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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Downtime

The unexpected and unwanted happened- I fell sick on one of my busiest weeks.

Woke up this morning feeling fine, but after noon time I felt this weird, uncomfortable sensation on back as if I was having fever. And sure enough I was. Noooooooo :(

Went home after running errands and collapsed on the bed for a good three hours. Woke up cos I got sick of sleeping and stayed in bed for another hour before deciding to get up and spend some time with the sis, Gladys who was here to help prep for tomorrow's Chiq Fliq shoot, and the husby who just got back from work.

Stayed up for about an hour and couldn't take it anymore so went back to bed. Nestled on my bed and put myself in my most sleep-able sleeping position, eyes shut, and ready to fall asleep anytime, 'cept that I didn't manage to at all. The mind was actively wandering, going through my endless to-do-lists, brainstorming for upcoming Chiq Fliq campaigns for Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year, whom I should find to collaborate with the brand, all my pending blog and social media postings, all the emails unsent, projects unexplored, and so many others. Tried hard to shut my mind and just sleep, but my mind sure has a mind of its own and is apparently stronger than my flesh. So I got up after battling with my rebellious mind for an hour.

Many people including my parents and Boon always tell me that I'm too stressed up, about work mostly, but I don't feel so. I feel that I'm already taking things slow and easy compared to many other ambitious and aggressive entrepreneurs out there who are fighting to make it. I feel that I'm already considered very 'chill' and moving at a much slower pace compared to many. I'm leaving a lot of things to chances and don't force my way to make things happen. 

I don't sacrifice my sleep for my work anymore, I sometimes skip lunch because I'm too lazy to go grab lunch but that's just occasional. Okay Boon might beg to differ, but it's not to a point that I don't eat at all. Perhaps it's just that I'm always working, whether physically doing things or mentally planning things. I never realised this until my parents and Boon pointed that out to me, and when I took more notice of myself, I realised that there's never a moment that I don't think mentally plan and think of work, whether in the car sitting on the passenger seat staring at the road ahead, or waiting for my turn at the bank.

People say that if we want to get pregnant, we gotta be more relaxed and be less stressed out because that could be a contributing factor of not being able to conceive. Boon and I are trying, though not religiously and strictly but just letting things happen naturally, and so far we're still a two-member family. Sometimes I wonder if it's because I'm too stressed out, that's why I'm having trouble conceiving. I mean, to me I'm not stressed out, but I might be too much of a workaholic to even realise that I AM stressed out. And maybe I've been so used to a hectic lifestyle, always on-the-go and working and juggling things since my schooling days that I've become accustomed and numb to this 'stress' and not realise that it's actually stress anymore. There are so many possibilities, and no one can actually tell me how stressed out I actually am, accurately. I wish there's a stress-o-meter to read my stress level so that I can take note and stay below hazardous levels haha!

As much as I want to be absolutely relaxed and have no stress in life, I can't. There are too much in my hands to just let go and turn a blind eye. In light of our recent economical state, I think it's only wise if we work our butts off and save as much money as we can, especially in this times.

Chiq Fliq is entering into a new season soon. We're hiring a new staff next month and moving into a new office in March. These are signs of growth and I'm proud of how it's moving forward. Though we could actually do much better, but I'm already grateful that with the amount of time and money I personally invested into the start-up which aren't as crazy as some with big investors backing some brands up, I'm glad that I'm seeing some fruits. Never started Chiq Fliq with the aim of earning big bucks. It was always and will always be a passion project, a start-up that gives me joy working on it, a label that brings in beautiful women's wear, a company that creates employment and a sense of purpose and belonging to those who work with me. With growth comes more work and responsibilities. It's just going to be busier and I'm only going to keep threading on unfamiliar grounds, but it's all going to be a great experience, I'm sure.

Well, at this point I guess the only thing to do is to let God move in my life. He knows me best. He made me, and He knows His plans for me.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

I'm just gonna trust in You. 
In the meantime, I'm gonna continue to do my best in every single thing. And maybe catch some more sleep.



love, Careen



Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Fitter 2015

We're approaching the last week of January 2015 soon. How fast! Have you drafted out your new year resolutions yet?

For me, I don't have many new year resolutions this year. All in all, I just want to be a better individual, focus more on giving and adding value to the people around me, do more for the community, and lead a healthier lifestyle which includes eating well and exercising more for a fitter, healthier body.


