Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My sample Store Goodie Bag

I could not attend Sample Store's Editors' Lunch last Saturday because I have to be on modified bedrest for quite a while. The lunch at Full of Crab (East Coast) was the first get-together for all Sample Store beauty Editors.
Was quite disappointed I could not attend, I've been a Sample Store member for many many years now (always love claiming new freebie samples like it's an addiction!), and I've been on board as a beauty editor for at least the last 2 years. So it's very close to my heart.

I heard my fellow editors had a great seafood feast! Plus there was lucky draw prizes, and they all got to print their pictures instantly with the FOMO Digital instant photo booth printing service. 
Although I missed out on the fun, they did send me the goodie bag from the generous sponsors. Yayyy!
When I opened my package, the first thing I noticed was the unmistakable beautiful fragrance of Ma Cherie. Even when I shop at Watsons, I will always get a whiff of this whenever I'm close by to the Ma Cherie shelf! I love it.

There's 2 rinse out treatments for us to try. A Moisture treatment and an Air Feel treatment. I've used the Perfect shower mist before, I love to spritz it on my hair before I leave the house and the beautiful Ma Cherie fragrance lingers on me. 

Another popular and well loved hair brand that's in this goodie bag is Tsukaki. They have a range for Damage Care (white), Extra Moist (red) and Volume (pink). I have never tried the Volume range before. It's meant for flat hair and oily scalp (that's me!) and it's silicon free.
From ZA, there's the Killer Volume Curl Mascara. It has a curved brush which suits Asian eyelashes (short). So it's able to get right in to the corners of the eyes to coat the shortest lashes too. Plus this formula nourishes damaged hair.
The True White Ex Perfect Protector is a sunscreen for face. There's UV cut off  99%, Oil Control, anti pollutant & brightening effect on skin. The True White Ex Power Block is for  face and body. This formula is water resistant and it hydrates. For both these sunscreens, the protection is SPF50+ PA ++++.
I'm very pleased with the Majolica Majorca liquid eyeliner. It's in a pen form. The flow is good and smooth. (Must shake well before using, so the liquid is nice and dark)
There's a very fine tip for precision, and you can angle to the flat side for broader lines.

Tested both the MJ eyeliner and the ZA mascara out. Love the dark, defined and dense lines of this eyeliner. And the ZA Killer Volume Mascara's brush allows my eyelashes to have a very generous layer of mascara with just one coat.
Quite a few years ago (at least 6 years), when I was on a very tight budget and was looking for a skin care range, I browsed through the Watsons shelves. I needed something affordable but also good for my skin because my skin used to be a big headache (dehydrated, easily dried out, plus sensitive). That's when I came across this brand Aqualabel.
I got excited because it is developed by Shiseido. And that's a high end, and very reputable Japanese brand I trusted.  It didn't disappoint me, and I ended up repurchasing this range many times. It's very affordable yet the quality surpasses my expectations.
I've since switched to other brands of skincare, because since I started blogging, I'm always reviewing and liking new stuff. But it's such a joy to re visit this familiar brand again. I'm sure I will enjoy using these.
BioNike (pronounced as bee-o-nee-kay) is a brand that has face, hair and body care products. Including products for slimming, bust firming and even eczema care. If I'm not wrong, I think it's been around since the 1930s? Certainly has stood the test of time.
In my goodie bag, there the BioNike Defence Tolerance 100  which is a protective base cream. Its a daily treatment that protects the natural defences of the skin and prevents skin dryness. It contains Glucan/L-Carnosine patented association which helps counter free radicals. Suits all skin types, even the most sensitive and intolerant ones.  

Sampar is French brand of skin care for urban active woman. I've always found this brand lavish and indulgent. A real treat for your skin. Love that I received their  Skin quenching mist. Great for use on the go to refresh a dull complexion. But I keep it on my vanity table to give added moisture to my face before starting make up. And it's also great to spritz a light later on after finishing your make up because I find that it helps to set my make up, give a dewy finish.

