26.12.14

Happy Holidays!


Here's wishing you all happy holidays! I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas this year - the massive present and party planning leading up to the festivities, precious time spent with family and friends, the look of glee (especially amongst the 'lil ones) when everybody opened their presents, and all that delicious food and over eating. I've been nursing a flu and a bad throat since Christmas eve, but ain't no germs gonna get me down during Christmas! 

The combination of the Christmas spirit and the year coming to a close always leaves me in a reflective mood and I am reminded of what's important; to have a grateful heart and be thankful for all the wonderful people who surround me. 

I hope all of you had a wonderful and meaningful Christmas. It's the season of faith, hope and love, so spread love to those who may need it! I'll be spending the next couple of days mulling over my New Year's resolutions and setting goals in pursuit of my dreams. More on that to share soon.

On a side note, I think some of you are aware of the current controversy happening right now in the blogosphere. As someone who's had the experience of working with several artiste management companies over the last decade, I can vouch with all honesty that Gushcloud has been fair, honest, and transparent in our relationship. They conduct their business professionally and sincerely. My experience with them has been nothing but great. Gushcloud believes in open communication and transparency. All these positive traits and more,  is what makes me a proud member of the Gushcloud community.

My heart goes out to the entire team who had to spend this Christmas season managing this ill timed inconvenience. Christmas is the time for love, joy and giving...  kudos to the team for handling all the negativity that's been hurled at them. 

The Gushcloud team is one of the most hardworking groups of people that I've come to work with. The team has always been focused on bettering themselves and fostering an online community based on positivity.  It might be a part of human nature to think the worst of others, in fact, it most probably is easier to think the worst of others, instead of seeing the good that people do. I really do hope that public opinion will not be so swayed so easily by a single, biased source. I find it heartbreaking that such unprovoked hostility is supported by such blind hatred. The blind hatred of people who choose to believe manipulated data, unfounded evidence and unkind words. 

My personal testimony might not mean very much to you, but I believe that the truth will unfold with time. I'd just like to leave you with this quote that I've heard some years back;

 "It is easier to destroy than to create, it is easier to sow hate than to foster love. It is easier to judge than it is to seek the truth." 


One of my favourite pictures taken with the Gushcloud family in Boracay last year. 
  
-xoxo-



12.12.14

The amazing LAC Taut® 16-day Transformation


They say that when you hit 30 and your body starts going downhill. Your health will start showing subtle signs of ageing and taking care of yourself will mean finding a balance between stress and healthy living habits. I've never quite thought about that when I was in my 20's and used to probably scoff at that, thinking that my body will probably have some super powers to maintain and keep my youth forever. Now that I'm in my 30's, I take those thoughts and words all back. I'm sad to say that my memory is not as good as before - I've never used to need to make lists or write down scheduled appointments. On occasions that I don't enter appointments into my calendar, I  receive texts that read, 'I'm here. Where are you?' and completely panic simply because, I forgot. That of course will set me off like a crazy lunatic rushing to get ready in all of 5 minutes. I usually take at least 30 minutes and I'll be out of the house looking like a crazed wreck, waving my hands crazily in my desperation to try and hail a cab to rush to my appointment. Trust me, it's not a pretty sight. 


I've read that as we get older, the number of nerve cells in the brain decreases. We start with around 100 billion, but in our 20s this number starts to decline. By 40, we could be losing up to 10,000 per day, affecting memory, co-ordination and brain function. Right. I'm not looking forward to that at all! 

So, besides the age taking a toll on my brain and memory retention abilities, the next most obvious change that I've noticed on myself is my skin. Having suffered from sensitive and blemish prone skin for most of my life, I've always been religious with skincare and taking care of my skin. Complicated skincare routines and slapping on masks a few times a week on my face are routines etched into my daily life. Despite my being so disciplined, I've noticed that my skin, especially those around my eyes have become less taut. A deep line has formed above my eye socket making it look like I've got deep-set eyes - pretty on some days, but I think I just look older on most days. My cheeks are not set as high as they used to be - I used to get compliments on how pretty and high my cheekbones were. Yep, as you'd expect, those compliments are now a distant memory and I don't hear them anymore. The most worrying of all besides the cheeks not sitting as high, is my skin being less taut and giving way to gravity. I try and fight it as hard as I can, but I see a hint of double-chin (gasp!!) and saggy cheeks that hang off my face and goes beyond my face bone structure (god forbid!!). Wrinkles of course, are having a heyday on my face. The most obvious merry makers are the wrinkles and crow's feet around my eyes and boy, do they show up when I laugh or smile. The crows feet at the end of the eyes used to be called cute smile/laugh lines. Now, they're just called crow's feet. 