Lamented on my Insta a few days ago on how to lose all the weight and fats I gained since the wedding. For the whole of 2014, the number of times I exercised were definitely not more than 10 times in total. By exercising I mean going all out at the gym, running, doing cardio and floor work outs. Boon and I we tried to visit the gym and run around our neighbourhood whenever we could find time to, but due to our busyness and inconsistency, we never really achieved the results we wanted. #youdontsay

But I must say, without all the (give and take) 10 times of exercising in 2014, we could have been way fatter than we are now! I know I'm not considered fat, but I do know I have gained some weight and fats since the wedding 2 years ago, and have since been struggling to lose them effectively.

I can exercise, run and do cardio, and work out the targeted areas of my body, but there are still excessive, stubborn fats around my waist and arms that just will not go away!

After asking around and even consulting some specialist friends, I found out that there are, indeed, fats at some parts of our body that are hard or impossible to lose. These are the stubborn fats that need a special treatment such as Liposonix to target and burn effectively.

And guess what, just when I decided to slim down evidently this year, the peeps at Solta Medical approached me and asked if I were interested to give their Liposonix treatment a try! I was so excited, I tell you! I've had friends who undergone this special treatment before, and it really worked. They lost most of their post-preganancy fats and flabs after it burned off the fats in 3 months.

I googled it up, asked around if it's safe to go for, and am assured that it is absolutely safe and medically approved. I want to lose all the stubborn fats before I get preggers which is when more stubborn fats will gather around my tummy especially!! Can't wait to see how it'll work out for me!

Of course, if I go for the Liposonix treatment but still eat fatty and junk foods, I will eventually gain back those fats that were burned. Therefore, I'm determined that this year, I will eat even cleaner than before and exercise and run at least once a week! So far I've been doing pretty okay compared to last year (and all the years combined haha). For the first week of January 2015, I ran 7km, and 6km for the second week together with some home work out sessions targeting the arms and tummy!

I'm seeing some results so far, though they may not be super obvious yet. Will continue to work on my health and body this year and truly place that as my priority!

What are some of your weight loss/slimming/diet secrets? Share with me and let's motivate each other towards a better (looking) 2015! :)

xx



love, Careen.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DRx Clinic Malaysia: First Skin Consultation

I'm truly excited to introduce all my new skincare in the house! 


I'm a real sucker for good skincare products, reason being I have seen how a good and suitable range can do wonders in transforming one's skin! I always liken our skin (especially the face) as a blank canvas, where makeup is just the paint. Without a good quality, smooth canvas, no matter how skilful the painter is, the results just wouldn't be as beautiful as one that is painted on a quality canvas. You get what I mean.

In the past when I was in my high school and college days, I never took skin care seriously. I only cleansed my face using some random branded skin cleanser from the pharmacy, apply toner and that's it. I used to feel that moisturisers and sunblocks were annoying and sticky on the face, and that anything more than cleansing and toning were totally unnecessary. I used to even not use makeup remover, and just "wash" off my makeup using cleanser alone. Can you believe it?

After I started getting clogged pores, blackheads and break outs from all the negligence on my skin, I got scared and decided to care for my skin better. I'm glad I didn't wait too long to start taking things more seriously because it would have been much worse! 

These days, one of my favourite thing to do is to try out different skincare range available in the market. Of course I don't change the products every single month, but whenever I'm introduced to skincare products with very good reviews, I would not hesitate to try. Furthermore, I have crossed the 25 mark, and after listening to all the advices I got from my lady friends who are older than me, they all tell me that from 25 onwards, we really gotta start taking skincare more seriously or else we will easily see a drop in our skin's health and condition- fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentations, saggy skin. *horror* So yeah I'm not gonna take the risk and will heed their advices!

And just recently, I was invited by the DRx Clinic Malaysia to go for a consultation with their skin specialist and try out their new skincare range! I was truly excited upon receiving the invite because prior to this, I have already heard lots of good reviews about the Derma-Rx skincare products and their services, so I was looking forward to experience it myself!


The DRx Clinic and Medispa is strategically located at The Boulevard, Mid Valley City. It's easily spottable as it's right at the corner of the street (opposite Maybank)!



The interior of DRx Clinic is modern and sleek, and gives off a relaxing and welcoming aura. From the moment I entered into the clinic, I felt a sense of calmness. The staff members were soft-spoken and gentle, and there were soft music playing in the background too.



Oh yeah, I was accompanied by my little PA that day! She helped me to take cash out of my purse at the toll house, helped me open and zip my bag, and helped me to take some shots too!


This was taken by Evangeline, not cropped at all. Not bad right?


This was taken by her too! Nice framing!


And this too, but it was blur hahaha!


Oh yeah if you didn't know, Evangeline is the youngest of 6 sisters I have :)



All the skincare products on display.


