Review: Dermagold Miracle Trio System

My skin has been abysmal since I was a teenager. I was plagued by acne, which left me with scars all over my cheeks and chin. When I started working, I started seeing a dermatologist, who told me that my skin was confused (dry cheeks and oily T-zone), and it wasn’t good that I was still getting acne at my, uhhmm, advanced age. She prescribed me some of her products and a simple routine of wash, moisturise and sunblock. Since then, I have not varied in my skincare routine.

Last year, I went to London and my skin went berserk in the cold, dry air. My normal moisturiser just did not cut it and I broke out in terrible acne which took weeks to subside. With trips to Europe and wintry Australia planned for 2017, I was rather worried about how my skin would react.

Then Dermagold wrote to me and asked if I was willing to try their products. I was hesitant because I have sworn off skincare products other than the ones recommended by my dermatologist. But I did some research and what I read reassured me.

Firstly, this is a brand that was developed in Singapore. Which means it is likely to suit a Singaporean like me with confused, rojak skin. Secondly, the products were developed by aesthetic physicians. This wasn’t something that was concocted for the mass market but thoughtfully brought to life by people who really know the ins and outs of skin.

I received three products – the Miracle C+, Skin Elixir and the Hydra Recovery Gel – and I tested them when I was in Europe for two weeks. I would use my daily moisturiser and sunblock in the day, and “treated” my skin at night.

First, I would apply the Miracle C+ all over immediately after my shower (a tip from my dermatologist, to treat my dry cheeks). This product contains 18% vitamin C Ester serum and is an antioxidant and anti-wrinkle to boot. After 10 minutes, I would then apply the Skin Elixir, followed by the Hydra Recovery Gel. The latter is especially good for angry skin as it’s been formulated to calm post-aesthetic treatment skin down.

The result? No dry skin, no inflamed skin and no nasty flare-ups.

I continued with this routine back home and then recently brought the arsenal of products with me to Perth in June. Which was winter. Which was cold and dry. And again, my skin remained well and happy.

Photo taken by Mr 5 when we were at Busselton Jetty.

Now, this is not to say that I now have perfect, clear skin and I glow. Hah. HAHAHAHA. Far from it – I think I am just genetically predisposed to having lousy skin. I mean, my pores probably contain enough sebum for me to deep fry chicken nuggets. But the Dermagold products have definitely helped to keep my breakouts and dryness under control, and for that I am very thankful.

ESPECIALLY FOR BUBSICLES READERS
Dermagold is extending a special promotion for all readers! Get 10% off all orders when you purchase any item at the Dermagold online store – just quote “DERMAGOLDBUBS” when you check out. This offer is valid till October 31, 2017.

In addition, sign up to be a member and you will receive $20 voucher.

(Disclaimer: I received the products from Dermagold for the review but all opinions are strictly my own. No other monetary compensation was received.)

Launch of honestbee’s Family Market

I never shopped online for my grocery needs until the husband started travelling in his current job.

Typically, we would pack ourselves into the car and head for the supermarket on Sunday mornings. It’s become a routine for us, and we would always haul Mr 3 and Mr 5 with us. Never mind that we lose our tempers every 15 minutes (STOP POKING THE FRUIT! NO YOU DO NOT NEED A PLASTIC BAG! SIT ON THE TROLLEY PROPERLY! PUT THAT BACK, IT’S MADE OF GLASS! NO I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO WEIGH!).

And then the mister started flying off for at least three weeks for work. Some weekends, I would be too lazy/exhausted to get the boys out for a grocery run so I started ordering online. That was when I discovered honestbee.

When I first started ordering through them, their list of vendors was rather limited. But it had exactly what I needed – NTUC FairPrice! Their service is a little different from the other vendors. honestbee is actually a concierge shopping service whereby you order the items through their site and their shoppers will pick up the items for you from the shop. I always see their shoppers at our supermarket so I know that this part of the service is totally legit!

Plus, I can always specify a substitute if something I wanted was out of stock or get their shoppers give me a call while at the supermarket. I can also leave instructions of my requirements when it comes to the food items. The items are delivered to you (free when you spend $50) and you only pay after delivery. The concierge fee is $3.99 – reasonable when you consider that you have to pay for fuel and parking (and probably drinks and snacks!) when you head to the supermarket yourself.

