Hello Beautiful

My name is Tammy and I've been blogging for over 8 years now. I started blogging because I wanted to share my beauty hauls and lifestyle experiences. I'm also a pro-consumer, which is probably the fire in my life.

This blog is now happily written by the cutest couple you've ever seen. Gareth's Irish while I'm Malaysian. We met in the most unexpected way possible and since then have been in a loving relationship. He loves to eat, drink and try new exciting things (even extreme sports) while I love the quieter things in life, like spas, massages, shopping and beauty! But we have something in common, we both love travelling.
  • Top 10 Female Bloggers Msia
  • Founder of The Butterfly Project Malaysia
  • Winner of Cleo's Next Top Blogger Msia

What Happens When We Drop Our Phones?

5.24.2016

OMG I DROPPED MY PHONE!

LOL! I didn't know dropping our phones can be so cute until I saw these from OtterBox. I didn't know anything about OtterBox, so I'm surprised it's the No.1 selling case for smartphones in the U.S and a global leader in mobile device protection. They conducted a study with Hong Kong Uni to show what happen to your body when you drop your phone. Obviously, if I drop my phone, I'm going to kill myself. My hard earn money all shattered away on the bumps, cracks, and dents on my phone will break my heart! Yes this is how attached I am to my phone (and everyone else in Asia).


#DropTheStress Experiment

They even have a video to show what happened to the "test subjects" put into various stress activities and in the end, purposely drop their phone. You can watch the video for the reactions of the subjects to that. Though I was hoping to see more reaction, they seemed pretty compose having their phones dropped. I would have gone ballistic and howl obscenity while demanding for a new phone.

SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DROPPED YOUR PHONE?

Conducted by a research team led by Dr. Chia-huei Tseng, an assistant professor at the Department of Psychologyat Hong Kong University, ‘The 21st Century Scale of Stress Report’ reveals that a person’s heart rate increases by an average of 15 percent (an increase of 7.45 beats per minute) when their phone is dropped - three times the amount that it increases when giving a public speech. A person’s cortisol level - the hormone released by the body when under stress - increases an average of 32 percent beyond the normal rate (from 8.19 to 10.82 ng/ml) when a person sees their phone crash to the floor.

1. The heart skips more than just a beat
If a person has a sudden increase in heart rate, it can mean he/she is heavily stressed, excited, or anxious. When the subjects saw their smartphone being dropped, heart rate variability increased by 15 percent on average - about 7.45 beats per minute - three times more than other stressors 1 . This increase rate is three times more than when they were asked to perform tasks under a short deadline, or to give a public speech. (1.7 beats per minutes).

2. The body releases the stress hormone
Cortisol is a stress hormone that the body releases when a person feels stressed or in danger. When a subject’s smartphone fell to the floor, the cortisol concentration level increased an average of 32 percent (from 8.19 to 10.82 ng/ml) from a normal state. 

3. Taking a deep breath
An increase in respiratory intake is a sign that a person needs more oxygen to handle stressful or dangerous situations. When subjects saw their phone dropped on the floor, their respiration rate increased by over 15 percent compared to a resting state. This is four times more than when asked to give a speech in front of a group of strangers.

WHICH SEX HAS MORE STRESS?

Women might have a smaller heart physically, but they are the more fearless gender when reacting to modern stresses. The study reveals that male participants experienced bigger stress in all four tasks than female participants. Men’s cortisol level increased by 22% when their phone was dropped, while women’s changed just 16%. Women, however, did find dropping their phones twice as stressful as public speaking. When measuring respiration rate, men breathe three times as quickly when they drop their phones compared to when they were asked to deliver a speech.

Downright we women won the test of stress haha.

for more information about the study click here

Glitz&Glam Studiobooth Raya Package Promotion

5.23.2016

"Photobooth" Raya Promotion RM1499 (NPRM3000)

A friend of mine, Ling is working at a new company now called Glitz&Glam Studiobooth. She was previously from 123Cheese Photobooth. There's where we got to know each other as I frequently used her services for Butterfly events and parties. The quality of print, professionalism and manner of conduct was A+ in my books. They were early, patient and friendly which was important for me. Trust me I had my share of nightmare Photobooth companies which nobody would believe can happen.

