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My sincerest apologies

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Dear one and all,

I am truly sorry for not constantly updating this blog.

Currently, I am overseas with limited access to the internet and am thus unable to post very often.

I will be back in my home country in approximately 3 weeks.

My apologies once again.

Do look forward to more posts once I return! :D

-On behalf of the author.

Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby

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Sponsored Review

Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby
"In her debut novel, Veronika Carnaby picks up where the Beat Generation left off. Set in 1960, Bohemia chronicles a group of twenty-somethings who defy the "ideals" of a mid-twentieth century society to seek creative fulfillment. In the process, they spotlight the creative path that artists of all mediums tread, all the while depicting the challenges faced by youth in the decade that changed the world."

When Veronika Carnaby emailed me to propose that Live and Dictate review her book, I was both excited and delighted to accept it because the books sounds abstract and interesting from the name itself, with this touch of quaintness that makes everything more appetizing. The cover is simple, but the swirls seem to be symbolic of the depth hidden in the story.

According to Wikipedia, Bohemia is a historical region in Central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. This is a unique place for the setting of a book because the place itself seems to exhibit a soft vintage charm.

The book itself has a unique and relaxed voice that makes me marvel at how there is this feeling of detachment as though there is someone reading the stories in this calm voice to you in your head, completed with the pitter-patter of the rain and all. I liked the vintage touch to the book, and how the characters seem to be at ease with each other.

Emm seems to be an over-achiever; she is pretty, good at dancing, art, persuasion as well as partying while V in my view seems to be quieter and more observant. I like her description of many things, such as her description of the city and all.

As I am from an Asian (Chinese) background, I am less familiar with the idea of meeting up with two guys and suddenly deciding to travel with them to another area as Emm and V have done, their boldness surprised and baffled me at some points, because I myself would never have done that. For all the Asian kids out there who are like me, you can give this book a go to see how brave, and slightly reckless I might add, that people can be like!

Personally, I think that this book would be more suitable for adults, because it has this historical touch to it all the way back to the 60's, and some parts such as the impromptu traveling might be a little hard for us to cotton on when we are not used to it. It is a relatively calming and scenic book that makes one feel calm reading it, so if you are those who like action and murder, this is definitely not for you!

Instead, if you want to go back in time and appreciate some vintage charm along with relaxing your mind, this is a good choice.

Veronika Carnaby

American writer and poet Veronika Carnaby carries a vintage charm about her that transcends well into her written works. Recognized for her Beat-style prose and innovative voice, Carnaby’s pieces have gained international recognition after appearing in such publications and functions as The Ed Sullivan Show, Empty Mirror Magazine, Dan's Papers Literary Journal, SESAC Magazine, SXSW, and the SESAC New York Music Awards. In past projects, she has worked with the likes of Archie Shepp, Ben E. King, and prolific Nashville songwriter and co-owner of Bug Music, Roger Murrah, among others. Since receiving the 2001 Young Authors Award for Excellence in Short Story Writing, she has welcomed the opportunity to share ideas of literary merit with the circles of Sir Paul McCartney, Roger McGuinn, Nancy Sinatra, and Roger Waters.
Channeling the caliber of her greatest influences, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan, Carnaby infuses her writing with a poignancy and passion for literature, music, and twentieth century culture. Whether through her feats or her unprecedented knack for the written word, Carnaby has etched an indelible mark as a pioneer in her own right.

Connect with Veronika Carnaby

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Book Review:The Rules of Survival

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin

For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, vicious mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival. But then Matt witnesses Murdoch coming to a child's rescue in a convenience store, and for the first time, he feels a glimmer of hope. When, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt's mother, life is suddenly almost good. But the relief lasts only a short time. When Murdoch inevitably breaks up with their mother, Matt knows he needs to take action. But can he call upon his hero? Or will he have to take measures into his own hands? A heart-wrenching portrait of a family in crisis, this is Nancy Werlin's most compulsively readable novel yet.
Book Description from Amazon.com

The story
The Rules of Survival is an intensive and amazing story of Matthew, Callie and Emmy who have an abusive and tyrannical mother called Nikki. Nikki is crazy and uncontrollable with her multiple mood swings, from trying to be a loving mother one day by cooking up a Portuguese Seafood Paella that no one wanted to eat to driving her car into the middle of a lane that has vehicles coming in from the opposite direction the other. The book is written from Matthew's point of view, and it is written in the form of a letter from Matthew to his youngest half sister Emmy, in which Matthew recounts to her their nightmarish days living under the reign of their emotionally-unstable mother Nikki.

Matthew's Rules of Survival
The story tells of how Matthew, Callie and Emmy (who was too young to understand anything) suffered under Nikki for a very long time before Matthew and Callie ran into Murdock in a convenience store one night when they were out to get Popsicle. They witnessed how Murdock stood up for a child who was oppressed by his father, even though Murdock was smaller in size than the other man, Murdock's confidence and calm managed to deal with things perfectly.

