Comfort Is The Enemy of Progress

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It gets easier

or so I tell myself everyday …

Remember how hectic your life was when you had one child? I’ve always wondered how can moms manage themselves with multiple kids, I’m not sure how I have adapted to this life but my time management skills have greatly increased. While I was on my maternity leave, I still wanted to be productive in some way to my own benefit.

I’ve set a new motto for myself for the year 2019 which is “Comfort is the enemy of progress” I want to better myself instead of staying in my comfort zone, I’ve been in a positive mental state lately and it’s probably one of the reasons that made me think about improving myself. I’ve followed the technique of creating a habit for myself by utilizing my phone notifications on certain times to remind me to do that habit I’m planning to catch on if that makes sense, according to most of the self-help books and articles I read, you need about 21 days to form a habit. Did it work? Yes absolutely.

I can happily say that I started reading every day and from that, I thought of challenging myself to finish 20 books this year, hopefully, more if I could. Along with reading, I started to learn Japanese. It doesn’t come as a surprise to those who know me, I’ve been into the Japanese culture as long as I can remember and I don’t mean just from Anime. It’s always been a goal for me and I think it’s time that I get serious about it so I could at least say that I know how to read, write and speak three different languages.

I’ve been in a negative state of mind after my first pregnancy which I spoke about quite frequently in my older posts so learning from my mistakes before, I’m trying to get myself out of the “Isolated Parent” label. I started taking care of myself more without completely drowning myself in guilt that I’m leaving my children, for example, it’s ok to have my own time in the salon. It’s ok leaving my children with my in-laws even if I don’t always agree with them, it’s ok going out with my friends without overthinking about how my children are going to be without me during those couple of hours I’m away.

In terms of my anti-social side, I’ve been trying to get out of my shell. I became friends with a fellow blogger whom I enjoy reading her content Karalee, she’s the sweetest and I enjoy seeing the pictures she sends me of her daughter’s everyday life. It’s kind of refreshing to see how a person on the other side of the world would live their day-to-day life and how different it is from my everyday life. Speaking of the blogging community, I’m very happy to announce that one of my posts got approved to be in Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums the third issue which I’m very excited about. It feels like a huge step for me to branch out my blogging activities somewhere and I hope it opens new opportunities for my blog to thrive.

 

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Makeup Haul

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I’m trying to remember when was the last time I actually bought makeup, it’s been quite some time. Last year I was pregnant and I didn’t bother wearing makeup during that long journey, so I can safely say my makeup products were expired. After throwing most of them, I finally bought new items that I’m very excited to share my experience in a long-waited makeup post.

Maybelline Superstay 24H Setting Spray

I forgot to include this spray in the picture, I apologize for that. I’ve been a fan of Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray and it’s probably the only one I used ever since I learned how to properly do makeup so trying something new was a huge step for me.  One of the things I hated in Urban Decay’s setting spray would be the smell, I’m glad to say that this spray doesn’t have that smell which I appreciate. The spray locked my makeup the entire time I was at work and may I add it’s also matte-fying, so I’m going to give it 10 extra points for that.

NYX Lip Lingerie (Embellishment & Cashmere Silk)

Now I know I have almost 100 nude shade already but is it ever enough? I can call myself a certified nude lipstick collector from the amount of lipsticks I have. I got two shades from the Lingerie line which are 02 Embellishment and 18 Cashmere Silk. Embellishment is mostly purple but it’s not that intense, as it’s described as a muted purple. I wouldn’t really wear it everyday for example work but I would wear it if I’m going out with my friends if I’m thinking to be a little bit extra and I needed some attention. While Cashmere Silk is mostly beige with a slight visible pink which I can tell you my favorite nude shade and I’ve been wearing it to work recently. The formula of these lipsticks is very creamy and it’s definitely long-lasting, it stayed in place for hours and didn’t smudge after it dried on my lips.

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Maybelline Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick

I’ve never really used sticks for contouring so this would be my first time, and it made me convert. It’s very easy to apply on the areas you want to contour from both sides of the stick and since it’s very creamy I used a contour brush to blend it,  and it came out looking nice on my face.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter (Soft & Gentle)

I never thought that I’ll reach the day that I’ll buy something from MAC, I’ve always viewed this brand as luxurious and out of my league. This highlighter was recommended to me by my cousin so I decided to get it in Soft & Gentle shade because it looked more natural for me to apply as I don’t like glowing like I’m one of the vampires from Twilight movies. I am insanely in love with it already, it’s the perfect finish I need for my look as it gives that subtle shimmer and glow.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer

I didn’t really depend on concealers before, so now that I have a baby my dark circles are showing generously from the lack of continuous sleep. I chose this concealer because it claims to be a treatment as well for fine lines and dark circles, and it does fulfill that purpose of erasing dark circles under the eyes. It’s easy to blend with a brush or a blender.

