Friday, May 31, 2013

Help I am on a boat!

I'm holding a boat down so it doesn't take off
I was invited to a leadership meeting and team building event on Thursday morning. When I received the calender invite, I thought..what?! First of all fashion police would arrest me. Leggings, track pants and shorts. Leggings as pants? Really? Socks required on boats and thongs. Socks and thongs? What? Also 7.45am not in the CBD as well. OMGAWD WHAT!!

Anyway I got there in time thank goodness and I was wearing parachute style track pants in the CBD which I took off later. Yeah the shame.. the swishing noise as you walked. OMGAWD... I actually had nothing to wear believe it or not.. Well actually if you read my blog, you would believe me. So I had to wear all of Mick's sports clothes. Thank goodness we are similar sizes. Yes we are... now moving along. 

Leggings as pants yes yes wear long jacket
Here I am demostrating how to avoid leggings as pants issue. You wear a cycling jacket so that it covers your bum. Like how cool do I look here. Yes I am Sporty Spice. Check me out here listening intently to our instructor who also calls out instructions on the boat. Luckily it was not an extremely cold morning and the drizzle stopped and held out until we went back to land.

This picture sums it up!
This pictures just sums up my rowing abilities. Most pictures of me on the boat were like that! Mick says it's my I am doing physical activity look and I do not like it. He also said it's Pickle's I don't like it face. If they had kept me on the boat for longer I would have required Botox and fillers. I was clearly the handicap and I don't know how my team put up with me. You have to remember we are all competitive Type As where we work. Plus these are senior people.. so imagine the anxiety and pressure when we had a race. I thought do not stuff it up now! Actually we won one and lost another by a very small margin. It was hysterical. That's all I can say.

If you want my tips in Olympic style rowing. 
1) Do not go. LOL 
2) If you do go, get the best rower at the front. 
3) Do not over think it. Just keep the rhythm the same as the rower in the front.
4) Discuss hip problems in the boat and how you are very uncomfortable being on the narrow boat. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stalk my Weekend: Brunch, Soup, Shopping

Oh yeah..... this weekend had been a goodie. I actually did stuffs. People who follow me on Twitter would know that I sometimes tweet that I am incredibly lucky in life. Yeap.. but can you believe this? I sure as heck did not when I received the email. I thought it was spam. I had an email saying that I won the Uni Hill Factory outlet facebook competition. It went to my spam folder - so please check your spam folders in future. I thought yeah right.. the email is probably from Nigeria and wants me to log in with my bank details. I examined the domain name of the email address. I typed it into a new Web Browser... it was right. So what did I win? I won $500 shopping vouchers at a list of stores at Uni Hill. I selected what stores I wanted and how many from each store in terms of $50 vouchers. Nike, Laura Ashley, Cotton On! Then I also won the Kabuki brush from Master Makeup in TheMadeUpMaiden's giveaway. While we are on this subject, more importantly I am also very very fortunate that I have never had to go to a supermarket and thought to myself I cannot buy what I need because I do not have enough money. That's another one of those what I am grateful for this week thoughts.

Cosmetics Fragrance Direct: Ulta goodies
On Sunday we trooped off to Uni Hill as it is pretty much the closest discount store to us. On a WTF note, I actually drove to Southwharf DFO and paid for parking as well to go to Cosmetics and Fragrance outlet. What was wrong with me? There was one with free parking around the corner from me. Check out their store and Ulta goodies. They now have a wall mounted with clear containers filled with Essie nail polishes that are $6 each. I told myself no and walked away!

Pickles wanted to carry the shopping

So with my Cotton On Kids vouchers, I bought 6 long sleeve Tshirts for the boys for childcare. In summer, they wear Threadless short sleeve for daycare but in winter we found that they had nothing suitable! They were on offer for 2 for $20 so I paid $10 for them using my voucher. Also bought some cotton PJ pants with cassette tapes on them for Mick. 30% off storewide that day at Brands United and that included CK bras and underwear that they had. They say that every week they have different offers but I am happy with 30% off. We looked at Nike as I asked for $100 there and Laura Ashley. $60 quilt covers at Laura Ashley AND 25% off storewide too. Hells yeah I love bargains!

Corn Fritters with Avo and Fried Egg

Eggs Benedict on potato rosti
I bring you back to the start of the weekend when we took a train part of the way to go into the city! You cannot imagine the joy the boys had on the train. They felt so special and important going into Melbourne Central. Unfortunately Pickles refused to walk after half a block and had to be carried up the rest of the 1.5 blocks ... uphill. Met up with BFF from work to have a chowdown at this new urban looking Operator 25.
Talk about attention to detail... look at those plates. That one at the top is from Made in Japan! The poached eggs were amazing and having eggs benedict on potato rosti instead of just plain old muffins were brilliant. Corn fritters were yummy and the avo mousse just pretty and so elegant. How good does it look?