Apart from skincare, DRx clinic also has in-house Trichocogists ready to look into the hair and scalp issues faced by customers. If you're struggling with scalp problems, hair fall, balding and so on, you may want to consider giving DRx clinic a try! I'll be going for a consultation with their Trichologist in the coming months so do stay tuned for my updates! :)

So yes, after registering myself and filling up some forms, I was ushered into one of DRx Clinic's skin specialist, Dr. Teh's room for consultation.


She examined my skin and asked about the skin concerns that I have, which is mainly on my dry skin. I used to always think that I had oily skin, cos well, after being out in the sun, I'll get oils forming especially around my T-Zone. But after consulting skin specialists, I realised that I was all the while so wrong! In fact, I actually have the opposite, which is dry skin that forces the skin to produce oil to keep my face moisturised. Dr Teh further confirmed that I indeed am a dry skin type, and proceeded to give me a range of skincare that's suitable for me.

We also arranged on the treatments that I would like to try out in the coming visits before I was ushered into a smaller consultation room with a staff member.


I love how they have these smaller consultation rooms for a more private, one-to-one explanation of products by their staff member, instead of standing over the counter and having everyone listen to my skin problems haha!


I was briefed on what each product was for, how to use them, and even the sequence of using them for both day and night! So detailed!


And tadda! These were all the 9 products I carried home with me!


I was also given a step-by-step guide on which skincare to use first, which I appreciate very much because I can be pretty forgetful sometimes. Wouldn't wanna use the wrong product in the wrong sequence, so thank you DRx Clinic for being so considerate and thoughtful!



I'm going to start using them from tomorrow onwards, and will be updating you guys again on my skin's progress! :)

In the meantime, you may check out DRx Clinic's available treatments and promotions at:

DRx Clinic Official Website: http://drx-group.com
DRx Clinic Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/drxmalaysia

You can also drop by for a consultation at the address below:

DRx Clinic & Medispa Malaysia

Mid Valley Branch
No. 43-G, The Boulevard, Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra 59200 KL
Tel: +03-322841088

Sri Hartamas Branch
Plaza Damas, N-1-1, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
Tel: +03-62013088


That's all from me for now.
Til' then!


love, Careen.
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Monday, January 19, 2015

2 Questions Nobody Should Ever Ask In Their Entire Lifetime

Finally. 
Finally I have gathered enough guts to do this. 
Finally I'm fed up enough to write all of these down.


Let me just say that this post is not random. It is not out of impulsion or anger, and totally not rash. I have thought about writing this post for the longest of time, make that 2 years, since I got married.

Before this, none of these questions ever got to me, and I used to think there were just useless questions people ask, or questions people genuinely wanted to ask out of concern. But after thinking it through and through for a long time now, I have concluded that there are just some things in life that should not be said, some questions in life that should not be asked.


Question #1:

"Did you gain weight?"


"Nope. Your eyeballs grew fatter."

I'm sure many of us have gotten this question thrown to our faces at least once. I don't know if this is an Asian culture thing but it's really just a dumb thing to ask.

You might say,

"Careen, relax. Maybe you didn't realise you gained weight so I just thought of doing a favour by enlightening you?"

Well, thanks for being thoughtful. But firstly, it is MY body. I live in it. 

I look into the mirror every morning, afternoon, night and midnight, and examine my arms, thighs, butt and stomach each time. I step onto the weighing machine every single day. I wear my clothes on MY body and I would know if my jeans have gotten tighter.

What makes you think I wouldn't know if I gained weight? 
What makes you think I would be oblivious if my body grew fatter? 
And what makes you think you would know it better than ME?

"Well, I'm only asking out of concern. Don't be so sensitive, Careen."

I'm probably one of the least sensitive people around. I can take insensitive, offensive jokes and insults most of the time, because I'm good at ignoring stupidity. I never let them affect me for too long. Usually when people commented that I have gained weight, I would answer, "Yeah lo, haven't got time to work out", "Yea haven't really been controlling my diet", or "Yea lo gotten fatter since I got married."

If it's true, I would acknowledge it and I'm not gonna be all upset about it. But after getting this question thrown at me so many times by various people (usually males and aunties), I just couldn't help but to think WHY would anyone comment on anybody's body that way?

If you're saying you commented or asked me out of concern, tell me what's your concern when I have gained just a few kilos since my wedding, and when I'm still a Size S? What medical concern could you have about my size?