Matthew then had an obsession with finding Murdock and then making friends with him, so much so that he went back to the convenience store almost daily to watch out for signs of Murdock's appearance. However, autumn faded into winter and finally spring fell and there was still no sign of Murdock, forcing Matthew to give up hope, until Callie located Murdock by his unique name from the Yellow Pages on the internet. Callie presented Murdock's telephone number and address to Matthew as his belated birthday present, both surprising and delighting him with this piece of information.

However, at this moment, Nikki arrived and picked the paper out from Matthew's hand, assuming that the information and the guy they found was meant for herself. (Editor's note here: I always knew Nikki was a nutball.) She headed down to locate Murdock soon after with Emmy in arms and the two, to my utter disbelief, started dating.

Of course, the period of bliss is not to be as Nikki soon revealed her true natures of being an unstable and mentally unsound parent when she dangled Emmy by her ankle over the crashing waves of the sea. The incident both disturbed and unsettled Murdock and he broke up with her a few days after the incident. This upset Matthew, Callie and Emmy greatly as they all adored Murdock dearly and viewed him as their hero seeing how their life turned for the better after Murdock's appearance.

After Nikki and Murdock's breakup, Nikki took a turn for the worse, from stalking Murdock to harassing him and finally even instigating her new boyfriend Bob to attack Murdock. After many occurrences of such events, Murdock finally had enough when Matthew revealed that Nikki planned to sue Murdock for child molest (claiming that Murdock has molested Matthew) and decided to put a stop to it.

Hence, Murdock, Aunt Bobbie (Nikki's sister who was terrorized by her when they were children), Matthew as well as Matthew and Callie's father, Ben, worked together to note the unusual behavior of Nikki such that they could turn her in to the police at every chance they have. This worked well because Murdock placed a restraining order against Nikki, who seems somewhat determined to undermine the order.

The climax for me was when Nikki kidnapped Emmy who was then in elementary school and forced her to drink all kinds of alcoholic products such as beer and Bourbon, causing her to throw up and get sick. Matthew came to Emmy's rescue, and he was so mad at Nikki's scandalous deeds that her apparently beat her up and would have killed her if not for Murdock's timely appearance. I especially like how Murdock treated Nikki like the vermin she is, making no move to answer her question as Nikki tried to cling onto him and question why he was stealing her children from her.

The story ended almost peacefully, but Nikki was sentenced too lightly when she and Julie (Murdock's friend, neighbor, and pretend-girlfriend in front of Nikki) got into a planned car accident caused by Nikki, causing Julie to be paralyzed from waist down. She can never walk again.

The story ends with Matthew telling Emmy to take care, as he confessed his small guilt that he was relieved in a way that the person that was hurt was Julie instead of anyone in his family or even Murdock, but knowing that Julie was totally unrelated and an outsider in this happening made him guilty that she bore the brunt of the worst happenings.

I think the book is an amazing read of how the teamwork between siblings and adults can actually help to rescue the children from the oppression and abuse of their crazed parents. It is touching to see how Matthew and Callie are really mature and united in their actions to keep Emmy safe from harm, and to keep themselves as obscure as possible in front of Nikki. On the other hand, I found Emmy the least likeable character of all, she seems to be a selfish and spoilt brat who is used to others (mainly Callie and Matthew) caring for her such that she throws tantrums and hits people as she likes. When I was reading the story, I was so repulsed by her self-centeredness and childish tantrums that I am inclined to whack her across her head if she were to be my sister. But then again, she is a very well-crafted character and her tantrums and her bold and unrestrained character is not only a shadow of what Nikki is like but also a result of the care and love Callie and Matthew have given her.

I feel that while Nikki is vile, she is actually a very well-crafted and solid character that is easy to imagine. Her high-strung character and her alcohol-driven crazed coupled with her signature eyeliner all made her a very impressionable character to remember. She is cunning and vindictive, and cruel in her own way of stalking and leaving messages that "had nothing but sound of breathing".

"Your mother at thirty-five was the same lying, self-absorbed, vindictive, underhanded, treacherous, mean girl she was at sixteen, when she used to torture me all the time."
~Aunt Bobbie

In a way, Nikki reminds me vaguely of Bellatrix Lestrange, from their crazy maniacal laughter to her eyelined eyes. They are characters that are extremely mood-swingy and crafted for us to detest them without any reservations.

As for Murdock, Ben and Aunt Bobbie, I like Murdock the most, followed by Aunt Bobbie then Ben. In the case of Ben, I do hold some grudge against him for not coming to the aid of the children fast enough to get them out of their misery, his actions and words to me feel cowardly and what I would call "burying his head in the sand" to turn a blind eye against all the hardships that the children are going through. Hence I was finally relieved when he summoned enough courage to come on board to fight for the rights of his children.

Overall, I would give this book a five out of five because it is well-crafted, suitably paced in its roller-coaster of emotions and has just the right amount of excitement to keep me turning page after page. I think it is a truly great read that opens our eyes to the extreme forms of parenting, or rather, the most failed forms of parenting there is.

If you enjoyed reading books like Ugly by Constance Briscoe and A Child called It by Dave Pelzer but cringed at the extreme abuse that these children are subjected to, The Rules of Survival will be just right for you with its slight dash of child abuse that are not as scary as the ones in the aforementioned two.