D said he wanted chocolate croissant
Boys had their chocolate croissant and Pickles decided he would eat all of his and whatever D left as well. I think he has a chocolate addiction. What a great place this was and would come back. At the same time I am shocked at brunch prices due to eating at cheap Chinese places all the time on the weekend. LOL less than $30 feeds all 4 of us at those places!

After spending all that on just brunch. Frugal Sunday night kicked in and I made Chicken & Corn soup from scratch... read I made the actual stock too. I think my stock needed brushing up but it was ok. I also made Cauliflower & Cheese soup. After all that soup making, Pickles tells me I don't like soup. Fine.. he had leftover pasta. D had several bowls of soup then told me, let's eat the soup together as he starts digging into mine too. There's no pictures of the soup so you'll just have to believe that it happened! LOL

Monday, May 27, 2013

Empties Collective 2: Lush, La Clinica, Aveeno

Lush Buche De Noel & La Clinica Body Butter
I am imagining Vita doing a rubbing her hands with glee as she opens this post. Well I hope you opened this post! HAHAH.. I had these two things still sitting in my bathroom for ages. For those who haven't been invited to Casa de Lingy & Co. We have a small bathroom so I hate hoarding. And I also semi-hate it when my Mum does her big I will dump a ton of Unilever products that I purchase at staff prices to Casa de Lingy because she cannot get 1litre bottles of things there. Meanwhile these two things have been waiting for this blog post and I keep looking at them thinking I'll write when there are more. Well... there's never anymore is there!

Here are my thoughts ...

Lush Buche De Noel - I know what Lush is about and what it stands for. But seriously when I opened this box I thought... what on earth and how do I use this? It was a whole cake and I thought .. how do I use this? I had to turn to Twitter for help. I felt like I was rubbing seaweed and mud on my face to clean it. The truth is, this stuff is great! It left my face feeling clean and has gentle exfoliating grains. But there were little pieces of seaweed in there. Seaweed. I just can't go there!! Maybe I should look into the other more muddy sans seaweed concoctions from Lush next time. 

La Clinica Skin Relief Body Butter - I haven't had body butters in yearssss and I was sent this by La Clinica. The last time I used body butters was when Body Shop first came out with them. Do you remember the cocoa butter and Brazilian nut ones? My gripe with body butters are when you need them in winter, they are rock hard. In Summer you are scoop them out. I love the smell of this one which is a vanilla and rose hip scent. My personal preference is to use body lotion and not body butter. What about you? Anyone using butters?

Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief: This stuff works!
Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream - I took this along to Singapore and I have to say that I am thankful we did. When we were at Singapore Zoo. Yeah we totes lived it up like tourists at the Singapore Zoo and did Breakfast with the Orang Utans. D calls it.. I went to lunch there and then saw these things (Orang Utans) points to them in the picture. I asked if he knew what those things were, he said no. Doh... Anyway at the Zoo, there is a kids water play area.. well adults can join in too and really you would want to! Mick got burnt like the foolish white gwailo tourist that he was but had slathered on some sunscreen on the boys. Because it was so hot yet deceiving not as harsh as Singapore, we got a bit complacent. The boys had turned red and looked like a red heat rash. Cue my Mum giving us the most evil eye and we used this on them and kept reapplying. The next day the redness was gone but we had almost finished the tube as we only had 1/2 left when we arrived. Which meant my Mum sent me to Google and pound the pavements to see if I could get this item in Singapore!

So expect another like 6 months before another empties post. Meanwhile the non-beauty readers heave a sigh of relief.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Stalk my Weekend: Benefit and Ezibuy

Well... another late Stalk my Weekend. I have an excuse.. it is called Gastro. Yeah .. the hated G word. When you have kids, it is the single most feared word ever. Did I say ever.. yes I mean EVER.

So D vomited on Friday and I got it on Sunday evening. Gross.. enough said.

Next.. what did I do on the weekend? Filled with guilt because D was sick on Friday night, I still attended the Benefit event as planned. He told me that he was feeling "good" and his tummy did not hurt. So I thought ok, Mummy can go to "work". We have to tell the kids that we are going to work all the time or they want to come along. Somehow he understands the concept for work.. thumbs up.

