Beauty & Shopping, Makeup, Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material Moms] Time-Saving Beauty Products for Busy Moms – Beverly Burgess

Just because you become a mother doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of how you look. Material Mom Beverly Burgess recommends several tried-and-tested products that get the job in double-quick time.

I have been a beauty junkie ever since I turned 18 and discovered the transformative power of makeup. After over a decade of trying out several thousand beauty products (give or take), I’ve narrowed it down to a few and perfected the art of “putting on my face” in 5 minutes flat. This has proven especially useful after I became a mum because every minute counts – it was the difference between a poo explosion and a REALLY BAD poo explosion (hello, leakage). 

So these are the key products I’m using on a daily basis right now. They get the job done (ie. I don’t make small children scream), are quick and easy to apply (time is of the essence, remember?), and they all travel well (when I have to throw them in my bag to apply on-the-go). Isn’t that what we all need?

Moisturizer/Primer: Etude House Face Conditioning Cream

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An excellent prep product before makeup application, this Face Conditioning Cream comes in a tube (how sanitary!) and is marketed as a makeup boosting cream. In reality, it squeezes out as a thick white cream not dissimilar to sunscreen. Surprisingly, it melts quickly into the skin and leaves behind a soft, smooth base. As a bonus, this includes SPF25, so I can pass on the sunscreen on days when I’m mostly indoors. 

Foundation: Shiseido Sheer and Perfect Foundation

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True to its name, this foundation applies like a dream – it blends well and gives a little coverage. Suitable for normal skin (ie. without major blemishes or skin issues), it helps blur imperfections yet allows skin to breathe. It’s best finished off with some powder to ensure it’s set. 

Blush: Chanel Le Blush Creme

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The powder-to-cream formula has a delightful mousse-like consistency that blends oh-so-easily, leaving no hard edges. The colour is vibrant, so only a little is needed. The staying power is tremendous, lasting from morning to night, even when I’m running around outdoors. It’s very portable too: It comes in a small compact with a mirror inside the lid. 

Concealer: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer

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For those afflicted with dark eye circles or blemishes, you simply can’t go wrong with this. Boasting SPF35, this concealer gives fantastic coverage yet easy to apply with a concealer brush. It melts easily into skin – just be sure to set it with loose powder to make it last the whole day. 

Powder: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish

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This pressed powder compact provides a natural matte finish, and sets foundation to ensure it lasts through the day. It can also be used for touch-ups, thanks to the light coverage it provides. Especially beneficial for oily skin, this finishing powder is excellent for Singapore’s humidity.

BevChrisCloseupAbout the author: Having blogged for the past two decades spanning life in Australia, China and Singapore, Beverly Burgess entered an alternate universe at warp speed when she went from career-driven shopaholic and social butterfly … to juggling being a wife and a mother of two kids. All within three years. The career is now replaced with the privilege of being a full-time mum, but the urge to shop and socialize still remains (albeit with two obliging children in tow). And, she wouldn’t have it any other way. She blogs at Beverly’s Adventures.

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Child's Nutrition, Material Moms

[Material Moms] Tips For Helping Picky Eaters Enjoy Their Food – Beverly Burgess

It’s worrying when your child isn’t eating as much as he should be, but there are easy ways to sneak some nutrition into the picky eater’s bowl, says our Material Mom this week.

My husband and I are foodies. We’re not ashamed to admit that we live to eat, and not the other way around.

And our children? We have one child that eats like no tomorrow, and one that is a reluctant eater.

Can you guess which one’s the reluctant eater?

Probably not.

And that’s because they all grow up just fine. This is the hardest thing to tell a parent that is pulling their own hair out, at wits end because their child isn’t eating what has just been painstakingly cooked for them.

Believe me, I have tried everything to get my eldest son to eat with gusto! I’ve done the sweet persuasion thing. I’ve done the roaring angry mummy thing. I’ve done the take-the-food-away-he-will-get-hungry-eventually thing. I’ve even resorted to the bribery thing.

And I’ve done the cry-tears-of-frustration-and-worry thing. Three times a day. Every day for almost a year.

But you know what? He grew out of it. At 2.5 years old, he just started eating. I’d like to take credit for this, but in reality, it was just a phase (albeit a year-long one!) that he went through. And now, he’s at a perfectly healthy weight and height, happy as a clam, and I feel like all those sleepness nights for the past year was just a (really really bad) dream.