Skin & Lab Vitamin Creams Review

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Sponsored Review
Hello people! I am back with another skin care product review, and this time it is the famous Vitamin Cream sponsored by Skin & Lab!
Skin & Lab Vitamin Cream K and E.
Who is Skin & Lab?
Skin&lab originated from Korea and is created based on the results of experiments with dermatologists in Korea. It consists of hypoallergenic materials passed with strict skin test, approved by KDA (Korea) and received the Product Notification from HSA(Singapore). Currently, Skin&Lab SG  is currently Singapore's Official Sole Distributor for all Dr. Vita Clinic product's 'Doctor's Care at Home'.

Skin and Lab products use all natural vitamins to supply our skin with the essential vitamins.

Vitamin E and K with samples.

Vitamins A, B, C, E and K from Skin & Lab.
Vitamin K Review
I must say that I fell in love with the packaging of the vitamin creams at the first sight. It is 30g per tube, and that is great because I don't like to buy huge tubes of cream as they may expire before I even finish using them, and this can never happen to this lovely tube! Also, I love the hygiene seal on the tip of the bottle to keep the cream clean.

Vitamin K has a relatively stronger herbal scent that may take a while to get use to at the first whiff, but after a while, I believe that you will come to accept and even like this smell like me. Vitamin K is slightly (barely noticeable) tinged in greenish-yellow and it is very smooth on application. However, it might be wise to note that one should not put too much cream on the nose area because around that area, too much of any cream will turn into oil rapidly (at least for me).

I applied Vitamin K around my under eye area because Vitamin K is supposed to help with the constriction of the capillaries under our eyes to reduce the dark rings. There is this slightly tingly and warm sensation on application like someone just covered by eyes with warm towel, not unpleasant but again, it will take a while to get use to. It is good that there is some kind of sensation from under my eye, I mean it shows that the cream is working and therefore my skin receptors are responding to it right?

So far I have only tried Vitamin K for about a day, so it is still to early to judge whether or not it is effective, but I have great confidence in this cream after my previous battles with my dark eyes have failed! I will keep your guys updated in one months' time!

Vitamin E
Vitamin E smells very similar to Vitamin K, but even stronger in terms of the medicinal and herbal smell. Like Vitamin K, Vitamin E is very very smooth to apply and it also has a tingly sensation on the skin. Skin feels moisturized, soft and not sure how to express this, like bouncy? Elastic I mean. Like you can just poke a finger in and it feels soft yet firm.

Skin continues to feel soft even after a few hours, and I think that I can still feel the "touch" of the vitamin cream on my face. It does do quite a lot in preventing the skin from drying out, and the result is more obvious because I sat in an air-conditioned room.

Again, I will try this product out for a month and do an update for you guys!

Since I have more time, I would introduce you all to more Vitamin creams that I received in the sample pack that Skin & Lab had kindly given me!

Introduction to each Vitamin Cream

Purpose of each Vitamin Cream
Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps to promote cell division in our skin and is actually the most important component in anti-aging cosmetics. Vitamin A encourages skin cells to turn over at a faster rate, which means that newer and fresher cells can be brought to the skin surface.

Hence, the frequent usage of this cream helps to reduce wrinkles and firm the skin.

When do I need it?
  • Loss of elasticity in Skin
  • Pillow marks do not appear easily in the morning
  • Rough skin texture
  • Wrinkles and lines around mouth and crow's feet. 

Vitamin B

Vitamin helps to fight acne as it has shown many anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it suitable in dealing with troubled skin. It helps to stem potential acne breakout by repressing proliferation of bacteria that causes inflammation.

Frequent usage helps to moisturize and treat troubled skin.

When do I need it?
  • To eradicate repeated acne problems
  • To prevent skin problem during periods (for girls)
  • To prevent skin problems during seasonal changes

Vitamin C

An antioxidant which is largely associated with skin brightening. It helps to prevent the skin from UV damage after prolonged exposure to the sun by reducing the amount of free radical formation. It helps to strengthen the structural support and resilience of the skin.

When do I need it?
  •  If you want radiant, beautiful and clear skin
  • To prevent skin aging because of UV exposure
  • Too many freckles and spots

Vitamin E

Prevents skin damage and makes skin moist and smooth by protecting the cell membrane. Has to be applied 20 minutes before entering the sun so that the vitamin can be absorbed well into the epidermis.

When do I need it?
  • If you want great skin that is radiant and beautiful, then you need it! Vitamin E is the most important for the skin! :)

Vitamin K

Helps to constrict the capillary under eyes to make dark circles less obvious. If the skin under your eyes are thin, then leaking capillaries could be mistaken as dark circles, and the Vitamin K, when absorbed, helps to deliver nutrients directly to the end eye area to brighten them up! Not only so, Vitamin K also helps to alleviate the appearance of unsightly spider-veins.

When do I need it?
  • If you have dark and shady eyes
  • Have reddish blemishes and troubles on the skin
  • Reddish skin/ veins on the cheeks

Vitamins A, B, C, E Review
Out of all the creams, I think Vitamin A has mildest scent, a very pleasant and not very recognizable one at that. I finished using the sample the day before blogging this, so I can't really remember how it felt like.

