Why I Decluttered My Friend Lists

A week ago my Facebook and Instagram feeds were plastered with friends’ pictures of the #10yearchallenge and I am included in that trend as well. It was fun seeing pictures of everybody ten years ago and how proud most of us who came a long way to share our achievements now to memes of cars, animals and many others. And of course there were party-poopers who had nothing but to rain on others’ parade with memes that said they do not give a hoot about how their friends look like ten years ago. Honey, you don’t wanna share or be included in that trend, that is fine with all of us and we respect your choice. If you can’t be happy for someone else sharing their milestones, then go take your negativity elsewhere because we don’t need that. Triggered? Nah, makes me smile to see what everyone has achieved and I hope they are much healthier and happier with the choices they made.

I choose not to dwell in any negativity and toxic relationships so I was more than excited to purge people from my social media accounts. I wanted a healthier and happier lifestyle and it all starts from self-care. So what if my favourite seller who sells cute accessories has issues with her suppliers and dead-buyers? I want updates on the mailing of my orders, not the story of how people were giving her hard time. That hardselling fitness coach has got to leave my friend list because constantly tagging me in her weight-loss programme is spammy and irritating. I felt fantastic after deleting close to 2oo people who aren’t giving me value in my feed or are not connecting at all. It was rejuvenating even though I do not get much viewerships of my art posts but I got people who appreciate my works of art and that to me is motivating enough to keep on creating. There is no need some sort of approval and people who follow you are interested in your content because you give value to it. Feed valuable content, not drama.

I decided to rebrand myself as someone whom people can still relate to, not just an artist; but as mother who other moms can share and resonate their sentiments with. For instance, I connected with lifestyle mom blogger https://iambatmom85.com/  because whenever I read her posts, I am able to resonate so much with her. It felt as though a friend was talking to me. She gave values and insights in how to grow on social media platforms and she shares her progress as a blogger. She is genuine and does not sugarcoat the idea that blogging makes you rich and famous. By reading all her posts, you can tell that sheer hardwork makes her to where she is. Small achievements, but it is definitely attainable. And of course, there are posts that she shared the struggles of her journey and how she overcame them. It makes her human and you can definitely smell the authencity in her voice. This is what influential means – You give value and inspire other people to work hard and achieve their goals in life.

My point is, we already have so much going on in our lives and we certainly do not need all the drama and unnecessary chaos. You may block out all the noise and unfollow some people (because some people get offended easily when you delete them and starts questioning you like a police inspector – These are *tau-hueys). As for me, I choose to follow friends who really connect with me and shares funny memes and hilarious videos that is relatable.

*Tau-hueys are silky smooth Chinese beancurd dessert and I am guilty for the spiking sugar level syrup.

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LIFE AS A SAHM – IS IT REALLY THAT SIMPLE?

A lot of time I get questions from some of my working friends how I managed my time as an artist, being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mum) and able to manage the finances after I quit my job. Frequently asked questions varied from ‘how are you able to buy so much makeup and clothes?’, ‘how do you have so much energy?’ to ‘what is the secret to being able to spend within your budget?’. Please hold the vision of sparkling clean houses and shiny furnitures while sashaying away in stilettos.

Truth is, I am still figuring out and will always find a way to make things work for my family. Going for facepainting or makeup gigs are the gateway to my sanity besides earning an income for myself. It was never retail therapy or spa. Those two are basic necessities. I shop clothes for the kids, household, and groceries. Cosmetic and facepainting products are my inventory and I do need to replenish them for upcoming gigs. I set a day and block my schedule to give myself an hour for a good scrub and masking once a week because I want to look and feel my best. Often times when my friends see me posting a look or a video on my Instagram, they probably think I have extra free time in my schedule. Posting my artistic looks on social media platform is the way I get businesses and market myself as an artist.

Most SAHMs would resonate with me – Parenting is a full-time job and just because we are always home it does not mean we do not have much to do once the kids go to school. I made the choice to quit my job because salon and retail hours are longer and I could not afford a helper or a full-time babysitter. Not all mums would be able to quit their jobs, be a SAHM and I respect that because it is challenging and costs are high. Becoming a SAHM meant that I need to minimise my spending on clothes, shoes, bags and work twice as hard as anyone would. The itch to go to Sephora and buy that new Pat Mcgrath eyeshadow palette is already enough to make me lose sleep (A palette costs a whopping SGD 189 and a lipstick is SGD 59). Sometimes I would go to a shopping app or website and place the items on my wishlist. Reason for me doing this is because there will always be a sale. Price items will drop, be it Flash Sale or off-season. Buying pre-loved items and upcycling them saves you money and while getting the creative juice flowing, you have a stylish piece. Twenty years ago, I never understood the job scope of a newspaper and junk collector. They flipped those old television sets, couches, radio to sell it off make good money. Convert whatever unwanted stuffs you have lying around the house, flip it, sell it away and that will be your groceries spending.