Example, showing up after an hour at a party when they're supposed to be there earlier for setup. The backdrop graphic was unbelievably cheesy, distasteful and not according to the theme. Props broke during use, and you can see it being tape nonchalantly together. I pray this don't happen to anyone so please go to a professional company. One a good portfolio of works to show what they can do.

ideal for parties, events, launches, weddings, open house

guests get to have fun with your party theme

social media sharing included

So Ling emailed me sharing about her new company and my first question was "What's the difference between a Photobooth and a Studiobooth?". Ling said Studiobooth's are on a professional level, with experience photographer + crew and high-quality printouts (unlimited). In short it is a portable mini studio catered to make your event more interactive. Check out their sample of work here and their Coca-Cola set up.


Coca-Cola "Taste The Feeling" Campaign Launching in Malaysia

I would think this is an excellent addition to keeping your guests entertained at your party. Not to mention the social sharing facility where guests can share via an iPad stationed there.

click here to book at their website

Ling says their Raya Promotion Package worth RM3,000 now the only RM1,499 nett is a steal for the first 50 bookers made by 5th July, for any events from June - December 2016. A 50% deposit is required to book a slot. The Raya package includes:
  • 2 Hours Studiobooth Service with UNLIMITED photo printing
  • FREE social media sharing (worth RM500)
  • FREE 6″ x 6″, 30 pages photo book (worth RM200)
  • FREE delivery & set up within Klang Valley
  • Top up RM500 for additional 1-hour studiobooth service + FREE customised Raya setup! Choose from three (3) Raya themes or go to their Facebook Raya album for more photos. 
This promotion is only for the first 50 events booking, so better hurry up! Contact Ling Ching (017-870 7290) for more information or to make a booking. If I have the money I'll just booked several events for the year because photobooths / studiobooths can be expensive additions to making your events more memorable. 

SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence & Spot Essence Review

SK-II's latest whitening products unveiled

So SK-II has released a new essence, called the GenOptics Aura Essence & Spot Essence. Both contains their trademark signature ingredient; Pitera infused with GenOptics Aura Complex. You'll be hearing a lot of the name "GenOptics" in SK-II's whitening range from now on because it's their latest breakthrough in whitening technology. Power pack to be more effective that their past formula, the GenOptics Aura Complex stops the formation of spots inside before it gets the chance to appear. The results would be spotless aura glow, with skin radiating from within.

I haven't got the chance to use this for long because I'm always testing skincare products not only as a blogger but as a consumer as well. The market is just full of whitening products. You are going to be at a loss on which to pick. I find that it is easier to stay loyal to a favourite brand when you believe in its story. Story meaning it's objectives, research and core values. For example, SK-II carried out the story of Pitera, which has won the hearts of many including myself with videos and the infamous Change Destiny Museum roadshows.

But seriously SK-II, you revamped almost every 1-2 years. I'm beginning to lose track of what is what now. Well, I can't stop SK-II from continuously improving their formulas, as long it is better than the previous one. 

GenOptics Aura Essence & Spot Essence Review

Playing around with the GenOptics Aura Essence & Spot Essence, I do like the fact they're equipped with newly designed auto-fill droppers which made it easier to control the amount of product to take. One dropper gives one full drop which is enough. It's made of glass if I'm not mistaken. Both products sound alike but no they're not. Here's my breakdown introduction :)

the new specially designed dropper - one dose correctly given

the top is made of rubber & it's easy to press down

the texture comparison

GenOptics Aura Essence 30ml RM555 / 50ml RM790
This is your whitening serum to be used before your moisturiser. It is a lightweight, milky texture with a powder scent to it (strong). Fast absorption rate, does not leave the skin feeling sticky, icky or thick with a layer of product. SK-II says you can finish with their anti-aging product the R.N.A Cream to help reduce the appearance of pores and wrinkles and give skin a three-dimensional support and firmness from every angle.

