Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Why are we so afraid and resistant to change?


Saw this on DarylTalk. The illustration below caught my attention because .. well, to be honest, I went through that exact same path as well. Unlike the author on DarylTalk (who wished to be a garbage collector because he thought it was cool standing behind a smelly moving truck wtf), I couldn’t recall what my ambition was until I started schooling.

Teacher: Erica, what do you aspire to be when you grow up?
Cute 7-year old me: A doctor / a lawyer!

If I were to give an unconventional answer like a carpenter or a garbage collector, they will probably alert my parents, try to talk me out of it or send me for counseling sessions.

So I stuck with that answer until I was 16, where I had to take up new subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Biology. I hated Biology and History so it’s a big no-no to both medical and law school! What I did enjoy was Physics. My brain was somehow tuned to accept all the crazy formulas and concepts (it was crazy enough for us back then) that I immediately knew what I wanted to be - an Electrical and Electronics Engineer.

After SPM however, I wanted to be an air stewardess because I wanted to travel and see the world. But of course, my parents being the very typical Asian kind, they flatly rejected my desire and “strongly encouraged” (in other words, forced) me to accept the study scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in EE Engineering.

I have no regrets though.

You see, we grow up experiencing all sorts of changes in life. This example alone showed the changes I went through in the earlier stages of my life.

So why is change so difficult for grown-ups like us now?

Why are we so afraid and resistant to change?


You doubt yourself

The thought of making a life change can be so intimidating that you kick start that intention by doubting yourself and wonder if you are up for that kind of challenge. With that doubt planted in you, things will seem a lot harder than they really are, and you start playing the “what if?” game:

What if I fail?
What if I overestimated my capabilities?
What if this path makes my life worse than how it is now?

You start to question if you are capable in accomplishing it, and may even try to convince yourself that you can’t do it. To be honest, I was terribly guilty of that as well. My confidence level was so low that if someone were to question something I said, I would immediately conclude that what I said was wrong. 

Even while preparing for job interviews, my England would be on auto-activation mode – broken sentences, multiple grammatical errors, and so on – and I wouldn’t be able to maintain good eye contact with the interviewer(s).

  
We tend to follow the norm or settle for whatever we have because there isn't any immediate impact or lifestyle change. We keep convincing ourselves that hey, it's actually not thatttt bad, so why should we put ourselves out there? This happens when we put too much focus on the perks we have been given, like staff benefits, performance bonus, and so on, irregardless of our own career progression and job satisfaction. Some would rather be trapped in situations they do not want to be in - because maybe, just maybe .. they are afraid of what lies ahead in the unchartered path.

Instead of wasting our time/energy/brain cells/oxygen to imagine the worst thing that could happen, why don’t we think of the best thing that could possibly happen too? The odds are equal, 50-50. Having the confidence and courage to be in control provides you with a life full of purpose and happiness.

I believe that is what we all are trying to achieve.

This serves as a good reminder to myself too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My 4 Beauty Secrets to Acne-Free Skin


I was a pretty late bloomer. Unlike most of my friends, I did not struggle with acne during my teenage years, well at least not until I graduated from high school. Acne started to haunt me when I turned 18 but back then I wasn't too bothered by it because I knew it will go away soon.

I spoke too soon.

As I grew older, the acne still plagued me, even when I'm close to 30. So old already but hormones raging like teenagers still wtf. For the past 10 years or so, I had endured endless rounds of antibiotics that really did help clear huge ugly acne, but sadly that clear complexion did not last. They come back, filled with vengeance every time the medicine wears off.


#march2014 #nomakeup #noedit 

By now I am pretty sick of this emotional roller coaster ride that I vowed to NOT go for shortcuts. My complexion wasn't too bad until dengue found me in end March this year. No, the virus did not cause breakouts but the herbal stuff that I was forced to take for faster recovery proved too heaty for my body.

Dong guai soup. I had to drink this for 7 continuous days

After months of emotional, physical and financial pain, my complexion has pretty much stabilized. Some scars are still visible but I'm contented, as long as the breakouts are under control. Getting rid of scars takes time anyway. 

#hopeful

So .. since I always resort to people's opinions on the net, I've decided to share what works on my terribly sensitive skin. And this is besides the general rule of thumb like taking loads of vegetables and fruits and drinking lots of water.


1. NEVER EVER touch your face

Those who suffer from acne should keep their dirty hands away from their face. Your hands, especially your fingertips have oils and dirt and whatnot on them, and touching or picking on pre-existing acne can make your skin worse.


This includes resting your face on your palm, touching your skin to "inspect" its condition, or pricking breakouts. 


2. Lemon

A lemon a day keeps the dermatologist away! About a month after my horrible breakouts, I start my morning (after breakfast) with warm lemon water - Squeeze one whole lemon and mix it with warm waterLemon helps to flush out toxins and is extremely beneficial for the body. 



Toxin-free body = radiant complexion! 

Bear in mind this isn't an overnight success so you gotta be very diligent in gulping down lemon water. I'm not sure how damaging it can be to the stomach lining so to be safe, I never drink lemon water on an empty stomach. 

