Tuesday, December 31, 2013 :: 2013 – A Transitional Year
Don’t ask me what my title stands for – whether it is grammatically incorrect or not, that is not the importance of this post. But yes, 2013 IS a transition year for me to more opportunities and to building my future in the year 2014.
A transition period is where things come to almost a standstill; with few or no accomplishments or even just wandering about clueless of what a new day will bring. I have been there.After graduating with a degree in Finance at the end of 2012, I embarked on to 2013 with uncertainty but I moved forward with goals that I set out for myself to achieve – one of which was to devote my time and effort to grow VGY manufactured designs. On that, the designs this year have been received with roaring support from the customers but I feel there is always room for more improvement. For goals which I had set out for myself, I am always more harsh in the sense, I often think I could have done better.
I still remember the conversation I held with Serene and separately, with John, and that I came to realize, working in and for VGY will always be a passion because I simply love the process of designing all the way to receiving the finalized piece for my shoot. Let me digress here, people usually think that all manufactured pieces from Sg online stores are rip-offs from higher end brands but let me tell you, it is more than that. Everything starts from an inspiration but the final piece will be something that is born out of months of planning, months of sampling with different cuts to see what works best for chosen fabric. And ESPECIALLY VGY manufactured pieces – size XS of every single design is tailored according to my specifications; to put it bluntly, XS is made for me. To whom do I sell these pieces to if I manufacture pieces that I can’t confidently wear myself?
Now back to the conversation I held with Serene and John. Not sure how I am going to put it across here but my drift was there are many online shops out there who exist because the owners are making big money out of it. However, I can never bring myself up to that business level to commercialize VGY, do it on the big scale and sell pieces for the sake of generating income and covering hefty overheads every month. I also know of shops who hire purchasing agents to source and buy clothes back from overseas then resell them on the website for a profit. It is a fast way to earn money, but the process of it is meaningless. But why? Call me someone with no ambition to grow their business but I am very sure of what VGY means to me. People usually ask me why do I not launch collections as often as other online shops. My reason being I see nothing that catches my eye; or that I am still taking my own sweet time to perfect that manufactured design because I am not satisfied with it. Even if it means no income for that month, I am perfectly fine with it. I find myself really happy being absorbed in the process of buying, designing, perfecting, receiving, shooting and finally selling it.
I find life in it because I breathe life into it.
This brings me to my next point which can possibly be the turning point of my life from 2014 onwards. Remember few months back when I received nasty comments on my social media platforms? (I know who you are,girl, but that’s not the point) I want to say thank you to you because that entire month when I succumbed myself to you, it was the time when I sought solace in God and it opened up a burning passion inside me. Disappointment quickly turned to strength and suddenly, I found my vision clear, no longer clouded by tears. John could see the change in me – I became all fired up and optimistic. I discovered an interest in studying the market, learning how properties in our scarce valuable land gets transacted and of course, the treasures that can be found in the marketplace. With faith and encouragement from John, I took up a 3 months course in becoming a real estate salesperson. Now, just before the clock strikes 12 where a new year begins, I have passed the exam and am on my way to becoming a licensed RES. Comparing VGY and a career in property, I will be and can afford to be money hungry in the latter and that is where I will work towards my next goal – in buying land, building and selling houses. It is a long-shot but never mind about the process. Most importantly, I took the first step out.
I took that leap of faith.
But not to worry about VGY. I gave up a career in dance few years back for VGY and I will never give up VGY for anything else again. VGY keeps me grounded and this brand will always live on.
TO BE THANKFUL FOR IN 2013
After years of being a stoic non-Christian, a free thinker to be exact, I accepted Christ into my life this year. The main reason being John is a Christian and I want to love everything that he loves including God. Before I started going for church service on Sundays, I have been downtrodden about life and was enslaved to being a prisoner to negative thoughts. Very often, I find myself crying, not knowing what to do, whether I am going the right way in life. It was painful because I am not one who would show her feelings to the world. It was tears behind smiles.
After I met Christ, things changed drastically in my life. For the starter, I started emitting positive energy inside me which emulate from having grace, faith and believing. In turn, this positive energy opened many doors for myself as a blogger and for VGY.
Just 2 months into accepting Christ, John proposed to me in Japan.
