thoughts

What 2016 Taught Me & Looking Forward to 2017

What 2016 Taught Me

  1. Beauty Products multitask better than men

    bareMinerals Prime Time

    Look at this BareMinerals BB Primer Cream with SPF 30, it is a primer and a BB cream. It can protect, perfect and prime your skin in one go! So you can have ridiculously flawless skin while avoiding skin cancer. Plus, no extra layer before makeup.

    Seriously, if you find a guy who can do all three so well at the same time, you have a keeper. I wonder if I can trade this for my husband?

  2. Books can be pretty too

     Illuminae 

    Enter Illuminae, The book that looks fantastic on the inside, it is still a story, but written in multiple formats. The contents are quite artistically done, words swirl around as a visual aid to help me imagine as the characters get sucked into a position that is desperate. The slight problem: I did not like it. Before you throw a book at me, let me explain.

    I did like the pretty format, but the story is somewhat lacking. With all the dramas going on, it is understandable that people forget. However, this book is mostly just a few people spiraling into certain death for unknown reasons. Book 2, Gemina will provide them. Both books are out already, so you do not have to wait to read both.

  3. The Adelaide Zoo can be a depressing place

    2016 saw me returning to the zoo for the sake of my sanity. Going back to the zoo made me realize that some of the older residents have gone to the heavens up above. I said it before that Zoos are full of old and sick animals (read it here) so it is not surprising to have exhibits go empty from one week to the next. Thankfully Prince Brat had enough break that he didn’t realize that the blind otter was missing from the pack.

  4. Nothing is permanent

    I lost my job, while I was on maternity leave. Got the call out of the blue, with my manager explaining that they (my employers) have lost the contract to the hospital (where I work). The hospital wanted a full overhaul, so everyone had to reapply for their positions. Needless to say, being on maternity leave with a 4 week old baby was not going to help me get a job.

    So now I am jobless, looking for a kind soul to hire me as a professional drug dealer again. Did I mention that the pharmacy sector has been hit so hard by cuts to medication prices, that several stores are downsizing staff? It is not funny how one position can have 200 applications.

  5. 2 Children Nightmare

    I honestly do not know how people with multiple kids survive being sane. I know I cannot, even with the bigger age gap (read 3) between Prince and Princess Brat, it is hard. So far, holding Princess in my arms as she naps while I play Lego with Prince with my other hand. It sounds fun, but it is not. Sometimes dinner has to wait, then I have cake for snack.

    Now I have to lose weight due to all that unhealthy eating. Please do not tell me that I will lose the weight after, it does not work that way. Dear pregnant first time mums, that is what people say to placate you, it is a lie! 2016 ended up in a weight gain, what to do?

Looking Forward to 2017

  1. New Babies

    I will be getting a new nephew in January, and another niece/ nephew May. Plus friends who are expecting, the excitement and anticipation of being new parents can be quite infective. But for now, Princess Brat is too young for me to be clucky, I am not keen on having kids with close age gaps. I only have a pair of hands, and Prince Brat is still holding one of them.

    Then again, I already have two kids, my brain cells are begging me to stop and adopt a book.

  2. High Tech Masks

    2 Step Synergy Effect Mask – Double Enhanced Moisturizing

    Can you believe that I missed this? Of course you can, I have been living in a cave. Allow me to translate, the black top half is to rehydrate, while the bottom mask is to tighten. Asians love a narrow chin, which is why the picture will attract more Asian buyers. However, masks are ever going to become more multitasking. That seems to be the trend for skin care and beauty products.

    I am not complaining, being time poor, I need efficient products. This Sexy Look 2 Step Effect Mask is around $20 before discount, and will reduce double chins, also rehydrate dry skin. Definitely will try this if I get my hands on it. Don’t hold your breath, as I have a box full of sheet masks to go through before I can buy more.

  3. New Job

    This will be my 4th job change in 9 years, it is annoying to see that I cannot hold down a job for longer than three years. Not by my choice too, there are many factors involving losing a job. Just like how 2016 saw the end of my employment due to no contract renewal. Am I sad? Yes, of course. However, I am used to it.

    Depressing as it sounds, I try hard to stay at one place, but with the present economy, it will be a miracle to have a job at all. On the plus note, I can use the time I have to write. Maybe writing can be my new job description.

