My Aesthetic Experience

Whenever I heard about someone going for any kind of laser treatment, I cringed at the sound of it. Made me wonder why people would be willing to pay for pain in the name of “Beauty”?!

Recently I went to see a Dermatologist for my hormonal pigmentation, which has become more and more obvious. Since I was already sitting in front of the doctor, I might as well ask him about the “dots” around my eyes. Those dots have been receiving much attention for far too long, which many people told me they were “oil seeds” and some even commented about a sign of bad cholesterol! I disagreed with them as my annual medical examinations showed excellent health. I’m certain that the medical reports are accurate.

Back to the Doctor’s room….finally, there is a name to such condition of mine; it’s called “Syringoma”. (As defined in Wikipedia, Syringomas are harmless sweat duct tumors, typically found clustered on eyelids, although they may also be found in the armpits, umbilicus, or vulva.[1]:663 They are skin-colored or yellowish firm rounded bumps, 1-3 mm in diameter). It’s hereditary.

Treatment for Syringoma is via CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser. Before I could decide to go ahead with the treatment, I consulted a very close friend, who was a nurse. She understood the condition and encouraged me to go for it. She said that the treatment is harmless and wished that I would look better for the new year. Coupled with her professional opinion and encouragement, I braced myself for my first laser treatment appointment with a renown aesthetician.

Well, the procedure was really quick. I won’t say that it’s painless. Prickly during treatment, thereafter, burning-pain sensation. I had to walk around in shades. For the first time in my life, I was in shades come day and night! Fortunately I’m living in the big glamorous city that seeing people in shades, all day long, outdoor and indoor is something no one paid much attention to. Maybe it brought some curious glances or thoughts of some celebrity or someone important trying to hide true identity behind the dark glasses. Dramatic, huh? I’m now getting used to wearing shades and can easily ignore curious stares.

Thus far, I had done two sessions of CO2 laser. The doctor said that I’d need another one to clear the rests. That means, I’d be ushering year 2012 in shades and spending the rest of the month in shades too(sigh). What a price to pay in the name of beauty….okay, negative thoughts aside, I have to focus on the end result and to complete the whole course of treatment. No turning back now.

Besides me, I found that many people with skin conditions, now go readily to consult aestheticians to improve their skin’s outlook. It’s a norm now, it no longer raises eyebrows when someone talk about laser treatment. People have continuously seeking treatment for acne, all kinds of scars, pigmentation, freckles, etc. As harmless as it gets, always remember to seek treatment from qualified medical practitioner/Dermatologist/Aesthetician.

I discovered that the price to pay for such treatments are quite affordable. Comparatively, there were times when we spent much more on our facial creams, designer bags and accessories, on our cars, etc. Why not spare some to correct a little harmless imperfection, which in return might boost our self-confidence and image? I’m not saying everyone must go under the laser but, if your doctors were to prescribe for such treatment, you may want to consider it. Of course, doctors would inform you that most conditions will re-surface after 2-3 years. Nothing is permanent

Here’s to a smoother and clearer facial outlook for the new year! Cheers to all!!!

~ Alice N.


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Taken For Granted

Are we fully aware of how we take so many things in life for granted? I have become more and more aware of it, as I grow older and wiser (or I’d like to think that I’m a lot wiser now).

When I was very young, I lived in a spacious house with big compound. I took the space for granted. I remember vividly that I learnt to skate in the living room, which provided all the soft cushions to fall on when I was off balanced. We had home-grown fruits, green vegetables and herbs, which I took for granted for many years till one day, I found myself paying for what I once enjoyed for free! Mom grew orchids and other plants around the house which provided fresh floral arrangements for our tables. How I wish to have fresh flowers from the garden to decorate our tables now too. I don’t think I inherit mom’s green fingers. Have not really put them to the test yet. All these memories made me feel that I should have been more grateful then.

When I moved back to my hometown, I got to enjoy the breathtaking lake garden, the delicious and cheap local delights, the cool refreshing water that flowed to our home (believe me, the water was especially cooling, icy cold but in a delicious way, crystal clear too) and everything was just within walking distance. Oh…I yearn for the simplicity, the fresh air, the surrounding greens and delicious food, which I took for granted all those years.

How many of you feel that you have taken your family for granted, believing that they will always be there waiting for you, while you try to find time to spend with them? Family could mean your parents, siblings, spouse and/or children.

Parental love knows no boundary. Loving parents understand that “when you love them (children), set them free“. But that doesn’t stop them from missing their grown children. Always hoping to hear from them, or looking forward to their short visits, to spending some time together. Deep in their hearts, they wish that the children will return more often but they try to understand that their children are busy with their work and lives. To them, as long as their children are happy, they will too.

Living in a fast-paced world, while seeking a place of belonging in this society, we can’t help but to focus our attention to make our lives better. Along such challenging journey, we often miss out the emotional obligation we have for our parents. We always felt that opportunities can’t wait, that once passed, it may not return. So, with a heavy heart we prioritize and, sad to say, parents aren’t usually at the top two or three. We always thought that they could take good care of themselves and their needs. Sometimes, we remember to deposit money into their bank accounts but forgot to make deposits to their ’emotional bank accounts’, giving them the much-needed attention and a bit of our time.