Till this day, I can never forget how I felt that day on February 27. The overwhelming love, the happiness and that unspeakable moment held in time :*)
Worked twice with SK-II and Clozette on my instagram, blog and videos
Was selected out of the many more reputable bloggers in Singapore to fly to Korea for Innisfree Green Tour
Going on a trip with the Gushcloud family to one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.
The birth of VGY’s new label, SWAN
Knowing a group of fun loving girls (from left: Eve, Yina and Evonne) who I had made many happy memories with through laughter and tears.(not in this picture, Jayne and Trisha as well!)
Seeing the growth and potential in Vainpot Boutique.
This angel who has entered my life to bless VGY.
The list is endless but it goes on.
These past few years had not been easy on me but I know 2014 will be an extremely good year for me because God will be placed in the centre of my life.
“If he is for me, who can be against me?”I will be highly favored, greatly blessed and deeply loved.
Through the hard times, I get by with reading inspirational quotes and have amassed quite a load of it. I want to be able to share it with someone out there who may be having a hard time or needing some encouragement at this point of time. Through these quotes, you can also get a glimpse of the thoughts that had gone through my mind, or if you are smart enough, the tribulations I had gone through to stand tall today to find favour and grace in people.
I have intended to make 14 DIY mini scrapbooks of these quotes and give it out at this post. Regrettably, I have underestimated the amount of time and work I have left to complete before the year ends and I have not done so. Nonetheless, I hope to finish making these simple mini books before CNY and send it your way to wish you well for 2014.
Leave me a comment here with your name, email and anything you wish to say to me (and include if you wish to have 1 of these 14 mini books) and I will choose 14 of you to bless you with these humble notes I have kept. I hate having to choose so I may make more then 14 depending on the circumstances.
Thank you for being a part of my life, reading it and encouraging me along the way. Here’s to starting on a clean slate! With humble beginnings, let’s march to greater things to life!
Monday, December 30, 2013 :: Datsumo Labo
Couple weeks ago, I received an invitation from one of the biggest Japanese hair removal salon in Singapore for body hair removal and it couldn’t have been more timely. Prior to the invitation, I have been researching on trusted salons to do IPL for my arms, legs and full brazilian area.
If you know me, I have been doing brazilian waxing for the longest time and had signed up packages for it as well. Unfortunately, even being a regular for b-waxing, every single trip still made me wince and grimace in pain. Haha here’s a regular b-wax customer telling you IT IS STILL PAINFUL EVEN IF YOU WAX REGULARLY!
Of late, I was advised by a kind waxing therapist my skin (@ my V-zone) is extremely thin and she does not recommend I continue with waxing. She did not even want to do waxing for me for fear of the pain that I will experience. But stubborn as I am, I went ahead with the session and it was excruciating pain –.- Nothing I ever felt before and I knew then I HAD to switch to a painless method instead. Now you understand why I said this invitation was timely? :)
In my course of researching, Datsumo Labo came up many times in searches and word-of-mouth from friends was the deciding factor for me to work with them. So on the first week of December, it was my first ever appointment with Datsumo Labo ;)
Because I am very well-endowed in the department of arm hair –.-, I will document the progress of my full hair removal experience for 2 years here and provide links to all the older entries on Datsumo Labo in my posts. I hope it will help you in deciding to choose Datsumo Labo for your body hair removal as well.
Who is Datsumo Labo?
Datsumo Labo opened its first Japanese salon in Shibuya, a district in Tokyo where Japanese youngsters tend to gather. Datsumo Labo is a widely popular full body hair removal salon, with 54 branches opened worldwide within 3 years. Datsumo Labo dispelled the image of full body hair removal being an expensive treatment, and it introduced a monthly full body hair removal plan at the lowest price in the market. The innovative hair removal service provided by Datsumo Labo (S.S.C Hair Removal = Hair Control) is a whole new way of next-generation hair removal with less damage to the skin. Datsumo Labo welcomes you with state-of-the-art hair removal machinery that is most suitable to each skin type.
The consultation area and the fuss-free clean treatment rooms. Everything is fuss-free to cut cost and drive prices down for the consumers.
The machine featured is the highly raved painless Smooth Skin Control Hair Removal technology developed by renowned medical equipment manufacturer, DEKA. It works by removing hair through the synergy of gel and light. By weakening the regrowth of hair, S.S.C causes unwanted hair to gradually become thinner and less noticeable. It causes little pain and is especially suitable for customers with sensitive skin. Which is just what I require to treat my highly sensitized vaginal areas, not the traditional harsh IPL treatments.