Saying you're asking out of concern is just pure excuse, because there's nothing to be concerned about. Go and be concerned about your own size and health. The irony is that most of these people who ask me if I gained weight are way fatter than me. Does it make you feel better to put others down? Is it so difficult for you to just keep your opinion to yourself and just say nothing? People (especially Asians) gotta learn to keep their opinions to themselves and learn to say nothing, really.



Question #2:

"Are you pregnant?"

Imaginary, truthful answer: "Are you stupid?"
Real life, politically correct answer: "Nola, I also wish that I'm pregnant! *laughs*"


This question is the bomb, I tell you. Me along with many of my married female friends get this a lot. Simply because we're already married, and we ALL put on weight after the wedding, even just a little. I don't know why we do but we just do. Maybe it's because we have aged, maybe it's because we're happy. I don't know, but that's besides the point.

It doesn't take a genius to know that asking this question would highly offend the woman if she isn't actually pregnant. But people still ask. They still do. They're too excited. They want me to have a baby so much. Even more than me!

And it's as if they're trying to be the FIRST to find out if I'm pregnant. As if I've been pregnant but it's top secret that no one should know. BUT. BUT they're so observant, sharp and genius, they CAN SEE that I'm pregnant! So they come up to me, sheepishly whisper in my ear and ask, "Are you pregnantttt?", and hopefully I'll say, "Oh my gosh, how did you know? We actually didn't want to tell anyone yet, but since you spotted it, yeah you're the first to know! We're pregnant!!"

Then when we announce it after we're ready, they can tell the whole world, "Actually I already knew cos I observed and spotted it first! You all couldn't see meh? I was the first to spot! I was the first person they told! I was the first to KNOW!!"

I know I may be sounding a tad dramatic, but I'm just pissed off. What makes you think that I would want to hide the fact that I'm pregnant, IF I'm pregnant?

I have announced it publicly on my blog and social media so many times that I love babies and can't wait to get pregnant. Do you think that I wouldn't be excited to announce it when I actually am? I would be the most excited, most happy person to quickly announce it to the world! You don't have to ask me. When I am pregnant, I will tell you. I will announce it on my blog and social media. It will be all over my newsfeed and Instagram. Even if you didn't know in the first few months, you will still finally know in the seventh, eighth or ninth month. 

So don't worry.

Ranting on behalf of all my married, NOT PREGNANT friends. 

Remember, when we're pregnant, we'll tell you. We WILL tell you :)


Rant over.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Number 76 Style- Kérastase Sensidote Calming Ritual Scalp Treatment!


Wheee finally I'm able to update on this! 

Was invited by the Number 76 Style salon to try out their hair/scalp treatment at the Mid Valley branch in KL about a week ago, which was timely cos it was just before the sister in law's wedding!

The noob me who isn't too familiar with Mid Valley (actually, KL as a whole) went for quite a ride before I found Number76! I actually went into the carpark of Northpoint offices and then came back out again because I thought, "Nah it shouldn't be here", when I actually literally passed by Number76 and didn't see it! Finally parked inside Mid Valley shopping mall, walked to the North court, walked across the bridge to North Point offices -.-

If I actually visited Number76's website, I would't have made such a blunder!


Oh wells now I know (and you know)! ;)


So I finally arrived and was excited for my hair treatment!


The Number76 headquarters was located right beside the Mid Valley branch. One of their team members, Sue Ann came over from the office during her lunch break just to say hi. So nice of her!


The full menu of hair services available. 


The front desk team member was particularly friendly and always having a smile on her face! Reminds me of the times when I was in Japan, where almost everyone in the service industry were polite and smiling all the time :)


Kérastase products on full display.


Customer waiting area. 



I personally loved the design of the Number 76 Mid Valley branch. 
It's minimalist, simple, clean. Just the way I like it!



Various Japanese Magazines.





Here's yours truly before starting the hair consultation and treatment. From the surface, my hair looked fine and healthy. But you'll be surprised to know that I struggle with dry ends and dreadful scalp problems! You'll see why shortly.


So we started with a close-up scan for my scalp, using a mobile scanner and an iPad!


While my stylist, Emily does a scan check on the condition of my scalp...


...I got to view it live on the iPad! I've always been seeing these hair pictures on hair loss advertisements all over billboards and newspapers, and never thought that one day I would get to see my own scalp up close this way! I was honestly pretty amused!

While we were doing the scan, Emily explained various conditions of my scalp on different parts of my head. From the photo above, you can see little flakes stuck in between my hair. Those were dandruff flakes and other oil, dirt and sebum found on my scalp. Emily also said if these dandruff and overproduced sebum were not removed and cleansed regularly, in the long run they would reside on my scalp permanently and block new hair from growing out of my scalp. Which is one of the reasons how some people experience balding and hair loss! So scary!

