October Blitz – Giveaway Week 2!

And we’re back with the second week of giveaway!

Thanks for the awesome response from last week’s giveaway. Isn’t it amazing how many small businesses there are out there?

I’ve got yet another pampering bundle for the ladies out there! Are you ready to see what you might win? Here you go!

PAMPERING WOMEN BUNDLE – Week 2

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#1:  A $50 voucher from Missy Stella Australia

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Yes, this is my own clothing shop, and I’ve had the pleasure of partnering with my friends back in Singapore to bring some Singapore-style Down Under! Shop from our range of gorgeous dresses, funky tops and versatile skirts!

#2: Classic Gold Earrings with Diamond Ice Dots from Style Dots Australia

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A brand new company that just launched in Australia a few weeks back.

I haven’t had the chance to try out the bling…but I am LOVING the concept. Basic, timeless pieces that you can jazz up and add your own spin and personality to, with “dots”? Sounds awesome! Well, you can kick start your Style Dots journey with this gorgeous piece, generously sponsored by Tina! Have you seen the stuff? What’s your favourite? My personal favourite (and something I am saving towards) will have to be this beautiful Classic Triple Necklace.

#3: Body Scrub from Senegence

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Give your body a well-deserved pamper with the SeneGence SeneDerm Body Scrub. Suitable for all skin types, this scrub is gentle yet effective enough, and helps to keep skin smooth for better moisture absorption.

This product is kindly sponsored by Jacinta, and she will be happy to share with you more about SeneGence’s range, including their waterproof, kiss-proof, smudge-proof LipSense that lasts and lasts and lasts! I just put an order in, cos it sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it!

 

 

#4: Younique 3D+ Mascara & Moodstruck Precision Pencil
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Yes! Naomi has generously sponsored not just one set for Week 1’s giveaway – she’s put up TWO of these Younique bundles! I am blown away by how many comments I read about people wanting to try out the awesome lash-extending va-va-va-voom mascara, and I am happy we’ll have another happy camper this week!

#5: Sample pack of Vanimelda‘s pack of 10 tea lights

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I am a huge lover of aromatherapy, and I’ve used Laura’s Vanimelda holistic soy melts – and love them! This is a great little sample pack to have a try of the various blends she offers. Their soy wax is free from GMO material, contains no paraffin and no additives and is kosher certified. Check out the gorgeous range of candles, accessories, oil burners – and these would be a special treat for Christmas! Plus, you will be supporting an Aussie and her family this Christmas!

Alright, now that you know the goodies, here’s the drill:

  • This giveaway is only for Australian residents only.
  • To win, simply comment on this blog post, and tell me, of the items listed in this Giveaway, what is the one thing you’d absolutely LOVE to try and have for yourself, and why? The most creative answer will win!
  • Don’t forget to leave your email so I can contact you if you’re the lucky winner!
  • I’ve listed the Facebook Pages of the companies involved in this giveaway – please send some love their way too, by visiting, liking or sharing their Pages. Remember, they are regular Aussies trying to provide for their families too!
  • Giveaway ends on 19/10, midnight, and winner will be decided shortly after.

Here’s the Rafflecopter app with all the info. And don’t forget to check back next week for another round of giveaway! Total retail value of this pack is more than A$150. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

October Blitz – Giveaway Week 1

I’ve had a busy past few weeks. Like, really busy. In the short amount of time I have to myself in the day (when the kids are all in school & childcare), it’s usually a mad rush of trying to get some laundry done, trying to get dinner prepped (though I must confess I’ve taken to take-out for many-a-day), and trying to get my new Jamberry Nails sideline up and running.

And it has been a lot of work. A lot of things to prepare, and while there are a lot of resources out there, still, a lot depends on your OWN preparation and work. Lots and lots of work. Did I mention work yet? Haha! As with any job that is commission-based, really, what you put in determines what you will get out, and there won’t be any sudden windfall from the sky, but there will be a lot of perspiration, late nights, and hard work (there’s that word again!)

In the midst of my preparation, I did have one plan in mind – and that is to do a full month of giveaways! Rather than approaching the big guns, I decided, given my rather unique position of being both a blogger, having my own online clothing store, and also in network marketing, I would approach people “just like me” – yup, the small business owners and the direct sellers!

And so I’m happy to bring you my very own October Blitz: Four weeks of giveaways, four happy-clappy winners!

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For the very first week, I’ve put together a package that will be a pampering experience for sure! From head to toe, here’s what you can win:

 

#1: A $50 Esy Jewellery voucher.