We went to the Benefit Brow Bar in Myer Melbourne CBD first and had a demo of their brow wax and tint service. I am pretty sure that most people I know have gone to the Brow Bar! A few of my colleagues at work prefer it as you do not have to make an appointment, you just show up. There were a team of brow experts in their pink wigs ready to go!

Benefit Myer Melbourne Makeup Counter

Benefit Brow Bar Myer Melbourne
After we had a play at the makeup counter, we were taken to lunch at Collins Quarters. I have a feeling that I have been here before but have forgotten as it was so long ago. Anyway, there I was shoving food in my mouth and trying to remember what finger I could use to have a play with the new eye shadows.

Some of the bestsellers for Benefit
Sigh... unfortunately I got sick on Sunday so there was no going out and as the boys were also not feeling 100% we spent the day holed up. You know what you do when you're sick. You go through your catalogues and junk mail. I am starting to think that I stumbled on Ezibuy when they were on a roll with good looking clothing. Because since then, all the catalogues they have sent me have been like this ...

Anyone after a new top?
This is from their Capture European collection. I am now thinking that Europeans have very different aesthetic tastes. And I am also now waiting for readers to tell me .. what's wrong with that jacket.....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I love Aldi: Mushroom Tortellini

Alright you cannot say that I do not love my readers and do everything for you guys. You know there's a group of you out there loving these freezer meal reviews. This is what happens when I shop for groceries while in starvation mode. Oh... this one looks kinda ok. Alright I will grab one of this. It has mushrooms.. I blame my lack of mushrooms for buying this. The boys don't like mushrooms and think it is gross. So woe is me.. I have to resort to freezer mushroom meals from Aldi for some mushroom loving. You might remember how traumatised I was after the last "Faux-Talian" Vegetable Cannelloni so I'm not sure why I picked up another pasta meal. Anyway here it goes.. let's get into it.

What Aldi says it looks like
Ok so it looks pretty safe. I tore open the cardboard box and was praying to the freezer meal gods. Please god, it's Ling, I'm only a workaholic who is lazy to cook. Don't punish me this time ok? Kthxbai.

What it really looks like
Right.. so not that bad. Did you notice I had drowned it in white pepper? This is what seasoned freezer meal chowers do. Peel open film, try not to burn yourself from the steam that has been generated from nuking your food to absolute death for 6 minutes, dump a heap of pepper on it. Ok I am not sure if my expectations were very low.. as in just eat something and get back to work or this is not that bad. Mushrooms were good, the sauce was a little weird starchy. Stab the mushrooms and tortellini with a fork, drain as much of that stuff off and you'll be fine. The tortellini was not too hard, ya know that raw weird tortellini texture? So this one was edible. Phew... relief all round.

What else can I tell you about it. It had mushrooms. I think I was just overwhelmed with my love for mushrooms that I overlooked the bad sauce. 

I am waiting for the onslaught of omg girl get yourself some frozen tortellini, 2 button mushrooms and some packaged sauce. Ok noted! Damn convenience and trying to fit everything into my lunch hour.

Price: Tick $3.99  
Appearance: Half tick.. tortellini half peeking out of sauce and littered by mushrooms.. MUSHROOMS
Taste: Go to town with the pepper!
Will buy again Factor: I don't mind this too much. It's a buyable item. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stalk my Weekend: Mothers' Day Weekend


OMG it's taking me ages to do my Stalk my Weekends! Before I know it... it's the next weekend!
I was sent the La Clinica Helixer face serum last week and I received it on Friday. On Saturday morning I was examining this in detail.. Snail secretion. I was very curious so I started using it since Saturday. Honestly it is not slimy and quite nice! I am trying not to think of how it is harvested. Mick LOLed about the Peptides ingredients.. he's a Bombers fan.

So in a recent Stalk my Nom, I visited Chef Lagenda for the first time ever. I cannot stop going back! Nothing quite hits the spot as Laksa. Laksa is my best friend like ever. And the boys usually have "chicken and rice and soup". Why would anyone want to go anywhere else? My only issue with this is that their spoons are too shallow and small. I wanted to BYO my own Chinese soup spoons but I forgot!

Port Melbourne Beach
Yay I'm running
It was quite a warm day in Melbourne on Saturday and after lunch, I wanted to take the boys to Port Melbourne beach. This was totally unprepared by the way. We had no towels or anything. At first D was asking to take his clothes off and he was getting upset as his shorts were wet. He got over it later and even sat on the water in his shorts. And Pickles followed as well. I went back to get the car so we did not have to carry two wet and sandy kids 2 blocks away. When I got back there were 2 topless boys waiting for me. Ooopsss should bring spare clothes next time!

