Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Daiso Shopping Guide - Microfiber Cloths

Daiso - don't we all love that darn place? You can find anything under the sun there and all just for $2 for each item! But have you ever felt overwhelmed by the selection of things inside? And how do you get the bang for your buck (or in this case, two bucks) with each item purchased? 

I have been going to Daiso for a long long long time..  At only $2 for each item, you will be surprised how much you think you *need* from there. You will convince yourself that you really really do *need* it, and what more? It's only $2! But here's the thing, does it really work? That's what I am here to help you. I am going to start a series of posts on the "die-die-must-try/buy" Daiso items and here's the first!

Back in the days, when microfiber cloths were really expensive, one of the most convenient and cheapest place to get them was Daiso. At $2 for a pack of two or more cloths, which makes the microfiber cloths cost a dollar or less, and that's really cheap! So let me recommend a few of my favourites...

First one up is the Microfiber Kitchen Cloth for kitchen! This Kitchen version comes in two sizes. The smaller size in a two pack while the larger size cloth has only one in the pack.

Small size: 20x30 cm, Large size: 40x40 cm


Why are these good? 

Microfiber cloths can repel water or absorb like a sponge. For cleaning, you need the microfiber cloths to be absorbent. To do a quick test, run your hand over the cloth. Does it catch on your skin's imperfection like callus, or peeling cuticles? If it does, that means the fiber of the cloth is "split".

The kitchen cloth is made out of "split" fibers
Split microfiber cloths can absorb water really well and help lift dusts away from surfaces instead of leaving them behind. That makes it ideal for cleaning counter tops, dining tables and stove tops. It lifts away the grease and dirt instead of just pushing it around when you clean.

I personally prefer the small size because it is much more ergonomic in my small hands and frankly, its cheaper to have 2 pieces than 1 piece for $2. And the fact it is pink in colour is also a plus point! *bimbo moment* While the large size comes in two colours - white and blue.
Size Comparison: Larger cloth folded in half, smaller cloth spread out

These babies also come in a Dusting/Polishing version. So do make sure you read the words on the packaging before grabbing! The dusting/polishing version is not ideal for kitchen cleaning. So please do not think they are the same.

Next up is the Microfiber Dust Cloth. It comes in a 3 pack. I don't think it comes in other colours, have only seen the white ones to date.

How to use these?

It says on the cardboard package that it is suitable for commercial floor wipers.

And if you own a Magiclean wiper or any form of floor wiper mop, this batch of cloths will come in handy. I am pretty okay with the dry Magiclean sheet. They do their job of picking up dust, dirt and hair. However, I don't quite like the wet sheets. They tend to leave behind a film of residue on my floor. So I take a piece of the Microfiber Dust cloth and wet it with the solution mix I use for floor. Then, hook it up the same way as you would with the sheets.. 
I use this for tight areas like under my sofa or places where my steam mop can't get to easily (like my stairs). The extra pieces come in handy, all you have to do is change it for each area or once it gets dirty.  

How to wash?

I don't recommend bleaching the cloths because you destroy the fibers which affects the cloths' performance. All you need to do is soak them in a pail of water with some (or very little) detergent. Then, chuck them into the washing machine and let the machine do the rest for you. Once done, line dry and they are ready to be used again!

This conclude the first post of my Daiso Shopping Guide. It is a little lengthy but I hope that I have help you understand microfiber cloths better and help cut down some process of your household cleaning! So shop away at Daiso. Heck, it's only $2 so try for fun lah!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Review: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Concealer

Do you find concealers a hassle to wear? I definitely do! Concealers are one of my least used make up products until I became a mother. When all the sleepless nights brought on the dark circles and the breakouts from stressful days, I started hunting down a concealer that I would really really used. I know some ladies find concealer (or even just make up in general) intimidating to use, but let me introduce you to my best pal - the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Treatment Concealer.

In shades (L-R): Light 120 and Brightener 160 (Pink)

The texture of the concealer is light and blends easily into my skin. It will give you light to medium coverage, enough to cover what needs to be covered and look natural on your skin. But what I really like about it, is that it comes with a sponge tip applicator! It helps apply the product on a whole lot easier. What I do - load the applicator with concealer, swipe directly to the under eye area and around my nose area for some light concealing, blend it out with my fingers or beauty blender. And I am done!

Maybelline claims that it erases your dark circles, reduce puffiness and fills in your fine lines instantly. I wouldn't call this my miracle product to my problems around the eye area, but it does help provide the illusion that you are well rested. And if you do wear glasses/spectacles (like I do), it does help brighten the under eye area, giving you a much more polished look.