Recently, honestbee launched its Family Market concept. It is a one-stop shop for all the curated needs that a parent might have. Think diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, rice, noodles etc. The prices are comparable to what I would pay at the supermarket (or even lower).

This service is perfect for those who are in need of a quick grocery run, who has no time to scroll through the website to go through the many products that are available. The delivery and concierge fees remain the same.

With yet another of the husband’s business trip coming up, I am very sure that I will be utilising the Family Market. Sigh, yes, solo parenting stint coming right up…

Disclaimer: I will be receiving shopping credits for this post but as always, my opinions are honest. I just like sharing a good thing when I see one!

A moment for the archives

Some days, I feel as if I am back to newborn days. Those days of interrupted sleep, waking up every three hours to ensure that the little mewling creature that I birthed was fed and nourished.

Except right now, my babies are three and five. While they don’t need me for sustenance, their needs have evolved and I still have their hands tugging at me for this and that. Then there is my full-time job and the other baby that I am nursing and which keeps me up till the wee hours – my Masters.

It’s okay though, I mean, on most days we get by. Even on days when I have to juggle my work, kids, studies, household as a solo parent, we stay alive (AND SANE!!). I scream a bit too much, chug down wine like it’s water, devour cheese by the bucket and quaff down too much tea. But I reckon that’s perfectly okay under these circumstances. RIGHT?

There was this one time which really epitomises the many hats I am juggling right now. It was a Saturday evening and I had back-to-back video-conference classes from 7pm to 1030pm. The husband was away on his business trip, which meant that neither of us could put our kids down at bedtime. I enlisted the help of my mother, who blessedly helped to shower the kids and stayed with them in their bedroom to wind down as I attended my virtual class at my desk.

At close to 9pm, the door to their bedroom suddenly burst open and the boys piled out. Their eyes were red-rimmed as they pleaded with me to lie down with them as they fall asleep. My mother managed to gather them back to the room while I continued with my class.

Not more than 15 minutes later, they burst out of their room again, this time sobbing. Urghs. What’s a mother to do?

So picture this. Off I went into their room, still plugged into the earphones that’s connected to my laptop. The room was dark. I sat on Zac’s floor bed with my laptop in front of me, trying to pay attention to the class. Aidan was lying on his bed next to me, and I was holding on to his hand. Zac asked to nurse to sleep and so I cradled him with my other hand as he nursed.

ALL THE WHILE STILL CONNECTED TO THE VIDEO-CONFERENCE.

By the time my mother and I exited the room, it was 10pm. I called for a Grab car to send her home while I continued with my class. When it was done, I poured myself a large glass of wine and sank into my sofa, doing nothing for a while.

It reminded me of the video of the analyst who was doing a video interview with the BBC when his daughter danced into the room. Not so much the original, but the parody. It’s funny but also oh-so-familiar. I’ll bet you most working mums were watching it and going, yeah totally right.

So, there you go. A moment for the archives, one to look back on in the future and have a good laugh about.

[Review]: Grow Old With Me family photography

We – the man and I – are photography snobs.

For our wedding, we chose to get a cheap wedding dress and a regular tailored suit for him because we didn’t think our outfits were worth splurging on.

Instead, we spent on photography. After all, a photo is forever(-ish), a dress is not. We (okay, I) scoured the internet for hours and hours, and spoke to a few photographers before we found the right guy. And we never, ever regretted our choice of priority.

Family photo shoot with Grow Old With Me

Since then, we have done a couple of family shoots and they have all been with photographers whom we knew and trusted. So when Gideon from Grow Old With Me wrote to ask if he could do a shoot with us, I hesitated. Believe me when I say that I am picky – I don’t do studio shoots with contorted bodies and a shiny smile. And honestly, any review opportunity that comes my way has to pass my “is this something I would really use” test.

I checked out his site and realised that, hey, this guy is pretty legit. His style – beautiful natural light, sweet moments captured as a “fly on the wall” – was in sync with ours and I decided to give it a shot (unintended pun but, PUN!).

Family photo shoot with Grow Old With Me

On the evening of the shoot, it rained cats and dogs. GAH. Seriously, it was like our wedding all over again. We met up with Gideon and discussed our options, he suggested waiting it out and we ended up sitting at Satay by the Bay, chatting. Turns out that he loves Lego like we do, and he actually stays pretty near us! The rain was a blessing in disguise because it meant that he could get to know us, and vice versa, and we were able to get comfortable with one another.

