Aug 29, 2010

Starving and Cold: Power Cut in Australia

We've been without electricity for 13 hours straight. No electricity = no lights, no ignition for cooking, food going bad in the fridge and freezer. No hot water, no heating, nothing. I'm writing this using the leftover power in my netbook battery. You would think we're living in the dark ages. In Cairns, Australia. A civilized country.

Good thing we have plenty of candles and blankets. I ate dry cereals for breakfast, hubby ate peanut butter sandwiches. The perishables in the fridge and freezer are dying by the second. Might have to go out for lunch. Could be tricky: we have no car & it's raining cats and dogs outside.

Electricity provider said it's the complex's fault (we live in a complex). Building manager said it's electricity provider's fault. Rental property manager went mad when we rang him up middle of the night, even though our rental contract said that no electricity = emergency situation. Obviously his "managing" skill only consists of taking our rental money. I wonder if we could sue him for that, and for the distress caused.

Whose fault is this? Who knows. All I want is for the power to be restored back. Soon.

Aug 26, 2010

Alpha-H Micro Cleanse

According to the website, Alpha-H Micro Cleanse with 12% Glycolic Acid, Cucumber Extract and Rice Bran is "A granulated exfoliant formulated to help dislodge dead skin cells and oil from pores. An entire beauty regime in a bottle: deep cleanser, exfoliator, polish, mask, all-in-1."

I generally used it as a heavy-duty exfoliator, never tried it as a mask. To me the texture feels exactly the same as Elemis Skin Buff. The granules are more like "tiny gritty bits", harder than those beaded type scrubs. Thus massage it gently, otherwise you might scratch your skin accidentally. For this reason I don't use it on broken skin or whenever my skin feels more sensitive. Under normal condition, my skin always feels smoother after application. As a bonus: fingers used to apply the scrub are smoothly exfoliated, too.

The smell reminds me of toothpaste and left a minty feeling on the skin. Must be the peppermint oil.

Verdict: a good heavy-duty scrub. I personally prefer Elemis, based on the scent and force of habit. :) 

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycolic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Potassium Hydroxide, Polyethylene Beads, Glycerin, Ceteth-20, Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone.

P.S. I hate the internet connection here. Going on Blogger is frustratingly slow and unfruitful most times. :(

Aug 21, 2010

The Aromatherapy Company Tuberose Essential Soap Bar

Meet my new love: The Aromatherapy Company Tuberose Essential Soap Bar . This gorgeous smelling triple-milled soap is made in New Zealand. The packaging said, "This blend contains the Essential Oil of Rose Geranium, Tuberose (calming and soothing), Organic Manuka Honey and Organic Avocado Oil to nourish & soothe sensitive skin."

The claim must be true, it doesn't irritate the excema patch I have on my leg. Which is quite a good thing, considering most bar soaps dries out my skin. This big bar of soap (145gr) seems to be gentle and lasts a long time - I've been using it in the shower for at least 3 months.

I don't remember seeing the soap anywhere else, so I suspect that this particular scent has been discontinued. A quick trip to the website confirms my suspicion.

Blurb on the website: "The Aromatherapy Company products are 100% pure & natural. We use no sodium laurel sulphates, no artificial fragrance, no dyes, no parabens and no mineral oils. We do not test on animals and our packaging is 85% totally recyclable."

Verdict: Doesn't dry my skin + doesn't irritate excema + value for money = LOVE.

Ingredients: Sodium Palmate (PALM OIL), Sodium Cocoate (COCONUT OIL), Water, Sodium Chloride (SALT), Glycerin, Bran, Organic Manuka Honey, Organic Avocado Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Etidronate, Rose Geranium Essential Oil blend, Hydroxyisohexene Carbozidehyde*, Linalool* (*Natural ingredients of essential oils)

Aug 20, 2010

Pantene and 3 Minute Miracle Treatment

I don't normally use Pantene products. Somehow it always caused itchiness on my scalp. Same with hubby. Everytime I tried it again I always ended up regretting it.

For example, back in November I received a full bottle of Pantene conditioner to try. Since it was labelled "new formulation", I decided to give it a try. My hair felt light and smooth for about a week (3 hairwashes), no itchiness on my scalp. The following week, the itchiness started. Itchiness stopped when I stopped using it - definitely something in Pantene conditioner. I gave it away to MIL not long after. I'm not sure whether she has used it since...