Ever since we bought the Nespresso I have to say that we have stopped going out for lunches. This is good news for my wallet. This was my Mothers' Day breakfast. Smoked salmon with Roza's Gourmet Remoulade sauce, avocado and poached egg on english muffin and my fav spinach plus crunchy hash brown! I would imagine having to pay $20 for this at a cafe. Look at our stylish Mick plated up! 

Roasted Chicken and Salad
This was my dinner.. Yummy roasted chicken and salad with haloumi. I have to say that haloumi is my best friend now. Truly.. we are in love as well. :) I requested for no presents because I really do not need anymore things. But I bought myself a pair of Target PJs. $16!!! I could not bring myself to shell out for Peter Alexander. So I can say that I was very spoilt for Mothers' Day. I took Pickles out for a shopping trip in the afternoon and D and Mick started their baking. 

Truly jealous yet?
Hells to the Yeah.. I leave you drooling for some caramel slice... Seriously I think this is my current favourite. Can anything beat caramel slice? Erm no! Hope y'all had a great weekend as well!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stalk my Weekend: Birthday, Paris, Sausages

So guess what! D has turned 4. What the heck BBQ! Where did that time go and I'm examining my face for minor wrinkle lines. This is how bad we are as parents. We did not anticipate that kids we invited will do a no show for D's birthday party. Mick said invite only a few.. so we only did 3 kids. How the heck would we know that nobody will come? So this was me on Wed/Thurs... SMSing out "I know it's late notice buttttt.. " And on Friday I rang around trying to get a Spider-Man cake for him from Woolies. I rang Coles by mistake and I was told erm.. have you tried Woolworths very softly on the phone. Ooopss.. Problem solved and a 1.8kg cake procured.

This is us going to go pickup said 1.8kg cake. Pickles is featured in double denim. Woolies lady said that she defrosted the cake at 6.30am. Thanks! That's what I really wanna hear when I buy a cake ya know. LOL I probably shouldn't have told my guests that either but anyway...

1.8kg of 110% sugar cake
That's what a Spider-Man cake looks like people! Run to Woolies and get one if you want a bucket of sugar.

That's the boys playing with D's new Lego sets in their party clothes. LOL D said he wanted the blue party shirt. Yeap.. he normally has pink ones. We had a marinated lamb leg BBQ for lunch with salad. Knowing that we had lamb leg, this only means a bit of leftovers for the night and the next day. To break up the lamb leg BBQ overload. We went sausage sizzle for lunch the next day. 

Sausage sizzle!
Roza's Sauces makes really yummy stuff, you need to check it out. If you sign up to their newsletter you will get a discount code. I learnt about that after placing my order. DOH! I bought remoulade, pesto and chutney this time. I have to confess we ate almost half a jar of remoulade with fish and chips for one dinner. Oopss... no low fat here!

Also in the picture was the Scanpan IQ Grill Pan that was sent to me by the folks at Kitchenware Direct. Can I start off by saying I had meant to get a grill pan for ages. I just never got around to it but check out the other Grill pans they have in stock. The reason why I had been wanting one for ages? I am not usually a big steak eater but once in a while, I just really want a steak. And you know those lovely chargrilled marks you get on the lovely hunk of meat? Psychologically I think it makes the food taste better. We Mick has used the grill pan for cooking steak and I think it gets hotter an a normal frying pan and holds the heat better too so he has not figured out the right timing for his steaks yet. It also drains any fat as you can see from the sausages above so your food is not sitting in fat.

This is Paris
Also on Sunday, D was given this chocolate biscuit as a snack after swimming. I was stunned because he said oh.. look, this is Paris. Mick and I had our huh face on because I never thought he knew about Paris, much less there is a tower like that there. Proud... 

And everyone's favourite section as I had been very skincare and makeup focused lately. This is what I wore on Sunday. My hair was straightened -> WOOHOO! Some of you will say OMG Ling your hair is already straight! 

My top was from Ralph Lauren many moons ago. The necklace is called Midsummer Night's from Popbasic. Eyeshadow was Tom Ford not that you can see it and lipstick was Chanel Coco Shine Rebelle. You will have to put up with my bad posing in the future too.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Cleanser range

I was sent the Neutrogena Naturals cleanser range to review a few months ago before I left for Singapore. The first thing that hit me when I opened the pack was how good it smelt. When I was a teenager Neutrogena was the IT brand. The brown soap bar was the IT thing to use. I used to collect and read any American fashion magazine that I could get my hands on as a teenager in Singapore. Their ads were always clean, fresh and so chic. I remember this conversation with another girl about Neutrogena bar soaps even today! So I can say it was nostalgic to see that there is a Natural range face & body bar soap in the pack! Pictured above left to right purifying scrub, face & body bar, fresh cleansing makeup remover and purifying cleanser.