Senka is a brand I've never had the opportunity to try, but I have heard raves about their Speedy Perfect Whip. It is an instant mousse cleanser. There's no need to lather up because when you press on this pump bottle, it dispenses a thick creamy foam. This is great because I always feel that a thick foam gives you a better, cleaner cleanse. Plus I've long known that friction is bad for your skin (makes it sage and age faster)! So using a thick creamy foam helps minimize friction on your skin every time you wash your face (which is at least twice a day... so that really adds up).

For make up removal wipes, they have the Perfect Puff.3-layer makeup remover puff with in-built cushion effect to gently remove makeup. I can't wait to test out his cushiony effect. I like make up wipes which are very dense with product (not the dry dry type), so I will especially enjoy these!

Thank you Sample Store for always pulling together the best brands in Singapore!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pregnancy Update - Placenta Previa

I was really enjoying the second trimester...Like seriously loving it.... despite the vomiting, the scary round ligament pains... I was no longer a high risk pregnancy, and was off bedrest... all these minor niggles that normal pregnant women complain about all the time.. fuck. That's all nothing!

I was happy my baby was safe... so what if I puked after every meal or have to pee 5 times a night. After the first trimester I've been through, those typical pregnancy symptoms were very welcomed.

I think a lot of mothers who have had high risk pregnancies will agree with me.

Unfortunately though, my joy was short lived. At least I got to enjoy being worry free and happily pregnant for 2 months in this second trimester. And oh boy was it fabulous!!!! Some of the best weeks of my life!

But at my fetal anomaly scan, I find out my placenta is covering my cervix completely. Facts are, a low lying placenta at a 20week scan is common (like 1 in 3 will get that) and it will move up and out of the way as the pregnancy progresses, so 95% of them will be a non issue by the time baby is due. However, mine isn't just a low lying placenta, it's actually covering the whole of the OS (cervix/birth canal).

Doctor said that with that degree of coverage, it will never move away enough to allow the baby to pass through. So it's a C-section for me (which is fine)... the only worry is, having a bleed before week 36 because of the placenta previa.. in which case I would have to stay in hospital, to control the bleeding, monitor the baby's growth until it's the safest time to deliver her.

I've looked at the forums, and some mothers have to stay on hospital bed rest for weeks. But even then... in that kind of situation, the longer she can stay resting the better! Because you don't want your baby out too prematurely.

So prayers for me, that we will make it to week 36 with no issues. Then hopefully hold out until week 37 (or more?) That's the best case scenario. It's looking like I'll have a December baby though, no longer a 2016 baby. (I would prefer 2016... but don't want to risk my life or the baby's life for that)
For now, I'm just on modified bedrest, so all the work that I can do from home, I'll continue, but all my other clients which require me to be mobile, or at events, I'm sorry I cancelled all those engagements. There were a couple of pregnant momma contests I wanted to join.. and I wanted to do a maternity shoot with my friend who is also pregnant... but I have to scrap all those plans now. So I won't have maternity pics, only the weekly bump shots I take at home, and will continue to take weekly for as long as I'm not on strict bed rest.

I really appreciate the concern & support from my friends... but before you think it's good to give me your advice, please google Grade 4 Placenta Previa risks and find out about it. It's already sucky enough I have to go through this... but it stinks even more when people who know nuts about this then pull advice out of their arse and dish it to me.

I've had things like-
"This is common. You're worrying over nothing!"      (My answer: oh okay, gee thanks)

"Huh? Why you want to Csect so early? Csect is best done in week 39, you know."  (My answer: Oh yes, I purposely want to deprive my child of precious weeks in gestation. And my doctor is a quack)

"What would women 1000 years ago have done?"  (My answer: erm... they would have bled to death at childbirth)

And here's a kicker... David's friend's wife said to him that "it's just a scan and the baby moves around with the placenta anyway, so the placenta will float around and be at a different place at the next scan."    (My answer: erm... no. the placenta doesn't float around, it's anchored to the uterine wall with some major blood vessels. It will move upwards together with the wall of the uterus as the uterus stretches, but with a complete previa lying over the cervix, chance of that happening is slim)

Great, so now my husband believes Dr Zhivago , and doesn't see the seriousness of this condition. It's just me worrying over nothing....