The Special Ingredient?
A fusion of next-generation ingredients designed to unleash your spot-less aura from within.
  • PITERA TM : A concentrated formula full of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids.
  • Prunus Extract : Extracted from prune fruits, containing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to prevent oxidation stress.
  • Inositol: Promotes lysosome activity for increased skin clarity.
GenOptics Spot Essence 30ml RM470 / 50ml RM685 / 75ml RM920
If Aura Essence is the whitening serum before moisturiser, what is this then? Well, this is more for those who already pass the gates of the sun *lol*. I meant, already have age spots and sun spots showing. Your usual whitening products won't help you now but don't cry. There's the Spot Essence made to target these concerns with precision (before or after spots appear). It's also lightweight, milky serum but with no strong scent to it (great!). Super absorbent as well. You can use this before Aura Essence.

The Special Ingredient?
It consists of new ingredients Lumina Kelp Extract, which works with PITERATM, and Demelano P3CTM to inhibit Future- spot -signalling.
  • Lumina Kelp Extract : It contains 'phlorotannin' a kind of tannin that works as the main component for anti- oxidation.
  • PITERATM : A concentrated formula full of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids.
When I say before moisturiser, it would mean after your usual skincare cleansing routine followed by toning. Then essence goes in here (serum), before your moisturisers.


a quick guide to SK-II GenOptics, watch this video

Now here's a tip. If you're looking to prevent age spots and stay fair, the GenOptics Aura Essence is your product to go. BUT if you already have age spots and is looking for solutions to lighten it, then the GenOptics Spot Essence is your hero because it helps lighten existing spots and also prevents future spots from appearing. If you're rich, get both of them haha.

The GenOptics series is available at all SK-II beauty counters. For more information & promotions visit www.sk-ii.com.my and www.facebook.com/skii.malaysia

Harvey Norman 12th Malaysian International Branded Bedding Fair 2016

5.16.2016

IPC Shopping Centre, Mutiara Damansara
26th April - 8th May 2016

Did I tell you guys that I have this obsession with pillows? Well, not just pillows... I really, really like stalking bedding fairs. I think I have put myself in a learning phase of what's in trend and what's not from all my stalking. One of my favourite stores to stalk is Harvey Norman, Ikano Power Centre, which is 10mins walk away. They always have some promotion going on that I want to go in and make sure I don't miss a great deal. I bought my DSLR Camera there for Christmas during the Electronics Sale.


the bedding fair at Ikano Power Centre


Tempur is one of the good mattresses I'm stalking

Their 12th International Brands Bedding Fair 2016 26/4 - 8/5 had fresh promotions, free giveaways and new products introduced (Sealy, Napure, HIlker, Therapedic & Englander). I was making a bucket list of my future bedroom on their website www.harveynorman.com.my. Trust me... their site is useful to source for deals. I do that for my office laptops for my staffs and even got a really good deal on a Macbook air from there.

Something new caught my eye in the fair. Harvey Normal introduced the Reduction of Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of Bedding Products. This means giving greater savings to customers by making smart business decisions that resulted in putting customer's wallet heart first.  Why can't all stores be like this?
“We believe we are the first furniture and bedding retailer to offer such amazing deals. On top of the savings customers can enjoy from the reduction in recommended retail price, everything at the fair is going at half price, plus an additional 10% off with purchase of two items or more.” explained Mr Eddy Ng, General Manager of Harvey Norman Malaysia Bedding Department.
What were the free giveaways? FREE RM200 petrol vouchers with every purchase of RM5000, FREE 3 Years warranty on mattress fabrics, and FREE disposals of old mattresses and beds during the fair. Personally, I rather have Free Harvey Norman vouchers than petrol vouchers because I don't own a car BUT HEY I love the free old mattress / bed disposed of because it's expensive to have it removed by yourself! 

thumbs up to Harvey Norman for having a heart!

From the bedding fair, they also did a CSR activity to donate 200 pcs of new mattresses to selected need homes which is nice of them. This is the first time I'm hearing of donating new mattresses to the less fortunate. 

Here's the list of homes they donated to, which is useful if you are planning also to help:
  • RUMAH VICTORY CHILDREN & YOUTH HOME
  • YAYASAN SUNBEAMS HOME
  • BEAUTIFUL GATES FOUNDATION
  • PUSAT JAGAAN INSAN ISTIMEWA
  • KIWANIS DOWN SYNDROME FOUNDATION in PJ.
Look out for their next bedding fair on www.harveynorman.com.my if you missed this one. I'm also on the look out since the RRP is enacted and half off promotions! Don't worry about buyer's protection because Harvey Norman has this consumer policy called "Shop with Confidence" which allows us to exchange and refund, price guarantee, product reservation, same day delivery and product cares.

