Review: Aromas Solid Perfume

I had been wanting to try solid perfumes for quite some time but I could not really find something I liked that was natural as well as not too expensive  & smelled nice.  I noticed that natural perfumes were pretty expensive! Thus, when Aromas was launched, I though of checking it out because the ingredients were simple enough. To be honest, I was not sure how the product would fare. It looked too simple to work well unlike the usual perfumes/body sprays I am used to with a long ingredient list.

I bought it when it was first launched and had introductory offers. The shipping was not too expensive because it comes from Australia and it is very light.  They sent me 3-4 sachets of other scents but they kind of melted because it was hot & all of them smelled the same. So, I do not know  how the other scents are like.

I purchased this - Parisian scent

Ingredients - a natural base of coconut oil and beeswax, plus fragrance 

I emailed the people at Aromas and here is what they have to say about fragrance –

“All the fragrances are sourced from various fragrance suppliers of US origins.  These are not essential oils, but fragrance oils, and the normal INCI ingredients labeling guidelines specify to list as “fragrance” in product. Fragrance oils may contain both natural and synthetic notes.”

I carried this with me when I was travelling and I was quite glad I had it. It is light, no liquids, easy to use & smells good. The scent does last but I used it mainly in the winter in US. I carry it in my bag and use it in the evenings when I want and it seems to be working well. I like the fact that I do not have to use my hand to apply it unlike many other solid perfumes. 

I still have 3 bottles of perfumes/ body mists to finish which I am currently using  before I will be looking at switching full time to anything else.

What do you use when travelling? At home? Have you tried solid perfumes?

How to deseed a pomegranate

Do you like deseeding pomegranates?

I did not really like the job. Thus, in my house, my dad ended up deseeding it & the rest of us would eat it :D Then, I would feel bad that we got so little seeds after so much effort on taking them out individually. When I move abroad, I never purchased pomegranates for over 4 years because it was too much effort to deseed them.  

I found this video on how to deseed a pomegranate & initially I was skeptical.  Incidentally, I found some pomegranates on sale  that month & thought of  trying this technique out.  

I am so glad this works. I read another suggestion on a blog to have a bowl with water for collecting the seeds because that prevents too much juiced from splashing around. I agree with that tip as well though it is not mentioned in the video.  Also, if any of the fleshy part fall in the water it will float & you can remove it easily.

I have to admit that I am having a lot more pomegranates now because of this technique.  Yay to internet!

That song on the radio

We were travelling in a car with another family. The song “I am sexy & I know it” was playing on the radio.

Immediately, one of the  7-year-old girls asked us to turn off the radio.

“Why did you want us to turn of the radio?”

Girl – “It has many bad words – sexy.”

Mother – “Very good. It is very important in life to be able to tell right from wrong.”

I kept my mouth shut because I was not the mother but I did feel the conversation could have gone better. I was disappointed, to be honest. How can our children have healthy attitudes about sexuality when we encourage the belief that anything related to sex is bad? Is sex/sexy really a bad word?

What do you think? 

Exploring Sg – Serangoon

Dated 1 March 2014

One of my favourite weekend pass times is hanging out at Indie cafes. I have my favourites but I want to explore new cafes for hanging out. A good cafe for me needs to have- 

  1. nice ambience – Bright, not crowded or cramped
  2. Free wifi
  3. Nice coffee and cakes
  4. Relatively quiet

I decided to try some new cafe. After many decisions & poring over a lot of blog reviews, I and U ended up going to The Coffee Daily in Serangoon. 

For starters, it was not really near the MRT. So, we had to take a bus after going all the way to Serangoon MRT.  So far off….

Anyways, the cafe was located in one of the old shophouse/ independent bungalow kind of buildings. There was only 1  long table outside which was occupied. I felt claustrophobic when inside. They cramped every possible space with a table and chair (-30). People had to carefully move from their tables or they would end up bumping into somebody’s table. We were deciding to stay or go, when they cleared a table and offered us a table. So we kind of decided to stay for a quick coffee. One thing I cannot understand is every time I read bloggers’ reviews of cafes, the photos make the cafes seem large , empty & spacious. When I visit them, they are cramped to the core. This is the 2nd time this has happened. Does a cramped cafe not bother many people?

