A review of 2017

Before we usher in the new year, I thought I should pen down some of the highlights of 2017.

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This is my IG’s #2017bestnine and I think it truly reflects some of the best moments for this year. One of the most memorable and one which I’m immensely grateful for is the salvation and baptism of my father. There is no greater joy than to see your loved ones and friends accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. I recalled very clearly how I was prompted to ask if he wanted to receive Jesus into his life as he rested on the ICU bed. He told me just moments before that, “I told God to save me because it’s so painful.” And I knew that I had to ask him that life-changing question. He’d never wanted to accept Jesus because he needed to perform his duty to pay respect to his deceased parents and well, he was very much rooted in his belief all those years. At the end of it, God must have worked in his heart. At his baptism, his testimony was read and I’m certain he’s assured of his salvation. It’s all by His grace, not by works so that no one could boast.

We had two family trips and I had one all-girls’ trip this year. I’m thankful that the trips were wonderful ones and that none of us fell sick during the holidays. I love the Perth (WA) trip because it was with the in-laws and that means help with the children! Haha… but I truly love the self-drive trip.

My eventual goal is to travel in a caravan and rough it out (when the kids are older). Couple trip? I don’t see that possibility until the kids are much bigger since help is not available.

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I managed to do a few runs this year and I think I’m slowly going back to what I love to do – running. I run at a slower pace now for sure but that doesn’t matter. I’m trying to regain what I’ve missed over the past few years. I hope to be more serious and consistent next year. We ended the year with F doing the kids’ dash and me participating in the SCSM’s ekiden category.  She’s definitely in the mood to run more now. 😉

This year, handling both kids has been better than 2016. The hubs and I regained our beauty sleep (sorta); at least I didn’t have to wake up every half an hour at night. We have had problems of course – tantrums, disobedience, stubbornness, etc – but we have to continue to work with them through their growing up years. Being a parent makes me a better person because through the process, I understand myself better, a very selfish person, and I learn to trust Him more and it’s truly by His grace that I survive EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s a lot of heartache in parenting but well, I’m reminded that I’m a WIP still, till I’m at my deathbed.

 

I’m slowly availing myself to serve. Since I’ve had kids, I dared not serve in church or in any capacity because I’m fearful of commitments and I’m not sure if I can handle anything more (especially serious stuff). There is a stage when I served till I encountered burnout and it had affected my fellowship with the Lord. I’m careful this time round, to hear from Him and to make sure I depend on Him rather than on my own strength. I’ve started to serve in the Chinese Sunday school, and to allow Him to work through me because teaching in Chinese is not my forte AT ALL! But again, if I’m using my own strength, then it’s all about me and not about Him. I’d let Him shine through my service.

 

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Towards the end of the year, I decided to embark on the business side of Mary Kay. I had run out of my skincare products and needed to purchase more. However, my account has ceased because of inactivity for some time and this time round, my friend/mentor/consultant, sensing my readiness, asked me if I wanted to know more of the business opportunity which I took up eventually. I’ve said again that after using the products for more than four years, I’m convinced of its effectiveness. I took some time to understand the business side of it and think I like the company’s or founder’s motto and I have seen this philosophy at work when I went for meetings.

img_1611There are people who shun direct selling or MLM but I’m fine as long as the products are good and I’m definitely okay with the company paying the consultants for their work rather than spending millions on a supermodel for advertising, marketing, rental fee and middlemen, whatever whatever. Obviously, I don’t have the correct terms (haha). I’ve seen many women being empowered through MK and it has truly lived out its belief – enriching women’s lives.

I do think it’s tough if you want to work and take care of the kids at the same time (I’m referring to a stay-at-home-working-mom). It’s a struggle. You basically can’t work as long as the kids’ eyes are open. I can’t bake (I had to turn down requests) and attending events (for blogging) is also difficult. I gave up baking for others completely this year and limit my blogging activities because I just can’t do much anymore. There is a high opportunity cost when I do the said activities.

At the end of the day, I want to be with my kids during the growing up phase. Anything that takes too much time away from them is a no-no. So MK works because it’s flexible and allows me to meet up with fellow moms (ME time!) and to help them find a product to address their skincare problems . I don’t want to earn lots but yet I need to continue to hone my skills and hopefully I can enrich my life and women’s lives.

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The year end holidays proved to be an eventful one. We had multiple playdates and outings and the children were kept busy and happy all the time. I’m thankful to have met a few moms online and their company was so precious to me. It’s truly a blessing to have found like-minded moms whom you could share deep thoughts with.

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During this period, we could do more sports with the children and because of that, Faith could finally swim (after 1.5 years of lessons) unassisted. By that I mean she could swim across the breadth of the pool on her own. She’s still learning to swim with the correct stroke but it’s heartening to see that she could swim now.