That's okay, people can think what they want. I'll just do whatever is in my capacity to prevent a bleed from happening too early, so that I can push the C-section date as far back as possible. So my baby will be safe.

The good things to be thankful for, the DNA test I took ages ago cleared her of downs and other trisomy defects. This last scan checked all her vital organs, and her size, and she is perfect. Father, I come to you in Jesus' name and through the blood of Jesus Christ to ask you to protect and bless the baby in my womb.  I condemn every tongue that has risen against me and my baby, in accordance with your word.  Thank you Father, that every good and perfect gift comes from you.
Pic of me out and about, blissfully enjoying being pregnant... unaware that I was going to get the shit news at the next scan!
It sucks to go back to a less active lifestyle, and possibly strict bed rest again. My first trimester was rough because of a huge subchorionic clot, but even though that was a bad one and very risky, we healed really quickly (in 5 weeks). This is just a hurdle, and this too shall pass.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

One of Those Things They Don't Warn You About Pregnancy

Braxton Hicks contractions can start damn early.

In my mind, I always thought those false labour contractions (also known as Braxon Hicks) only happened to women close to their due date... so much so that they rush to the hospital thinking they  are in labour. Only to be told go home you're drunk you're not in labour.

Apparently, Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions that start about 6 weeks into your pregnancy, although you won't be able to feel them that early because your baby and uterus are still very small at that point. You usually start feeling them around 20 weeks into your pregnancy. And they start getting more frequent and stronger closer to your due date.

It's your uterus preparing for labour. Like a test run. But, unlike actual labour contractions Braxton Hicks doesn't hurt.

Mine didn't hurt, and it only lasted a few seconds. It woke me up in the middle of the night because my belly tensed up like mad, the muscles contracted, so hard. And even trembled. WTF. No one warned me about this! I got scared la!

I Googled and realized it was Braxton Hicks.

For some people, the muscle spasms don't get strong enough for them to get Braxton Hicks though. Lucky them. It's a bit scary. Maybe in a few weeks, after I get used to it, it won't be so scary anymore. Like Round Ligament pains.

Bloody hell, I first felt sharp stabbing pains when I was at the airport leaving for Phuket a couple weeks ago. It stopped me in my tracks. I even thought, shit man, I can't go. Don't want to risk it. Thankfully, after sitting down for a few minutes, the pains subsided, and I never had them again. But if they come again, I'll know not to panic lol.

Did you start getting Braxton Hicks in the middle of your second trimester too?

Ok here's a quick bump shot. This pic taken yesterday morning. Bump is sticking out.

But when I have clothes on people don't think I'm pregnant. Just fat looking! I just took another pic for you this morning with the same tank top pulled down so you can see how non pregnant I look with my clothes on. This is after I ate Roti Prata which David brought home for me for breakfast some more!
Excuse the ugly shorts, it's my PJ bottoms lol

I think my baby can hear outside sounds already! Yesterday we were walking down Orchard Road, and then when at the Tangs to Lucky Plaza crossing, my baby was startled when she heard the loud whistle, the insides of my belly moved suddenly. (The annoying loud whistle the security guard at that crossing keep blowing). But now, thinking back... maybe that was the start of my Braxton Hicks, and not the baby making a sudden movement. (I can't feel a lot of movement yet, just randomly sometimes when I'm sitting down, I will feel some bubbles popping in my belly, that kind of sensation. They say if it's the first baby, the mother won't feel the movements until 20 weekish... so any day now I should feel the stronger unmistakable type movements). I don't know!

