Category Archives: OSIM Friends

Pampering with Hot Stones

I shifted uncomfortably at my seat and glanced up at the wall clock. 4pm. I’ve been sitting in front of the laptop since 10 in the morning. To save time,lunch in the form of a peanut butter sandwich (with sugar) was conveniently consumed  in the ‘comfort’ of my office table.

It’s been 6 hours straight,save for the occasional pee breaks. Little wonder that my back and butt was doing a minor protest.

I never had a problem with backches during those days as a stewardess, what with bending over to clear countless meals trays and heaving bags laden with ‘gold bars’ into the overhead compartment.

Many of my ex-colleagues are regulars at the physiotherapist clinic.

So why now? Is age hot on my heels?

Come to think of it, I was never the type who could sit through an entire movie in the theatre without shifting my body from time to time. Towards the last quarter of it, one would probably notice this ‘wriggley’ woman constantly trying to find a soft spot left of her pathetic butt.

Yes, blame it on the lack of flesh on my posterior. I can never sit as long as I would have liked to.

You can imagine the agony I went through during a six hour bus journey to see the Taj Mahal 5 years ago. The group of us went, armed with fat hotel pillows to brave the ride. Towards the last 2 hours, the discomfort was enough to entertain thoughts of squatting the rest of the journey there.

Well, but for the past 2 weeks, while tasks built up and tensions shot up north, there lies a saving grace.

The unofficial chill out table where aching backs and itchy mouths are satiated

I was fortunate to have the oppurtunity to try this massage chair pad, curiously named the uMomo. I wasn’t the first though. The IT guys took their turns to check out its functions, excited at the prospects of having a portable back massage right in the office. For most desk bound workhorses, backaches and stiff neck muscles is common. At times, we’re just short of forming a circle with hands working out the shoulders knots of the person in front.

The cool part is that it comes with the option of being used in the car – great for long drives to Malaysia or even Thailand.

Skive Time on the uMomo

By the time uMomo came to me (whatever happened to ladies first?), the verdict was clear. The guys gave the thumbs up. There was just a grouse from one of them though.

“Can be harder. I like very strong massages. This uMomo is too relaxing until I want to fall asleep already,” he remarked.

Another was most impressed with the hot stones function. The soothing warmth is my favourite feauture as well, it being rather cold in the office at times. The heat is both deeply relaxing and helps tight muscles release. Its thick padding provides  comfortable cushioning for the body, even when not in operation.

That got me interested to find out more about  hot stones massages and its promised effects.

Does this conjure up images of pure relaxation, warmth and mellow souls?

Hot stone massage is a specialty massage that uses smooth, heated stones – a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well. A hot stone massage is more expensive than a basic Swedish massage due to tedious preparation and clean-up. A typical hot stone massage ranges from $125-$150 for an hour of blissful relaxation.

Here’s a quick lowdown on Hot Stone Massage:

  • The stones come in various shapes and sizes. They are sanitised in essential oils and heated.
  • The therapist warms up the body with traditional Swedish massage before massaging you with a heated stone. The warmth is maintained by constant change of heated stones.
  • The therapist might also leave heated stones in specific points along your spine, in the palms of your hand, on your belly, or even between your toes to improve the flow of energy in your body.

The heat of the stones helps muscles release more quickly than in traditional massage. That said; speak up if the stones are too warm! Be mindful about the pressure asserted as well. If you feel discomfort during the process, the therapist ain’t doing it right.

Many women have found that hot stone massages de-stresses, detox, and releases unwanted emotions accumulated during trials of the day. If the positive effects allow one to regain the healthy spring in his/her footsteps, surely it’s worth a try?

Time and those tight purse strings is always a consideration. For those semi permanent residents of their offices, it’s a case of finding the next best alternative. Well, you’ve seen the uMomo.

What are you waiting for, my friends ?


Are Your New Year Resolutions Within Your Reach?

Happy New Year to Everyone and let us welcome the new decade!

It can be quite scary how time flies. It is now 2010! This is the time of the year when everyone starts drawing up a to-do list and making resolutions as a guide to what they want to achieve in the year.

Hmm… What resolution did I make last year? Oh my… I can’t recall. Or did I even make any resolution? *thinking hard*… How about you? Did you achieve what you want to achieve for 2009?

I don’t know about you. But if I do make a New Year resolution, there must be something I want to change for the better, to achieve something, or to improve certain aspects of my life.

2009 flew away so quickly that when I look back, I realized I have wasted a year of my life. I seemed to have achieved none all the 3 criteria I mentioned earlier. What have I done? What a shame huh?