L'Oreal Family & Friend Sale (Warehouse Sale)

5.13.2016

Saturday 28th May, 2016
Atria Shopping Gallery, Damansara Jaya

I think someone will go crazy over this sale, especially when Urban Decay is in it. Please share the news! but don't call me. I've quit warehouse sales for sometime, but it seems I am still not saving enough money. WHY OH WHY?!


Althea Mother's Day Promotion RM30 Rebate

5.06.2016

shop now at www.althea.kr

Althea Mother's Day Rebate Alert! Spend RM300, next month get RM30 credits in account (muahhaha) and best of all? Maximised this by buying hot deals / new arrivals that has 10% discount. For new members, you get even better deal! Just sign up for an account using my referral code ALTHEA20 (checkout code) to get RM20 credits bonus!!!

Calculation:
Sign up RM20
+ 10% discounts
+ RM30 credits rebate (upon spending RM300)
You're saving RM50+10% off whatever you buy this Mother's Day!

From your local shopper mathematician... public service announcement.

I'm Going Pangkor Laut Again

5.04.2016

a luxurious getaway awaits

I can't believe I'm going to Pangkor Laut Resort again! My first time was back in 2011 where I paid the Resident's Package 3D2N RM799 per pax. It was a steal considering meals, stay and return speedboat transfer for was all inclusive. This time around, I wanted to bring my sayang to visit Pangkor Laut, it being no.1 in the world (Conde Nast). Having a foreigner as my boyfriend, I have suddenly become a tour guide. It's Cuti-Cuti Malaysia for me now. Fine, because I get to learn more about my beautiful country.


Pangkor Laut Island


staying at the Garden Villa

I checked http://www.pangkorlautresort.com and the Resident's Package is RM861++ onwards per night and no longer per pax. I was lucky enough to book Sun - Tues for RM771++ a night and using my 20% off voucher under my Platinum Plus membership and pay only RM1,438.58 for 3 Days 2 Nights. Resident's Package only applies to Malaysian residents with the addition of daily meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) included during the stay.

Includes:
     •  Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
     •  YES Huddle 4G Mobile Hotspot for wireless internet access
     •  Return scheduled boat transfers to and from Marina Island Pangkor
     •  Jungle Walk with our Resident Naturalist (subject to availability)

Available: 01/01/2015 - 03/31/2017
  • One unit of YES Huddle will be provided for each villa, upon agreement to the terms and conditions of usage. Each Huddle can be connected to a maximum of four WiFi-enabled devices. Requests for additional Huddles will be charged additionally at MYR 50 per Huddle per day, subject to availability.
  • For every night of stay, meals included in the offer consist of:
    One breakfast at Feast Village
    One two-course lunch at Royal Bay Beach Club or Chapman's Bar
    One set dinner at Uncle Lim's Kitchen or Feast Village
    Complimentary coffee, tea and mineral water served during meal times
breakfast / dinner at The Feast Village

 Lunch at Royal Bay Beach Club

Lunch at Chapman's Bar

Now that makes a whole lot of difference because everything is in USD in Pangkor Laut. The food prices can cost you an average of RM100-RM200 per meal there. Three meals would easily cost you RM500 more or less a day. I recalled the food wasn't bad, but the ambiance was unbelievable especially at Uncle Lim's Kitchen. It was beautiful, an oriental interior build around a "bird's nest" dome perched on top of the seaside cliff. 


beautiful private island

To make this journey exciting, we decided to rough it out and save on travelling by booking the Plusliner Bus for RM109.20 @ return trip. The bus leaves 8am from Terminal Bus Selatan (TBS) to Terminal Bus Lumut (Lumut). From there, we'll take a taxi to Marina Island Pangkor where a speedboat will be waiting for us. The speedboat costs RM160 per pax for a return trip. It's 15mins ride to/from Pangkor Laut. 