Here are some of the things I resorted to (and sometimes still do), to ensure my kids receive appropriate nutrition in their meals.

1) Squeeze kiddy packet food into their rice congee. Kid adverse to vegetables? Those packet foods in the grocery store’s children aisle are a savior. If you reckon they’ll get suspicious, simply squeeze a small dollop into plain rice congee, so it’s barely there. Amp up the amount daily.

2) Puree whatever’s good. My older son doesn’t like berries, which are high in antioxidants. But he’s perfectly fine with eating it when it’s pureed and mixed into his Greek yogurt every morning. You can puree and freeze these into ice cube trays, and pop out a block to defrost every night.

3) Tomato pasta sauce is your friend. Most kids are pretty keen on a tomato-based pasta sauce. Pop in chopped carrots, peas, whatever you get your hands on. It’s not as easy to spot them in the dark-coloured sauce. If your kid has particularly sharp eyes, puree those too! Tip: avocado can be mashed and stirred into pasta sauce. It’s high in good fats and makes the dish extra creamy – yum!

4) Make your own “junk” food. Search online for recipes for zuchinni muffins, carrot and brocolli pudding, vegetable cookies, baked potato chips, etc. It’s the perfect way to offer a little treat to your child, but still get some goodness into them.

5) Tofu is your friend. It’s an excellent source of protein and can easily be mixed (without being detected) into rice congee, pasta, etc. Want to make it more interesting? Lightly pan-fry slices of egg tofu – they can pass off as nuggets for the little ones!

Above all, I maintained a ZERO snacks and desserts rule until my son could eat a full meal by himself. Now, they are both disciplined enough to understand that the goodies aren’t allowed until after their meal. Well…. most of the time 😉

BevChrisCloseupAbout the author: Having blogged for the past two decades spanning life in Australia, China and Singapore, Beverly Burgess entered an alternate universe at warp speed when she went from career-driven shopaholic and social butterfly … to juggling being a wife and a mother of two kids. All within three years. The career is now replaced with the privilege of being a full-time mum, but the urge to shop and socialize still remains (albeit with two obliging children in tow). And, she wouldn’t have it any other way. She blogs at Beverly’s Adventures.

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Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material Moms] The Plight of the SAHM vs FTWM – Beverly Burgess

BevChrisCloseupAbout the author: Having blogged for the past two decades spanning life in Australia, China and Singapore, Beverly Burgess entered an alternate universe at warp speed when she went from career-driven shopaholic and social butterfly … to juggling being a wife and a mother of two kids. All within three years. The career is now replaced with the privilege of being a full-time mum, but the urge to shop and socialize still remains (albeit with two obliging children in tow). And, she wouldn’t have it any other way. She blogs at Beverly’s Adventures.

Note from Material World: Recently, one of our other Material Moms Joan wrote about what it is like being a working mother. Here is a light-hearted take on the issue from Beverly, who left her job to become a stay-at-home mother.

Oh the age old debate on who has it tougher – the Stay At Home Mum (SAHM) or Full Time Working Mum (FTWM.) 
 
But it really isn’t a contest of who has it tougher cos I believe everyone has their own unique set of challenges to deal with. At the end of the day, we all share the same desires and  worries for our children, and we all do the same *eyeroll* when we’re met with one of THOSE questions. 
 
So here’s a list, based on what I’ve personally experienced or heard from friends, over the past 2+ years of being a mum myself:
 

stay-at-home-momThe SAHM’s… Most Hated Question: “So.. what do you do all day?”
The FTWM’s… Most Hated Question: “Really? Don’t you feel guilty being away from your child all day?”

The SAHM’s… Most Feared Moment: Your son’s response, when asked about what he will do in the future: “When I grow up, I’ll go to work. And MeiMei will drive me to work. Why? ‘Cos she won’t work. She’s a girl.”
The FTWM’s… Most Feared Moment: When your child hurts him/herself and runs to … your helper for comfort.

The SAHM’s… Most Precious Moment: Being there for morning kisses and bedtime cuddles. And for every. Single. Milestone.
The FTWM’s… Most Precious Moment: That beautiful time in the evening when you’re miraculously managed to make it home early; of quiet contentment and cuddles while putting the kids to bed.

The SAHM’s… Take On Money: One income in the family. Not enough cash to go on holidays with the kids.
The FTWM’s… Take On Money: Double income in the family. Not enough time to spend it on holidays with the kids.