Makeup Remover Ingredients

Purifying Facial Cleanser Ingredients

Purifying Scrub Ingredients

Face & Body Bar ingredients

I have taken pictures of the ingredients listing as well as someone on the Facebook page had asked for ingredients list. What I like about this is there is an explanation of what the ingredient is derived from. Sometimes I am looking the ingredient lists of a skincare bottle and I feel like I need a science degree to understand it. This includes organic skincare ingredients, other than water they always sound very inorganic to me.

I have not used the soap bar as I do not have a container for it - lame excuse I know I really don't have one! I have been using the makeup remover to take even BB cream off. It does not soap and foam up, it is not a creamy texture either. I would say it's more liquid than a cream cleanser. I have been using a cream style cleanser for about a year now. And I must admit that I still miss the old foaming style cleanser. I have been using the purifying cleanser in the evenings as sometimes I just like that super clean feeling that foaming cleansers. I have been avoiding them as last winter I had really dry skin and switched away from foaming cleansers. The Neutrogena purifying cleanser leaves me a clean feeling and doesn't feel tight. Personally due to super dry skin in winter, I might leave this for Summer where I would love a good splash down cleanser. The cleansers fragrance reminds me of green apples and personally I do like it.

One thing that surprised me was the facial scrub. I squeezed this out of the tube and thought it was really grainy. I thought that it would feel rough on my face but it did not. I recommended this to Lianne from Food Made with Love as she had the winter dry peeling and she is still talking to me so I guess it went well for her. LOL! The moisturiser items are not available yet until June but there is also a lip balm in this range that is available now.

Price: RRP is $14.99 for all cleanser items including the scrub and $4.99 for the bar soap. The bar soap is 99% made from naturally derived ingredients and the others range from 84% (makeup remover) to 94% (scrub). Moisturiser items that are available from June 2013 in Australia will also be $14.99. Price wise and bang for buck, I think this is really good. Some lunch menus in the CBD cost $15 these days.

Purpose: The makeup remover was a gentle non-foaming cleanser and I did think my skin felt nice and not dry after. I was also surprised by the foaming purifying cleanser that did not leave a tight feeling but I would keep this one for Summer. The scrub grains were gentle and there were plenty of grains in there. I know there are some people who prefer a grainy scrub but personally I think I prefer one that is less and I can use it more often in a week. I would think the bar soap would be a better alternative to liquid in terms of costs and purpose too. Has anyone else tried the bar soap? Let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Since when are Stripper Heels alright?

I have been meaning to write this for a long time. When I started pole dancing in Melbourne a lifetime and a half ago. Hardly anyone in Melbourne wore stripper heels to class. They might wear them for performances but stripper heels remained in the domain of the King Street girls - go you girls powahhh to you.

I was at Sexpo (yes I did promo for Xpole at Sydney Sexpo.. so glam right now!) and I was struggling to stand for the entire day in my high heels. I bought a pair of clear perspex stripper heels that had diamantes and were six inch as the other girls said they were more comfortable to stand in. I thought I was like super tall and super glam. Heck yeah my legs look like slits! When I went back to pole classes in Melbourne, I remember bringing in my stripper heels. People laughed at me.. Yeah they laughed.

Who's laughing now?? I'm seeing mega big 6 inch heels on the pavements now and there are only 2 heel heights when you are buying shoes. Flats or mega 5 inches and above. Even Ferragamo has platform pumps! BTW they are currently on sale at Shopbop!

Ferragamo goes 5 inches
Somewhere during my fashion dark days aka pregnancy, post birth poverty very closely followed by pregnancy again, stripper heels hit the streets big time. What's going on people? Stop it.. stop pounding the pavement and tripping around drunk in stripper heels. I always thought it would not last long, but I read a ShopBop Facebook update recently. Sky High Heels it said. And then I sawTHIS. What is this!! Giuseppe Zanotti - I say no to this.

Shoes or Weapon?

Think of the poor strippers people! I was talking to some of them about shoes. They said that they no longer want 6 inch heels and have been wearing 7.5 and above inch ones. 8 inch people.. think of their poor ankles. And I hear this style below is really popular with them now. I just have no words.

8 inch tower of terror
 I am starting to feel like a Nana so I will end rant here. Are you walking around with towers of terrors?
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