The girl has been practising more on her balance bike during the hols and when I saw that she could balance well, I suggested that we fit the pedals. The next day, she could ride the bicycle effortlessly! Now, I understand how a balance bike works in training the kid to ride a bike! I guess we really ought to be intentional about carving time for the little ones to practise their gross motor skills!

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As the year draws to a close and as we celebrate Christmas, I couldn’t help but thank the Lord for His presence in my life. He is the best and most perfect gift and He is all that we need.

有一件礼物,你收到没有,
眼睛看不到,你心会知道,
这一件礼物,心门外等候,
是为了你准备,别人不能收。

生命有限,时光也会走,
如果你不珍惜,机会难留,
礼物虽然好,如果你不要,
你怎么能够得到,
怎么能得到?

亲爱的朋友,你是否想到,
马槽的婴孩,是为你而来,
亲爱的朋友,你是否了解,
最好的礼物是人子主耶稣。

He is the reason for this season.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15

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A little update about this SAHM

What have I been up to lately?

Since my last post on changes that happened on the home front, I have been involving myself with new mothers and hoping that with my limited experience as a stay-at-home-mom, I could at least help others. It’s been a joy thus far. Being a first-year mom is tough. There are so many things to learn, to handle and the learning curve is really steep. Hearing them out and helping them with similar kind of issues made me think back to the time when I  was a new mom myself. Oh, the struggles! So real. But that phase will soon be over ya?

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Besides this, I have also decided to devote some of my ME time with Mary Kay (MK) whose skincare products I have used since 2013 and have much confidence in. I was introduced to Mary Kay when I won an online contest to attend a beauty workshop organised by a mom blogger who is a MK consultant. I was extremely happy when I won the contest because I could go out and meet fellow moms! It was a really great feeling because I have been staying at home for six months since giving birth to Faith and not meeting up with many people (my friends were all working). Can you understand that yearning to meet adults other than your husband and child?

I enjoyed the workshop very much. There was so much laughter and learning and because the consultant (who is now my mentor) is a mom herself, the things she shared struck a chord with me. Of course, I saw how the products worked just through that one workshop and came out feeling really good about myself. My spirit was lifted and after that I contacted her to try more of MK’s products.

I have been using MK products for four years now and am convinced that they work for me and now I would love to share them with others too.

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Upon coming back from the recent Taiwan trip, I went for a training that helped me understand the MK opportunity more. That aside, I think I’m happier meeting up with people and to ascertain if the MK products meet their needs, and not forgetting the workshops that I could attend. They are so fun and enriching. I like it that I step out of the workshops each time with a thankful heart and all ready to get back to my mommy duties. I’m all refreshed. Don’t believe? Try to attend one workshop and you will understand why.

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Thus far, I have had the opportunity to meet up with some fellow moms who are ready to try the MK skincare products. As SAHMs (especially), the tendency is that we would neglect taking care of ourselves but I believe we should make ourselves the priority because if our heart is right (with God) and full, we could give back to the family. Sometimes, it can start simply with feeling good about ourselves, that we look great and refreshed as we gaze into the mirror.

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This is me sharing with a fellow SAHM about the TimeWise range that I have used all these years. It doesn’t take long and at times, I bring my kids along because I want them to see me ‘at work’. Anyway, they could gain access to the toys in the house that I visit. Good for them!

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This is the TimeWise range and is the skincare promotion for this month (November). For the same price for the TimeWise Miracle Set, you could also get the Moisture Renewing Softener and the pouch as shown in the picture above.

So yup, I’m a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant now and if you want to have a chat with me about the awesome products, workshops and opportunity, you could reach me at lynneelee101@gmail.com.

It’s really about enriching women’s lives. You’ll see.

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Oh yes, I have also started on #bbg since getting out of the house for a workout can be quite tough at times. Working out at home is the way to go for now. It has almost become a routine. Yay! And if you see the two MK bottles – TimeWise Body Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream and TimeWise Body Targeted-Action Toning Lotion? They are to complement my workout and I have been using them since I gave birth to Dan. Good stuff!

😉

[Review] Mary Kay’s TimeWise Plus+ Regena-Firm skin care range

A few weeks ago, this bundle of goodies arrived at the doorstep.

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Of course, it didn’t fall from the sky. Florinda has kindly asked a group of mothers to try this range out and as I looked at my face in the mirror, I thought, “Why not?”

You see, I wasn’t that concerned about looking after my skin in my younger days. I was thinking since I had combination-to-oily skin type, I didn’t really need to apply moisturiser. On top of that, I was in the sun a lot since I enjoyed the outdoors. However, the need to apply sunblock didn’t really occur to me as I do love the ‘tanned’ look.20131019-090132.jpg

I guess I reap what I sow. My skin is all right, not fantastic of course. It’s a bit dull and has big pores. But what really makes me sad is the area around my eyes. I have already incurred crow’s feet in my late 20s and now because of a lack of sleep, the dark circles got worse. This is no laughing matter. I still remember when I was working (that was a few years back), colleagues would ask me if I had enough sleep because I looked perpetually tired. The eyes must have done it again. So, yes, I am ultra-concerned about this particular area.