A photo of my thighs. Through years and years of shaving, it left obvious pores which are visible at close range. Actually, I had it worse at my underarms. After 2 years of S.S.C. (at another Japanese salon), the pores, ingrown hairs, and the ugly black stubble which remained visible even after I shave were all gone. What is in place now are a pair of really fair and smooth hairless underarms haha. But let’s not talk about this fairly popular salon which I visited for my underarms because I had to endure really bad service attitude every session.
A photo of my lower leg.
My hairy arm -.-They say a hairy woman is a horny woman, right? ;)
The procedure started with a special cooling gel. This gel was applied all over my arms, legs, and brazilian area.
It was less than an hour for full arms, full legs and brazilian area hair removal. Thereafter, cooling ice pack is used to soothe the treated skin.
I know you must be interested to know about the pain factor for brazilian area hair removal. It is PAINLESS. When a person like me say its painless, you can take my words as a gauge because I have almost NO tolerance for pain – it’s like zero threshold to any pain. Dr David from DRx have also said I have NO tolerance for pain haha. However, having done three areas, I can make a comparison on the pain factor for your reference. For arms and legs, I felt virtually NOTHING during the procedure. Comparing my arms and legs to my vaginal area, of course, I felt sensations during the course of treatment at my vaginal areas. Naturally, your vaginal area as the most sensitive part of your body will feel the pulses sent from the machine but it is nothing more than a quick jolt to your skin – which in that sense is already 100x less painful compared to waxing -.-
In months to come, em’ visually exposed areas like my arms and legs will be smooth and glistening heh.
The wall of bloggers and celebrities who frequent Datsumo Labo.
Look who I spotted on the wall! *hello!
My friendly therapist, Janice.
Lastly, Datsumo Labo has really affordable pricing plans which can be paid monthly instead of the usual costly lump sum you pay for IPL treatments. For full body hair removal, you pay a low price of $99/month which I personally think is extremely reasonable considering there is NO OTHER HIDDEN COSTS OR ANY +++. Now that I have found and achieve a good regime for my face, it’s time to move on to my body because it lacks lustre and has so much room for improvement. So first up, body hair has to be gone for a smoother, brighter looking skin haha.
I will be documenting my visits here over 2 years so if you are a consumer who is careful with your purchasing decision, I hope my entries will help you in finding the best and affordable salon for your body hair removal. As I have a pretty busy schedule, I opted for treatment once every 2 months instead of the usual monthly treatment session. You can also choose to go for a monthly treatment plan. For more details, visit their website at http://www.datsumo-labo.com.sg/
#01-13 International Building,360 Orchard Road Singapore 238869Tel: 6836 2140Opening hours: 10:30AM - 9:30PM
Tanjong Pagar / Orchid Hotel Branch1 Tras Link #02-02 Singapore 078867Tel: 6538 3053Opening hours: 10:30AM - 9:30PM
*new branch opening 25 Jan 2014*City Hall / Adelphi Branch1 Coleman Street #03-34The Adelphi Singapore 179803Tel: 9008 3329Opening hours: 10:30AM - 9:30PM
(Last 2nd day of 2013 and I will try my best to rush out my last heart-to-heart blog post of the year! Have so so so much to say! )
Friday, December 27, 2013 :: My Boracay Travelogue
This year had been a realllly great year because of all the things that I have accomplished and the opportunities that I have been blessed with :) More on this in my LAST blog post of the year so stay tuned to that!
Just before the year wraps up, I was given an opportunity to fly in to Boracay with the Gushcloud family and enjoy a luxurious and relaxing stay at one of the best hotels in Boracay, courtesy of Tiger Air and District Boracay Hotel.
I also heard that Tiger Air now flies to Yangon (Myanmar)! Hope to visit there some day (if not with the GC family again next year teehee)! For more info, please check out bit.ly/1milliondraw!
On this trip, I also had the opportunity to finally flip the first page of my book which I had bought months ago but had no opportunity to read. Am glad to say that I managed to get through 3/4 of it on the plane towards Philippines.
Landed in Kalibo airport after an approximate 3 hours flight from Singapore.
GETTING TO BORACAY
No photos documenting the journey from Kalibo to Boracay but I will explain it in detail here as I am already getting enquiries from my circle of friends about the transfers to reach Boracay.