The SAHM’s… Greatest Lament: My parents paid this much for me to go to school, only for me to throw my high-flying career out the window and become the maid/cook/chauffeur/teacher/poop cleaner/etc.
The FTWM’s… Greatest Lament: I’m busy working late for some ‘critical’ work project. But in the larger scheme of things, it matters diddly squat. I could be so much happier spending time with my children.

The SAHM’s… Greatest Annoyance: Being around the kids 24/7.
The FTWM’s… Greatest Annoyance: Not being around the kids 24/7.

Are you a SAHM or FTWM, and do you agree/disagree with the points that have been made?

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Child's Play, Material Moms

[Material Moms] Review: Sentosa 4D AdventureLand Happy Feet Mumble’s Wild Ride – Beverly Burgess

BevChrisCloseupAbout the author: Having blogged for the past two decades spanning life in Australia, China and Singapore, Beverly Burgess entered an alternate universe at warp speed when she went from career-driven shopaholic and social butterfly … to juggling being a wife and a mother of two kids. All within three years. The career is now replaced with the privilege of being a full-time mum, but the urge to shop and socialize still remains (albeit with two obliging children in tow). And, she wouldn’t have it any other way. She blogs at Beverly’s Adventures.

Sentosa 4D AdventureLand launched its new 4-D experience, Happy Feet Mumble’s Wild Ride! a few days ago, on 14 November 2013.

I’m such a tourist and am such a sucker for all things Sentosa-related, so I was very excited to be dragging the kids there, and with two of their friends in tow. The older kids (Hunter and his girl friend) were appropriated hyped up with promises of “lots of dancing penguins”, so they were excited!

But let me explain 4D AdventureLand first.

The four-dimensional theatre is a motion-simulated experience, where you sit in a pod (kind of like a rollercoaster ride) which wiggles and jiggles and whirls in tune with what you’re watching on screen – whilst you wear 3D glasses. To add to it, there are extra effects like water spray, swishing stuff at your feet, etc, etc. Think of it as a sort of multi-sensory theatre. I guess the future of standard cinema?!

So to watch Happy Feet Mumble’s Wild Ride! , we first huddled into a little room, which confused me. I thought we were going to sit down, not stand together in a group?? With the flashing lights and trippy sound effects, the kids got kind of freaked out, and so did I (from confusion).

Turns out, that was just the safety briefing. Whew!

The doors in front opened and we walked through to a HUUUUGE cinema room, with lots of fancy looking pod things to sit in. After settling ourselves in and buckling up, the lights dimmed and the 4D experience started.

The kids were pretty excited for the first-half of the experience, because it was all about dancing happy penguins that skipped around and slid down ice. It was rather cute!

Then…. errrrmmm…. the dreaded scary seal came. He wanted to eat Mumble!!! OH NOES!!!!!!!!!!

And so began the thrilling chase under water, with the seal snapping away at Mumble. All in 4D for us.

Guess what happened?

My kids had a heart attack. Carter promptly turned around and pressed his entire body against mine, facing backwards. Hunter’s jaw just dropped and I think he went into some sort of shock 😉

My friend’s 5-year-old girl was a little startled, but handled it all just fine. She has spent the next few days repeatedly asking questions on “Why did the seal chase the penguin, mummy?”, so she must’ve been paying attention 😉

And her 13-month-old brother was in total glee over it all, flapping his arms in excitement. Go figure why the youngest kid is the bravest one!

Sooooo.. for this reason, I would say that this ride is fine for <1-year-olds (I guess they are a bit young to realise what is going on), or for 5-year-olds and up, when they don’t get as freaked out. Or if you have brave young kids.

For BIG kids and adults? You’ll have fun!! It’s like a rollercoaster ride, but very safe and contained. It’s a fun concept, and your ticket also allows you entry into the other 4D experiences: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’; ‘Extreme Log Ride and the interactive 4-D shoot-out game, ‘Desperados’.

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There’s a little kid station just outside the ride, where the kids are given a small kit each. Crayons are provided and there are staff there to help out. The kids can do join-the-dots, crossword puzzles, colouring etc.

Our 5-year-old enjoyed it and diligently did it all.

Carter looks like he was also doing so in the photo below, but actually he had a lot more fun throwing the crayons all around >_<

The Desperados! ride had a little photo-opportunity area outside. Hunter and his Daddy had a grand ‘ol time posing!