I don’t know if this has happened to you before. Some of us were so motivated in making the same resolutions yearly. It is either to raise the numbers in our bank account, in getting the boss’s recognition for the promotion, landing the new job, quit smoking, eating healthier, exercise more, spending more time with family, or just plainly to live happier.

But most of us fail to stick to them time and time again. And after a few months, we become discouraged and succumb to giving up. And the cycle continues.

There seems to be so much we can achieve when we were younger. The sky’s the limit. As we get older, the expectations of what we have of ourselves becomes higher. And we tend to set goals that may not be within our control. Therefore, we end up being disappointed and negative.

Then again, if everything is planned, smooth sailing and given to you since the day you were born, won’t life be dull and meaningless as you do not have your own goals and challenges?

*How many of you can remember the green paper license many years back?*

I got my green colored laminated driving license four days before I turned 19. It was the greatest birthday gift for me. During those times, it’s a big deal! I scored in a single attempt within 3-4 months of intensive practice and lessons (and NO! I didn’t wear low cut!). It didn’t bother me that it’d cost a month’s salary; I would have sacrificed two Louis Vuitton for this. Once I set my mind to it, I will do it. No amount of temptations can make me waver.

I love cars. I want one that I can call my own, a car that displays my personality and character, a car that I can enjoy the drive and be attached to it. But it must be affordable. I do not wish to pay an arm or a leg for it. The search wasn’t long. I was attracted to Mazda MX-5 instantly. It’s a brilliant lifestyle car, a roadster that seats two, fun, and definitely alluring. And most important of all, it’s the most affordable convertible available.

For 10 years, I refuse to compromise on a normal 4-door car. I am very prudent and I knew if I had bought any other cars, I would eventually change it for a MX5. Finally, I bought my first car 7 years ago, my MX5. To date, I still drive it and enjoying every minute of the wind in my face. She has been really good to me.

When I was 23, I gave a shot at motorcycle lessons. Strange, you may think. Why would I need a Class 2B license if I already have a Class 3? Well, it is to satisfy my fantasy of riding a scooter during my teenage days. I saw girls in Taiwan and Japan riding their cute little scooters, dressed in their pretty dresses. It’s really cool! On the other hand at the driving school, the other students looked at me as if I’m an alien because I was the oldest lady rider there. I had the last laugh because being more careful and mature, I passed on one attempt.

*Best way to get to Marina Bay for fireworks on New Year’s Eve ushering in 2008.

Where’s the jam?*

I now own a white Vespa that I call Charlotte. Due to the weather and layer of dust that settles on my face every time I ride, Charlotte only clocked 2000km in 4 years.

Addicted to collecting licenses, as my friends described, I tried my hands on Powered Pleasure Craft, also known as motorboat. I was 24. Due to practices that didn’t turn out too well, I gave up after I passed my theory prior to my practical test. I wasn’t confident I could make it. However, this was always at the back of my mind. How can I be a quitter? I must accomplish whatever I set out to do!  My love for water sports and jet-skis prompted my second attempt. I made it through this time round, 8 years later, but better late than never.

All these were not achieved within a year. It took me more than a decade.

My strong belief: If you set your mind to do something, persevere and work on it. It may not happen in year 2010, but hey, we have the whole decade! As long as you don’t quit, you will definitely succeed.

I’ve just given myself another resolution this year. It is to set up my own business. This thought has been with me ever since my flying days. I’m still working on possibilities and opportunities. I’m sure I will make it happen, hopefully by the end of 2010.

Remember people, New Year resolutions are made to be a driving force, a motivation, a goal to work towards. So, don’t lose hope by the past failures. Let us work towards our goal with optimism.

Good luck and all the best, with love.

Perfect Mist

I love window-shopping & am often fascinated with the latest fashion trends and technology gadgets in town. What better time to do so & for excuses to be able to make actual purchases for the New Year! Decided to shop during my leave & mustered the courage to hit busy Orchard Road, as there are many new shopping malls with the familiar brands.

And while doing my ‘ritual rounds’ in ION, I stopped by the OSIM outlet to say hi to Edmund. We chatted for a while and asked him if I could try out the uDream. But like a kid, I was easily distracted and shifted my attention to an egg look-alike product. According to Edmund, it is the uMist.

A humidifier that works splendidly in cold countries. In our case, in sunny Singapore! This will work very well for people who are constantly in air-conditioned room for prolonged hours.