A girl’s got to have her bling, don’t you agree? I first stumbled across this Australia-based company a few months back & I’ve purchased from them too. My favourite piece from them remains the Botany Bay bracelet (which is still available!). I love the statement pieces – because they are exactly just that – statement pieces! The unique thing about Esy is that they have representatives in the major states, so you can put a “face” to the company and have someone to chat to and recommend pieces for you. It makes the whole experience of merely “shopping online” a more personal and enjoyable one, I reckon!

Oh, and check out their latest charity venture, in support of Cancer Research, here!

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#2: Scentsy’s Black Raspberry Vanilla Washer Whiffs.

Have you heard of Scentsy? I must admit, I didn’t, till I landed in Australia. Think: gorgeous warmers, beautifully scented melts that melt at room temperature and won’t scald you even if you (or the little ones) touch the melted wax, Scentsy Buddies (cute stuffed toys with a Scent Pak in each) which works great to calm kids and help with separation anxiety.

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Well, if you aren’t familiar, have a chat with Victoria, who’s kindly sponsored this item for the giveaway, or check out her website for the full range of the items Scentsy offers! Zoie has about… 6, no, 7, maybe 8 Buddies and her “friends” (her words, not mine) follow her to bed. Every. Single. Night.

#3: Younique 3D+ Mascara & a Moodstruck Precision Pencil in Proper

Younique was a make up company I stumbled upon when I came to Sydney. I am not really a make-up snob. Okay, maybe just a tad. But I am always game to try new things, and the promises of eyelashes that would look like falsies? Take my money now!

I have since used about 2 packs of the 3D mascara in the last two years. Sure, it seems quite little, but considering the number of times I even bother to paint my face, this number is phenomenal~!

If you’ve never tried this mascara before – this is a GOOD chance to get started! Naomi D is the sponsor for this prize, and she’ll be happy to get more to you if you didn’t win this pack!

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#4: A $25 Gift Card from GorgeousJam.com, my own Jamberry sideline!

I love Jamberry and I hope you will to. One lucky winner will walk off with a $25 e-Gift Certificate in this bundle, that can be used in my store. Pick from 300+ nail wrap designs, or our range of nail lacquers, gel enamels or nail care products!

Alright, now that you know the goodies, here’s the drill:

  • This giveaway is only for Australian residents only.
  • To win, simply comment on this blog post, and tell me, of the items listed in this Giveaway, what is the one thing you’d absolutely LOVE to try and have for yourself, and why? The most creative answer will win!
  • Don’t forget to leave your email so I can contact you if you’re the lucky winner!
  • I’ve listed the Facebook Pages of the companies involved in this giveaway – please send some love their way too, by visiting, liking or sharing their Pages. Remember, they are regular Aussies trying to provide for their families too!
  • Giveaway ends on 10/10, midnight, and winner will be decided shortly after.

Here’s the Rafflecopter app with all the info. And don’t forget to check back next week for another round of giveaway! Total retail value of this pack is more than A$150! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Planning a flight with young kids in tow? Here’s some tips to help!

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I took an 8-hour flight. With just my 3 kids (aged 2, 4 and 7). Yes, just me. Two 8-hour flights, to be exact. And I’ve lived to tell the tale. It’s been a week since we’ve come back to Sydney (after a short visit back to Singapore), and I think I’ve *about* recovered enough to blog. Barely.

Are you insane planning for a plane journey with your young kids too? We’ve been pretty blessed and have been travelling to and fro Sydney and Singapore a couple of times over the last 2.5 years, and Zoie, especially, has been clocking her airmiles since she was just 5 weeks old (when we made the first move to Sydney).

Travelling with kids is one thing. But where the number of children outnumber the number of adults, it makes things a lot more challenging. Normally, we’d travel as a family, but for the last trip, knowing that I would be doing the trip solo, I had to make a couple of changes, as I could not count on a man-slave husband to bear the heavy load.

So here’s my 5 tips for surviving a plane journey with kids in tow.

#1: Pack light.

And I mean light. For our 2-week trip back to Singapore, I was fully intending to only bring 1 large suitcase, but in the end, I brought two (the second one being very much lighter) as I brought back a new pram for a good friend, and packed my normal Babyzen Yoyo into the luggage. But check-in luggage is one thing…

#2: Lean, mean, carry on luggage.

I am not a backpack person. Like, seriously. I stopped using one of those since I graduated from Secondary School. But for the trip, I decided to use my son’s school backpack (a trusty Ikea computer backpack), where I could stow my MacBook, the kids’ iPads, spare nappies and wet wipes. Fashion sense? Leave it till you go for a romantic getaway with the hubby.