Research shows that your skin starts to age naturally in your mid-20's. As get get older, production of collagen - the protein that acts as scaffolding to the skin - slows, and elastin, the substance that enables skin to snap back into place, has less spring and can even break. Dead skin cells don't shed as quickly and turnover of new skin cells may decrease slightly. This causes fine wrinkles and thin, transparent skin. 

Hooray! Cheers to being 3-0! Haha. Alright, don't get me wrong. I am enjoying my time being 30-something (figured I'd better have the time of my life before I hit 4-0 and more goes downhill). Being a petite Asian, I'm also lucky to possibly have the signs of ageing show up less. People still tell me that I don't look my age - thank you!!. But you know that we are always our worst and harshest critics. We prod and examine ourselves under the microscope and set alarm bells ringing at every small change. I sink into a mild depression every time I spot a new wrinkle. Okay, kidding. 


The good thing is that there is so much help available in the market now for you to preserve your youth and defy the ageing process. I was recently introduced to GNC's LAC Taut® 16-day Transformation Kit (Retail price: $188 / total worth $249.40). The kit contains:



- 16 x 50ml of LAC Taut® Collagen Drink plus Placenta

- 5 x LAC Taut® Collagen Infusion Mask




About  LAC Taut® Collagen Drink plus Placenta
Each bottle of this collagen drink contains 13,000mg of premium collagen from red snapper and other age-defying nutrients. The collagen strengthens your skin and improves skin's elasticity for youthful, clear skin. It visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and sagging skin is lifted and tightened. The placenta helps rejuvenate ageing tissues and enhances the skin renewal process. The drink also contains DNA, Hyaluronic Acid, CoQ10, Ceramide and Vitamin C and E for enhanced skin hydration, elasticity and luminosity. 




About LAC Taut® Collagen Infusion Mask
This facial mask is infused with concentrated premium collagen-enriched essence to firm hydrate and brighten your complexion in 7-10 minutes. This intensive mask smoothens deep and fine lines, infuses skin with moisture and lightens stubborn skin discolouration and dull skin. It also contains antioxidant ingredients to target dark spots and wrinkles caused by ageing and environmental pollution.

Direction for the transformation kit: 

Drink a bottle of LAC Taut® Collagen Drink daily, preferably before bedtime for 16 days. Use at least five pieces of LAC Taut® mask during these 16 days for a powerful synergistic effect.

After 16 days, take 1 bottle of LAC Taut® Collagen Drink, preferably before bedtime, at least 3-4 times a week as a health supplement and for maintenance. Use the LAC Taut® Collagen Mask at least 2-3 times a week for best results.


Strengthen skin, improve skin's elasticity, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, tighten and lift sagging skin, rejuvenate ageing tissues and enhance skin renewal process?! Imagine my glee when I read up and found out more about the kit.


I couldn't wait to start. I religiously followed the instructions and drank the collagen drink for 16 days in a row and used the facial mask for about 15minutes each time every 2-3 days.

This is my before/after documentation.

Full-face Before:

Full-face After:
I tried to keep lighting conditions and angles as close as possible for the before and after shots with no makeup and filtering of course. The most drastic difference that surprised me after 16 days of the LAC Taut® 16-day Transformation Kit was that my face looked sharper and it was more V-shaped. Notice in the before picture that there is some flesh hanging off my cheeks (especially on the right side of my face / left side of the image)? It's gone in the after picture! Even my friends around me commented that my face looked sharper and asked if I've lost weight. Trust me, I haven't lost any weight. 

Other differences I noticed were my face looking generally brighter, the darkness below my eyes lightened some and my skin generally looked more even-toned overall. I've also got combination skin where the skin on my cheeks tend to get dryer than the rest of my face. Guess what? I've had less of this dry skin issue now that I've completed the 16 day transformation. My eyes may be playing tricks on me, but doesn't my skin look 'tighter' in the after picture too? I've definitely noticed that I look less tired and my skin less dull without makeup. I've even felt confident enough to step out of the house without makeup on a few occasions. Haha. Check out the close-ups on my eye area below. I've been most worried about the fine lines below and around my eyes. 

Close-up of my eye Before picture:

 Close-up of my eye After picture:

The most obvious difference I noticed as you can see from the both pictures is that the fine lines below my eyes were lesser and less obvious than before I started the 16-day transformation with LAC Taut® 16-day Transformation Kit! I've also always had this strange streak of dark patch below my eyes (as seen in the before picture) that I've always had to conceal and the dark patch lightened significantly after 16 days. 