Yes! I am only wearing concealers for my base make up. No powder at all!

Granted you might think I have really good skin to start with, but let me show you... The hot mess I was before putting on the concealer...
A little concealer does wonders to your face!


Where to find?

Locally : An online blogshop carries it for $20 (link here)
US site: drugstore.com (direct link to product here). You will have to ship it back to you via 3rd party (such as vPost, Borderlinx etc).

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day and Chap Goh Meh!

First, I would like to wish all my friends a Happy Valentine's Day and to fellow Chinese friends, Happy Chap Goh Meh! Although this post is a day late, I am really sorry, my body is currently fighting a lymph node infection, but I would still like to see this post go up for a really good reason.

So traditionally, we (my husband and I) do not celebrate St. Valetine's Day. We are quite the traditionalists and found Valentine's Day overly commercialized. However, our kids.. because they are so exposed to the western culture, have a great idea on what its all about. 

On Wednesday, we received a card from our eldest girl.. It was so beautifully made and we were pretty touched by her gesture. That very night, she sat down and did another for her sister. Her sister was really happy! 

Then, on Valentine's Day, she wished me a Happy Valentine's Day while I was walking her to school. So we started chatting about Valentine's Day, then it hit me! She is so into the idea of Valentine's Day, that she didn't understand the meaning of Chap Goh Meh. I told her that it was also 元宵节, it's also Valentine's Day for the Chinese. She didn't seem really interested, and that made me really sad. That made me realized that I need to be much more proactive in introducing her and her siblings our own culture. 

So that evening, when my husband came home, HE got a surprised that I told him our yearly snub-Valentine's-day plans are off and we are eating at my in-laws to observe Chap Goh Meh. I hope in this year, our children will learn more about Chinese celebrations like 端午节 (Dragon Boat Festival) and 中秋节 (Mid-Autumn Festival) and perhaps incorporate it into our family life so that it is not viewed as something strange or alien. And for the next Chap Goh Meh, I am going to make them tangyuan to eat (instead of using fried cuttlefish balls as a substitute)!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Lemongrass Drink Recipe

Perhaps it was the haze, perhaps it was all the Chinese New Year goodies, perhaps the unhealthy diet I've been on.. BUT my throat has been killing me!

I know some people will say "oh you need to drink liang teh (cooling herbal tea)!" but the truth is, not everyone can drink it. If your body is considered "cold" like mine, it is best to avoid liang teh like a plague despite being heaty. I decided to douse the heat with lemongrass drink.

For those who are pregnant (*Ahem* you lah! Talking about you!), you can opt to drink this instead of the usual red date longan tea or rice tea during your confinement. It is a lot more palatable and much more thirst quenching.

All you need is
  • 4 - 6 stalks of lemongrass (cut off the ends and bruised)
  • 1 - 1.5 litres of water
  • Some honey to sweeten

Cut off the ends of the lemongrass, bruised it with the back of your knife or just simply snap it! Put it in a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Then, let it simmer for 20 minutes at low heat. When done, remove the lemongrass stalks and add honey to sweeten. You can keep it in a thermos so you can have it warm all day long. Or you can chill it and have a refreshing drink! 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Happy Chinese New Year! 马年快乐!


Happy Chinese New Year, folks! It was a really hectic/crazy/mad/busy (all the above) January. I was having major renovations works done to my recess area. It was unexpected but a great relief when the renovation permit finally went through. The works ended just in time for Chinese New Year. Thank God!


Let's do a quick recap on January...

It was back to school for the girls, while Nic starts playgroup at the nearby RC. Towards end of January, I was victim to the flu virus, which I subsequently spread to my trio. Nic recovered pretty quickly, but the other two girls are still coughing and having post nasal drip. *sigh* Sorry kiddos.
Nic in his playgroup uniform

IKEA and Daiso became my BFFs. I finally got my butt moving and started reorganizing my stuff. Managed to do some spring cleaning and decorating for the house. I did quite a bit of angbao lanterns just by watching YouTube tutorials. I put in more homely touches to my "sterile" environment (that's how my mum describes my place! :P ). I think I made *good* progress but I am no where near done.
One of my IKEA hacks!

There is no such thing as a foolproof plan to conquering renovation dust. It goes everywhere. Really. As long as there is a lobang (hole), it will go in! And the pain I had to go thru to remove the dust, its enough to turn me off renovations for a long long long time.  Let me remind myself - IT IS OVER!
Like my new gate?


I am hoping that February...

...will be a less hectic month for us all. I do hope to be more productive and get started on my to-do list. 

Tea, anyone?