Top: Vitamin B    Bottom: Vitamin K
Mixed together
Vitamin B smells relatively mild too, but a little stronger than A, and also very pleasant. It is very white, and not as watery as compared to E and K.

As suggested, I mixed B and K together to produce this cream for troubled skin, and I must say that it has worked wondrously for me! I have applied it on my skin because I have been have quite some pimples lately (thanks to fried food) and these cream-mix soothe my irritated skin very very well.

Of all the creams, I am most partial to the lovely tangy scent of Vitamin C. It has such a lovely smell of fragrant lemon and orange mix and a clear orangey color that I am going to purchase it once I get my salary hehe.

Mix and Match!

Vitamin A + Vitamin E = Anti-aging

Vitamin B + Vitamin K = For troubled Skin

Vitamin C + Vitamin E = Skin Whitening

That's all for my review! Of course, I won't make you all read this without being able to try it for yourself!  You guys can head over to Skin & Lab's Facebook Page and Website to find out more about these amazing Vitamin creams and also to get a FREE SAMPLE delivered right up to your doorsteps! What are you waiting for? Go for it now!


Okay I have no idea why and what dot me so irritated, but I was just like blog hopping and the result was that I ended up feeling pissed by almost every blog that I read apart from my own of course (and also Shu Hui's tumblr).

I realized, to my amazement and confusion that most of the younger bloggers are really pretty. (Myself not included, sorry to say.) Like a lot of them are very good looking (either that they are super good at photoshop and makeup and contacts), and also every pretty blogger love posting zillions of pictures of themselves on Facebook and on blog.

Which I found to be very annoying and irritating.

And that is probably because I am jealous (sighs, boohoo).

I mean sometimes I feel that part of their marketing strategy is their good looks and photos with tons of effect, so it should be normal and natural that their blogs are plastered full with their photos...right? I found the comments on the photos even more disturbing, like there are always people who writes unpleasant stuff with sexual reference to it, and when I see such I would wonder, if I were the blogger that posted the photo, would I be okay with it? I don't think I would be, you know.

It is really their choice I guess, and I guess I don't really care so long as I am not the one writing the disturbing comments (and land myself in hot soup), and neither am I the one on the receiving end of the disturbing comments, so what is there for me to feel uncomfortable over?

Just a question that I have been thinking for a really long time but have no one to ask it to, when you readers read my blog or any other people's blog, do you read it more for the content, or do you read it more for the fact that the blog has good pictures? If it is the latter, what kind of pictures do you actually want to see? Photos of the pretty blogger, or photos of more meaning (like scenery etc?). I know that I read blogs for their contents. I didn't like Xiaxue because "Xiaxue is sooooo pretty~~~!" (not that she is not, but that it is not what attracts me). I like blogs because I find it worth reading, or either that it amuses me and makes me happy.

As you see in my blog links (or have I removed it?), that my favourite blogs are Hyperbole and a Half, Home of Cyanide and Happiness and also the Oatmeal. None of the blogs have pretty photos, but they are all marvelous in their own ways because the content is so enriching. Oatmeal allows us to learn new things in a fun and stress-less way, and it broadens my views.

Anyway, there was a period of time where I wondered if a better way to get my blog more famous would be to have all those photoshopped photos with my self covered in 3kg or so of make-up. But that is not the kind of audience I want, and that is not the type of attention I want to. I want to have true real readers who sincerely appreciates my rants and writings (like my impromptu poem as well as my A.M.I. micro-fiction), and not those who comments things like, "Fap fap fap" next to my photos. I don't like having photos of myself on the net (nowadays) unless I am with my friends, because that is not the type of image that I want to portray. Maybe it is because of my school which had made me more self-conscious and constantly afraid that I would be stomped. But I was pretty sure that so long as I don't put a toe out of line and continue blogging the way I am now, I won't ever get into trouble. Never. :D

So there is this running joke that if a Nanyang girl is crossing the road and is about to get knocked down by a car, the first thing that crosses her mind is not, "Oh no! I am going to get crushed and I will die!" but "Oh shucks, I hope no one stomps me." That, people, is how much we girls (most of us) are trying to keep our school's reputation good. Which is also why I don't ever sit in MRTs, and which is also why I always sit on the second floor of double-deckers. (kidding, haw!)

Anyway, I am veering off tangent and let's get back to the topic. My point is that I like the way I am blogging now, with long posts and rants and maybe a dash of literary work every now and then when I feel like embarrassing myself by sharing my (not that great) writing with others. It makes me happy, and it makes me enjoy blogging.

I think if one day I were to suddenly have tons of photos of myself on my blog, I probably won't be able to read it myself without cringing hard, and maybe that would be a sign to you guys that I am wither going crazy or I am being possessed. Yep.

All right with all the bloggers, I need to complain about something else.

I am very very very pissed with one of my dad's employee, who always calls like 5-10 times a day when my dad is at home, regardless of time, place and venue. Seriously that twit can ring at 2am or 4am in the morning. Where are her manners? None at all, I say, none at all. Her parents never teach her well enough to not call others after 9.30pm did they? Such atrocity.