When the rain lightened to a drizzle after almost an hour (!), we proceeded with the shoot. Gideon was great at engaging the boys, he knew what to say and do to get them to react. For instance, he told them that we were going to play a game and you could literally see their eyes light up.

Family photo shoot with Grow Old With Me

For that hour, we played games and laughed and hugged and kissed. The littles had so much fun, there was so much joy. And that was encapsulated in the series of photos that Gideon handed to us. The photos show the personalities of my babies, and how they love to chortle with glee. The entire set resonated with love and happiness – I am sure you can see it!

Family photo shoot with Grow Old With Me

Family photo shoot with Grow Old With Me

ESPECIALLY FOR BUBSICLES READERS
Grow Old with Me is currently running a Mothers’ Day promotion. For $288, you can a 30-minute portrait shoot, 10 high-resolution images and a unique 300mm x 210mm OnStone medium frame with gift box. If you tell them that Yann sent you their way, they will give you an additional 10% discount on top of the promo price!

Go check out their Instagram and Facebook pages to see their lovely, lovely work.

Family photo shoot with Grow Old With Me

A little development

I am a full-time working mother with two littles and I am currently working on my part-time Masters degree.

I say this not because I want you to heap accolades on me on being a super mum (because I am not, I am just an ordinary mum) but to let you know that these are the hats that I am juggling. And yes, these are also the choices that I made consciously and deliberately.

The notion of pursuing my Masters came last year. I will leave the origins of this thought for another post on another day but as the seed of the idea grew and grew, I decided that it had to be done. It took a while to materialise because I was plagued by so many doubts and considerations.

How would I juggle everything?
Am I going to kill myself, especially when the man is away on yet another long business trip?
Am I clever enough to do the Masters?
Will I be able to spend enough quality time with my boys?
Will this compromise my health?
How will I be able to run the household efficiently?

Truth is, I still don’t have the answers. But I realised that the more I weighed the pros and cons, the less likely I am to act. And so I jumped in, fully-clothed, and mooted the idea to my husband and my superiors at work.

I would have said that luckily for me, my boss pushed for this opportunity to happen. But to attribute it solely to luck would be to negate my own efforts. I have worked very hard over the past five years and my performance has been a key factor in this coming to life. Plus, I knew what I wanted and I asked for exactly what I wanted. (That, and a fantastic boss, as well, which I am lucky to have.)

One month in and I can honestly tell you that it’s tough. I don’t have it all. I am constantly exhausted from sleeping at 1am every night. Most days, I forget to read my boys’ comm books from school and they have had to go to school without a photo or a leaf for their class activities. I sometimes forgo putting them to bed because I have to work on assignments or attend my virtual classes. My readings are usually done in bursts and spurts because I have to attend to somebody or I fall asleep. I get relief from my helper, who ensures that the chores are done and my house is neat and clean. My mother pops by occasionally to make dinner for us.

I don’t do it all by myself. I am not a super mum. And I willingly admit to having help because I don’t believe that makes me a lesser woman or a lesser mum.

But it’s also been great in so many ways. I got to travel to Europe to attend classes. Being an unsociable and awkward introvert, I stepped out of my comfort zone and met new people from all over the world. It’s been so, so intellectually stimulating to be driven by the pursuit of academic (and professional) knowledge again.

This opportunity has allowed my husband to step up his game and be well and truly an equal partner in parenting. Not that he wasn’t pulling his weight previously, but I think he now feels a stronger sense of responsibility to ensure that I am not overly taxed (I am still his soft spot after all these years, heh heh!).

More importantly, I have started prioritising me. We have had a spate of poor health over the past year and I know that to run this marathon, I have to be in good shape. So I have started exercising regularly again (at least three times a week, I hope!), just to ensure that the engines are well oiled and running efficiently. My life is a little more structured than before.

Prioritising me also meant that I could squeeze in a little trip to Paris after my week of lessons was done. I had absolutely zero qualms in leaving my children to the care of their father – ZERO. Part of it is because I know that they would all be fine without me and he is more than capable to be a solo parent (he’s their father, he ought to be capable). The other part, of course, is that I have been solo-parenting quite a bit so it’s time mama has a break!

So talk to me about how well I juggle everything in a year’s time. Meanwhile, I will be quietly slogging away, typing those assignments late into the night. Wish me luck!

Paris

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