Juvanex Cleanse - wish me luck!

I just got back from a quick jaunt to the pharmacy, where I got myself this:

Why am I doing this? A couple of my friends got into this whole cleansing thing using Juvanex, and have somehow influenced me to do the same. That, and well...I realized when I looked at recent pictures of myself that maybe this could help me shed some pounds.

Juvanex has a recommended diet plan for the week-long cleanse. The diet is fairly strict, and certainly not something I'd usually take on! Sufficed to say, I am NOT a vege fan. I could eat fruits all day every day, but veges give me the heebie-jeebies. Unless it's drenched in Caesar dressing, that is. Also, seven days without carbs will be hell on earth for me, so that'll be something to look forward to, I'm sure.

One of my friends lost 4kg in a week, and while I'm generally skeptical about anything fad-dy, it's only a week-long cleanse, so I'm not starving myself long-term (let's see how much I regret saying "only").

I won't be starting till Monday, since I'll be away this weekend for a short vacay (excuses, excuses...). I'm equal parts excited and scared. I'm predicting major mood swings due to carb-withdrawal next week - do not come near me!

Product Review: SHAiRÉ London Fragrance-Free Hair Perfume and Dry Shampoo

Remember how I wrote about my fondness of dry shampoo? I promised that I'd review the SHAiRÉ London Fragrance Free Hair Perfume and Dry Shampoo, so here it is!

What is with this double cap??
I still do not understand it.
My first thought when I received the dry shampoo was: "What's with this double cap situation??" - having two caps is totally pointless and, more importantly, a waste. Way to not go green, right? Packaging counts. SHAiRÉ needs to get with the game when it comes to that.

Then, the Great Big Leak happened. No, I did not leak anywhere - bless those Kegels - but this product did! I took it to my cousin's wedding about a week ago, because I knew my hair would be a sweaty mess after a few hours. So, midway through the very busy day, I reached into my bag to get the dry shampoo, and I was horrified to find my entire makeup bag flooded by the product! Half the bottle had managed to leak out...despite having TWO CAPS tqvm *rolls eyes*

My entire bag also reeked with the smell of the dry shampoo (which is, ironically enough, liquid). Don't get me wrong. The smell is pleasant, but it's kind of...manly. I was hoping for something a bit sweet or flowery, I guess. It has that typical hair product smell that I don't usually mind unless the smell basically attacks my nose every time I open my bag. This also means that it really isn't fragrance-free, despite what the bottle says.

It's really important to me that all my beauty products be portable. And this dry shampoo is so small, it would make sense to assume that it is meant to be portable. But I don't bring it anywhere with me now because apparently it leaks unless it is upright. Sigh.

Now let's get down to the nitty gritty: how well did it work?

  • Second day hair was nicely refreshed. It didn't look freshly washed or anything, but it was enough to keep my hair from looking gross.
  • However, this product definitely did not help with a 3-day buildup of grease. Seeing as how I wash my hair every other day anyway, it didn't help lengthen the time period between hair washes for me. Which renders it pretty much useless.

Verdict: 3/5

FYI, I bought the dry shampoo from HiShop (whilst also resisting the urge to buy like a gazillion other things over there -- my wishlist there is about 100 products long. Generous friends may request to see said list). There is another dry shampoo by SHAiRÉ, but I'm still not sure I want to try it. So far, my RM10 dry shampoo powder works better than this RM35.90 "fancy" dry shampoo. Might as well stick to that for now.

Gift Of Love Bazaar

It was very warm on stage, thanks to the spotlight!
Photo credit: Lita 
I had a lot of fun at the Gift of Love Bazaar this past weekend! Don't get me wrong - I was not at all surprised. I knew it was going to be a lot of fun. But I just didn't expect it to be nothing short of EPIC! Michelle (one of the admins from The Breastfeeding Advocates Network) showed me around the event when I arrived, and I was completely blown away.