With that kind of background I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw a 15ml Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Treatment sample on my doorstep last week. The question is, "To try or not to try."

"Try" wins. Simply because I discovered a few strands of my hair has split-ends. I was desperate, I don't normally gets them! With 130+ boxes to deal with I have no time to waste. So yesterday I tried it. My hair felt super soft afterwards. Must be the silicone working. I survived the whole day without itchiness. Didn't last long though, this morning my scalp started to feel itchy. Why, oh, why, don't I ever learnt anything from the past?! Was the itch worth it? Answer: no.

Ironically, my sister swears by Pantene to keep her hair in good conditions. Perhaps the next time I'm tempted to try Pantene product(s) again I should gave them away to her, without delay.
Verdict: good conditioning product if used by itch-resistant people like my sis. As for me, I'm staying away. Far, far away...
Ingredients: Water, Bis-Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Lysine HCl, Methyl Tyrosinate HCl, Sodium Hydroxide, Histidine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone/Methylisothiazolinone.

130+ Boxes...

After many months of waiting, our worldly goods arrived from UK on Monday. Our rented place is filled with boxes and more boxes. That, and the terrible internet connection here, counts for my blogging hiatus. In the perfect world I would sell almost everything and get ready to move somewhere else again, just because of the poor internet connection.

Many boxes = many treasures (and junks) found. It's unbeliavable the amount of skincare and makeup products I unearthed so far, almost rivalling the amount of hubby's many electrical cables, wires, and what-nots... If internet connection is behaving well, I'll start posting more reviews and travelling photos soon.

Aug 5, 2010

The Quorn Supremacy

I'm very pleased to say that my beloved Quorn has arrived in Australian shores! :) I'm not entirely sure whether they've only just arrived here or whether they came here during my last overseas stint. No matter, I'm soooooo glad it's here.

Just to clarify: it's not a new skincare brand. Hehehe...

This UK invention is such a life-saver for vegetarians or would be vegetarians who don't like the taste of soya mince. Myself, I'm a "mostly vegetarian" person who still loves eating the occasional chicken, crabs and non-smelly white fish.

What exactly are they? Blurb from their webpage: "Mycoprotein is the common ingredient in all Quorn products. It's made from a member of the fungi family (the same family that morels and truffles belong to) and is a high-quality meat-free protein that's low in fat, high in dietary fibre (important for your digestive system) and is a valuable source of amino acids."

My favourite is definitely Quorn Sausages: perfect for BBQ, pizza topping, "toad in a hole", etc. My 2nd favourite: Quorn Pieces - lovely as chicken replacement in recipes, absorbing the flavour of the sauce easily.

They're so tatsy, even Meat Monster doesn't mind eating them. Which is a huge complement considering he doesn't like most "fake meat".

Talking about food makes me hungry. I'm getting Quorn Schnitzel on my next shopping trip. Yum. :)

Aug 2, 2010

Hello From Down Under

Hello everyone! :)

How time flies, it has been 4 months since my last post. I'm feeling a bit guilty for neglecting the blog and my banters with my cyber-friends. The combination of relocating, family matters, and ill-health have been preventing me from blogging. The terrible internet connection at my new place doesn't help either - I'm still in Australia, but not  in Sydney anymore. If you're still reading this, I'm going to tell you a bit of it.

Hubby found a job in FNQ (Far North Queensland), to be exact: in Cairns, which is one of the gateways to the world-famous Great Barrier Reefs. It's one of the seven wonders of the natural world. We relocated here during jelly fish seasons, so we haven't had the chance to explore the reefs yet. Plus being unwell means I'm not healthy enough (yet!) to do snorkelling - can't do diving, ever, as I have dodgy sinuses amongst my other problems.

Anyway, I'm not complaining. I'm thankful enough that I'm still alive and sort-of well enough to enjoy things here. Cairns has humid-tropical weather because of it's location. So far we've had mild winter here, not too humid, not too hot, just right.

Our worldy things are still on the way from England. Once they're here we would be able to take our snorkelling gears out for a test-drive in Queensland's waters.

That's from me for now. I hope my blogging skill isn't too rusty. Do drop me a line if you're still around. Cheers! :)
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