1st Land transfer – The first land transfer is done from Kalibo airport. We travelled in a small 10-seater coach bus and this journey took close to 2.5 hours. Be sure to pop a motion sickness pill because the roads are uneven and the journey there made me pretty sick in my stomach.
Sea transfer – The 2.5 hours bus journey brought us to a pier where we board a ferry to Boracay. This sea transfer took approx 30 minutes and majority of us felt this sea transfer was much more bearable than the land transfer (mentioned above)
2nd Land transfer – Upon reaching Boracay via the ferry, your hotel’s service bus will pick you up from the pier and drive you to your hotel. This journey took 30 minutes (highly dependable on where your hotel is location – Station 1, 2 or 3).
It was a warm welcome at the District Boracay hotel when we reached at night!
District Boracay is one of the best hotels in Boracay and I say they definitely live up to the reputation with impeccable service and of course, in a really good location!
Dinner was settled at a nearby restaurant which was superb IMO! Details of restaurant below!
MESA FILIPINO MODERNE
(Located along station 2)
I woke up to the most beautiful skies, clear waters, fine and smooth sand :*)
The second day was spent out in the seas island hopping, snorkelling and lunching at nearby islands. I woke up with so much exhilaration that for once, I do not need John to wake me up haha.
My floppy hat was balanced atop of my high bun and it made me look like a funny witch hehe
In Boracay, you can swim all the way out to the sea, stand up and the water will still be below your knees (well if it is below my knees, it will be somewhere near your ankles ya -.-)The clear sparkling water which reflects the whiteness of the sand closer to the shore.
We travelled in 2 boats and our first destination is the crocodile island.Some of my boating kakis! ;)
There were many firsts during this trip like snorkelling. Before heading down to the sea, I was both excited and scared because the thought of touching fishes or having fishes brushing past my skin send shivers down my spine haha. I was on high alert to see who was holding on to the bread and made a mental note to avoid them :p If you do not know, holding on to a piece of bread will bring a school of fishes to you.
Snorkelling was such an incredible (minus the saltiness of the sea water) experience! I would loveeee to do it again! Wandered off on my own a few times to look at fishies and corals haha and the feeling is so liberating!
After snorkelling, it was lunch at Puka Island where many phototaking activities took place :pFor 1500pesos, which is approx $30-40sgd, we get to do snorkelling activities and island hopped to Puka Island for lunch (lunch is inclusive).
Made Serene hold a dozen items and had stuff hung all over her while she took photos for me in e sea haha. It was such a funny sight :p On another note, the sand was so soft I kept sinking in and it was so hard to keep my balance in the sea!
Many times, I lose my image when I am having too much fun haha. And Serene often say I am a really bad influence because she cannot stop swearing around me lol.
(Really? :p But I made you laugh right? Just like the photo below?)
Back in Boracay and the blue sails were out to play! Those sails added perspective to our photos!
Headed back to hotel to soak in the pool before freshening up for dinner ;)
Dinner was at Talipapa which was recommended by Brad’s (also known as Ladyironchef) readers. It was just a five minutes ride from our hotel.
This is a convenient seafood market where you buy your own seafood then bring it to the nearby restaurants and get them to cook it for you in any style you want! If you are up for some bargaining, this can be quite the experience!
Haggling for this lobster failed because the price is exorbitant at $90 per kg aww :(
Possibly one of the freshest seafood I have ever tasted here and we get it cooked anyway we want it at a fraction of a cost charged at a normal seafood restaurant!
My favourite crab eating place in Singapore is Melben Seafood at AMK where John and I often frequent. However, the freshness and taste of this small and unimpressive looking curry crab can easily win Melben’s huge crabs anytime.
Overall, Talipapa is a MUST visit place for the bargaining experience and of course, the fresh seafood which is served immediately from the market to your dinner table. IMO, this was the best dinner we had in Boracay! :D
Woke up early with Serene and decided to go hunt for the famous Jonah’s milk shake. Not sure if it was a good or bad decision because we had to walk under the scorching hot sun for 45 minutes (although getting a sip of the milk shake eventually was pretty worth it). And it was THIS walk which gave me a dark tan.