Wow. I was definitely amazed by the results after just 16 days. I'm so excited to continue with the drinks and masks. I'm cutting the regularity to 3-4 times a week for the drink now for maintenance and  fingers crossed, even more results. If you are looking to achieve brighter, more hydrated skin and to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation, I'd definitely recommend this LAC Taut® 16-day Transformation Kit. Start today and you'll still be in time for Christmas! :) 

Even more exciting news for my readers: 

Share your experience from the LAC Taut® 16-day Transformation Kit in a video with LAC Taut® on their Facebook (www.facebook.com/LACTaut) and you may stand a chance to win a year's supply! Go to LAC.com.sg/TryTaut for more details of this contest and watch videos of real Taut users. Terms and conditions apply! Good luck! I am sooooo tempted to join the giveaway too. 

-xoxo-

11.12.14

Road trip day 01: Phillip Island



The first day of our road trip took us to Phillip Island. We left Melbourne behind schedule - as usual because we tend to be so chill and oh-so-slow (haha) - and reached Phillip Island around mid-afternoon. We were going to spend a night there and I had a couple of day activity options for us. The evening was reserved for the Penguin Parade, a must-visit at Phillip Island. I had planned to either visit the Koala Conservation Centre and tree top boardwalks or go to Churchill Island Heritage Farm for some farming activities like sheep shearing demonstration, cow milking, etc. Because we were late in getting into Phillip Island, we had missed most of the farming activities so we decided to head for the Koala Conservation Centre. 

We had a wonderful time at the Koala Conservation Centre cooing over how adorable the koalas looked just hanging and chilling on the gum trees, walking along the nature trail trying to spot as many animals as we could - we only managed to spot kangaroos, making monkey faces and showing all sorta bad signs for silly pictures (we really never do grow up!) and trying to get serious with #OOTD shots. I was wearing a hat from ASOS, jacket from Zara, shorts from Wardrobe Theory and boots from Topshop. Can you spot the koala in my picture above? I know the kangaroo picture is pretty obvious. 

Because we didn't manage to go to the farm, I can't compare which activity is better if you only had 1 day to spend on Phillip Island, but you can cover the Koala Conservation Centre pretty quickly if you're not so into taking pictures. So, you can probably head there first if you get into the island early and then go to the farm for all the activities. The farm activities only start from 2pm. 

We checked into our bed and breakfast after hanging with the koalas and I still cannot stop gushing about our accommodation choice. I was already pretty excited before we got there because I had researched before and the pictures of the place looked amazing on the website. It was not until I got there that I felt like I had literally died and gone to heaven. I only wish I took more pictures of the studio en-suite room that we got but I was too excited about everything to remember to take pictures. This b&b called Kitty Miller Bay fits only 2 people and it's like a mini house that is an extension of the main house. It's got a small pantry area, huge bathroom, comfortable bed and ceiling to floor glass doors that overlook the most amazing view of the vast fields and blue ocean. My pictures from above don't even do the place justice. I wish we had more time at the b&b and I would go back in a heartbeat if I were to head to Melbourne again. Here's the link to check the place out: http://www.kittymillerbaybedandbreakfast.com.au .

We had to peel ourselves from the beautiful b&b to head for the Penguin Parade before we missed the whole show. I'm glad we made it on time because again, we had a wonderful time watching the tiniest penguins head onto shore - so cute to see them 'lil creatures pop out from the waters and cross the sandy beach to their burrow homes. They swim across the ocean to another island for food every day - honestly I don't know how their tiny bodies do it because how tiring is it to swim in the ocean with the strong current and waves?! - and return with food every evening to feed their babies. They travel in groups to guard against enemies like eagles and big birds swooping overhead and it's so incredibly cute to watch them wait for one another to reach the sand and then totter quickly in groups towards the grassy patch to look for their homes. I have no idea again how they find their burrow...there are no proper roads or trails for them and there are SO many burrows littered everywhere! 

We were in luck that it was chick rearing season so we could watch and observe so many of these little penguins return to their nests to their penguin babies. So many of these babies came out of their nests waiting impatiently for their moms to get home with food. They were sooooo cute I wish I could touch them and maybe even bring a couple home. A word of warning that it gets incredibly cold at the Penguin Parade. It generally is quite cold at Phillip Island but you need to really cover up with a thick jacket and bring a scarf even at the penguin area. It's outdoors and the chilly winds are really strong. I was freezing there! 

Jon and I got up really early the next day to try and catch the sunrise...but guess what, the rain rained on our parade!! Haha...and then we went back to bed, and of course, woke up too late. Argh!! We left Phillip Island after exploring the area around our B&B and taking (more) pictures and OOTD shots with me in Wardrobe Theory's Bloom In Love dress. 

