A Tiger Balm patch a day keeps the mosquitoes away

Ughh, I just hate mosquitoes. Especially when those bloodsuckers did this to my kids!

 

Sekali gigit sampai 4! And that’s not including the bites on their legs >__<

 

It’s very upsetting seeing my girls scratching their arms and legs and mengadu gatal. Usually they would scratch until they bleed and then it will leave unsightly scars. But it’s not just the scars that bothered me. I’m worried about Aedes and dengue, nauzubillah!

I am very positive that my kids didn’t get these bites at home because our house is mosquito-free. I can bet on that. I noticed they would only get those mosquito bites (or “mosquitorosis”, as Ayra calls it)  when they’re outside or at other people’s house, especially those with lots of plants and just won’t shut their windows even at night. Sigh… what am I to do. I mean, as a guest, I can’t just simply tell “Excuse me, could you close all the windows? Mosquitoes are getting in and they are feasting on my kids”. And I surely can’t tell my kids to stop playing and not go near the trees!

 

 

 

 

I actually want them to enjoy the outdoors whenever possible because my girls spend most of their time indoors. But can’t do that with a peace of mind, not with mosquitoes around.

What I usually do when we’re going out is slather insect repellent oil on their bodies and make sure they wear long pants and cardigan over their tops. But c’mon, this is Malaysia. Nobody, especially kids, can stand wearing cardigans for hours on a hot sunny day! And the insect repellent oil thingy only lasts for a couple of hours so it’s a bit of a hassle because I have to re-apply 3-4 times a day (I usually forgot to re-apply them).

Then I found out about this mosquito repellent patch by Tiger Balm. It’s a round patch with a unique formulation to repel mosquitoes and insects effectively, using natural active ingredients. It contains no DEET so it’s safe for children and even babies too.

There’s also mosquito repellent spray which comes in a small handy bottle. You can spray it directly onto skin or clothes, or both.

 

Each box comes in 10 individually-sealed patches like this so you can bring it everywhere with you. I have a few in my purse!

 

The patch has a sticky back so all you need to do is just peel the protective film and stick it on your child’s clothes. You only need 1 patch for your child (and 2 for adult). I think it’s a genius! Just remember not to stick it directly onto skin.

 

The patch has a strong scent but in a good way – it smells pretty much like the Tiger Balm ointment, which I really like. Didn’t bother my kids at all too. They even thought it was fun wearing sticker on their clothes! They call it “the mosquito sticker”. Hehe. Don’t worry, the patch is easy to remove and won’t leave any sticky residue on your clothes. You just have to remember to remove it before putting the clothes in the washing machine.

 

 

 

 

 

Another thing I like about this patch is that it lasts long. At the end of the day, I could still smell the ointment scent whenever I go near my kids, which must mean they are still repelling those damn mosquitoes. At least I can have a peace of mind and not be so worried about those bloodsuckers like I used to!



Beat Menstrual Pain with Yoga

I still remember the day when I just got back from my recent Europe trip. Felt good to be home and meet my girls whom I missed so much… but man, I had never felt so exhausted – all that walking around 3 cities (everyday, from morning till late night) and the 15-hour flight!

My neck and back felt like they were tied in knots and my legs were mildly swollen from sitting too long in the cramped airplane seat.

And to make it worse, I was having period pain.

I wanted to go for a massage so badly, but I remembered I had a yoga class with Whisper so I thought, “ok yoga first, then go for massage”.

So off I went to the yoga class, still jet-lagged and aching.

The yoga class was held at mYoga in Plaza Damas. As I walked inside, I was greeted by them and a few came up to say hi. And then we were all led upstairs to a big room with mirrored wall.

 

Nice meeting you pretty ladies! I felt a bit gloomy in my dark outfit >_<

All set on the yoga mat. Let’s do this!

The yoga instructor introduced herself and then explained how yoga can help ease menstrual pain. Talk about perfect timing!

Just so you know, this is not my first time doing yoga. But it was my first time in months! Hehe. I forgot how good it felt to stretch. I felt like all of my muscles were loosened and relaxed.

Yoga also focuses a lot on deep breathing and this actually helps boost circulation because it increases oxygen flow to tissues and alleviate discomfort induced by cramps.

 

 

Ok, deep breath….