#3: No Trunki. I repeat, no Trunki.

Now, I love my son’s Trunki. It’s so cute, it’s so adorable, it means I don’t have to pack any toys in the main luggage. But unless you have some kind of death-wish, LEAVE THE TRUNKI AT HOME. Jayvon whined and pouted, but I put my foot down. No cute riding-on-the-Trunki-up-and-down-the-airport. Nope. Jayvon got a backpack, which I made sure only had the bare essentials and light enough that he won’t be asking me to carry it. And nope, Xavier didn’t get one, because he WOULD bug me to carry it once he gets too tired.

#4: Wear comfy shoes, but NO BOOTS.

I had this vague recollection of having to remove my boots the last time. And I still wore mine this time. Getting my boots off while piling everything before boarding was one thing. Having to balance while putting them back on, while trying to put one kid back on the stroller, repacking the Macbook and iPads back into the backpack, while the 4 year old waves the bag and goes “Mummy! This is yours” and takes the bag belonging to the person BEHIND? Not. Fun. At. All.

#5: Get a GOOD airline.

I am not affiliated with Singapore Air. I wish they would see this and pay me (haha…), but this is not a sponsored post. I made the rash crazy decision to do the solo flight as I happened to see the lower airfare offered by SQ as part of the SG50 promotions (Singapore celebrates its 50th year of independence!).  So while not as cheap as budget fares, it was the best decision ever. The seats more comfortable, and the kids were happy with the attention by the stewardesses, and the constant flow of food and snacks and apple juice.

And this.

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This is how their new TV/Gaming console looks like (lousy phone, lousy pic, sorry!). Awesome to the max. And touch screen on BOTH the handheld AND the main screen. (Yes, I was catching up on the Insurgence movie). My 3 kids, all iPad-savvy (yes, even 2 year old Zoie. Judge me not) easily understood how to swipe to the program of their choice.

There you go! 5 tips on travelling with kids. Oh, and a #6 bonus tip: Make sure you clear your calendar for the 2 days AFTER your return trip. Cos you will need it. Oh, yes you will. You’re welcome.

Cracked Screen? Find Fynd!

I am a huge user and lover of smartphones, and I have gone through a few over the last few years. HTC, Samsung, Blackberry and my current one – the iPhone. No, I am not loyal to any one brand or phone, though when I was still working full-time and had the luxury of a regular paycheck, I would upgrade to the newest model every year or so.

But now, I’m stuck with my trusty iPhone 5S.

Or at least, it was trusty. Till about 6 months ago, when it slipped past my little girl’s hands and came crashing screen first. Onto the concrete floor. SMAAAAASH! There went… the screen and my heart. And this is a common site for most of us touchscreen, smartphone users. Yes, our phones are wonderful, awesome… till something happens to the screen, and send it straight back to the Dark Ages. Swiping… to no avail. Poking… and no response. And all the while, in danger of giving yourself a cut on the shattered glass.

I was living in Sydney and reluctantly brought my phone in to change that cracked screen. It should have been a quick affair, except after they removed the screen, they realised that… oopsie, they just used up their last piece of replacement screen. And since my phone was lying naked there, I couldn’t find another place to do the replacement. So I had to leave my phone, and came back later that afternoon to pick it up. Inconvenient, yup. But more importantly… it was freakishly expensive! It cost me $240 to get a new phone screen. Yes. $2…4…0.

I did (or rather, the hubby nagged me into it) a lot of “preventive” work. I got a better iPhone casing to guard against more accidental concrete floor encounters. I tried to not let my kids play with my iPhone unless they were sitting down.

But alas… it wasn’t meant to be. And my iPhone ended up getting dropped, once more, onto the tiled floor of the shopping centre. This time, it met the floor at an angle – and this time, instead of having the screen smashed into a million smithereens, now where the screen met the rest of the body of the phone, there was now a gap. A miniscule gap. Enough to see the light off the LED shining out from that gap.

The beginning of the end, really. The touchscreen that sometimes doesn’t respond. Every smartphone user’s nightmare!

Thankfully, it was a week to Singapore, and I decided to see if I could source for a cheaper alternative here. And I did!

Meet Fynd.

Your one-stop repair shop… that goes right up to your doorstep. Yes, like a house doctor. But for mobile phones! It’s a brilliant idea, and perfect for busy executives who are glued to their desks, busy mom whose kids are glued to them, or people who find it inconvenient to travel.