And so she ringed my dad's cell five times in a row, and my mom got really irritated because as you guys know, my dad has this really loud ring tone that is super noisy, so she picked and asked what did she want exactly. She was like, oh there is some company matter to ask him. I was thinking, god, how can anyone be so...so obtuse and thick. Like can't you handle matters on your own without disturbing your superiors? Anyway, I was thinking that any employee that keeps harassing their superiors are very much "handicapped" and also being extremely insensitive to their superior's rest hours, so they should promptly be fired. By the way, don't try to warp my argument into this discrimination against the handicapped or discrimination against the less abled, I certainly was not trying to imply any thing of that sort.

Anyway, I suspect that there is more to that stupid harassing employee than meets the eye, so I am going to keep a close watch on her and nip the problem in the bud at the first signs of a shoot. Get it? I think she has a crush on my dad or either that trying to fox his money out of him. But to the silly female harasser, I have to suggest that you please go look into a mirror first. Maybe it is your personality and lack of manners, but you are downright ugly really. Get plastic surgery maybe? And then try to stalk men. I wish I could say the f-word, but I can't and I won't bring my own level down, so well, frog you? Yes you are a toad.

Now for the happier news!

I recently received an email in my new gmail account from an AUTHOR, Veronika Carnaby,  asking me to review her work Bohemian. I was so honoured by the request that I almost choked on my Mountain Dew, and I agreed immediately!

In case you don't know, Veronika Carnaby's works have been featured in such publications and functions as The Ed Sullivan Show, Empty Mirror Magazine, SXSW, SESAC Magazine, and the SESAC New York Music Awards. She has also collaborated with the likes of Ben E. King and Roger Murrah for former projects and shared ideas of literary merit with the circles of Sir Paul McCartney, Roger McGuinn, and Roger Waters, among others. That makes her a pretty cool writer, ain't it?

Also, this made me happy because it means that my point about people appreciating what I was writing was right- I assumed that she probably approached me because I did a review on Robocalypse and Fifty Shades of Grey (most unfortunately so) so it makes me happy that I am attracting the right crowd and the right attention. I like it best when my hard word in reviewing things are appreciated. (oh my distaste for using own pictures is why I don't like to put faces of myself when reviewing stuff like facial masks, but sometimes it can't be helped because my sponsors request for it).

Anyway, I am going to start doing all my drama and mvs reviews on my new blog, wahahhas. :D

Oh yes, another good news, I received sponsorship from Skin&Lab Sg and also by Nezon Marketing. Which is pretty cool I would say. I would of course do good reviews for them! In the mean time, check out their facebook pages! <3

Kays, shall go watch Harry Potter (I have this tendency to type Harry Potter and Happy Potter which is so .___.)

Love you all!

Essential Purely Smooth Review

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 I received my sample sachets of Essential Purely Smooth Shampoo and conditioner recently packaged in the cutest and prettiest ziplock there is!

They also included a thank you note for redeeming the sample, which I thought was very sweet!

The shampoo and conditioner sachets are both 15ml each, and to my greatest surprise I can use them for 4 times instead of 3 (because 5ml each time? Heh~!) and I have been using them for the past few days! 

The New Essential Purely Smooth:

 According to Essential, damaged hair cuticles causes hair loses nutrients easily, resulting in tangles and split ends. When wet hair gets tangled during shampooing, it causes more damage, creating a vicious cycle of damage.

A sign of damaged cuticle would be when your hair getting tangled together when shampooing, a condition that has never happened to me until I started using Organix Argan Morrocan Oil shampoo :(.

image  image

The New Essential has FOUR times more cuticle protection than than other shampoo.
"Essential's Advanced Cuticle Care Technology smoothens cuticles to the last 15cm of hair, locking in nutrients with 4 times more cuticle protection."
Essential contains High Purity Honey and Shea Butter which is supposed to deeply moisturize hair and repair your damaged cuticles.

The smell is simply fantastic! It is one of the most delicious smelling shampoo I have ever came across (the conditioner smells similar but a little less sweet). It smells of honey and all sugary goodness and it makes my whole bathroom smells great too!

The shampoo and condition both does what they are supposed to do, making my hair extremely silky and smooth. You can test this buy running water through your hair and then stroking the surface of your hair gently- are there "lumps"? If there aren't, then your hair is smooth!

Now, the problem with this shampoo and conditioner is that they only makes your hair silky and smooth during the shower and when your hair is damp or wet. Like after shower, when your hair is wet, it is super easy to comb through the hair, but when your hair dries, it is all tangled up again.
I was actually surprised that that happened because my hair was so silky smooth and nice smelling when I just came out from the shower, but when it dried up, it was rather tangly, so was my hair the next day. That is the only downside of the new shampoo.

Overall, I really really really like this shampoo (because I love the smell) as it feels so awesome when I massage it through my hair, it feels mild and really comfortable, and the best part is that it foams so well! Love it so much! But the sad thing is that it does not retain the silkiness in the hair after it has dried, so that is not very good.