I studied the schedule and to maximised our stay; we'll take the 8 am bus to arrive 12 pm at Lumut. Check-in for our speedboat 20mins before 1 pm. Check-in time at Pangkor Laut Resort is 3 pm. I figure even if we missed the 1 pm boat, we can walk around Lumut and catch the next one at 3 pm. 

For our return trip, once we check-out from our villa at 1 pm, we'll visit the beach and loiter around and catch the 5 pm speedboat back to Lumut instead and get to our bus at 6 pm @ Terminal Bus Lumut. Reach Kuala Lumpur at 10 pm back. 

I can sit a bus for 6 hours to Singapore, what's a 4-hour ride to Lumut? (self-consoling). I booked my return bus trip from www.catchthatbus.com. Very easy and I paid using PayPal. 

I thought I write about this on my blog to share how you can get on the Resident's Package and utilised the Platinum Plus benefits from my previous post here. Bus details too, which I would reconfirm if it's correct when I get there.

activities to do there
(well nothing much really but relax!)

Emerald Bay - beach & relaxation

jungle walk with Resident Naturalist

 infinity pool, Spa Village

relaxing in one of the huts, Spa Village

have the unique bath house experience again at Spa Village
(I wrote a review here in 2011)

Counting the days till my short vacation before work gets crazy again. Baby G (my bf) is very supportive and understanding of my career choice. He's okay with putting up with me working late and prioritising work before him. He's looking forward to discovering this "Pangkor Laut" I have been talking non-stop about until the extent of not wanting to see pictures or the website. He wants to be surprised. To my surprise, he surprised me first by saying he would pay for this trip as our one-year anniversary gift last week. 

#omg

My Aroma Diffuser Review

5.02.2016

let's talk about my new toy - aroma diffuser

Are you suffering from Muji withdrawal symptoms? The tell-tale signs would be frequent visits to Muji and wanting to redecorate your home into a Muji replica. The want of a simple, minimalist Japanese home life is but a dream. For those who don't know what Muji is, it's a brand from Japan that prides itself in balancing the home with quality useful products with prices homemakers can afford. Unfortunately, in Asia, everything that gets imported here is overpriced to the skies haze.

I'm a Muji addict, with cold sweats and intense desire to turn my home into everything Muji. My credit card is having a battle with my Muji membership card, just like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Quote "Come to the Muji side" heavy breathing cough cough.

For the longest time, I have been eyeing the aroma diffuser at Muji. It costs a whopping RM220 (small) and RM350 (big) with essentials oil at RM50 a pop (more or less). I couldn't bring myself to pay that kind of money for something so simple. It was just plastic, without any unique design or glass. You can't see the "ultrasonic" function as well. It's all encased like a Tupperware.

But still, I want it (cries).

Then I decided to try my luck googling for a sale, and I came across several Muji lookalikes on Lazada Malaysia. The difference in price was so great, I was sold right away. I took my chances on a model that look exactly like Muji's but had two extra functions - 7 LED light option and mist volume control (high/low). How much? RM93 with free international shipping but no warranty. However the price of one Muji, I could buy 3 and have it break down if it so wishes. Click here if you want to buy as well. If it's sold out, just wait for it to be in stock. Mine arrived after 2 weeks from placing an order.

*Paypal's Buyer protection  & Malaysia's Consumer Protection Act will help if you encounter defective goods even if the seller uses the no warranty bullshit. 

More info click here to read about the product & it's features.

Product Features
  • Auto-off function, Timing function, LED light-changeable, Mist amount adjustable, 500ml large capacity, last 10 hours
  • Romantic atmosphere with changing led light color, LED light auto change, or choose one of 7 colors on all the time
  • Can be used as a LED night light separately even if mist function is not on.
  • Safe design with automatic water-load protection, stop mist when waterless and protect the machine from being damaged
  • Ultrasonic diffuser breaks water and aroma solution into extremely fine micro-particles/mist and emission into the air
  • Used as humidifier for hot and dry weather or winter when heating is on
  • Have a good mood and a better sleep, Relieves depress after a whole day work
  • Keep water-soluble essential oil 100% natural without burning or heating and automatic water-load protection
  • The mist is room temperature, may get warmer after a period of usage. The cold water used in the diffuser may also get warmer after a period of usage, this is normal.