I have known some of my mommy friends who hustled really hard becoming dropship agents, freelance content creator for some other businesses’ social media accounts and affiliates for some fashion and beauty businesses. I cannot tell you how occupied our schedule is and yes, you will drop some old friends who are not able to understand your hectic timetable. I have dropped some pals who think I am ‘too old’ and ‘too boring’ for them just because I stopped hanging around in bars from Thursday to Saturday. Priorities have changed and what millenials call ‘adulting’ is what taking accountability for is. There will be days where you just feel bad and awful that you missed out so much which is normal, however; do remember that you are always loved and are doing a great job. Connect with some other like-minded women and you would be surprised that they too, are going through the same struggles as you do. Everyone’s journey varies differently so never doubt your worth as a SAHM!

I wish I could clone myself into 4 people to do the housekeeping, cooking, sending and fetching two kids to school at one time and doing the groceries as I am writing this. Being a SAHM requires planning ahead on day to day basis and making sure that you don’t overrun into the schedule. Of course, you need a few hours of rejuvenation for that whole day in a week to stay sane. Make time for yourself and gather your girlfriends for lunch, dinner or a night out. The key is to having a good support system, whether it is your spouse, family or a friend. Be proud of who you are and always remember that it will all be worth it and goes to show how capable and strong you are!

Vision Board

Let’s talk about achieving goals. Few weeks ago everyone had so many resolutions in their lists and were so eager to tick a box in their bucket list. We are halfway through January and soon we will be approaching the second month of the year.

I gave up with resolutions long time ago because I seem to set unrealistic goals that was pretty challenging for me. The goals that I set were interesting enough which any normal people would write down with examples like losing weight to fit in my pre-pregnancy dresses, making tons of money for the year, closing business deals, gaining follower counts and many others. It took me a while to figure out why I wasn’t following through my resolutions and after looking at my bucket lists, I wasn’t clear about what my intentions were. Distraction was one of the reasons and the lack of focus on a single goal caused me to forget what I was aiming for.

Enter Vision Board. Remember how our teachers taught us to do our goals on a huge vanguard sheet when we were in Primary schools? Not many of you remember this but some of my teachers actually encouraged us to draw, cut out an image from a magazine, paste on the sheet and write out our goals. It was really simple and each one of us got creative with all the colours and stickers. I once visited my insurance agent’s office for some documentation and saw a lot of vision boards hanging in one corner and one on his cubicle. They reminded me the time I was eleven in a classroom doing this. Having a simple vision board with visual or pictorial mapping helps one to achieve the goal in the most realistic way as you set your intentions; in a way, it gives you a clear mind on how you would lay out your plans and strategies. To sum it all, vision board helps you stay in the lane when you are about to be distracted. For example, my goal is to lose weight and fit into my old dresses but I would not have any idea to execute it. So that is when I start listing out what I am CAPABLE OF DOING – 1 minute of squats, 30 seconds of planking on Day 1. On Day 2, I would do 30 crunches and 10 sets of lunges and it goes on. That is what we call planning. When you see progress, the feeling of accomplishment is amazing and you just keep going. So once I am able to fit into my old dresses, I will list out my accomplishment and move on to another goal.

This is my simple daily planner 

Your vision board need not have to be fancy as long as you know the layout of your plan. You can be creative if you want, as long as you have the intent. Also, this make a good crafty session with the kids as they will explore their creative side and motivates them to reach for their goals. When you put your intentions out, you are telling the Universe or God (if you believe in religion) what you really want. Always remember a thought is a prayer so always keep your intentions positive and believe that you will achieve it.

Every Parents’ Nightmare

October is fast approaching us and before we know it, 2018 will be coming to an end before the new year start. Singapore is a tropical and sunny island as we all know; and climate is usually humid. With humidity, products turn bad easily unless you store everything in the freezer.

During the hot season in May till July, pre-schools alerted all parents of HFMD and Herpangina cases occuring every other day and suspected cases were included as well. Lately, a fellow facepainter friend of mine had to dispose ALL of her paints and brushes as she caught HFMD from a child at a pre-school and suffered the usual and torturous symptoms; fever, itch, rash-like bumps and ulcers. I was horrified not because of the expensive products had to be disposed off, but I am already thinking of the other children who are most likely to be infected.