I always thought dandruff were just small matters that almost everyone has, and never thought that there would be big consequences if I don't rid them!

And FYI, I washed my hair the night before my visit and I was there at noon time, so my hair was considered "clean" and scalp "fresh". Well, apparently not! Can you imagine if I did the scan after two days of not washing my hair? Oh gosh.


And then Emily pointed out all the hair of different thickness to me, and the thin, frail looking ones were actually my baby hair. These baby hair were the ones that had previously fallen off from the hair follicles and trying very hard to grow into a healthy, strong strand of hair again. But she said usually they just keep falling off especially if the scalp is unhealthy. So sad T_T


And jeng jeng jengggggg. These red, bloody-looking spots on my scalp were open wounds caused by scratching! You know how we sometimes scratch our scalp when it's itchy, or when we use our fingernails to wash our hair? Apparently it's a huge no-no because our scalps are that sensitive! And if we over-exerted the scalp with our fingernails, it causes open wounds that look like the photo above. 

Ewwww right? Sorry for grossing you out, because it grossed me out too when I first saw it. Who knew beneath my seemingly beautiful and healthy crowning glory lies these nasty looking flakes and patches -.-

Ok moving on! After seeing my scalp up-close for myself, Emily advised me to go for the scalp treatment instead of the hair treatment, because hair treatments only treat and condition the hair, and doesn't treat the scalp at all. And after looking at the scan, we both agreed that I desperately needed scalp treatment ASAP :')


These were the products used for my scalp treatment that day! I went for the Kérastase Sensidote Calming Ritual treatment, which works mainly to sooth and calm discomfort on sensitive scalps while increasing scalp tolerance against external aggressions.

The soothing formula helps reduce itching, redness, tingling and the burning sensation that those with sensitive scalp may be familiar with. This treatment essentially prepares the scalp with the best condition to grow healthy, strong hair. 


Oh yeah, every customer was served with green tea and some snacks, and we were asked to put our handbags into the specially designed Number 76 sack to prevent hair from falling in and chemicals used to damage our bags! So thoughtful I cannot! Truly a Japanese culture. Made me miss Japan already T_T


Hair wash area.


So right after the scan, Emily arranged for me to have my hair washed. I was given the option to go for the Tansan Sparkling Scalp Wash with an additional fee of RM30, and I said yes! I really want to cleanse my scalp thoroughly. 

More popularly known as "tansan spa" in Japanese, this scalp care wash is one of the most popular services in Japan that has been brought in specially by the Number76 team. This simple scalp cleansing wash can be done over the basin within just a few minutes. 

Soda gas (or carbon dioxide) is added into the water and as the water rinses out, it works effectively to remove dirt and excess oil from the scalp and silicon from your hair. Our scalp and hair immediately becomes clean and fresh, the optimal contain to promote healthy hair growth.


Taddaaaa. This was the water scooped up after my Tansan Sparkling Scalp Wash. The top foam layer consisted of oil, sweat, dirt and other yucky stuff, while the tiny flakes found floating in the water were bits and pieces of my dandruff. Ewwwwwww!


Felt so fresh and clean after my hair wash! Now it's time for the scalp treatment!




Sensodite Dermo-Calm scalp treatment by Kérastase. They were massaged into my scalp, left for a while for them to sit in, and then rinsed off. After another hair wash, more Kérastase products and serums were massaged into my hair and scalp before blowing dry.






We did another scalp scan after my hair was blown dry, and they've looked much cleaner and healthier now! Of course the red spots were still there and those would need consistent scalp care and treatment to heal and improve. After the visit, I learned a lot more about the health of my scalp and have become more careful with how I treat my scalp, like not using my fingernails to scratch it!


Wheeeee! Could instantly feel that my scalp were more soothed and relaxed after the treatment, not as tense and irritated as before. 


The team even helped me blow dry and curl nice nice too knowing I had a dinner later on in the evening. Thanks guys :)

For those of you who're wondering how much my scalp treatment cost, here are the details!

Kérastase Sensidote Calming Ritual [RM180]
+
Tansan Sparkling Scalp Wash [RM30 add-on to any service]


For additional information, you can visit Number76's official website at www.number76.com where they have various features that might interest you, such as the Style Book where you can view all their past works, and perhaps find some inspiration on what hairstyle to go for next!



You can also make a booking with them online!


Once again, a big thanks to Number 76 Style for having me over. Learned a lot and will definitely put all that I've gained into practice! (starting with using the right haircare products and going for more scalp treatments!)

Til' then!


love, Careen
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