Besides parents, there were times when we could not even fit in some time for our own children and spouse! So tied up with our daily work commitment that we don’t seem to have much time left! We silently hope that they will understand and take care of themselves. We take it for granted that our children won’t be needing that much of our attention as they grow up and our spouse would understand how busy we are than to distract us further. This is when children turn to their friends for attention and the marriage started to face little frictions due to lack of communication.

Many often fail to detect the fine lines appearing in their family relationship. The longer things are taken for granted, the distant the gap amongst the family members. When one finally stop to take a good look at it, the realization may come a bit too late. If it is not too serious, it could still be mended, but if the cracks are too many and deep, it may not recover at all.

Therefore, before everything starts to slip through your fingers, take a hard look at your relationship with your parents, spouse and children, etc. If you realize that you have been neglecting them lately, do something about it before it’s too late. If you have been returning home late everyday, try to get out of the office earlier sometimes. For a change, drive home while it is still quite bright outside.

Plan some weekends to visit parents and parents-in-law. Have meals and catch up with them and your siblings. If you don’t have much time to spare, a short trip will do. Trust me, each visit will warm your heart and make you happier. I don’t know about you, but for me, when I see the smiles and hear the laughter in the house, it makes me feel great!

No matter what, in life, it is easier for us to come to our own conclusion about who or what needs our time more. We are so good at prioritizing our tasks and time, that we often miss out spending time together as a family. Keep on trying to keep in touch if you really can’t spare the time. Touch base by calling each other, whenever you are free during the day, just to have a small chat to let the family members (parents, spouse or children) know that you are thinking of them. It merely takes less than 5 minute of your time. I’m sure you can afford to do that, during lunch break or so.

Decide right now not to take anyone for granted – parents, spouse, children, siblings, friends, employers, employees, etc. Life is impermanent. Let’s not wait till we lose the chance to realize the importance of it.

Have a great week ahead!

~ Alice N.


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Procrastination Is The Thief Of Time

We know that by procrastinating, we can make things or situation worse…for example, missed opportunities, incurred additional costs/penalty/loss, delayed progress, etc. Then, why do we still choose to procrastinate?

Admittedly, I have my moments of procrastination. What excuse do I have? Well, there were times when I had to attend to something more pressing which I wasn’t able to say “NO” to, that I resorted to pushing other important issues aside. Also because, the issues in hand were more difficult to handle or more of a hassle, which I was reluctant to attend to them that instant. Kind of, waiting for the right mood for them (sigh).

There would be time when we become lazy and start to find excuses for our non-action. When we are so keen on looking for an excuse, we can always find several to make up for the guilt of not completing something that needs to be done. See, it is so easy to run away from the present even for a while but there is always a price to be paid.

Next time, when you feel like switching off your computer, and you know that there is one or two emails which require your immediate reply, why not settle it first? It doesn’t take too much of your time, as compared to it staying in your mind as outstanding matter all night long or you might forget it altogether the next day! Always attempt to clear your in-tray on your desk or in your mind. This will free up more space for your mind to relax at the end of the day. One less thing to worry about….sounds good, isn’t it?

Many books advised on setting up a proper work system or format a to-do listing with priorities in check. Yet, we still find ourselves struggling to do as advised, even though we know it is good for us. If we could attend to things/issues more promptly, without causing any unnecessary delay and thus, affecting other people, life can actually be less stressful. We can, in fact, also accomplish more!

Less stressful because when we have completed a task, we strike off an item on our listing. This makes our to-do list shorter by the minute or hour. It also gives us a sense of accomplishment, which in turn motivates us to move along, with much enthusiasm, to get more done quickly. Then, we can truly enjoy the balance of the day, peacefully.

New year is just around the corner. For those who have the habit of writing new resolutions, let’s add to the list “Be Prompt In Action“, or “First Thing First“, or “Do It Now“, or “Immediate Attention“, something along that line. It’s entirely up to you how you want to word it. I read from some books that we should not say something negative or the universe will deliver it to you. For example, if you say, “don’t procrastinate”, the mind only hears the word “procrastinate” and it will act accordingly. Somehow, the mind is unable to process or internalize the word “don’t”. That was mentioned by experts, not me, and I tend to agree with it.

So, be extra careful what you feed into your mind and what you write in your resolution or wish list. Always be positive about what you speak, think and do. You’ll soon discover that life can be simpler and easier for you too when you apply all the right thoughts and actions.

As I read somewhere before, “why wait till tomorrow, what you can do today, for tomorrow may never come?!“. So True! For goodness sake, do not procrastinate! Try to change your mindset by being in the present and doing things now instead of later. Reason being, later can be a moment later, or a day later, or a week/month/year later. Time passes very fast these days. It is only right for you not to say the word “Later” when you can do it (almost) immediately. Replace it with, “Alright, I’ll do it right now”. Try it, you’ll feel and see the difference…huge difference.