This Mary Kay bundle includes Day and Night Treatment, Intensive Serum, Correcting Eye Cream and True Dimension Lipstick. As with all skincare products, consistency is key and for the purpose of this review and to inculcate a good habit, I decided that I should be disciplined and follow a religious skincare regime.

I actually wanted to shout out to the world that this set of products work by the second week. It is actually quite miraculous, I think. I’ll let the pictures below show you the results. These are unfiltered and I have not edited them.

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Before the use of the products, my lines around the eyes are rather deep. This is especially so when I smile or laugh. You can also see big pores on my cheeks and the skin is a bit dull and lacks firmness, you think?

By the first week of usage, the lines are minimised and the eye areas look more lifted. I also observe that the skin is firmer and more supple. The pictures speak volume. I am stoked. I believe I will be using this range and their other products from now on. It’s more economical than the ones I’m currently using and can produce more miracles and positive results! ;p

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Oh yes, another thing that I appreciate is their product design. You only need to squeeze out the amount that you need for the day and night treatment and this helps to preserve the remaining cream (no contamination!) and reduce wastage. Love the design of the packaging too. Looks classic and elegant!

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For reference’s sake, this is how you should apply the cream so that your skin can be lifted and restore youthful skin!

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Source: Mary Kay’s product leaflet

To find out more about this range, you can refer to this link.

Read other reviews about this range:
– Diana from The Domestic Goddess wannabe
– Wai Wai from Peipei.haohao
– Amie from Mamamie’s Thots

Alternatively, you can just drop Flo an email (she’s real friendly and funny!) to discover more for yourself!

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Disclaimer: I receive these products for review purposes. No other compensation is given. All opinions are mine. 

Food for the face

When Florinda asked the community of Mom bloggers if anyone would want to try some skincare products, I thought ‘why not?’.

She founded Style Essence which represents Mary Kay products and I have gone to her makeover session, bought some stuff and loving them. The products are not overly priced and work well. That makes me want to try their skincare products as well.

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I know good hydration and sleep will do the job of keeping the skin supple but I don’t think I can afford good, uninterrupted sleep when I become a mother. Go ask da man if you don’t believe. So, nowadays, I have dull skin and the worse are my eyes. I don’t know what had happened but it seems, the crow’s feet or wrinkles (whatever) got worse and more visible. HELP!

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I don’t know if these products from Mary Kay would help but let’s just try. We have quite a few items here which is worth $673:
– Plus+ Day Treatment SPF30
– Plus+ Night Treatment
– Plus+ Intensive Serum
– Plus+ Correcting Eye Cream
– True Dimension Lipstick

Today shall be the day! START!

Makeover workshop with Style Essence

I’ve got my wish fulfilled when I was informed that I have won a makeover workshop with Style Essence through a give-away via a mommy blogger. For a person who doesn’t wear makeup because 1) I don’t know how to; 2) my makeup kit has long expired; and 3) makeup melts on my face so I don’t bother, it proves to be a treat and I was looking forward to it. No more frumpy-looking housewife or mother! And it pays to enter give-aways since there is always a chance to win!

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The cosy learning area with loads of makeup kits

Florinda, the founder of Style Essence candidly went through some information on our body shapes, tips on dressing, skincare and makeup. So, I was told that I have an hourglass body shape which basically means my hip and bust line are almost of the same width and that my weight is evenly distributed. Cool colours work well on me too. Having such knowledge will help greatly in the choice of clothing style and makeup that I make.

Florinda also shared cleansing techniques and some skin care products with us and the one that I am most impressed with is the mask. We had it applied on one half of our face and see what was removed. Dirt! See the black spots on the cotton bud?

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Lastly, the makeup segment. I admit that I fumbled at this stage. Florinda showed us the right way to put on makeup, first on one of the participants, and then got every one of us to do hands-on. Oh my, it proved a bit too much for me. I think such endeavours really need lots of practices.

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So, this is me with some help from the expert.
Can you tell which side receives that aid?

Thank you for a fun session!

Thank you for a fun session!

So, in the end, I went home with some makeup goodies (can’t resist temptation). Now, I just need to apply what I have learnt and hopefully be more confident in using makeup. The husband wasn’t too impressed with the idea though but it does make me feel better. Call me vain but that’s what I am! ;p I wish I could remember a whole string of information from the workshop but I was too engrossed in the technical part that I forgot to take notes. If you are interested in a makeover workshop, do contact Florinda. She is really a terrific and humorous trainer.

By the way, Mary Kay whose products Style Essence uses, is doing a charity drive for Singapore Charity Cancer Foundation. More details can be found here.

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