As you can see from the above picture, I lugged my entire set of IDS Clinic skincare products everywhere I went. My skin had just cleared up awhile before and I was not taking any chances. It could be due to me religiously slapping on all that products and the 4-Step Hydro Therapeutics Treatment that I did just before I left, but my skin stayed clear and bright throughout the trip, making me one happy girl. A little more about the treatment that I've been raving about to all my friends -it really helps get rid of those annoying small white/blackheads that stay on your face forever! Step 1 involves a water microdermabrasion with a Hydrafacial equipment to get rid of dead skin cells. Then, ultrasound is combined with a skin scubber to remove those nasty black/white heads. Some minor extraction is involved in this step for stubborn zits. After all the nasty stuff is removed from your face, a combination of multi-vitamins and whitening serum is penetrated into your skin with Iontophoresis technology. Finally, a mask will be used, depending on skin type to seal in all the goodness. A whitening mask was used on me and the results after the 4 steps was super glowy and overall radiant skin that lasts and lasts. Doesn't it all sound amazing? You've got to try and witness the results yourself. I can't wait to go for my next treatment! 

More on road trip day 02 in the next post! 

-xoxo-

1.12.14

Highlights from the Great Ocean Road

Hello everybody! I am back! If you're following along my Instagram, you'd have known that I was in Melbourne with my love last week and it was beyond amazing. I've left my heart in Melbourne, and am feeling a little lost now that I'm back. I texted my dad that I was so sad to be back and he dispensed the good 'ol wise, cliche saying of...'all good things need to come to an end.' What a bummer. Haha. 

The highlight of the trip was definitely the road trip along the Great Ocean Road. I'm usually a city kinda girl and it was my first time doing a road trip. So glad that we did it! There were so many amazing 'firsts' throughout the 4 days that we were on the roads. I spent quite a lot of time before we left to plan for the route, where to stay and options on what to do along the way. The itinerary looked like this: 

Day 1: 
Melbourne to Phillip Island

Day 2: 
Phillip Island to Mornington Peninsula to Aireys Inlet (via car ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff) 

Day 3:  
Aireys Inlet to Lorne to Apollo Bay

Day 4: 
Apollo Bay to Twelve Apostles and back to Melbourne

Major highlights along the way: 

Our bed & breakfast at Phillip Island. It was my first time staying at a B&B and this was a complete stunner. The room was a separate studio from the main house and the ceiling to floor glass doors provided an amazing view of the ocean. I didn't want to leave the next day. 

Amazing food at a pub at Aireys Inlet. Everything was closed by the time we got in to Aireys Inlet so our host at the B&B pointed us to the pub. We weren't expecting much from pub food and just wanted to fill our tummies for the night but were completely blown away when our food was served. Best pasta and pork ribs we've ever had.

 
This picture is not mine, but I saw a koala chilling on the side of the Great Ocean Road as we were making our way to Apollo Bay. We couldn't stop in time for a picture and it looked like there were people about to help him back to where he belongs, so we just admired his cuteness from the car as we drove past. We also saw wild kangaroos along the way and one guy was hanging outside out B&B at Phillip Island! But they hop away really quick once they hear you, so I didn't get a chance to get up close to them at all. It was still amazing spotting them from afar though. Koalas and kangaroos are so cute! 

Climbing the rocks at Erskine Falls. We tried as much as possible at all our stops to go beyond the tourist look outs and explore slightly more unchartered areas, something different. It was all so worth it. We managed to get closer to the attractions and were rewarded by even more stunning views.



The breathtaking scenery along the way. Morning, noon or night, it was so picturesque everywhere. It was clear blue skies, sprawling wide open spaces, rolling hills or deep blue oceans everywhere we went; with every option equally wonderful. It left the city girl in me so awestruck and I was constantly going, 'WOW'. 

Last but not least, the ring. You may have seen this post on Instagram already: "He woke me up while I was sleeping on our road trip and made me get out of the car. That's when he got down on one knee and said, 'I've made you wait too long for this'...and put this ring on my finger. :)" Definitely the cherry on top of an already very amazing road trip. 

This road trip is definitely going into the memory book to be stored forever. I want to remember every single detail and I'll be blogging about our daily adventures in the upcoming posts. 

If you've got unique personal experiences overseas too, why not share it with @TravelMadeDifferent! The team has an ongoing instagram contest to celebrate all travel experiences 'Same Same But Different' (#SSBD). You may have ventured pass your comfort zone and embarked on a camping trip, even though you're a city girl at heart (like me!). Or you may have decided to be extra adventurous in filling your tummy by trying out exotic local food like ballot or fried maggots. We want to hear what made your travel different. And just by sharing, 40 lucky winners with great pictures and captions stand to win a $100 shopping voucher! 

Here's how to take part: 

1) Follow @TravelMadeDifferent on Instagram
2) Post a photo/video on Instagram of your 'Same Same But Different' travel experiences
3) Write an awesome caption about your photo/video and include these hashtags:
#TravelMadeDifferent  #SSBD #country

Contest ends 31st December 2014, so do send in your entries before then. I'll go look! Oh, and don't forget that your Instagram account needs to be public for your post to be seen.

-xoxo-