If you guys are dying to have fantastic silky hair, I would actually recommend Pantene Total Damage Care (Shampoo and Conditioner, always use the matching ones for better effect!). It is one of the best shampoo I have used so far and it has never failed to retained its silkiness and smooth and airy texture in my hair. The even grander thing is that it makes your hair smooth and non frizzy without even applying anything. It smells great too.

I would rate Essential Purely Smooth a 4/5 (one mark taken away for not smooth on drying >o<) and you guys can redeem a sample today at here!

New Poem with Analysis!

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I wrote a new poem (not really poem lar, just some lines that I like!) recently! I think it has a great double meaning! Try to spot the double meaning yourself before reading my own analysis! :D Oh yes, and I analyzed this using the Unseen Poetry Method!

The Star Falls
The Universe, it stops.
It comes to a standstill.
A gasp.
An exhale.
Elation, emotion and dejection.
The bright star fell, landed, did it disappear?!
My eyes, they can never see anything else again.
Clinching. Praying for its return.
You can't hold onto stars; you will combust.
Grip loosened. Star faded into the bleak night sky.
She? Blinded. Yes, forever.
But you won't know.
The poem started off with a very short onomatopoeia "Da-dum" that could be used to represent the state of shock the protagonist is in, or the way her heart suddenly beat harder than normal, hence resulting her her hearing her own clear, defined heartbeat.
The next 4 lines continue to be short, and they portray the protagonist's state of confusion and awe as she states "The Universe, it stops" after which she repeats that it has come to a standstill for emphasis. Here we can postulate that the protagonist came across something that maybe so amazing to her that her Universe has stopped, and she stood in this kind of frozen awe as she gasps and then exhales.

The protagonist then undergoes a rapid change of mood: from her elation to emotional and finally dejection as she starts to realize some things that she has not realized before. Here, each line in the poem becomes longer as we witness the protagonist becoming more and more agitated as she cried "The bright star fell, landed, did it disappear?!". The use of the punctuation "?!" reveals her shock and agitation as she recounts how she saw that bright star, and then it fell towards her, landed, and all of a sudden disappear without a trace. The protagonist then sounded wistful as she claimed that she can no longer see anything else again. 

Following this, the protagonist tries to sound hopeful as she waits desperately for the star to return to her, but she realizes with dread that there is no way that a person can hold onto stars, "You will combust." and thus she slackened her hold on the star, whether it is in terms of expectation or hope. The star then faded into the bleak night, leaving her alone. 

The protagonist addresses herself in third-person as she asked "She? Blinded. Yes, forever." There is a hint of extreme disappointment and dejection in the protagonist voice, and perhaps a trace of bitterness as she continues, "But you wouldn't know."

Underlying meaning
The poem can be taken to mean two ways, even though one way would be a better and clearer meaning.
The first meaning would be that the protagonist met someone that make her heart palpitate and we assume that she had fallen in love from her exaggerated breathing and how she stated that the universe seemed to have stood still for her. She then feels elation at her own feelings, but that is rapidly replaced by waves as dejection because she might have found out that the guy already had someone he liked, or maybe she felt that she was not good enough.

"In front of the people we like, we never feel confident enough or good enough."
The person she likes apparently left her, or either that moved on without noticing her as she notes in panic that the star had disappeared. To her, the person was a star because he was so radiant and beautiful and breathtaking that when he left, she could no longer see anything or anyone else. The protagonist prays for the star's return and rather uncertainly at that, as she finally made the conclusion that stars are not meant to be held on to, because you will combust if you do. As she noted that, she gave up on the star, in the literal sense, that she stopped looking for him, the star, and the star faded away. That is what people usually say right? That stars at night blinks and could fade away if you don't watch them carefully.
We see that the girl end up "blinded", in the sense that she could no longer see other people anymore, but sadly, the person she likes would never know.
Yet another way to view the poem would be about a girl and her dreams. She finally found something that could make her heart flutter and pant in excitement when doing it, and she was feeling so much elation when she could have been told that she did not make it into the course, so she is left dejected. She then watches her dreams (symbolized by the star) fall and land before her, so near to her, before disappearing as she cries out in frustration. She awaits another chance to try, but she realized that maybe that goal, that dream is too far for her to reach and hold onto, like a star, and if you try, you could combust (totally wrecked). She lets go of her dream and it disappears, and she could no longer see anything else that she wants to do because that is her ambition, but others would never know that and her pain.
Do you all like this poem and my analysis? Do drop me comments to tell me how you feel and if you think that there are other underlying meanings to this poem! :)
Emails are welcomed as well!

Tonight We Graduate

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Time passes really really quickly and suddenly, we have just finished the four years of Secondary school. It seems like only yesterday that my Secondary Four year began, and when I had promised myself that this year, I had to work hard and work smart and score well. At the blink of an eye, the whole year just flew by and suddenly it is all over. Block Test 1...then Block Test 2 with its musical, and then finally the horrendous EOYS. The good times and the bad times, it all ended.

This is from Devianart, I downloaded it meaning to make it my phone wallpaper, I can't remember the name of this breathtaking art piece, but I labelled this photo as "Sunken Dreams".
I though that the above art piece was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, the clarity, the sky, the semi-immersed bridge that seems to symbolize how part of your path maybe in "deep waters" and how hard your path can get, but if you press on, then you will definitely get back onto the right "dry" path, out of your troubles and towards a shimmering future full surprises, and of course more difficulties.