  4. New Books

    Here are just some of the books that I am looking forwards to in 2017!


  5. New Adventures

    If you are reading this until the end, I hope that you can be part of my new adventure. Every day is a new adventure, as Gandhi said:

    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

    This is to thank those who take time to read what I write, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I hope that your adventures will bring you to new heights and experiences. Life is about the moments, let’s make it count.

See you next year

Love

Ailyn

beauty · review

Nivea Cellular Anti- Age Day Cream Review

nivea

It all started with a visit

My mom came to help me with Princess Brat a few months back, when she returned, she took most of my nice skin care products with her. Nice meant my Clarins, Payot and Jurlique, products that I had bought for myself.

I don’t know why she did that, because those products are for dry Australian climate, not humid Malaysian one. I did not notice that she had taken most of my face creams until it was too late, how could I not realize? My beauty box was definitely a lot lighter, but it still did not register. It was not until I almost ran out of my Olivera that I realized something was amiss… I blame you, little Brat!

Nivea Cellular Anti-age Rejuvenating Day Care Skin Cream was on special, by that I meant half price. So I bought it, because it will take a while for me to get around buying something else. At around $15 after discount, it is a bargain. Nivea is a good brand for moisturizing creams, and I hoped that Nivea Cellular will at least be that. And yes, I did bought it for the anti-age and rejuvenating purpose.

They say when you reach an age, you will need all the preservatives you can get.

This one has hyaluronic acid and magnolia extract, both boasts to rejuvenate skin can get rid of fine lines and wrinkles. With both ingredients, some sun protection factor, Nivea creates a product that has a wonderful silky feel on application. I don’t use much, but it feels great after using.

If I have a gripe, it would be the SPF 15. For Australian summer, that is way to low. At the moment, I have to layer on an extra sunscreen after using this. By the way SPF 15 + SPF 50 =/= SPF 65. It does not work that way, so essentially that SPF does nothing. Although, when in a rush, SPF 15 is better than nothing.

Verdict

Nivea Cellular Anti-age Rejuvenating Day Care Skin Cream is a good store brand to go for anti-aging skin care. I have used this for 2 weeks and I find it good for its price. It does not work miracles, however the it moisturizes well and my skin is just a little firmer.

For that price that I bought, worth it

That being said, never again shall I show my mom where my cache of beauty products are.

book · review

The Blood Key

The Blood Key
Author: Vaun Murphrey
Publisher: Artemis Femme
ASIN: B01MRMC90K
Genre: Aliens, Sci- Fi

The Blood Key has an interesting cover

Which was why I got this from Netgalley, the cover hints of a lot of things that will happen to the story. The girl would be Bozena (Zena, or Z) Skala, who was committed in a loony hospital for the disappearance of her other brother Christophe. The story starts with an interaction between her and Doctor Miller, who has an agenda of his own. Written in first person narrative, Bozena is the heroine who is about to have her world turned upside down.

Soon, Bozena finds out about her own inhuman heritage in The Blood Key, and realizes that she might be right about the disappearance of her brother. Together with Dominic and Isabella, she finds out more about herself. Problem is, she finds trouble waiting. Bad things keep happening, and the trio is powerless to stop the avalanche.

The characters are interesting, each have their own issues. Dominic is best friends with her brother, while Isabella is a friend she found when she was committed. Life is more interesting when you have friends. However, there is something lacking, it is not easy to connect with someone who is self- absorbed. Zena’s dad takes the cake with his witty response and selfish retorts, but it does not mean that he does not care about his kids.

Story is unique, but the plot needs work. It is easy to follow this book with its linear plot, hence it can be a bit boring. There is not much branching out, nor there are surprises in store for the readers. In this aspect, the book is disappointing.

Verdict

The Blood Key is not a bad alien/ sci- fi genre book, it has its moments. The ending had a cliffhanger, which I do not find pleasing. Worse of all, judging by the plot, I think I know where this story is heading. It is kind of a hard decision, recommend or not?

On one hand, it is unique and new; on the other, highly predictable. I guess it is up to the readers.

 

 

beauty · book · review

Book & Mask 1: Awesome Hair Days and Santa Mask

misc 03Merry Christmas! I am sure that everyone needs a good facial during this special holiday.