There were numerous vendors, all of which were smaller companies specializing in natural parenting products and services...a vast contrast to usual parenting expos and events that allow Big Milk and Plastic Diaper companies to take over most of the event space. There were activities for the kids, including a giant bouncy castle and a meet-and-greet with Iron Man and Spiderman. And, of course, there were many talks throughout the day, including the one by yours truly (with help from my good buddy and babywearing superhero Norashida, the president of Malaysian Babywearers).

We started off with a small crowd, but every minute a few more people would sit down. By the end, all the seats were taken, and people were really paying attention to what I was talking about.

It's always fun for me to talk about babywearing at anytime really, but there is always something extra special about explaining babywearing to people who have absolutely no idea what it's about. Seeing their eyes light up at the realization that babywearing is amazing...well, it's really something.

This is what I mean by Shida being a babywearing superhero.
Please note that preschooler Alya, who is being worn in a
Didymos Orient wrap here, is 4 years old.
Photo Credit: @lixanizam on IG

Right after the talk I helped the folks who came to the Mom's Little Ones' booth. It was great meeting moms and parents so eager to learn about babywearing. Each person who came had their own special situation (one couple had twins, and one mama had a preemie), which forced me to really come up with an ideal carrier that would suit their criteria. Its a great reminder for me, as an educator, that not all parents are the same, and there is no "one size fits all" solution when it comes to babywearing.

Sadly, due to another meeting I had to attend, I had to miss the rest of the events for the day - including the Simultaneous Breastfeeding :( But I heard it went well and the attendees broke the Malaysian record for Largest Number of Mothers Breastfeeding Simultaneously! Congratulations to everyone involved, particularly the incredibly passionate and dedicated people from the Gift Of Love Crew and TBAN!

As the year winds down, I expect that larger parenting expos will be few and far in between. So I am already planning some smaller events here and there with my fellow advocates and educators to keep y'all busy and educated ;) I'll be sure keep you all posted!

Learning Bahasa Melayu

I lived and went to school in the UK from the age of 4 to 9. This meant that my first language is, of course, English. To this day, I am more comfortable thinking and speaking in English than I am my "native language" of Bahasa Melayu. It didn't help that the reason I ever learned BM in the first place was because of being traumatized by the bullying that occurred when I returned to Malaysia and went to school here.

Fast forward roughly two decades later (let's not talk actual number of years!), and now my 6-year-old is about to enroll in primary school with 0% knowledge of BM. I KNOW this is my fault. I KNOW I should have started teaching him earlier. And I KNOW that he very well could face the challenges that I did when I was in school.

The thing is, my brother was 7 when we came back - the same age Aqil will be next year - and he caught onto the language really fast. Way faster than me! So I have faith that Aqil will be just fine.

For the time being, though, I'm trying to make sure he masters BM at least well enough to socialize in school and not be utterly confused the whole damn day (almost all subjects in the Malaysian school curriculum is in BM...and my teachers were worse than my peers in how they treated my "impairment"). Lucky for me, he is a good reader, so it makes it easier to teach him.

Aside from the bunch of books I've bought, I've gotten some pretty great tips from my awesome family and friends:

  • Say everyday phrases in both English and BM
  • Watch Oh My English! (We have started watching it...but it's not to learn BM, IYKWIM ;p)
  • Reading books in BM (I need to get more of these)
  • Repetition and positive reinforcement
  • Use Malay nursery rhymes and songs
I've also been playing word games and exercises, like telling him to "bawa" different things around the house for me, and saying "boleh" or "tak boleh" (I realize it's more grammatically correct to say "ambil" but he learned "bawa" from a book, and seems to like the word):
Me: Aqil, tolong bawa cawan dari dapur.
Aqil: Boleh! *Takes a cup from the kitchen*
Me: Aqil, tolong bawa cicak dari luar.
Aqil: Tak boleh! *laughs* 
Mind you, we've only been doing it a couple of days. And I now understand why people say that "Teachers find it hard to teach their own kids." 

So, parents of multilingual kids: how do you do it? Any tips? I need them!

C'est moi on The Apartment Season 3!