L’Oréal False Lash X-Fiber Mascara

I usually avoid those two step mascaras because part of me thinks they are just a glorified normal mascaras that charge more, I only got it because my sister recommended it to me and also I wanted to test out the Fiber side of it. The mascara is double sided, the first step works as a black primer which thickens the lashes with volume then the second step comes to lengthen the lash with fibers and give the lash more of a long lush fix. I think I’m fine with using the first step wand as a mascara and that’s it, the second step adds fibers and it can slowly fall around the eye to be honest so I wouldn’t say it’s the best mascara I tried.

Overall, I honestly missed shopping for makeup like this. Hopefully I’ll keep this momentum and post more makeup related entries, hope you enjoyed this post and have a nice day.

Wireless Car Charger Mount (DesertWest) Review

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If we are being honest, being a parent makes your multi-tasking skill level up instantly. You could be doing simultaneous things at the same time while keeping your attention on the children, I could honestly say that I learned I could be using one hand for various things while holding the baby with the second hand. It gets hectic though while you are driving and having two children, and I tend to avoid using my phone but sometimes I have to use the Map or GPS apps to know where I’m going and it’s pretty dangerous to hold your phone while driving in general. I was considering getting a phone mount that could hold my phone while driving instead of getting it from my side and keeping my eyes off the road.

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The mount itself is pretty sturdy and held my phone firmly, it didn’t budge till I pressed a button from the back to release the side. The mount can be rotated and moved from side to side using a ball jointed part which I appreciate because I can switch from horizontal to vertical view.

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The mount held on the air vents and it has two gears as shown in the picture to choose from (I. 2mm and II. 1mm) So you could choose how tight it’ll hold the air vents.

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My phone doesn’t support wireless charging so I had to use my sister’s iPhone X to test it out, be sure to check if your phone supports wireless charging before ordering the product. The mount has an opening to plug the USB wire, can be used if your car has a USB opening or you can plug it to a power bank. Charging-wise, I could consider it fast enough definitely not slow. My only problem with this product is the wires, I think it looks messy but it might be just me not knowing how to manage it.

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Considering my phone doesn’t support wireless charging, I think the mount alone is useful for me. I think it’s a great charger and very useful, sadly I wouldn’t use the “charger” side of it.

Surviving an Unpaid Maternity Leave

Stress is everywhere in today’s hectic society. From finding and keeping a job to paying bills on time to providing for a family, there are a million reasons to be stressed about money. And now, studies are showing increasing evidence that mental and physical health are linked — meaning our worries are wearing down our bodies.

The good news is that once people pay down debt and become more financially stable, they report feeling generally happier and healthier. Symptoms like muscle tension and digestive problems seem to lessen when people don’t have to worry about money. So start paying down debt and saving as much as you can — your mind and body will thank you. Not sure where to start? This infographic from Self Lender gives some ideas in the form of self care tips to help combat money stress.

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My motherhood duties required me to take two months of unpaid leave, and of course that dragged the inconvenience of staying without an income for awhile. I’ll be starting work in a week and I have mixed feelings about it, I’m glad because I love working and staying busy yet I’m anxious about leaving my daughter. I’ve actually considered quitting my job and being a stay-at-home-mom but part of me doesn’t want to accept that. Being on an unpaid leave came with stress which I mentioned earlier, here are some of the ways that helped me survive those months:

  • Saving Money

I mean it’s an obvious thing to say. I managed to save enough money to pay for my car installments for those two months.

  • Consider using paid off days

During my pregnancy days, I’ve been saving up my off days so I can make my maternity leave longer and get paid each month.

  • Ask Family Members for Help

I’ve depended on my husband for probably most of the things I needed, obviously financially. Don’t be afraid to ask family members for help whether you needed someone to help you babysit or lightly used baby supplies.

  • Take a Temporary Part-time Job

I like making friendship bracelets, they keep me busy. I decided to sell them on Instagram and it’s been helping me through the weeks thankfully.


What are your strategies in surviving unpaid leaves ? I would love to know what do you think.