Also, according to various sources, lemon juice when comes directly in contact with the teeth, can ruin the enamel; so I either drink lemon water with a straw or rinse my mouth after drinking lemon juice. 


Despite the overwhelming praises on how lemon juice helps if applied directly onto the skin, I've never tried that and I'm not sure if I am going to. I'm too paranoid :|

Cost: About RM 1.40 per lemon


3. BiO-LiFE Clearance 200mg Sachet

This was recommended by two friends and I decided to try it, since it isn't that pricey. It is a blackcurrent juice powder mix, which is designed specifically for the reduction of acne and blemishes, and redness associated with sensitive skin.



Good news is, apparently this does not have any side effects (unlike oral medication). It worked wonders in the first few weeks of consumption and right now it kinda maintains my skin condition. And the red patches on my skin has reduced tremendously too. Not sure if it is associated to this or other remedies I'm practicing.

Cost: RM 88 / box (1 month supply)


4. Proactiv Solution

This was highly recommended by le cinapek bf's two sisters. They, too, had horrible skin last time and apparently Proactiv saved their lives lol.

erk .. Justin Bieber was one of their ambassadors 

I started using this early September and I noticed a drastic change to my skin texture in like less than 5 days! I was pleasantly surprised .. a got a little suspicious too lol. 

There's no pleasing a typical kiasu like me hahaha. If a product works like a miracle, I get suspicious and paranoid. If it doesn't work I'll get all emotional and stressed up #kiasumoment

There's a catch though. Proactiv Solutions contains benzoyl peroxide - a strong medication that effectively kills bacteria in the pores. But this element can cause skin irritation and dryness so use the products in very small amounts and don't forget to moisturize, moisturize and moisturize!

It has been only 3 weeks but I really hope this acne control magic lasts! We shall see.

Cost: About RM 350 for 2 months' supply. This includes a cleanser, toner, treatment cream and green tea moisturizer.


Okay so just to give you guys an idea of my kind of transformation, here's a before (major breakout after dengue) and after photo:

Taken in June 2014 

This was me just a couple of months back. UGH really hated how I looked. And I think this was after an auto-beautify filter was applied wtf!!

This is how I look right now. Taken just a minute ago. No filter, no edit, no make up. Just showered hence the messy hair.

Same angle, same lighting, same camera minus the beautify filter. 

NOT BAD HOR!! Ok la my lousy Samsung Note3 camera didn't manage to capture the lighter scars but still!! Huge improvement in just like .. less than 6 months??

I really hope this stays wtf I cannot handle another emotional torture. 

Side by side comparison

Disclaimer: The stuff that suits me may not suit you. Try at your own risk and remember to do lots of research, especially on the ingredients used, just in case you have allergy issues.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Of Blog Revival and Le Cordon Bleu


Wow my last post was almost a year ago.

Looking back at my old posts, I realized I was pretty committed to writing - from serious topics like sex, love and relationships (see here, here and here), to the smallest stuff like what I had for breakfast and what I wore to dinner yesterday wtf. 

Found this #ootd in one of my older posts.


Damn now I'm itching to dye my hair again. SHOULD I??! My cinapek bf discouraged though, because he said I looked better in black hair *glares

He started his own blog like about a month back, and his writing surprised me because I didn't know he had it in him! All his subtle humour amidst the seemingly dry topics were freaking hilarious! Drop by and spread some love at daryltalk.wordpress.com

Actually it was he who encouraged me to start writing again. Don't know what constitutes to the gradual lack of interest in writing, but I guess it's never too late to kick start it and get my blog back to its heydays! Though I must admit, that kick starting period is one tough nut to crack!

Ok so to officially re-launch my dead blog, I'm gonna share my #ootd wtf and also #widt! 

#widt = what I do today

So my friend, Mandy gave me her winning invites to a cooking demo by the very famous Le Cordon Bleu @ Sunway University and .....

I jumped at it of course! I do not cook at all (don't even know how to cook rice wtf) but my interest in watching people cook and prepare pretty looking dishes stemmed from my addiction to MasterChef Australia, US and now Canada.


Head Pastry Chef Thierry Lerallu made my favorite nougats while Chef Rodolphe Onno prepared this beautiful looking risotto with sea bream and a million other elements. It takes two freaking hours to get all these on one plate. 

Now I know why fine dining is so bloody expensive.



Apart from the obvious favourite i.e. sea bream fish and the jus (orangy sauce on the plate), I was particularly drawn into another element on that plate - crispy parmesan! And the best part is, it's pretty easy to get this done! 



When a noob like me who doesn't know how to cook rice says it's easy, it's really freaking easy lol. Pour a thin layer of parmesan cheese powder on a baking tray, pop it into an oven and taadaa, it's done! For the temperature and time set, kindly Google cause I have no idea lol #fail

With Chef Rudolphe Onno .. who makes me look like a midget wtf.

#ootd
top and cute mini floral skirt: flea market
flats: Aldo

I was looking at the courses offered by Le Cordon Bleu and cinapek bf said "Are you seriously considering this? Going through some sort of midlife crisis?"

.....

I am just 28.