So shall I…I’ll post this Now instead of Later. For my Later could end up a few days from today (oops!). I’m also still wrestling with procrastination for a few important things, but I know, I’m getting closer to the edge of glory! Yes, you can do it too. Cheers!

~ Alice N.


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My Little Gadget Family

All girls love their solitaires, right? All girls like bouquets of roses, right? Maybe not all…

When I was younger, having read too many romantic novels for years, I truly believed in fairy tale romance. Dashing men wooing gorgeous women to the altar and live happily ever after. Courting with roses, candle-lit fine dining, diamond ring, romantic get-aways, etc.

I used to like my roses, but special occasions became too commercialised that I decided to go for lilies instead. Lilies are so pure and delicate, like a human life and also like a relationship between two loving souls. I don’t believe in spending hundreds of Ringgit for a bunch of roses. I’d prefer to spend on my favourite food instead! At least I get the satisfaction of a full and happy tummy.

As for jewelleries, how many can one wear, right? I’ll stay with the basics. The rests, I’d ask for gadgets, if you please. Dearest hubby knows very well what I really want….I’m not tech savvy but I just love the gadgets as they are fun to have. Though I may not fully utilise the apps, I use enough to make life simpler and more interesting for me.

It all started with cellphones then moved on to PDAs, smart phones, Blackberries, laptop, netbook, Nintendo DS, PSP, iPods, iPad….super exciting! Imagine, in exchange of one sparkly little rock, I can so many gadgets! Can put them to good use too!

It’s personal preference. Some prefer the bling bling whilst some prefer the practical tools. I happen to go for the latter, but tech gadgets only, not household electricals and such, please!!! Whichever, as long as you feel good and happy with it, your choice is always right because you know yourself best.

My little gadget family, a typical lazy morning or stress-relieving evening would be toying with our gadgets after a family meal. We share our apps with one another and we also discuss and share things that we do with our gadgets. To ensure that there is no overdose of gadget time, we set gadget-free period and zones too. Everyone has to respect and obey that golden rule.

Reason being, too much of a good thing won’t do any good for anyone. Moderation is the keyword. This principle applies to gadgets’ usage too. Too much exposure makes one lacking in the communication department; it also makes one irritable, impatient or restless; I’d like to say that it makes your eyes go sunken and look like a zombie….due to lack of sleep or having too much of restless or disturbed sleep. So, go easy on the gadgets as they can be addictive as well. Keep it in check always.

With the right dose and application, gadgets are great to have. I like my gadgets and I love my Little Gadget Family ❤ 😉

~Alice N.


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Holiday Mood

Less than a month before we greet the new year of 2012! Right now, you can see major malls swamped with people, locals and from out of the city, tourists, all taking advantage of the mega sale this holiday season. There are people getting gifts for Christmas, new clothes for the new year, new school attire and accessories for new school year, next month. The malls are also beautifully decorated for the festive season, which certainly enhance the festive mood further for shoppers. It works for me!

During the year-end holiday, normally, children will be attending self-enrichment or fellowship camps, parents taking leave from work for family vacation, some children return to hometowns to spend some time with grandparents, uncles and/or cousins. Some older children will work to earn some pocket-money. For others, life’s pretty much the same except for the joyous festive mood.

For me, end of the year has been more of time for family. More social than work. My children and I get to spend more quality time together, doing what we enjoy, more than usual (lol!). Few years back, I discovered that for children, it is not all about where the vacation’s going to be. It needs not be overseas trips or expensive holidays but spending time with them and allowing them to enjoy themselves. So, if you cannot get away due to work commitment, you don’t have to feel guilty. As long as you spare some personal time with them doing things together, that will do quite wonderfully. Explain to your loved ones and plan for a holiday when you are able to.

For my family….maybe because my children have grown and are more mature now, that they know what they want and how to spend their time. To them, visiting friends at their homes, rock climbing with some, visiting grandparents and playing with cousins, shopping and movies with mom and dad, day trips inter-city for food and fun, swimming at the club, etc. Of course, like other kids, they also have their choices of holiday destination.

When you have to run your own growing business, you don’t get the luxury of long vacations or none at all, especially during business peak period. Dearest hubby is hard at work. Therefore, I feel that I ought to step in to clear my calendar for time with the children. When time permits, we shall make it up to them. I’m glad that I have two understanding children. They do not complain. Instead, they always make suggestions for alternative plans. I never fail to try to make it special and fun for them.

When it comes to going on a vacation, we are most particular about cleanliness and comfort. Unsure if this is good or bad….but we are dead serious when it comes to the quality of the hotel. Our home is kind of like 6-stars with complete facilities/services – that’s how I feel about my home sweet home. So, to stay away from home is not that easy, for me especially. Sometimes, I’d rather stay home or simply go on day trips inter-city. It’s quite an adventure actually, try it.

Besides, we also have to attend to some social activities towards year-end. That, one way or another keep us occupied, but in a relaxing way. I love year-end, don’t you? Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I would.

I wish you a great holiday!

~ Alice N.


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