"As the going gets tough, the tough gets going."
Mr Ng (309'11 Maths Teacher)

I think I will remember this quote my math teacher imparted on me for as long as I live. Many may not really like this saying because they find it meaningless or they simply do not like the teacher himself, but I liked it. I don't know why. Maybe it is the truth and simplicity that stuck it to me. I don't know either.

Picture Source

I remember at the parting speech, there were so many good speeches made my our school teachers to encourage us not to give up, not to lose hope in the face of hardships and difficulties, and not to back down easily.

I remember Mrs Westvik's quote from T.S. Eliot clearly:
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
I thought it was such a breathtaking and lovely quote that is simple yet full of impact. It makes me anticipate, not without fear, but with more courage.

On a side note, I saw so many emotional ramblings on Facebook that Facebook is becoming a Weepbook, and that is not exactly a bad thing unless you see twenty or fifty emotional statuses that eventually end off with more or less "Once a NY girl, always a NY girl" which is like, come on, that is such a cliche.
Maybe I am being a little harsh on the people who are currently in their emo-stages of reminiscing how good the four years have been, because I am one of the rare few who is not very sentimental in partings. I had always had the idea of "世上无不散之宴席" engraved in me, which essentially means that there is no forever lasting banquet; all things, all gatherings will have to end someday. My cousin is just the opposite. When she left her kindergarten, she had to sit once more in her own chair, touch her desk fondly, and sleep in her little bed again, and when I heard that, I am like, "WHUT?!?" When I left primary school after PSLE, I was so excited and elated that I could barely contain my joy at a fresh new beginning of countless possibilities and challenges. I could not feel the sadness or longings that others indulge themselves in.

But this time, I am around 20% sadder than I was in the primary school parting, because I have made some delightful friends here, and thank you guys for making my life in Secondary school perfect. There are definitely quarrels, displeasure and some misunderstanding, but boy I am glad to have you all as my friends. Without you guys, life will be dull. More than anything else, I would like to thank some of my closest friends whom we always clique together with:

1. Jumpy J.
2. Phiephie
3. Chinny
4. Spider-tomato
5. Xinyi
6. Nehceh
7. Wennie
8. Huiqi
9. Jiaqi
10. Myself, the grand penguin (Wahahaha!!!)

And also the next closest round of friends which our clique always group with:

1. Yanling
2. Jianing
3. Deborah
4. Andrea
5. Sarah
6. Jessica and Ruiqi

(Sorry to those who are not in the first group, your name is your name because I have no way of making up a weird name for you on the spot since you won't know who you are!)

By the way, I hate it when people go like, "It is not a time to say goodbye! It is time to fly!" because that is the most illogical and nonsensical statement I have heard: what is the link between goodbye and flying? Just because they rhyme doesn't make it a good line to utter at every turn of separation.

Also a million thank yous to all my lovely teachers at Nanyang, thank you for teaching me and helping me whenever I need help, thank you for your patience and guidance, and thank you for being honest with me. A large thank you to the teachers of 409, and I wonder if it is good net-etiquette to mention their names? I think not. But thank you, to my Chemistry (and form), Maths, Physics, Humanities, Chinese, Language Arts, Biology, Physical Education teachers of class 409'12!! You guys are the best! <3

Now with all the emotional ramblings from me aside, I can continue being the whiny and complaining me. Which means I am gonna blog about the tiring graduation day.

Graduation Bear! The cute NY graduation bear! So cute!

Aww! Such a cute teddy bear!
I can tell you that the "Byebye Pal" session was the most awkward and time consuming thing (next to the real Graduation that night) ever, and it is like, "Happy Graduation." and "Thank you!" and for the next 3 minutes you stare at each other and smile awkwardly. Which is like AWK-WARD~~~

After that we got back all our result slips and graduation certs and other other other stuffs that I am too lazy to list out, clean up our classroom, and then we had a long break. Phiephie, Chinny, Nehceh and I went to Beauty World Plaza to eat yummy Xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings) and guotie (fried dumplings). So nice~! We bought one plate of each, and had 20 altogether. We ate about five each, I think? After that we were still hungry so we went to eat MacDonald, golly, we have some amazing appetites. But that was actually a bad idea to eat and drink Coke at the same time because suddenly we all were so bloated and full and I still had like 1/4 of my McSpicy left along with half a cup of Coke and half a pack of fries. Phiephie and Nehceh both upsized theirs, so it is like even more than mine, but they finished it. O_O I threw away some of my fries and my drink. Too full.

On my way back I started to feel sick from eating too much, and I was worried that I might have to puke it all out again, because I was feeling so sick. I swore not to eat dinner that night so that all the oil and grease and disgusting stuff would have ample time to be digested without me clogging up my gastrointestinal tract with more rubbish. And that I did! I was quite amazed with myself that I actually didn't eat anything since I ate those junk food at about 1.30pm, all the way till 11.45pm at night when I went to sleep. When I slept, I was hungry, but that is a much better feeling that being choked all the way to the esophagus.