You may not know the immediate ‘harm’ being in the air-conditioned room. Besides dry lips, I always feel dry cracks near my ankles and elbows. I hate those dry, white scaly skin, they make one look like a reptile. One of my ex-colleagues even had mild cold rash which she could not stop scratching, resulting in ugly scratch scabs. The usual moisturers & body lotions no longer work for her so she has to resort to applying prescribed medicated lotions regularly. So one shouldn’t be complacent & have the mindset that prevention is better than cure.

Kind Edmund demonstrated on how to use the uMist. It has a very clever & safe capability – it automatically switches off when the water tank dries up. There will be no incidents of overheating of the gadget that could cause fire.

And I am impressed that after loading the water, it is still very light & suitable for the elderly as well. I think it will benefit ah ma (grandma) especially since her skin is full of wrinkles & she doesn’t like applying moisturer. Maybe this will be a good present for her. Shall propose that to my parents.

I like the clean & simple color, white with a touch of relaxing light green that will definitely match any design or renovation themes in the office or at home.

Lastly, this will make a good gift as it is affordable & one can go buy off the rack because of its light weight. Due to time constraint, I had to leave without exploring the other smart gadgets or uDream but I told myself to visit soon, real soon.

Mist that’s hard to resist !

For those office ladies, hands up for those who boast of perfectly moisturised skin, plump with nature’s collagen and silky to the touch? Come on, don’t be shy.

No one?

It’s no wonder really. The typical office life may not be your skin’s best friend. While we all know that dry, recycled air is our skin’s nemesis, few are aware that  long-term emission effects from computers, photo-copiers and fax machines can have negative and cumulative effects on our once flawless skin.

I was appalled. For the past half year, I’ve been facing the laptop monitor for hours on end.

What kind of damage is happening right before my eyes?

Many are under the impression that being cooped inside our comfy offices and out of sight of the mighty sun rays mean that they are spared its skin-damaging effects.

Hell no. If you have not been slapping on at least a layer of SPF 15 protective moisturiser, it’s high time you start!

Ever since that alarming piece of information, I started to apply a layer of SPF70 sunscreen on my freckles, better known as The Milky Way. With that shield in place, I am ready to tackle all environmental conditions.

Well, almost all. Dryness caused by both the loved and dreaded air conditioner can be dampening to a woman’s spirits. Apart from constant lathering of lotion throughout the day, remember the simple rule: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Most women have the sense to carry a bottle of water wherever they go.  Always fill up and set a reminder to drink up, if need be. I know how crazy timelines can get. There’s hardly time for pee breaks, let alone to top up the tanks. But drinking water helps to refresh your mind and spirit, so doing so prepares us for the longer haul.

Now that we’ve got the inner defences up, let’s attack the outer elements. Since we can’t live without the air-con, let’s find ways to combat its drying effects using good old water again.

I remember back in my flying days, winter season was the most dreaded. My skin and lips would always end up cracked and super dry, no matter how much lotion I slathered on. Whenever we flew to Seoul and Tokyo, I would inevitably be the first to ‘chope’ (reserve) the hotel humidifier as soon as we checked in. (sorry girls!)

Demand for these skin-savers was always greater than supply!

If all else fails, the stewardesses will hang wet towels all over the room as a last resort.  I know of one who would sprinkle water directly on the carpet, all the way from the bathroom to the bed. Wet uniforms (yes, most of us do the washing instead of sending for expensive dry-cleaning services) hung a few hours ago would dry to a crisp should you leave the windows ajar!

Winter days are over for me but now that my days are spent in the office, hydration is top on the list. Moisturisers, lip balm, water and my trusty humidifier are within reach at all times. Yes, uMist is the latest addition to my arsenal of defence tools. I’ve used several different brands before but have yet to find one that combines several benefits in one nifty product like the uMist. For one, its price is one  I can’t resist.

It acts as an ionizer, providing negative ions that remove dust and other suspended impurities to improve air quality for a breath of fresh air– excellent for stuffy, stinky rooms. That’s great as my office carpet sorely needs a vacuum and I hate to imagine the amount of horrid dust attacking my sandwich.

I love the fact that other than making my skin moisturized and soft, an added bonus is the refreshing feel of its cool mist when I place my face in its trail – an instant wake- me-up.  Splendid!

Remember, dry skin ages faster than you could say “Moisturizer please” so fill up both tanks now – inner and outer!

What do you arm yourself with in the office?

I am totally inspired!

My mum & sis will automatically glance at my shopping bags whenever I get back from shopping, without even saying “Hello”. Instead, they greet me with “What have you got there?” I guess this is the new trend of showing how much they love me. Ha, just kidding. They do sincerely love me loads. They make me feel like ‘Santa Claus’ has been visiting me more than the norm. I’m simply blessed.