Sentosa 4D AdventureLand is a fun stop for the kids if you’re in Sentosa. It’s especially awesome if you’ve lucked out and it’s raining, because it’s one of the few attractions that are completely covered. Plus, with unlimited entries, you can probably kill around two hours or so there, whilst the kids go on all of the rides.

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Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material Moms] Why Dining Out With Kids Is An Extreme Sport – Beverly Burgess

BevChrisCloseupAbout the author: Having blogged for the past two decades spanning life in Australia, China and Singapore, Beverly Burgess entered an alternate universe at warp speed when she went from career-driven shopaholic and social butterfly … to juggling being a wife and a mother of two kids. All within three years. The career is now replaced with the privilege of being a full-time mum, but the urge to shop and socialize still remains (albeit with two obliging children in tow). And, she wouldn’t have it any other way. She blogs at Beverly’s Adventures

Reckon you’re the epitome of calm and zen?
 
Pretty sure you have the ability to control and contain any situation?
 
I thought I did.
 
Then out popped my 2-year-old and 1-year-old, and they brought the notion of competitive eating to a whoooooole new level. I’ve never had to skill up so quickly!
 
So here’s fair warning for the day you have your own kids, and step out all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in anticipation of a leisurely lunch.
 
If you would like to experience what it’s like to eat out with toddlers, why not follow the steps below?
 
When you first walk in:
Ask your waiter for a high chair. Leave it empty.
Set a chicken (a live one) down on the floor and shut your eyes for half-a-second.
Go chase the chicken.
When you find your chicken, place it in the high chair.
Ensure chicken sits appropriately and does not exit high chair for the next hour.
Congratulations. You are now ready to enter a restaurant with toddlers.
 
Beverly's insanely cute kids, Hunter and Carter. We'd forgive them anytime for being messy eaters!

Beverly’s insanely cute kids, Carter and Hunter. We’d forgive them anytime for being messy eaters!

When you want to order food:
Hold your menu and look at it for one second.
Turn it upside down.
Flip it over.
Bang it on the table. If you have two menus, bang them together like cymbals.
Smack yourself in the head with it.
Throw it on the ground.
Pick it back up and colour on it with some crayons, or simply tear it.
Hold it as far away as you can and read only the first 3 items on the menu.
Congratulations. You are now ready to order from the menu with toddlers. 
 
When you’re waiting for your food:
Put on your earphones and blast Justin Beiber’s “Baby” at top volume. On repeat.
Take out your bag containing 10 different toys. Make sure you do this calmly.
Place one toy on the table.
Smear your fingers in butter, and pick it up.
Throw it on the floor.
Repeat this with the other 9 toys.
Pack all 10 toys back into your bag. They are nowhere near as fascinating as the salt and pepper shakers.
Congratulations. You are now ready to wait for your food with toddlers.
 
When you want to feed a toddler:
Place a bowl on the lazy susan. Spin it.
Get a dozen eggs.
Place eggs, one by one, into the spinning bowl.
Go to the bathroom between each egg. Spend 5 mins in there coaxing yourself to do a wee.
Pick the bowl up and throw it on the ground. The eggs weren’t good anyway.
Find some cooked spaghetti strands, and repeat the process.
Throw all the food away.
Congratulations. You are now ready to feed toddlers.
 
When you want to enjoy your meal:
Admire how good your dish looks and smells when it arrives.
Let it cool down for 30 mins.
When sufficiently stone cold, proceed to eat. Set your timer for 2 minutes.
Congratulations. You are now ready to eat your meal with toddlers.
 
When you need to clean up after eating:
Place some jelly and biscuits in a blender. Leave the lid off.
Put blender under table and turn it on.
Use the restaurant’s allocated 1 napkin to clean it all up, your hands included.
Ask for your bill, pretending nothing ever happened.
Congratulations. You are now ready to clean up after toddlers.
Now you’re ready to walk out of the restaurant … leaving you feathery eggs and jelly works of art behind. Plaster on your most winning smile, blurt out “sorry for the mess!”, grab your chicken, and JUST LEG IT OUTTA THERE.
 
And if you’re already a parent? Take the easy way out, and visit a child-friendly restaurant in Singapore. Your toddler may not make it any easier for you, but hey, at least you’ll have company to commiserate with!
 
[More stories by our Material Moms]
 
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