Saturday, 30 June 2012

Looking good in my 40s effortlessly with Vitamin Science

As Head of Marketing at a financial institution, I clock countless of hours at the office zipping from meetings to meetings. When I return home from work, the pace continues with me hunching over my Blackberry to respond to emails, jotting down notes in preparation for developing my marketing campaign plans, putting together the household grocery list for the helper, planning the family's meals for the week, and discussing the day's issues with my husband and son.

When the family's tucked in bed, faraway in dreamland, I would then start to relax with my hobby - tarot reading. This means that I would be on my emails, phone or Skype late into the night, responding to clients who have requested for a tarot reading from me. I am extremely passionate about tarot. As a certified professional tarot reader I not only read the tarot cards for my clients during my spare time, but I also mentor and teach prospective tarot readers and I volunteer as a reader for the Free Tarot Network too.

With my attempt to juggle multiple roles and with hardly much rest even on weekends, maintaining good health, great skin and well being are my biggest challenges.

When I was 40 turning 41, I reveled in the notion that the 40s was the best decade for a woman. I would have had garnered so much knowledge and experience backed by a mega load of self confidence and pulled them all together with a fabulous family that included a 19 year old son. A tiny wrinkle or 2 on my forehead and bags under my eyes, were just badges of experience I didn't mind brandishing. I took care of myself with a healthy dose of regular visits to the gym, plenty of water, my daily vitamins, well-balanced meals and a disciplined Skincare regime of washing, toning, moisturizing twice a day, weekly masks and monthly facials.

At 43, and just shy of a couple of years away from being classified as "mid- 40s", the type of Skincare I used became even more important. At the age of 43, the couple of tiny wrinkles on my forehead and the eye bags were no longer in agreement with my concept of "40 and Fabulous". I had to prevent them from accelerating further into crows-feet, dull complexion and saggy skin. As the demands in my life meant that my body and mind demanded healthier food, I started eating more organic foods. And I started rationalizing that if eating good quality, organic foods helped me maintain a healthy body and mind, then I had better use good quality, organic Skincare to maintain a healthy glow in my skin.

That's when I discovered Vitamin Science. Like my daily dosage of vitamins that I take every morning to keep me healthy and maintain my energy levels, Vitamin Science Skincare was like a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals which helps me maintain a healthy glow in my skin.

I am currently using the Vitamin Science Vita EA Lifting Toner, Serum, Emulsion, Night Cream as well as the BB Cream. The texture is so light that I can't feel it on my skin, and yet I know that these miracle Skincare products are working to enhance the collagen production in my skin whilst reducing fine lines and increasing the translucence and clarity of my complexion. The best part about the products is that my new Skincare regime with Vitamin Science is completely adequate such that I do not need a specific eye cream. Years of dabbing on rich and heavy eye creams only worsened my eye bags over the years when I pulled and tugged at the delicate skin around the eyes with these creams. I should have discovered Vitamin Science skincare earlier!

Don't take my word for it. I am almost in my mid 40s, and proudly so. I am also juggling an extremely busy lifestyle with hardly much rest managing my career as a marketeer in a fast-paced industry, managing a hobby that demands intense time and energy with clients from around the world who are sometimes in distress, and managing multiple roles as wife, mother, daughter and friend. In spite of these pressures, for what my husband jokingly calls "an old bird", I think I look fabulous.

Besides thanking my parents for the youthful genes I have inherited, I do thank Vitamin Science for helping me maintain a youthful glow in my skin.

About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 43 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketeer at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and her family which includes a 19 year old son.

She was not financially remunerated for this blog post and writing this post was entirely an expression of her personal opinions.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The first few months of Sun Goddess Tarot

Years ago, while standing at a major crossroad of my life, a Feng Shui master I had visited, gave me a list of "must-do" activities which he promised would help me ride the rough and maneuver the hurdles along that path. The list went like this, 1) take up a course/learn something new, 2) balance my temperament/don't be too hard on myself and 3) open my mind to new experiences/stop being judgmental and prejudiced.