Please be assure that I have my paints and brushes cleaned and disinfected however; I cannot assure the safety of your children if any parent bring their sick or about to fall sick kids out to an event. This is something we all should take note and if your child has a runny nose, I highly recommend that he or she do not paint on the face, but on the arm instead and do let me know so I can take precautions to prevent from further contamination. I hope I have cleared some doubts about my work hygiene practice and do share with me your thoughts about this!

Simple Skincare Routine

Skin condition during our adolescent years can be a blessing or a disastrous and it all depends on our genes, hormones, lifestyle and dietary intake. I remember when I was 16 my face was really oily as if I had butter smeared on my face and whiteheads were popping across my forehead like tiny extraterrestrial eggs in a sci-fi movie. This concern carried on throughout my 20s and l can never forgive myself for not finding a skincare solution as soon as I landed a job with comfortable salary.

I started taking my skin complexion seriously a year ago which unfortunately I am already in my 30s (I was told by some beauticians I should start in my early 20s). The first time I tried a skincare product from an MLM company was 9 years ago, a co-worker who bragged about her complexion and the products she swore. Believe it or not, I got sucked in and spent $400 for a month’s supply and one of the serum caused my skin to tingle and I find it irritating. She claimed it was normal and it is what is described as ‘peeling’. I did not like it and stopped everything because my skintone was uneven. There were feedbacks about how this skincare brand actually caused some users to develop reactions that require serious medical attention. I was grateful that I stopped before the products were even finished.

Last year when I was one of the Top 6 Finalists for Face Awards, I was introduced to Clarisonic Mia Fit 2 cleansing device and have been using it for almost a year. It was a sponsorship item so there is no way I could have a 2-year warranty and decided to use it for travel as it is compact. I invested on Lumispa cleansing device and am guaranteed a 2-year warranty and exchange in case it goes faulty. It took me two weeks to decide if I should ever buy this item as my skin has become sensitive and thin.

Honestly speaking, it wasn’t a love at first touch with Lumispa because I am so used to using bristle brush head and I had the notion that it will clean thoroughly with extra pressure. But Lumispa was super gentle yet effective when cleaning my 34-year-old skin and I should learn to stop tugging and apply unnecessary pressure. It was really gentle to use twice a day and adding my usual skincare routine from Nourish actually helps my skin noticeably improved without all the irritation! Nourish skincare system salvaged my skin after all that painting and theaterical makeup I had on my face. This September will be a year of using Nourish and I am proud of myself that I stick to a skincare brand that not only salvaged my skin, but made my makeup stays for 12 hours straight with minimal touch-ups or none at all.

So here is a short clip of how I remove my makeup and the usual skincare routine listed below. Let me know what you guys think and would love to know what works for you guys!

https://youtu.be/XUArBG9Xi24

Painting Little Humans

If you ask me why face and body painting, I would tell you that I love to be in parties. Yes, I absolutely love parties. In my twenties it was all the music, booze and getting wasted but now in my thirties, nothing beats music, food and getting paid while having fun.

Here is a picture of me and a child at a story-telling event over the weekends. Truthfully speaking as I am typing this, I was never good with kids and I do not know how to react with many children around me. Ever since the birth of my own children, it has become a norm to talk to these little humans like how we communicate with another adult. Most kids that I am dealing with are aged 3 to 5; stage three of Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development theory – Initiative vs guilt. Children at this age learn to explore and start to do things on their own. They are introduced to new things in school and as an adult professional it is my duty to help them choose a design that interests them and at the same time, build their confidence and make them feel comfortable and secure.

On average, I spent 3 minutes on each children, depending on the chosen design. These little humans are the real bosses; they have limited tolerance to remain still, sensitive and need all the help to decide on one design. If you are able to calm a child and make them sit comfortably for 10 minutes, then you have no problem dealing with an adult tactfully!

Yes, I Am A Breathing Art

Hello and welcome to my blog. I paint humans for a living and sometimes I paint myself so I can be another creature for a moment. I get feedbacks from time to time that I look different and I am not sure how to answer that. I can be a beauty Instagrammer today and a ghastly-looking alien another day. The point is, makeup transform people. You either be looking million dollars or the aftermath of a typhoon.

Pictured below is my attempt to look like a kitten and is inspired by Shintaro Kago’s artwork, the Quirk Classics novel titled The Meowmorphosis and Hello Kitty.

instagram.com/amethyst.heart