It is 40C here, on Christmas day. wouldn’t it be nice and Santa sends a miracle, some snow would be good. Instead, we can’t even have a barbecue outside due to the fire bans. Everything is so dry, it only takes little to start a fire.

I have decided to combine two of my favorite things into a review, Book & Mask is a review of the book I was reading, while doing facial using sheet mask. Well, why not?

Book & Mask Book Review

100 Awesome Hair Days coupled with a souvenir from Korea: Character Mask. This book is mainly for girls with long hair. And if you are a parent and would want to learn how to tie your daughter’s hair, this book is great for you to try. I know what you are thinking, that there is no time for fancy hair dos when you are busy trying to get those kids out during the day.

This book not only has some easy ones, but it also has great hair ideas for special occasions. At the back, it also has tips and tricks for looking after your hair. This book is not as good as having Youtube videos on hand, but it is the next best thing if you get frustrated with videos.
Here is a small example:
misc 07

It does not look clear, because it is just to show how the book is laid out with all the pretty pictures. The instructions are at the bottom, but the step by step images are more helpful of course.

Verdict

This is not a book for someone who is learning how to tie hair, it does require some form of skill. If you know how to tie a ponytail, or do a bun, this book contains a few good easy hair looks. My favorite looks are ones that are almost impossible to do all by myself. Worse still, Princess Brat is still bald, no one to experiment on =(

Bummer

Sheet Mask Review

Yes, the Character Mask features Santa Claus, this Face Shop mask is supposed to moisturize and hydrate your skin. The Santa Mask contains Hyaluronic acid, which is great during dry season. Basically I just left it on until my skin absorbs all the goodness from the mask.

Here is the look of it, I beg you please do not laugh.misc 05

 

The mask is not made out of flimsy material that tears when you apply some force on ti. I admit that it looks funny, not like Santa. I am reminded of those Chinese opera singers, or Japanese Kabuki singers. Comment below if I do look like Santa’s evil twin.

Verdict

The Face Shop does have good quality sheet mask, this Character ones are no exception. With a little bit of festive fun, here is to still trying to look your best during this silly season. After just one mask, leaving it on for as long as I can (like 40 minutes), I love how my skin feels after. The mask leaves no sticky residue, and my skin is feeling less dry after. The effect lasted about a day, which is pretty good.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Please let me know if you think this post is interesting and you want to see more of it. 

book · review

Six Four : Book Review

Six Four: A NovelAuthor: Hideo Yokoyama
Translator: Jonathan Lloyd-Davies
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN-13: 978-0374265519
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Japanese literature

I got this from Netgalley, despite hating the cover

Six Four is a translated work

To be honest, I am not a fan of Japanese to English translation. If I had a choice, I will read it in Mandarin. Maybe if I ever find this book in Mandarin, I will do another review. But not holding my breath. Main reason: Mandarin translation is more accurate than English translation, the word selection is better and less loss in translation.

Six Four would have been a great novel to read, I love the Japanese’s way of creating mystery. They have a twisted imagination, and the story would be unique. Six Four starts with Yoshinobu Mikami, a Media Director in a police department, and a father of a runaway daughter. From the first chapter, you would be hooked into the multiple plot layers.

Read as poor Mikami struggles to be the peacekeeper between journalists and the police department, while worrying about his wife and daughter. Mikami strives to be more, but someone is stopping him. If you are familiar with Japanese culture, this will be less confusing. He has to navigate layers of red tape, dodging insults, all in a day’s work. Soon, he realizes that there is something going on, and no one is telling him what.

The characters are interesting, bringing the book into another level. Unfortunately, the translation is rough. The translation of Six Four lacks finesse, it felt like the work was translated word for word, and not text as a whole. It made the novel seem clumsy, making it harder to get my head around it sometimes. It is a shame, because I believe that it might be a wonderful novel if not for that.

Verdict

Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama is a fascinating mystery. You will never guess what happens in the book Click To Tweet

That much is true, reading Japanese books is not like reading English mysteries. They test boundaries, and they are not afraid to be unique. Six Four is not just a mystery, it is also a book about playing politics. If you need some fresh mystery air, this is for you