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Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: Nivea In-shower Skin Conditioner

Hello hello there..
Today's post is a review of Nivea's In-shower Skin conditioner. I have 2, one is Intensive with Almond Oil and the other is Whitening with Camu Camu. I purchased them last year and I think I have used it long enough to do a review.

What does Nivea say about it?
"A revolution in time saving and moisturising, our In-Shower Body Lotion gives you that silky-smooth feeling all day, every day. Simply apply to wet skin, rinse and towel dry as usual".

What do I think about it?
The first one I bought was Intensive with almond oil. It has a classic Nivea scent. I didn't like using this product initially because when I rinsed it, my skin felt really slick. Imagine having put on cream on your hands then washing them. That's how it felt. I really had to fight the urge to keep on washing until the slickness is gone because this is how the product works to moisturize the skin. That feeling goes away after toweling dry though, leaving skin soft and smooth

The Whitening with Camu Camu was launched later and of course I purchased it to try. I find that the texture is lighter than the Intensive option and I really love the fruity scent of it. I didn't include a photo of the product itself because you won't be able to see the difference in consistency. You can only feel the difference when you rinse it off where the Intense is slicker than the Whitening.

I really enjoy using both of them. I used more of the Intensive product than the Whitening due to the cold spells that I have been experiencing in my area. It cannot replace actual lotion or cream (much less my beloved The Body Shop Body Butters) but it does afford me the occasional lapse. If you want to maximize moisturizing your skin, you can always apply body lotion after using this in the shower.

Intensive with Almond Oil: RM16.90 (250ml), Whitening with Camu Camu: RM24.90 (400ml)

1. Moisturizes pretty well especially the Intensive option.
2. Affordable.
3. Pleasant scent.
4. Can be used to maximize skin's moisture with the help of body lotion/cream.

1. The slick feeling after rinsing can be uncomfortable.
2. It leaves the floor of the shower pretty slippery. The floor needs to be rinsed to get rid of the slipperiness.

Would I repurchase this product?
Absolutely! Although, I hear that a new product is being launched in this line so I'd probably be trying them first. Hehe...

Have you tried it? Do you think that this is just a gimmicky product? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Toodles!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: The Body Shop Body Butter In Early-Harvest Raspberry and Vineyard Peach

Hello there,

I did a review and comparison on The Body Shop Early-Harvest Raspberry and Vineyard Peach Body Scrub a few days ago (read about it here). This time I am going to be reviewing the Body Butter of both ranges.

As with the body scrubs, I do not have my own photos of the products because they got deleted from my phone. I can't re-take the photos because the products are all used up. Hence I am using photos from The Body Shop Malaysia's online site.

What does The Body Shop say about them?
1. Early-Harvest Raspberry:
- Contains Community Fair Trade Shea butter and raspberry seed oil to effectively moisturize skin, organic soy oil rich in essential fatty acids to repair skin's moisture barrier, Community Fair Trade organic Babassu oil to soften skin and helps restore suppleness.
- Provides 24-hour hydration.
- Suitable for normal to dry skin.
- Sweet raspberry scent.

2. Vineyard Peach:
- Contains wild peach extract, Mediterranean peach kernel oil, Community Fair Trade (CFT) Shea butter and CFT cocoa butter from Ghana, CFT beeswax from Cameroon, CFT organic sesame seed oil from Nicaragua and Brazil nut oil from Peru.
- Provides 24-hour hydration.
- Leaves skin softer and smoother.
Buttery texture.
Quickly absorbed.

200ml, RM60.90

What do I think about them?
I absolutely loved these Body Butters! They really do live up to their 24-hour hydration claims. I only have to moisturize once every other day with these babies. There are of course some differences between the two. I mean just look at the list of ingredients. Vineyard Peach has such a long list you'd think that Early-Harvest Raspberry was a step child.

Okay so what are the differences? In terms of scent I prefer Early-Harvest Raspberry. It's light yet sooo delicious, like raspberry cream. The Vineyard Peach has too strong of a smell for my liking that it almost feels invasive if that makes any sense.

Texture wise I also prefer Early-Harvest Raspberry because it is ever so slightly thicker than the Vineyard peach yet absorbs more quickly. Vineyard Peach tends to linger on the surface of the skin longer and that can makes for quite an uncomfortable experience. By the way, Vineyard Peach is also for ormal to dry skin types.