 

 

YumeTwins – January 2019

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Honestly I was planning on ending my subscription to YumeTwins by December and starting a new subscription for the new year but, I had to get January box because it had a plush of my favorite Sanrio character RETSUKO.

YumeTwins is a monthly kawaii box which includes 6-8 kawaii items ranging from plushies, squishies, practical goods, kawaii stationery & more. For January theme, it focused on “Happy Zoo Year”  (get $5 off your first YumeTwins box).

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Aggretsuko Plushie

The main reason I didn’t cancel my subscription is this plushie, I absolutely love Retsuko and I consider her my spirit animal. There are many relatable moments I have with her and I’m so happy I finally got her plush.

Kawaii Scrunchie & Badge Set

I got Crayon Shin-chan. I’m not exactly a fan of scrunchies, I recently chopped off all of my hair so I don’t think I’ll be using it anytime soon. It looks cute though.

Big Sanrio Stickers

Is it just me or most of the items in YumeTwins are usually Sanrio ones. I got Gudetama, they are big sized compared to ones I got before.

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Medetai Chopping Board

Here’s my problem with this “board”, it’s been rolled for too long so it doesn’t stay straight -clearly I’m holding it in the picture because it keeps rolling back- it looks cute but I wouldn’t really use it as a chopping board.

Medetai Kitchen Sponge

To match the board, a cute sponge comes along. I would definitely use it with my daughter’s bottles and other utensils.

Kawaii Zodiac Boar Blanket

2019 is the Chinese zodiac year of the pig (or boar in Japan) therefore the pattern of this blanket. It’s fluffy and soft, its a good size to use for your lap. I used it to cover my son when he slept in the living room.


Overall, I have mixed feelings about this box. I love Retsuko plushie obviously and blanket but that’s just about it. Sadly this is my last box of YumeTwins, I’ve already subscribed to nomakenolife and will post about it when I get February box.

Let’s Talk About Ultimate Fishing Simulator

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I love fishing games. I mentioned a Wii game before called Fishing Resort to be one of my favorite games, I don’t know why I’m obsessed with those simulators. I’d like to think that I’m low-key interested in fishing but don’t have the patience to do it in reality. Recently I came across Ultimate Fishing Simulator on Steam and I saw it has mostly positive feedback so I decided to try it out.

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Considering it’s a simulator, there’s no end goal obviously. The challenge element of this game would be collecting enough money to unlock different areas or fishing gear from rods to baits. The environment of the fishing areas look absolutely beautiful, water looks very realistic and the day-and-night cycle makes the game very immersive and atmospheric.

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Now there are two modes to play this game, Normal which is more laid back and gives you a relaxing experience, and there’s a Realistic mode which like the name implies more realistic when it comes to fishing biting and reeling so it requires more patience if that’s your cup of tea.

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Playing on Normal Mode gives you the option to open an underwater view to see the fish biting, it honestly doesn’t have the best animation but it’s worth to check.

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When you catch the fish, you have the option to either sell it or release it which will give you extra EXP to level up faster. There’s also a multiplayer mode and a level editor in case you are feeling a little creative.

I found this game very entertaining and patience-testing, it’s a very well done simulator and pays attention to every small detail regarding the fishing gear and also how realistic the fish look like.

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My Best Purchase in 2018

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First of all, I feel guilty that I broke my promise to only read written-on-paper books. I’ve always liked the smell of books so accepting this new device took some time. On November Amazon released the new Kindle and I decided to get it so I can read more instead of just paper books.

I ordered it through Souq instead since it’s owned by Amazon and in UAE which is next to Oman -my country- so it got delivered really fast. I never really used a Kindle device so the whole experience was new to me and I feel stupid that I didn’t research it enough to know it’s not your average tablet. The concept of the screen itself was new to me as I’m more used to colored screens so learning about E-Ink displays was very exciting to me. The battery of the device stays for about two to three weeks if I read 2 hours a day, the customization of your reading experience is pretty convenient and makes it more personalized. What I liked most about it is that, the screen doesn’t really strain your eyes like normal lit-type devices would. When I opened Kindle for the first time it offered me 6 months of free Kindle Unlimited subscription to try it out which was a great deal for me to refuse, it offered for me a large buffet of free books along with Amazon Prime ones that you can borrow for free as well. If you’re looking for an alternative to Kindle app that offers free Ebooks and audiobooks as well, I recommend reading this excellent post that explains Libby.

I consider Kindle to be my best purchase in 2018 because it sparked my love for reading once again and it helped me reach my daily goal of reading at least an hour a day.