So, just barely a few months ago, when my tarot teacher Renae, invited me to join her basic and advance tarot classes, I thought I might have lost the plot in agreeing to sign up for it but went ahead to do so because it was the perfect way for me to tick that list. It certainly looked easier than that MBA from the University of Chicago business School or the Six Sigma Black Belt course which I was considering signing up for. And it sounded like an easy and relaxing way to spend a few weekends.

Months have passed since then. I have set up Sun Goddess Tarot as a professional consultancy offering confidential readings for clients online, in person, and at corporate and charity events.

I am particularly proud that after graduating from Renae's advance tarot class, I was so fueled with passion for the art of tarot reading that I had my logo and my website ( designed with a vision in mind. How they look, had to represent the very essence of what I wanted for my clients and myself. I wanted vitality, energy, optimism, self-love, confidence and compassion as I set off on that journey past the original crossroad at which I found myself trapped in previously.

Sun Goddess Tarot gave me all that and more. In a few short months, my Facebook page has now gotten 123 fans who are a great mix of clients and fellow tarot readers with whom I exchange a lot of learnings and experiences. I have also had my first experience doing tarot readings for the Children's Cancer Foundation last month. That was fun. I managed to do 42 readings in a day and while I went home nursing a 3-day migraine, I came out of it feeling gratified that I had put my skills to good use.

I am now a member of the Tarot Association of the British Isles and the American Tarot Association, and I am endorsed as one of the latter's readers for the Free Tarot Network. I was so thankful for a mentor assigned to me by the FTN who further enriched my knowledge of the art of tarot and actually made me a better and more intuitive reader. I have also gotten myself professionally certified as a CPTR by the Tarot Certification Board of America. The TCBA has 7 levels of certification exams that I had to sit for, and I finished 3 exams in a month. How's that for enthusiasm!

And you know what? That Feng Shui master was right. Learning the tarot and reading for clients in the last few months have been a turning point in my life. I feel completely healed from past hurts and disappointments as I became part of the healing process of my clients by reading their tarot cards. I also became more aware of myself and more opened to the faults and failings of others. Embracing the art of tarot has allowed me to get past that crossroad in my life, and walk that winding road with absolutely no fear of the roadblocks along my path. I am not even shying away from the skepticism of some friends who up to this moment, still thought that I made house-calls on a broom and danced naked under the moon.

So where am I taking this whole Tarot business? As far as I am concerned, it's still a beloved hobby of mine. I am not leaving my job as a marketeer to pursue tarot reading as a career just yet. I absolutely love my job and funnily enough, the intuition honed from tarot reading has made me a better marketeer. Also, I think it's the universe' way of telling me that I should just continue on this path of enriching my knowledge of tarot and continue sharpening my intuition as a reader. Honestly, I feel I haven't learnt enough and am thankful for every opportunity I get to improve my reading skills. One day, I hope to be good enough to be able to teach and mentor other tarot readers who have embraced the art as enthusiastically as I have.

The family has finally accepted that this isn't just a phase of looniness that I am going through. And I am so glad that for every accurate reading that I do for my clients, it's an opportunity for me to demystify tarot as a fortune telling tool.

Someone said to me last week, " The world of Tarot has no limits if your intent is pure."

Saturday, 16 June 2012

What's Dad got to do with it?

Many years ago, my gran on Dad's side took him to a fortune teller. The fortune teller said that Dad would die at the ripe old age of 70. Dad's 71 and as far as I know, even in his wheel chair, his mental sharpness and lucidity can still start or stop an argument over political issues. I never knew gran. She died when Dad was quite young. But I wished she was alive for me to tell her that that fortune teller was a complete fake.

Dad often reminisce about the days he sees his mother waiting faithfully by the window till wee hours of the morning for gramps to come home from work or other extra curricular activities. He would also remember, with a slight hint of anger, how gramps remarried about 6 months after his mother died.

He also talked about the affections gramps showered on his elder sister LC. The favoritism right up to gramp's death was quite obvious even to us, grandchildren.