 

I could do this…but it only lasted a nanosecond! :P

Now that’s more like it

With my blog reader who won the quiz, Suhaila. Thanks for joining me doing yoga! (Mawar, where were you?!)

Even tho it was just a one-hour yoga class, doing simple yoga poses, I was sweating buckets like I just ran a marathon. And surprisingly, my body felt a lot better that I forgot about going for a massage – seriously! All that twisting and bending and stretching must have restored my muscles or something. And my period pain… Wait, what period pain? For a moment, I even forgot I was having period, thanks to Whisper Cottony Clean Long/Heavy Flow pad. It’s comfy and gentle enough to your skin as it’s made of soft cotton top sheet. The blue lock core helps to absorb even large amount of menses and locks it away from the surface so you won’t feel so “leaky”, if you know what I mean.

We even got a goodie bag filled with different types of Whisper pads to suit our needs – Cottony Clean range (superior protection and soft to the skin) and Ultra range (high-absorbency).

Thank you Nuffnang and Whisper for this opportunity. At least now I know how to make period pain more bearable!



That Time of the Month

Cramps, bloatedness, lower back pain, headaches. Sounds familiar, ladies?

Yep, it’s that time of the month – period, or Aunt Flo, Miss P, or whatever you call it.

We women are surely special beings, aren’t we? God give us strength to endure the things that men can’t – menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth. *flex biceps*

Some women hate having period; what with the cramps, heavy flow, pimples… and not to mention, the dreaded PMS a.k.a pissed-at-men syndrome (I still love you hubby) that occurs days before Aunt Flo even showed up. Really guys, we’re not making it up. PMS is real, ok.

But truthfully, I think having period is a blessing. Sure it can be painful and uncomfortable, but it is a natural process that normal, healthy women experience and is actually your body’s way of telling you that your reproductive system is working properly, so I’m okay with that. In fact, I’d be worried if my cycle is irregular or if my period didn’t come at all (unless of course during pregnancy). Love it or hate it, period is going to be with you for a significant amount of your life so you better not complain about it!

The first couple of days are usually the most challenging time because that’s when you have the heaviest “leak” and experience painful cramps at your lower abdomen and back. Some say that once you’ve given birth, you won’t get period pain. Well hello, I still get period pain even after 2 kids! -____- But thank God there are actually ways to make period pain more bearable, like taking suitable medication if your cramps are so painful, eating the right food (red meats and dairy only make cramps worse) (I totally Google that), and of course wearing the right pad.

 

Wearing the right sanitary pad would make a huge difference. There are variety of pads designed for different flows and stages of your period so the best way to know which product works for you is to know the type of flow you have – light, regular, heavy, very heavy.

Whisper now offers another alternative besides the Whisper Ultra; it’s the new Cottony Clean. The shape of the pad is designed with circles of protection for all-sides leakage protection, with a soft cotton top sheet that is gentle to the skin for more comfort.

Doing light exercises can also make you feel better. Honestly, I thought women should stop exercising when they’re having period especially during heavy flow days, but turns out, light exercises like yoga and simple stretching can actually alleviate period pain.

For that, Whisper is organizing a Yoga class with bloggers on the 17th of May 2014 at mYoga Plaza Damas, and I will be joining it. Best part is, I get to pick 2 of my readers to join!

If you’re interested to join the Yoga class with me, simply fill in this slogan at the comment section:
“I would like to join the yoga class with Iza because….”

I will pick 2 of my favorite slogans and will announce the winners soon, so stay tuned!



Convenient Moisturizing with Rinse-off Body Lotion

I saw this on my Instagram feed some time ago and I literally laughed out loud.

Soooo true.

One time, I thought of pampering myself with at-home spa treatment while my girls were busy building a Lego house. I figured that should keep them busy for a good 20 minutes. I went to the bathroom and started with facial first – cleansing oil, cleanser, scrub. Then I took a shower and began to shampoo and condition my hair. While waiting for all the goodness of the conditioner to absorb in my hair, I applied some facial mask. I was just halfway through applying the mask on my face when I heard a knock on the bathroom door. It was Raina.

“Mama, what you doing? Open ye doooorrrr” (open the door).

11 minutes, guys. That’s all she’s willing to give to me. And I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet!

I should have known tho. Taking a shower is already considered as a mommy’s luxury and there I was, trying to “upgrade” it for at-home spa treatment! Haha.