Welp, the cat's out of the bag.

I'll be a participant on Season 3 of The Apartment! The season premiere is on 29th September at 9.40PM on Star World.

The show will be aired on NTV7 too. I'll keep y'all updated on the exact airtime as soon as I find out.

Glam Mama - repping all frazzled single mamas on reality TV, hurrah! *LOL*

Gift of Love Bazaar 2013 - come see me in action and also set a new record!

That's right - you can be a part of history by participating in a Synchronised Breastfeeding Attempt to set a New Record for the Malaysian Book of Records! In order to set the new record, we need at least 500 mom-and-baby pairs to register...in 8 days. Yes, its short notice, but it's an exciting development for the already really hyped up Gift of Love Bazaar, so you really can't miss out.

Here are the details:
Date: Saturday, 24th August 2013
Venue: Grand Seasons Hotel, Jalan Pahang - the event will be in the Grand Ballroom
Time: 4.30pm for 5 minutes. Registration ends at 3pm.
Fee: RM20 (for lunch and certification, as well as some doorgifts)
To register for the event, please sign up here. I suggest you go there early and check out the other things scheduled on the day. Among those things is a Babywearing Talk by me ;D

The babywearing talk will be conducted at 1.30pm, and I'll be assisted by my buddy and President of Malaysian Babywearers, Norashida. You'll learn the basics of babywearing, as well as some useful tips on babywearing safety, techniques, and (if we have enough time!) how to breastfeed while babywearing.

Basically, we'll be teaching you how to be supermoms.

If you are already a babywearer, I'd love for you to be a demo mama for the talk. You'd get to be on stage to showcase different carriers, and help me spread the babywearing love. Leave your e-mail address in the comments so I can get in touch with you and put you on the list.

If you aren't a babywearer yet, come on over for the babywearing talk so you can finally feel the magic!

Selamat Hari Raya!

May this month be filled with lots of love, light and laughter for you and yours.

Aqil, Afraz, and Adriana

It's a wonder how my hair hasn't completely fallen off my head...

I’m going to make a little bit of a confession – I rarely wash my hair. I know, I know. Gross, right? You’re picturing my as Tom Hanks in Castaway, right? (Let’s be honest, if I let myself go, I could actually end up looking like that. Beard and all.)

The truth is, while I dislike washing my hair, I still need to do right by the Glam Mama nickname. Greasy hair doth not a Glam Mama make! So I’m letting you in on a little secret – dry shampoo!

I much prefer using dry shampoo than take the time to wash my hair (and either having to blow-dry it or wait 2 hours for it to air-dry). I use this super-cheap variety from a nearby pharmacy.

The saleslady told me it’s popular with Chinese moms in confinement, apparently because they’re not allowed to wash their hair or even touch water. (Side note: I think that’s mostly a stereotype – I have Chinese friends who have strict confinement, and Chinese friends who take a shower like 5 minutes after delivery.)

I’ve been thinking of upgrading my dry shampoo. Comfy Care is a very basic powder-type thing. I have to fluff my hair a lot to really get it evenly spread and not end up with white marks all over my hair. These days there are very glam-looking hairspray-type dry shampoos. I saw the Batiste Dry Shampoo collection at Boots when I was at Heathrow Airport last month:

But I didn’t get any because I worried that I wouldn’t be allowed on the plane. Obviously it was a brain fart, because I’d already gone past the last security check at that point. Durhhh. Major regret there.

Fortunately, yesterday I noticed an ad  for dry shampoo on my very own blog! As it turns out, HiShop sells this at a very reasonable price - RM35.90 (click on pic for details!):

We all know how cray-cray Raya season can get. Lest I end up going to unsuspecting relatives' houses with wet hair or, worse, a ponytail (my typical, boring, uninspired option), I think I better keep up a nice blowout from the salon and eke out a few extra days with it by dry-shampooing. I look forward to trying this dry shampoo out! Here’s to hoping that a couple more decades pass before I look like the very handsome Tom Hanks.