1. Early-Harvest Raspberry:
- Lives up to it's 24-hour hydration claims.
- Thick, buttery texture.
- Quick absorption.
- Delicious smell.

2. Vineyard Peach:
- Lives up to it's 24-hour hydration claims.

1. Early Harvest Raspberry:
- None that I can think of.

2. Vineyard Peach:
- Doesn't absorb very quickly into the skin.
- Very strong Peach scent (a plus if you really, REALLY love the smell of peaches).

Would I recommend them?
Yes, especially my beloved Early-Harvest Raspberry Body Butter. The Vineyard Peach is good if you are absolutely and most utterly bananas for peaches (wait, what?).

Would I repurchase them?
You know what? I really I would have no qualms picking up another Early-Harvest Raspberry Body Butter before even trying the rest of the permanent range. It's that good people!

What is your favorite body moisturizer?


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Phy Says: One Of The Most Important Parenting Lesson An Ad Had Taught Me..

Hello there..

My elder sister shared this ad and tagged me. When I clicked on the link, little did I know that it would affect me so deeply. I've watched it 7 times and cried each time. You see, it has quite a close link to my previous post where if I could, I didn't want Sophie to ever have to get hurt in any way. I do however know that sheltering Sophie is not the answer and that I need her to learn and take it in stride (which she is already doing).

Watching this video really drives home just how important it is for us moms (and dads) to teach our child(ren) to be strong and persistent, to get up on their feet every time they fall or get knocked down in life so that they could achieve victories,big and small. Most importantly, in order to do that, we as parent(s) need to be strong and persistent as well to be the best teachers for them. In shaa Allah, Amin.

Enjoy the video and feel free to to cry and hit the repeat button...

There's also another one here and here but I think the one above is the best.. :)


Monday, January 19, 2015

Phy Says: Overprotective Tiger Mama

Hello there..

As a child, I was a very quiet person. Put me in any spot in the house with a toy and I could play by myself  for hours. I was comfortable with my own company and was scared to make friends. Sophie on the other hand LOVES to befriend other children. What makes me sad is that because of where we live, she doesn't really get a lot of opportunities to do so.

 Making friends at a bookstore...

Whenever she sees kids when we go out she would be so happy and wants to befriend them. Some are recipient while others are not. Two days ago we were in one of the gift shops where a pair of the owner's kids were running around playing catch. True to Sophie's way she immediately joined in the game. The kids were older than her, I think about 6-7 years old.

They were not really keen on Sophie suddenly joining their game and after a while they ran up the back stairs to lose her. Sophie wandered around a bit confused and said,"No friends?" Oh.My.God. My heart broke into a million pieces. I almost went to the back stairs and shout,"WEH BUDAK! TURUN KAMU SEKARANG MAIN SAMA ANAK SY!" (Hey you kids! You'd better come down here and play with my daughter OR ELSE!). But of course I didn't and couldn't do that.

Thankfully Sophie is a tough cookie. They did it several times (coming out to play then hiding from Sophie) but she didn't cry at all. When the time came to leave she didn't put up a fight. She just took my hand nicely and we walked away. Needless to say, this mama cried in the car. Dramatic perhaps but it just made me remember just how mean and cruel kids can be, how 'Project Runaway' it is (one day you're in, the next day you're out.. just because).

I don't want Sophie to get hurt or to experience betrayals but of course that is wistful thinking. It is something that everyone has and needs to go through. As my elder sister (who witnessed my shameless blubbering in the car) said, what I need to do is to teach her to not feel rejected when such things happen and instead, focus on finding friends who like her for her. In shaa Allah, that is what I intend to do. Alhamdulillah, I believe that Sophie has a strong heart and a wise mind which will be a good foundation for this life and all it's cr*p (and wonderful things) that goes with it. Amin.

What is your best and worst childhood memories involving friends? Do share in the comments section below.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review (And Comparison): The Body Shop Early-Harvest Raspberry and Vineyard Peach Body Scrub

Hello hello dearies,

As you can see from my mile long title, this is going to be a review and comparison post between 2 body scrubs from The Body Shop's Limited Edition Range; Early-Harvest Raspberry and Vineyard Peach. I purchased them back in May and June 2014 respectively.