Oh ok one last thing. How the hell do pregnant people sleep at night? My bump is so small yet I have trouble breathing when I lay on my back. Previously, in my early pregnancy, I had trouble breathing like just on normal days walking about or standing, this solved itself when my bump started growing outwards recently, no more shortness of breath when I'm upright.

I was told to sleep on my left side, with a pillow between my knees... but it's so uncomfortable, feels like I'm breaking my back. And I still can't breathe, when I lie on my left side. I am more comfortable when I lay on my right side though (can breathe easily) so that's what I did last night... not sure if that triggered the Braxton Hicks which woke me up (or maybe they are not connected?).  Think I'll sleep sitting up tonight, don't want to have those muscles spasms in my belly again. It's scary   :(


Monday, August 03, 2015

I Just got BlackOut Sandals

They had so many designs and colours, but of course I chose baby pink!

BlackOut sandals are high quality and affordable sandals from Bangkok, Thailand. They are trendy casual footwear, for both men and women (and kids too). And now you can get them in Singapore.
The soles are really grippy on wet floor, and there's no squeaky sound when sandals are wet. It's made of heavy duty rubber, so it's very durable (the threads on the soles will not go botak easily, my friend has been using his for a year already, and it's still good). Easy to wash and the pretty colours won't fade.

Comfy to wear everyday, when I'm dressed down... and the pretty pink will go well with most of my maternity dresses too. :)

And I like to be all matchy matchy with my husband haha. When he first put them on, he was like "wow these are comfy!" and when I told him the price - only $19.90 for his design, mine were $22.90 and their promo now is any 2 pairs for $35... he was very impressed. Great value since this quality sandals will last us a very long time and they look great.

Bangkok Invaders is the distributor for BackOut Sandals in Singapore so you can get yours directly from them.

Scape Marketplace - Every Saturday (12noon to 10pm).
Pop up booths (venues updated via instagram @Bangkok_invaders )
You can also enquire or order online through their Instagram or Facebook account.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Free! SG50 Beauty Hampers :)

In the month of August, Sample Store will be launching an SG50 Campaign. They will be giving away exclusive beauty hampers worth $19.65 ... free!

Pop into Sample Store online, and pick your fav samples to be mailed to you (this costs $5.99 for mailing, and it's a flat fee, no other charges). Then you will get your chosen samples, as well as the beauty hamper pictured above too! My free beauty hamper has UUcare pads, a sheet face mask, full size Ponds cleanser, full size Lip balm, and a few sample sachets too.

It all comes in the pretty new SampleStore box :)

Enjoy your beauty treats and the long National Day weekend  ahead!

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Start of the Baby Bump

My bump finally appeared. hahaaa... on one hand I'm like yayyyyy finally. And on the other hand, I'm like oh shit so my stomach muscles were not as great as I expected bahahhaa, I thought my stomach muscles might have been able to hold the bump in till week 20 (5 months pregnant).
But nope, here's it making its appearance at 4 and half months.
My thighs are so thick siah, boobs and thighs got to this size within the first trimester actually (when I had 7kg weight gain). And now my stomach area does feel heavier (like when I try to turn in bed), just that it never popped outwards previously. (total gain is up to 10 kg now, don't know why so much... I'm not eating extra. I think cos my first trimester I was on strict bedrest for 5 weeks, and that caused me to gain that initial 7kg). I'm about halfway point now, no turning back anyway lol.

Those swim pics above were taken at the start of my vacation in Phuket, last week. And this pic was taken Wednesday on Rawai pier, so about 7 days after. OMG. It's popped out a lot more after a week (and I was active too, walking a lot while on holiday, so it's not like I'm suddenly getting bigger cos I'm lazy bastard).

But still if I wear baggy clothes, you can't tell I'm pregnant, unless I put my arms around my belly, otherwise my belly is lost in the fabric. I'm so wide, don't even dare put measuring tape around my waist since I got pregnant lol... I think it's true, girl babies = wide belly. Boy babies= stick out belly.