the anatomy of my aroma diffuser
500ml capacity up to 10hours

mist is created by the ultrasonic vibrations
low mist vs high mist

uggg I don't really like this pic but I must show the colors!
(each light color comes with strong / weak light intensity)

Why did I buy an aroma diffuser?
Because I believe that I need that extra love at night would help with my beauty sleep. The air won't be so dry (dehumidifier), your skin won't get as dehydrated and it's easier to breath (air conditioned room). The old wives tale to put a bowl of water in the room but I wanted something cooler. I'm also a firm believer in the healing benefits of aromatherapy. Drop 2 - 3 drops of essential oils into the diffuser and walah! A whole new mood is created.
Aromatherapy uses natural oils extracted from plants, flowers to enhance psychological and physical well-being. Essential oils used on the skin can promote body healing. The "aroma" from it, can enhance mood, environment and stimulate brain functions. 


bought from Cemara Ayu Buy 1 Free 1 promotion
Eucalyptus RM13, Ginger RM9, Freshness Wing RM50, Lemongrass RM45

There are many types of essential oils out there but the aroma diffuser needs pure essential oils or water soluble ones so it doesn't clog / damage your aroma diffuser machine. I was lucky to get my hands on Buy 1 Free 1 essential oils yesterday from 1Utama (New Wing) Beauty roadshow (Tirta Spa stall). It only cost me RM118 for 2 large 100ml bottle and 2 10ml bottle essential oils. Talk about a steal. Before that I used the oil from the Rose Day Inner Gel Cleanser + Rose Oil RM60 at Althea (these are for woman "intimate" wash & panty aromatherapy), which works fine too haha.

My favorites essential oils are:
  • Lemongrass which reminds me of being in a Balinese Spa
  • Eucalyptus, ginger when I'm sick
  • Peppermint / menthol helps with block nose (flu/cold)
  • Sandalwood / rose when in the mood for romance
  • Citrus to feel energized / positive
  •  Lavender for calm down the soul & relax

has it broken down yet?

My Review

Because I was so afraid my el-cheapo version of Muji aroma diffuser would let me down, I used it continuously for 5 days day / night. Nothing happened so far so (no breakdown, no defect, no heating up). I'm very happy with my buy. Baby G (my partner) says it's exactly like Muji's! If I invited guests over, they won't even know it's not muahhaha.

P.S: Over the years, I have used many types of aromatherapy / humidifier etc but this aroma diffuser using ultrasonic misting technology is my first experience. Compared to an ordinary humidifier, the ultrasonic diffuser has fine atomization of water droplets into the air. No rough fog / logged water.

How To Use?
My aroma diffuser turns on with one click (Mist button) and just hold on to turn off. It's easy to use, no need to read manuals. Plug in, pour water (normal tap water don't use special mineral water etc it won't be able to mist), drop in 2 - 3 drops of essential oil and click "MIST". You can leave it on for either 60 / 120 / 180 mins or ON option (it will turn off when water runs out).

There's 7 LED Night Light colors to choose from to set the mood. The level of brightness can be adjusted with a click or two (brighter/weaker). If you want some fun, then just let it run on auto color change option (it'll change colors by itself). This can double as a night lamp without the mist function on.

A large aroma diffuser is suitable for living room / office / bedroom while a small aroma diffuser is used on your study table or next to your bed. No loud noises other than the occasional burping coming out from the diffuser (water sounds). Which I find theraupetic like in a spa.

What I like?
The price difference between Muji's and this lookalike model from UK. I like that I have the option to control the mist volume - high/low.

What I don't like?
No warranty from the seller on Lazada. Takes 2 weeks to ship from UK? but nvm I can tahan coz I pay cheap. It's also sold out now and price difference keeps changing from the time I purchase!

Hope my review helps in making you decide over Muji VS Lookalike (cheaper alternative).

Update: 10th Oct 2017 - I just want to say, I'm still using this diffuser and it hasn't even fail me once. It still works as well as when I first purchase it and has never broken down (yet). Not bad for a Muji dupe diffuser!

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