Here's the thing though. I had taken photos of these products for reviewing purposes but I procrastinated. Now that they are all used up and thrown out, by some evil twist of faith all the photos in my phone was erased. So I do not have my own photos to show you (sob!) so I just took photos from The Body Shop Malaysia's online site. Lesson learnt? Do not procrastinate AND make a backup of blog post photos! Sigh.

Aaanyywaayys.. Let's get on to the review shall we?

What does The Body Shop say about them?
1. Vineyard Peach:
- Contains wild peach extract, Mediterranean peach kernel oilorganic soya oil and organic babassu oil from Brazil as well as marula oil from Namibia. The last 3 ingredients are under Community Fair Trade practice.

2. Early-Harvest Raspberry:
- Contains products with refreshing textures, enriched with wild-harvested Community Fair Trade honey from Ethiopia which leaves skin feeling soft and smooth for up to 24-hours.

Both body scrubs:
Lifts away dead skin cells
Stimulates skin surface micro circulation
- Leaves skin feeling softer and smoother
- Early-harvest raspberry and delicate peach scent respectively.

200ml, RM66.90

What do I think about them?
These scrubs are different in terms of texture. The Vineyard Peach is a creamy scrub whereas the the Early-Harvest Rasberry is more of a gel based scrub. The former also has a distinctive, delicious peach scent whereas the latter has merely a plastic-y scent to it (a bit disappointing really).

From what I can see, the Vineyard Peach uses peach kernels as it's scrub. The scrub 'bits' are pretty much uniform in size and very comfortable to use. The Early-Harvest Raspberry has a sugar/salt scrub base and has raspberry seeds as well. Unfortunately the raspberry seeds are a bit too abrasive for my liking.

1. Vineyard Peach:
- Lovely scent.
- Creamy texture that moisturizes the skin.
- Small scrub 'bits' making it comfortable to use.
- Easily washes off in the shower.

2. Early-Harvest Raspberry
- A decent scrub. Skin feels smooth after use.
- Easily washes off in the shower.

1. Vineyard Peach:
- None that I could tell.

2. Early-Harvest Raspberry:
- Skin feels smooth and soft for about 12-hours, not 24-hours as claimed.
- Raspberry seeds can bee too abrasive.
- Has a weird, plastic-y smell.

Would I recommend them?
I would recommend the Vineyard Peach Body Scrub for sure. Not so much the Early-Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub.

Would I repurchase them?
Yes but only after I've tried all the other body scrubs available at The Body Shop. By the time I do that this range would probably be off the shelves because it is limited edition.

I hope that this review is useful for you. Last I saw (in December 2014), both ranges are still on the shelves so check them out before they're gone.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

What I Learned From Successful Local Bloggers

Hello hello..

When I first started blogging, I didn't know that people could become famous and make it into a career. When I did, I wanted to get a piece of the cake too. A gazzillion following, sponsored trips and products, TV and magazine appearances? Give me a piece of that action.

I did my research and found out that a lot of bloggers were playing with numbers by joining link parties (I think that's what they call them) and posting up to 3 times daily on their blog. At first I thought that it was a good idea but when I see that among their thousands of followers, only 30 were commenting and with singulars words such as "Cool", "Nice", "Pretty", I knew that wasn't what I wanted.

You see, what I want is an audience that follows me because what I say touches them, appeals to them. And let's face it, blogging every day and blog walking hundreds of people daily is too time consuming especially when you do it out of obligation and not sincerity. There's just got to be a better way to find people who like me for me and who are interested in what I have to say. It might not be thousands of people, but that's alright.

So I looked into all the local blogs that are doing exceptionally well and I feel that I have learned the most from these 3 blogger below. If you are interested to know the lessons I've garnered, keep on reading.

**Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if any of what I write below is misinterpreted by me. I got these info from following them for years and reading as well as hearing them being interviewed. Bukan saya yang interview sendiri, research semata2. Again kalau ada misinterpretion, please correct me in a polite and graceful manner. Thanks. 

Dr. Fatin Liyana Asri of honeykoyuki.blogspot.com
Personally, I dub her the Elle Fowler of Malaysia. Why? Because she has that je ne sais quoi which appeals to everyone, making her rise to fame an (almost) effortless one on her part. She doesn't have a long blogroll and she rarely replies comments. After completing her studies and while she was doing her Medical Housemanship she rarely ever updates her blog but people still flock to it hoping for a new entry. I myself experience a rush whenever I know that she has a new post up. So what did I learn from her?