Another plus point would be that that would give my body sufficient time to detoxify all the junk food I consumed so that I won't have an acne outbreak or grow fat. Not eating dinner is actually healthy once in a while: it is called "washing the gastrointestinal tract" in Chinese, where you give your body ample time to clear up all the wastes.

Graduation Gift from my CCA, which was supposed to be collected long time ago, but I forgot about it totally. :OO -bloop-

Pretty silver ribbon! <3
Later on, Jumpy and I popped into Hwa Chong college section, where I ran int an old senior of mine and I hugged her in joy. Aww, she was like one of the senior I was closest to! We stood in the sun for around 10-15 minutes, I had 5 mosquito bites, Jumpy had 3 or more, and then we saw our senior.

On our way back I was like, "Jumpy, did you see how long his eyelashes were?"
Jumpy, "I know right! It is so freaking long!"
Me, "It is even longer than mine...."
Jumpy, "and mine tooo...:("
Jumpy, "You know those anime characters, some of them have this piaowy thing at the top of their head which is like this strand of hair thingy? He has it! And it was like fluttering in the wind!"
Uh, can you see the two strand like thing on the boy's head close to the left? Jumpy claimed that he had that. :O

Okay, that was so funny.

Jumpy told me about how Wennie "bullied" a lot of them to help out to sell her cotton candies for her CIP project, so I was like, "Oh so where is she?"

Jumpy, "She went home. To bathe."
Me, "And left you all to sell when it is not your CIP?!?" *shocked*
Jumpy, "Yessss! I know right! She said, ehhhhh!!! I have to go home and bathe now so you all help me sell! and left. Jessica, Ruiqi and the rest left too."
Me, *angry* "What!?! That is so absurd and unacceptable!!!! :(("

Later on, Wennie came back all fresh looking while Jumpy, Tomato, Xinyi and Huiqi looked half dead from selling the stuffs. Poor abused souls. Wennie was like, "Thank you arh!" and I bit into her for being irresponsible, how could she leave others to do her CIP for her, when she is getting the CIP hours, and then just vanishing?

Wennie, "Eh! But I only just washed my hair!"
Me, "The others didn't wash theirs because they had to sell for you!"
Wennie, "But I have been selling since morning!"
Me, "Because that is YOUR CIP? Yes no? Should thank them more!!!"

I tsked at Wennie for a long time and jabbed her in her tummy fats so she looked a little guilty for her execution of evil child labour.  Then Wennie pouted cutely and kept thanking Jumpy which Jumpy waved off (albeit a bit grumpily).

Phiephie proceeded to tell me the whole story about "Drag me to hell" which I was too chicken to watch after the carpark scene. My, Phiephie is a damn fantastic story-teller, especially when it comes to spooky stories, she can hold one's attention very very well! The story was really scary anyway.

On a totally random note, I kept gulping down poor Phiephie's water, such that we had to go refill it twice. :( And classes before us on stage, she wanted to go pee. :(

Phiephie wants to pee!
Peepee wants to phie! :D

That was totally lame tahaha.

Graduation was so boring that it is not worth me blogging it. So um, you can glance at all the photos instead!

Me and Chinny look super weird here because I tried this phone app and it made us look funny. :(

 I think Mr Teo looks absolutely dashing in his dark blue clothing with a white tie, so I had to snap this, while Nehceh is like "whatchoo doing?" and poked her head in. :O

Phiephie is camera shy!

"don't take photos of me!" roared Phiephie

Zikki (left) and Wennie (right)

 Haish the childhood games that we used to play....

The ceremony ended at around 9pm and Jiaqi and I rushed home. We were both bone-tired and actually wanted to eat at the buffet, but the queue was too long, and we didn't want to queue (remind me to do a rant on Public Transport Etiquette!) so we went home. It was so gloomy and dark and I felt super unsafe, but it is of course much better with Jiaqi with me!

We saw quite a lot of the JC students going home at that time and we were like, "Are we going to end up like that too?" and I thought that it is not just "ending up like that", we might start like that too. Which is kind of morbid, if you think about it. It is even later than the normal 9-5 working hours already.

So I was telling Jiaqi that it would be none the smarter to actually leave as much empty time on our schedule as possible, since we heard that some courses take more time than the others, just as some CCA are more time consuming. The VP from HC college told us that the CCA usually starts at 4pm, which had me going like "whhhaaaat!?!" and he was like nonchalantly, "Yeah! And the training ends around 7pm to 7.30pm" which is like freaking late omg. I have never been home past 7.30pm unless I am out with my friends. :O

So back to the point about having as much time as possible. I don't see how it is a wise choice to clog up all your time at the start because I am pretty certain that MORE things will come along to fill up your time, and by then you might be going home at a morbid hour of 7-8pm daily. So the smart thing to do is to have little commitments and leave those time after school free (as free as possible) so that when the time comes, you can fill it in bit by bit if necessary. Besides, if you have nothing to fill it in with, taking afternoon naps is definitely an awesome alternative!

That's all then guys! I am too tired to type anymore and here is cheers to a very very long post that ended off things nicely! Looking forward to a fresh and new beginning! <3