Both Serene and I were complaining non stop because walking from Station 2 to Station 1 under the sun was really not a small feat haha. Come to think of it, the experience is really funny considering how we could have very easily head down to the main road and flag down a tuktuk to bring us to Station 1 haha. Yup, you can just take a tuktuk down to Jonah if you are not staying in Station 1 -.-
Did a little Bay Watch there.
The walk was arduously long with no shade.
Found Jonah’s after 30 minutes and my skin was scorching hot by then.
The signature flavour like the Avocado shake was sold out by the time we reached there. I settled for mango melon shake instead and it was not bad. Haha not sure if the conditions and circumstances then made the drink taste really good or it was that good. We were in terrible thirst when we reached Jonah’s lol.
Day 3’s activities started with ATV somewhere near our hotel. It took us 8 minutes to reach here by bus from District Boracay.
The 15 minutes ATV ride up the mountainous route brought us to the peak which overlook the whole of Boracay.
Skipped lunch and went straight for helmet diving with a few others after ATV!This helmet weighs 40kg or more I suspect. It was so heavy my shoulders were bruised the next day. It was pretty boring after awhile in the waters because we were just hanging around the same spot watching the divers perform tricks on the seabed. But for the experience, which was my first, I give it a 4 out of 5!
From left to right: Jeneen, Jolene, myself, Lucinda and Kaykay
I couldn’t get over how cool (and heavy) the helmet is haha! It is a highly pressurized helmet which flushes the water out the moment you are in the waters. It kept my hair dry, can you believe it?
They say sometimes you make a wrong decision in life and beat yourself up for it. Well, it happened to Serene and I during this trip. It was about 4 plus 5 when we headed back to Boracay. As the sun sets really early there, Serene and I wanted to catch the beautiful sunset so…we rushed back to the hotel to bathe (just like many others) and forgo parasailing.
This is Roseanna and Audrey parasailing into the sunset. Ever since we returned back to Singapore and get questions like “what do you enjoy doing most in Boracay?”, I will reply “I enjoyed parasailing in my mind alot”. Because the testimonials of those we went said it was the most beautiful thing ever, and that the trip on the boat out into the horizon is already worth the monies. It made me beat myself up for not going so badly :(
This was us at the beach in our dinner wear catching the sunset, clueless of how we have missed the activity of the lifetime until we saw the photos at dinner time -.-
I really liked the sails against the skyline :*)
A statuesque District Boracay just behind our backs. So thankful to be put up at such a convenient location!
The Gushcloud family dinner took place at a Greek restaurant at CYMA GREEK TAVERNA. It was my first time having Greek food and I would say it was awesome! This restaurant is just a convenient walk of 3 minutes away from our hotel.
The seafood bisque was reallllyyyy savoury!
Really soft and succulent beef steak with blue cheese, prawns and potatoes. Love this dish! Please do order this dish if you have the chance to visit this restaurant!
DAY 4 and GOODBYE BORACAY!
Snapped some peektures with the other GC bloggers whom I made friends with during this trip. They are really quite the funny bunch haha.This is Hellven Jeremy who sustained a scar to his forehead (and became known as Helly Potter afterwards) during cliff jumping.
One of my pretty capable managers – Audrey. Her eyes are really greenish in color! I just cannot stop staring blankly into her eyes while talking to her haha. Now, that was really rude :/
One of the pool facing rooms we stayed in.
I think an important aspect of the holiday is staying in a comfortable hotel with a convenient and safe location which you and look forward to heading back to every night. District Boracay definitely live up to its reputation and I have been recommending it to all my friends who are heading there next year :) I am sure very soon, there will be good reviews sprawling all over the web about this hotel!
GC founders – Althea and Jeremy, whom I have newfound respect for after sitting in on the GC informal meeting held in the lounge area in District Boracay hotel. The founders talk about GC’s directions, plans and their history which was very inspirational to me who is also taking the road less travelled :)
Another 2 of GC managers – Freda and Sheena :)
With the smart and beautiful Kaykay
One with pretty Valerie and Nicole :)
One with the GC family!
THE DISTRICT BORACAY
Resort Station 2, barangay Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines
Tel: (63 2) 986.1075; (63 36) 288.2324 - 27; (63 36) 288.1448
Been super busy ever since I came back and I will definitely try to rush out my last 2 blog posts of the year! I have something planned out to give away for my last blog post but regrettably have not gotten down to doing it yet because of time. Please be patient with me while I rush it out! :*)
Last of all, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my lovely readers and may God bless every single one of you!