1. Write about what you'd like to read
Dr. Fatin once revealed that she writes about what she would like to read about; tips on beauty and weight loss, fashion, recipes, etc. She wants her blog to educate people in a laid back manner, kind of like talking with a friend.

2. Love what you do
Dr. Fatin loves to blog because she also treats it like her online diary. She documents her travels, her studying for an exam. She said that it helps her to remember things that she would have probably forgotten. She also used it to share her life as a student on foreign soil with her family especially when she first started out blogging.

3. Don't let fame consume you.
Dr. Fatin Liyana won the Best Celebrity Blog for Malaysia Social Media Week in 2012 besting Hanis Zalikha who is a model, actress and beauty queen. She and her blog was listed as the Top 6 Fastest Rising People and Top 5 Blog in Malaysian respectively back in 2011. However, she still seems to stay grounded and her essence remains untouched as far as I could tell.

4. Know what's important and prioritize accordingly
Dara magazine to the teenaged Muslimahs is the equivalent of Seventeen magazine to an American teen. To be featured in it and to be on the cover was a dream fro Dr. Fatin. However, she put her Medical studies in Bandung, Indonesia first by only doing shoots during her semester break. It only made Dara (and other magazines) want her more. She has been featured in the magazine as well as become the cover for it. Several time in fact.

Yuyu Zulaikha of kupukupukecik.blogspot.com
Yuyu Zulaikha is a 4ft 10" woman with a huge personality. She really puts herself out there, sharing openly about her experiences good and bad about studying and growing up in Langkawi. She is funny, witty and loves using silly metaphors to describe things and actions as well as feelings. From Yuyu I learned that...

1. Own who you are
Acknowledge your background and remember where you come from because that is what makes you well, you. You may think that you are boring but the world is large and everyone's life experience is different so share a part of yourself to the world.

2. Be yourself
Yuyu is the type of person that I am sure everyone has met at least once in their lifetime; the petite chatterbox. Some people might like that and there are others who don't but that's her and she's not changing herself. Although there are more review and promotional content now on her blog, Yuyu's personality shines through in each and every entry. Just like her, we should let our personalities shine through in and not worry about not pleasing everyone.

3. Got a flaw? Make it work
Yuyu is a petite little thing but she makes that part of her brand and her identity. Her blog name itself, 'Kupu-kupu Kecik' means small butterfly and it works with the overall feel of her blog. She has several modelling gigs under her belt too and in a way represents the petite in the local fashion industry. How cool is that?

4. Be close to God/ Believe in the greater good
If you believe in God, nurture that belief. If you don't believe in God then be positive and believe that there is good in the world. Rizqi (good things) comes when you are are open to anything that comes your way good and bad. When things get rough, you know it will get better and when things are good, you know it doesn't last and won't stick your nose high in the air.

Rayyan Haries of www.thebigsmallboy.com
I have the honor of meeting Rayyan face to face and to hear his story. About 11 months prior to us meeting he had flunked his TESL course and lost his scholarship. He took all the money from every bank he had (amounting to about RM2K) and backpacked across South East Asia. He had been blogging under the lifestyle genre for about 3 or 4 years at that time. He changed his genre to travelling and the rest was history. Here's what I learned from him..

1. Sometimes, it's just a matter of a little tweaking
Despite being a lifestyle blogger for 3-4 years, he only flourished when he switched to becoming a travel blogger. In less than a year too! So let us dig deep, what speaks the most to us? Is it lifestyle? Is it food? Let's find our niche, dive right into it and see where it takes us.

2. If it is meant to be, nothing and no one can stop it..
Australia was one of the countries which Rayyan applied for University for his scholarship but as you know he did not make it. About 2 months ago he landed in Melbourne and gallivanted around Australia until a fortnight ago. He was meant to go to Australia, just through a different avenue and later than expected. See how wonderful life can be?

3. Working with what you have and making it awesome
As with Yuyu Zulaikha, Rayyan doesn't fit into your typical mold of  what can be categorized as 'a looker'. He's not tall nor is he buffed. He is chubby and has a bubbly, almost child-like personality (I love how wholeheartedly he gets excited over things) which works very well with his blog 'The Big Small Boy' or 'The Cute Backpacker'. His size has become his asset as a lot of people he met along the way remember him because of it and in a good way too.