I think, in that traditional Peranakan household, Dad never quite got the fatherly love he deserved. However, I can bear testimony to the fact that Dad was never anything like his father. In my entire life, Dad was the best father ever. I was never in want for anything. He stood by me under every circumstance.

Even when I was going through a divorce and Dad, in his utter disappointment, cut me off, I could see the pain I had put him through. It took me almost 11 years to realize that he wasn't disappointed with my decision for a divorce. Rather, he was so disappointed because with that special father-daughter bond we had, entrenched by his experience of not having a communicative relationship with his own father, I never thought to share my marital problems with the one man who could have protected me.

Till today I am so grateful that Dad taught me the one thing money couldn't buy - to stand up for what is right. His incarceration by the establishment for his political views was a lesson to me about not allowing myself to be moulded by the views of others. That's why I am extremely honest with my opinions at work even in the presence of my bosses. His lucidity in spite of being in a wheelchair taught me that there are no limitations under any circumstance. That's why I am proud of my skills and passion at work in spite of not being actuary-trained in a company full of talented actuaries.

Most importantly, Dad is an epitome of the adage "being true to yourself". He didn't have a childhood filled with warm kisses and nurturing hugs from his father. From his school days through to his graduation at the university, through his marriage and having kids, Dad didn't have his father pat him on his back or hold his hand at every milestone. And yet there is no semblance of bitterness in his heart. He never used his past as an excuse to be a lousy father. In fact, he used his past as an excuse to give me more warm kisses and nurturing hugs.

Dad is my hero. Because of him, I became a better person, a better spouse and a better parent. I don't want to just thank him for being my Dad on Father's Day. I want to thank him everyday.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Micro - management

Am I a micro-manager?

In the past, when my ex-bosses attempted to interfere with my perfect, well-laid marketing plans, making whimsical changes in media plans, creative briefs or activation ideas, I called it micro-managing.

When they attempted to re-engineer the structure of my team, decided how I rated them, or prevented me from firing non-contributors to the business, I called it micro-managing.

At home, there were times I thought the hubby's weekend stubble grown in the attempt to emulate the Hollywood brat pack of sexy bad boys made him look like a scruffy, down and out vagrant, smoking his weed while seated on a cardboard at a street corner with his faithful dog. When I asked him to shave it off if he wanted to be seen with me in public, he called it micro-managing.

When I had one of those nurturing chats with Joel in an attempt to find out who he was dating, what he was dating and know, so I could share my rich experiences of my younger days spent in the company of some girlfriends I was acquainted with who were money-grubbing, sex-starved, manipulative lasses weaving their boyfriends around their snarly fingers. I just wanted to make him aware of the dangers of puppy love but he called it micro-managing.

When I visited Dad and Mom over the weekend and realized that all Dad had for lunch was a pack of peanuts due to lack of appetite, I would go on a tirade against Mom for starving my beloved father. I felt like the senior matron of a nursing home berating the junior nursing interns for misplacing a walking frame. Mom dismissed my melodramatic display of piety and called it micro-managing...then turned her attention back to the pretty flowers on the mahjong tiles in front of her.

When the maid attempted my granny's recipe of Peranakan Chicken Curry, I would totter about in the kitchen giving her tips on how to get a more robust flavor from the hand-blended curry paste with the use of candlenuts. I sensed her displeasure at my presence in HER kitchen, demonstrated by her moody demeanor and the cacophony of noises she created in the orchestral pit of a kitchen sink as she washed the crockery and utensils. She called my well-intended culinary advice micro-managing.

When I attempted to adjust Bailey's collar just now to tighten it, the bloody mutt walked away! Did it think I was micro-managing too?!

I do know a thing or two about micro-management. And like most creative people, I do dislike being on the receiving end of it. I hope those who were on the receiving end of my micro-managing ways could forgive me for lending passion into everything I do although one might deem my actions as micro-managing. And yes, please be honest by telling me when I do push the boundaries of micro-management.