They are simply amazed each time & extremely curious about the contents of my bags. This time round, I whipped out another 2 new inventions by OSIM and they both squealed. Really love the excitement and sparkle in their eyes when thoughts of using the gadgets came to their mind. I’m thrilled to share my blessings. They are occupying the not so spacious chambre (bedroom in French) of mine. Just like the Japanese cartoon character, Doraemon; I have almost everything to keep me entertained in da room!

Out of the many birthday celebrations & meet-ups with friends during Christmas, some are actually done on a yearly basis. Yes, we accumulate all of our happenings and blast them in 1 meeting so usually they will tend to end later than your usual gathering. But I am not complaining because at least everyone will make an effort to show up rather than having many separate meet-ups which only a few can attend.

Before these hearty feasts and meet-ups, I enjoy being my own stylist, mixing & matching the different outfits to create unique looks. My favorite will have to be the accessories! They are not just a ring, necklace or bangle but play the important role of jazzing up & creating a whole interesting feel for us- the Fashionista!

The love for shopping & collecting of accessories had intensified since my stewardess days & I do not mind spending loads on them on a single trip, especially those from London, U.S, Taiwan, Korea, Japan & Bangkok. My collection has dwindled after clearing & passing plenty to sis & friends due to space constraint.

Singapore being sunny & humid, many of my previous accessories have thus tarnished due to an owner who has very high body metabolism rate, perspiring as if there is no tomorrow- me! And it is cumbersome and such a hassle to have them polished. Besides, I am a busy woman, you know.(a perfect excuse for my laziness!)

I am absolutely thrilled to be introduced to a very friendly & cutesy small gadget –  the uSonic, to relieve me from the embarrassment of very ‘dirty’ & old looking accessories.

Earlier on, I went to the ION outlet to better understand the functions & instructions to its usage. Kind Edmund was on duty & once again he patiently showed me how.

‘Wow’ was written all over my face. ‘You mean just put them in, just this easy?’ That was my exact thoughts then as I continued to listen intently to Edmund as he unraveled the beneficial functions.

That’s him

Once home, I gathered my sis, her accessories & mine and the cleaning process began.

The end results?

We are once again proud owners of these shiny accessories

Leaving behind dirty residue

Just like OSIM’s tagline, Inspiring Life, I am definitely inspired!

Now I am ready for all celebrations…bring them on! Weee…

Tuck in !

“Janet, let’s have a Christmas party in the office! My wife can take care of the turkey. She’s very good with that!” my senior IT manager suggested enthusiastically.

No surprise that the suggestion came from him. He’s the ultra sociable type and loves company.

“I’ll bring drinks. Can’t cook, sorry,’ said another. “Sure, and I’ll bake the fruit cake!” I chipped in. I have the recipe for an incredibly irresistible rum fruit cake and now’s the time to show it off.

The thought of festive goodies distracted us for a while. While everyone started to get excited over the party planning, I surfed for lamb recipes.  Turkey has never been a favourite of mine, it being dry and tough most of the times. In fact, most people I know eat turkey as a celebratory gesture more than the fact that they really enjoy the taste.

Most looks better than it taste, or is it just me?

Most traditional Chinese families do not take to lamb. My family is no exception. My recollection of having the best lamb dishes was that of first class, after the meal service of course.  The generous and succulent slabs still leave its lingering aftertaste in my memory.

The sprig of rosemary (in the photo) reminds of the time when the crew were rushing during the service and the elusive rosemary could not be found. Plating (airline term for arranging food on large dinner plates in premium class) is an art. The various herb garnishes adds the visual ‘height’ to the main course and final touches.

When an artist loses the final stroke, it’s panic time! It’s just a garnish, you might think but to the airline, this visual effect that rounds up the overall aesthetic appearance is but a must.

This reminds me of the unforgetable roasted lamb I had onboard many Christmas ago

The thought of Christmas goodies has obviously gotten many drooling.  So where will you be during Christmas?  Many of my friends have reserved seats to pig out at the buffets.  Honey baked ham with honey sauce, rack of lamb, Christmas pudding; roast turkey stuffed to the max, eggnog, apple cider … major slurp at the smorgasbord!

Eating out is a major obstacle for all healthy eaters because it’s so easy to go overboard in the calorie department.  When party invitations start flooding in, parties mean alcohol and with the best will in the world you will want to enter the party spirit and enjoy a drink.