Now, while all 3 bloggers taught me mostly different lessons, there are a few things that I think they have in common which can be beneficial for all of us to know:
1. They stayed humble from the beginning to now.
2. They used their popularity to help the less fortunate (Rayyan volunteered in Leyte Island , Philipphines in the wake of  Typhoon Yolanda and Dr. Fatin sold clothes to donate to Gaza victims).
3. They went into blogging with with no expectations.
4. They blogged from the heart (Rayyan personally gave me this advise too).
4. They aim to educate the public with their niche respectively.
5. They work hard to get where they are today in their own ways.

What are your favorite well-known blogger(s)? Have you learned anything from him/her/them? Share it in the comments section below.


Thursday, January 01, 2015

2014 End Of The Year Recap.

Hello all,
This post is to be my roundup for the year 2014. Since I want this post to be short and sweet, I'll just let the photos do most of the talking:

1. Tried acupuncture for the first time ever. I loved it! It was so relaxing and I will definitely do it again.

2. Experienced Sophie being admitted into the hospital for food poisoning. Worst.Day.Of.My.Life. I am so thankful that she bounced back so quickly, Alhamdulillah.

3. I have surpassed so many layers of my comfort zone in my current job. From chairing meetings to organizing cleanups and standing on the ledge of the roof to check the gutter. I have certainly grown and I know that I will be able to do well when good job opportunities come my way in 2015 in shaa Allah, Amin.

 4. I refreshed my driving lessons (from "Dad's Driving School") and am driving myself to work and around town. Started driving with the ancient, heavy family car no less.

5. I installed Internet at my parent's house which is the reason why I am able to write this post at this ungodly hour.

6. Made over my hair by curling it, something I haven't done in years.

7. Took up official makeup lessons. Best decision ever!

8. Got me certified as a First Aider. Woot! Woot!

9. Got my first ever Coach item as a gift. Yay! Love it, love it, love it!

10. Swam for the first time in 2 years and also for the first time at the local Community pool.

11. Was treated to and awesome, awesome stay at The Magellan Sutera Resort.



12. Finally took the plunge and bought a Thomas Sabo bracelet that I have been wanting for over a year.

13. Organized my first ever blog giveaway and it was a success in my books especially for a 1-year old blog. Looking forward to doing more giveaways in 2015.

14. Did my own flower arrangement for the first time ever. It was for the head table of a wedding dinner.

15. Witnessed and participated in Malaysia's National Mourning for the victims of flight MH17 crash. Never thought that I would experience such a thing in my lifetime. It was heartbreaking and I can't imagine how painful it must be for all their family and friends. Alfatihah to their souls as well as those on flight MH370 and QZ8501.

16. I finally took pride in my figure and dressed up. I also changed the direction of my blog more to Body Positivity and +Size Fashion. I am still doing Lifestyle and Beauty posts whenever the occasion calls for it or the mood strikes me though.

17. Finally able to donate blood again after 4 years and 3 failed attempts prior to this, Alhamdulillah.

18. Sold some of my beloved makeup items. I understand that less is more and I'm trying to get over my hoarding tendencies. Hehe.. It also made me feel good to see others pleased with their purchases.

19. I got my own car!She is my 2nd baby now. It's more responsibilities but worth it in shaa Allah. I know that there must be a good reason why she came to be mine.

 20. Did another hair makeover within the same year (never done that before!). This time I cut it short and dyed it. I might tweak it further a little bit. We'll see.

21. I can now reverse park, between 2 cars no less! I am so proud of my progress, Alhamdulillah. For someone who once felt like the car was driving me instead of the other way around, this is a big deal for me.

22. I've taken up Zumba in an attempt to aid in my mission to be healthier and achieve my ideal weight and be more fit.

23. I have also taken up yoga for the same purpose. I finally bought a yoga mat after thinking of getting one for eons. It was on sale too.

24. I have finally, finally taken a stand on something which I should have done over a year ago. However, I know that it was meant to happen when it happend. Alhamdulillah, I am doing so much better now because of it.

25. I am currently dabbling with online dating via dating apps. Haha.. It's very convenient for someone like me who don't really go out that much. I think all singles (and only the truly single) should try it. At worst you could always use it to entertain yourself during long queues.

So there you have it, my roundup for the year 2014. There were good times and bad, hard times and good. Here's to hoping (wishing and PRAYING) for a better, more prosperous and abundant New Year ahead in health, wealth and love, in shaa Allah, Amin.