I hopped on their website, and took advantage of their Singlish SG50 promo to book myself a home consult on the very next working day. Depending on your phone model and the extent of your problem, you can easier get a quote – and there won’t be any nasty surprises or hidden cost!

Shaun popped by my house, as arranged, and he managed to change my screen, and was done in under 15 minutes. It was pretty perfect, and I’d definitely recommend Fynd’s services to anyone needing some repair work done to their phones!

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Here’s my repaired phone – and the new LED screen which now gives a few more precious months of “life” to this lil’ device!

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was received for this post, though I was so impressed by the service & wanted to blog about it, the owner decided to waive off my service fee as his thanks to me!

The Importance of Mummy “Me-Time”

I AM A MUMMY.AND I ALSO AM ME. (1)

I have three gorgeous kids. I love spending time with them. I do. They make me laugh, they make me giggle, they amuse me with their cute antics, and I thank God daily for my three healthy, beautiful babies.

They also frustrate me, irritate me, and have a knack of bringing out the “nagger” in me.

When I was still working full-time, I missed having time with the kids.

And now that I am at home the whole day (and night with them), I got to admit… I miss being alone. You know, I would be able to go to the bathroom without a little boy knocking on the door, screeching, “But I need to peeeeee nooooooooooowwwww Mummy!!” I would like to be able to savour a good meal, instead of having to shovel spoonfuls of my Japanese curry rice down my throat while trying to keep up to Zoie’s pace of swallowing her favourite ramen noodles (which is just one mode – non-stop). I would love to be sitting in a hair salon for 3 or 4 hours, just getting my hair done. I would love to go for a pedicure and a manicure. My friends back in Singapore would be shocked I reckon – but my poor nails haven’t seen the inside of a nail salon for more than a year! *cue the melodramatic music* I have been thinking about getting those adult colouring books, but I’ve put that off, cos I know it will probably sit on my shelf, taking up valuable space, as I don’t really think I have the luxury of sitting down and doing nothing but colouring.  As tempting as that sounds. I have that basket of dirty laundry to do. And that other basket of clean laundry to fold and keep. And once that’s done… whatd’ya know? Another basket of dirty laundry pops up!

But I have to admit, it was easier getting “me-time” back in Singapore. It was a combination of having the security of a monthly, fixed salary, coupled with a LOT of family support to help me look after the kids so that I could sneak off to my favourite hairdresser for a fix, or to have a facial, or to have a cup of Starbucks. Even while working, I enjoyed time with ADULTS (as opposed to, you know, mini-adults) and having proper, stimulating, engaging conversation.

So carving some me-time while here in Sydney has been challenging. Not impossible. Just challenging.

Yes, I am a mummy. But I am also me. And to be a good mum, I also need to be a good me. So having some alone, me-only recharging and renewing and rejuvenating time is important, for my mental state of being.

So how do I manage? On a shoestring budget and in a place where my closest friends are an ocean away?

Well, that’s just it. I manage. Sometimes, “me-time” isn’t about the quantity of time away from kids, it’s really about the quality of time.

A long, hot shower. (And I make sure everyone knows I am going to bathe, and if they need to use the toilet, they’d better do it noooooooow!)

I catch my favourite shows on TV. And getting the Apple TV was probably one of our best buys. That, coupled with a few choice apps on our iPads means that we have access to shows like Suits & Criminal Minds (two of my favourite), catching up on the latest episodes of Masterchef Australia, or even watching Running Man (my favourite TV game show, even if I can’t understand a word of Korean haha!)

Grocery-shopping / window-shopping on my own. And the words “on my own” being the operative ones here. It may just be in my neighbourhood shopping centre, but just walking on my own, without having to constantly keep an eye out for a wandering toddler is heavenly. In fact, grocery shopping with the kids in tow is often an expensive and unproductive one – we spend too much time in the snack aisle and not enough time in the “proper food” aisle. And trying to think of what to cook for the week’s meals can be challenging when your 4-year-old gags when you pick up a tomato, and goes, “Eww, mummy, are you buying a tomato?”

How about you? How is your Mummy “me-time” like?

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This post is written as part of an ongoing blog train, hosted by PrayerFull Mum, and you can catch up on the full list of other mummy bloggers and how they spend their “me-time”!

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Waiwai is a full-time-working-mum to a 7-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. She blogs about her parenting journey at PeiPei.HaoHao. Hop over her blog tomorrow to find out how she tries to find some me-time!