenient to use while starting to nurse at hospital, rather than have to pack a belly butter and a boob cream separately.

If you're only going to invest in one cream during your pregnancy instead of alternating between 5 different types, then I would suggest getting this Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy Cream, because of the effective ingredients, the pleasant lightweight nature of the cream, the price is comparatively ok too (mid range), and it's an all rounder (can use on your boobs, and can continue using while breast feeding).