The dampener is that we all know that alcohol is high in calories (1g = 7kcal).  Of course, some choose to ignore it, especially after one too many.

Know any of the tips below? Do practise them!

* Try alternating alcoholic drinks with low calorie non-alcoholic drinks or water

* Use low calorie/diet mixers – it can make a big difference

* Make wine into a spritzer (adding a low-calorie soft drink) – a longer drink means you will drink less

*Don’t Skip Meals to Allow for Drinks

*Don’t be tempted to skip meals to allow for drinks – you’ll feel the effects of alcohol much faster

In fact, eating a proper meal before you go out will line your stomach and slow the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream. This will keep you in control of how much you eat and drink.

My personal method is to suck on a really sour preserved plum as it works well for me. Do you have any to add to the list?

From time to time, we see young people drunk to the world and being dragged out parties and clubs by their friends – not a pretty sight at all. Surely, the pretty girl I witnessed, who left with a trail of pee as a grand exit would not be visiting the same club for a long time to come.

What every you do, watch your intake and don’t get carried away by the festive mood and end up doing something you might regret thereafter. Yes, we are not talking about calorie-counting here. Have sensible fun and you’ll wake up post celebration morning with wonderful memories and zero hangovers!

Have a great time everyone!

Let’s Gather Our Resources and Share

Christmas season is a time for giving and sharing.

As mentioned in my last article, time spent with loved ones is probably the most treasured gift this season.

Many of us are blessed to have our loved ones (though we may often take for granted) sharing the love and joy this festive season. Be it spouses, children, partners, soul mates, parents, siblings, or even friends. But, please stop and look outside our circle, there are many who are not as fortunate.

Yes. I’m referring to the abandoned kids in children’s’ home, the orphans, the unmarried old folks, and the old folks that unfilial children conveniently housed in homes without visiting them for years.

Many years back, I used to volunteer and spend once a week at a few blocks of the rented 1-room HDB flats in Jalan Bukit Merah. We collected old clothes, newspapers, and other items that can be recycled and converted to cash. With the extra funds, we then proceeded to buy the daily necessities for the old folks. Their wish list could be as simple as a rice cooker, a cheap fan, or even an extra pack of rice.

Apart from providing them with their needs, we gather the old people (who are mostly living alone) at the void deck and engage in activities and interaction. We chat and sing with them. Sadly, through talking to them, you’ll get to realize that they tend to just live every day with nothing to look forward to, except for the days they would rest forever. We want to let them know that we care, and that they are not all alone in this world. We want them to know that there is joy during their golden years.

*Let us do what we can to put a smile on their faces*

Most people will be fussing over decorations of the Christmas tree in their homes, planning and making sure that gourmet food is enough for everyone invited, and crossing out the gifts that are placed under the tree, taking care not to miss anyone out.

But to these less privileged groups of people, their priorities may be so different. Abandoned kids and orphans may wish for cheap toys they never had before, or even just a tender loving kiss and a hug from loved ones. But, the latter may just be a wish that will never ever come true…

Couple of months back, I saw a documentary covering the story of what some kind souls and volunteers do for the old folks in Singapore. Nowadays, they convert the void deck into a place to socialize, where old folks mingle and partake in activities together. Some of them play Mahjong, do light exercises, chat, and eat there, spending the entire afternoon there with good company. At least they don’t feel lonely.

*Do you think it will be a good idea to donate the uSqueez Warm to the centre?*

I remember seeing some old folks having to massage their feet. And usually at this time of the year, the temperature goes down and can get quite cold for them. The uSqueez Warm should come in useful as the massages provide blood circulation, coupled with heat therapy. And by donating it to the centre and not only individuals, all of them will benefit from it.

It was one cold sleepy night while I was sitting in my windy living room. I felt the immediate need to get a squeeze and some warmth for my cold feet. It better be good, I thought. I had a hard time fitting the big box into my tiny car and carrying up to my place alone!

Wow, I never regretted the solo transportation process. Thanks to OSIM, I fell asleep on my couch and woke up 2 hours later with my feet still in the uSqueez Warm. Sorry Squeezy (my iSqueez), please make way for two weeks.

Hey people, back to the discussion about donating a uSqueez Warm.

Anyone of you would like to do something meaningful this Christmas? Shall we deliver a set of uSqueez Warm to the centre as a gift for the pioneers of our beautiful country?

If I could gather 15 people, it will just be slightly below $50 per person. It’s been a while since I last did anything to make their day. What about you?

Drop me a comment if you are keen on this ok? It’s never too late.

Looking forward to your interest flowing in…