You see, when you’re mom, showering simply means brushing teeth, cleansing face, cleansing body, rinse off and nothing else. No scrub, no loofah, no pumice stone, no bath salt. Shampoo is only for when my hair gets greasy. Lotion? Only when my skin gets really really dry because it can be quite time consuming to wait until the lotion is fully absorbed.

When I heard that NIVEA has come up with a rinse-off lotion, I felt like one of my wishes came true.

 Behold the first rinse-off body lotion, Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner.

Yes, sometimes I find myself wishing that applying body lotion would be easy and fast, just like using shower gels. My skin needs moisturization so badly but I just couldn’t be bothered to apply lotion every time after showering. In fact, I’m not the only one. 70% of Malaysian women do not apply body lotion every day because they don’t have the time to sit around waiting for the lotion to dry off (we’ve more important things to do) and some don’t like the sticky residue following moisturizing especially in the hot weather. This rinse-off body lotion by NIVEA is the solution. The unique water-activated formula is designed to be used after shower gel, which leaves the skin feeling hydrated and silky soft instantly.

It comes in 2 variations: Sea Minerals for normal skin and Almond Oil for dry skin.

 

I love the clean fresh scent of the Sea Minerals and I use that for my body. I use the Almond Oil for my feet because I have very dry feet.

 See? It looks just like normal body lotion

 

I’ve been using this rinse-off body lotion for a few days now and I’m super loving it. You use it the same way like you use a shower gel but it doesn’t replace your shower gel. You still need your shower gel ok. Think of it as a conditioner for your body. Like your hair. After shampooing, you need to apply hair conditioner right? Same goes to your body. So what you do is, cleanse your body with a shower gel as usual, rinse off, apply the NIVEA In-Shower Skin Conditioner (while still in the shower), rinse off and towel dry. You can get dressed immediately. Having a clean and well-moisturized skin under 5 minutes, I can totally live with that! It’s totally a beauty savior. I feel like my skin is smiling and thanking me!

You can watch this video for some In-Shower experiment that involved a beauty queen and a hunky host *ehem*.


Check out NIVEA Malaysia Facebook page for more info and a free NIVEA In-Shower Skin Conditioner trial pack. You can even make a pledge with NIVEA and stand a chance to win a full year supply of the In-Shower Skin Conditioner with your 3 BFFs!



Layers of goodness

I am no baking queen so a quick and easy, no-bake dessert is the kind of dessert I like to make.

Like this raspberry banana parfait.

A spoonful of muesli, dollops of Greek yogurt (I used strawberry flavor), fresh raspberries, slices of bananas and chopped pecans, all layered in a glass.

Sweet, tangy, creamy, crunchy. Ooohh….

A little drizzle of chocolate syrup won’t hurt.

 

You can try with peaches, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, mangoes, anything really.

I like to use Greek yogurt because it’s super smooth and creamy. It’s healthier than the fat free yogurts too.

 

Speaking of health, I’ve been trying to shed some weight since a couple of months before my sister’s wedding. I’ve been trying to eat clean and healthy meals and even tried a rather intense weight loss program for 3 weeks straight – strictly no-carb no-sugar diet, no cheat day, no sushi session, chugged down green smoothies that tasted like grass and exercised 3 times a week. It was hard work and I didn’t lose weight at all. I was frustrated to say the least.

I decided to throw it all out the window during my Shanghai and Jakarta trips, devouring garlic cheese naan, palak paneer, sinful chocolate desserts, salted egg soft shell crab and other yummy seafood. Oh glorious food, how I’ve missed them!

I realized I cannot give up good food and desserts entirely so now I’m taking the slow and steady approach of dieting. I eat healthy meals on most days (Herbalife shakes, herbal tea, substituting white rice with brown rice, etc) but I still let myself to indulge occasionally. I have my once-a-week cheat day. I haven’t got back on my exercise mat tho, ever since that intense program. Maybe one of these days. Heh *yelatu*.

But guess what? I managed to lose 2 kg in 2 weeks! And that’s without intense diet and workout. I guess my body’s weird like that haha.

But it’s still early days and I still have a lot to lose (I’m talking 10kg).

Here’s to everyone who wants to lose that extra kilos. Don’t force yourself too much. It’s better to do it slow and steady in long term rather than making extreme changes that is only short-lived. Slow and steady wins the diet race!

Happy new year!