Luckily, as were waiting, a couple of people left and I quickly grabbed the corner sofa seat. Better but I have to say again that the cafe was so very cramped.  We ordered coffee and it was served after 10-15 minutes (-10). I had a read a blog post & even the cafe seemed to stress on their cakes – rainbow cake.  The cake was dry and looked like it had been kept in the fridge too long.  Not a nice eat (-10).

This place looked like a local hangout and many people looked at us and we definitely were the odd birds there.  So weird but does not matter too much to me (-3).

The locality where the cafe is situated is quite nice. Many independent houses and did not seem too crowded, at least in the housing area. A different world altogether.

Not a cafe I would be visiting again and the hunt for a good cafe continues…….

Patriarchal Conditioning

I read this article by Christiane Northrup and this line really spoke to me:

“When I say patriarchal society and programming, I’m referring to the belief that the masculine ways of being (and doing) are superior to the feminine ways of being (and doing).”

Patriarchal conditioning is widespread and sometimes pretty difficult to weed out. Many people often assume that only men perpetuate patriarchy. Women are equally guilty of reinforcing these norms and a lot of sexist behaviour comes from women!

- I clearly remember our neighbours telling my mother that it was unfortunate that she had no sons. 

- I was about 9 when an old lady told my mom why girls today were wasting their time on education instead of learning to cook.

- Aunty K was super patriarchal.  

You are a woman.

Learn to cook.

You must learn to live in a joint family.

Get married. Don’t study too much.  

Why do we have girls if not for doing the cleaning?

Don’t wear short clothes because if you wear them now, how will you adjust after marriage?

Women should not read the vedas.

I have observed that she was very critical of her DILs & daughters but would overlook the same thing done by her sons.  All the girl kids would be assigned duties of cleaning up but not the guys. The women would have to wash their plates after eating but men would just leave their plates on the table after eating and the women were supposed to pick them up & clean up after them.

- Women telling you to ‘cover up’ and wear proper clothes.

- Another paradox (not). At the outset, east Asia seems more developed and gender equal. Women wear short clothes, work,  date & they do not have arranged marriages.  Despite being ‘developed countries’ for many years, patriarchy is ingrained in collective consciousness of the society.

There is no obvious reason for wanting a son*, but so many people want and try for a son – having 3 kids till they get a son, aborting when it is a girl, trying traditional medicines and some have about 9 years age gap between the son & the daughter. 

* in term of safety for women, having to give dowry, spending on a wedding, women having to live with her husband’s family, women being a financial burden or not working etc.

Did you know that Japan, despite being a developed country is very patriarchal and most women do not work after marriage or children?

The saddest part is this overarching sense of inferiority of being a female & lack of self worth without a man. There is a strong need for a male authoritative figure in their lives. A father. A boyfriend. A husband. A boss. Even Jesus.  Advice by a woman is rejected but the same advice coming from a man is taken.

- In the same vein, why are so many women are critical of stay at home moms/wives [SAHMs]? They feel that she is ‘wasting’ her education by not working & doing nothing by being at home.  In some ways, they consider the feminine inferior to masculine roles. Isn’t that patriarchal as well?

- I have noticed this many times : 

When a male boss/colleague is a jerk, he is a jerk & nobody evaluates his relationship status. When a female boss/colleague is a jerk, everybody will jump on to judge her on the basis of her relationship status. 

“She is a bitch because she has no man in her life.”

And these kind of statements are mostly made by women. 

 Patriarchy is so ingrained & reinforced constantly in our collective psyche, that it often goes unnoticed by us.  The first step is awareness. Next comes change.

Action – Watch your thoughts, words & actions. In what way are you reinforcing patriarchy in your life?

When nothing else matters

Every time I get my period, I am tired. I am cranky if I have to interact with people or do a lot of work. I don’t want to talk much. I want to rest,  I want to lay down in my bed and do nothing. My brain wants to function minimally.  But there is another side to it.  

I love how my periods bring perspective in life.  It feels like a meditation of sorts. When I have them, all the small little nagging things in mind go away. None of those tiny little things which were annoying me and I was needlessly obsessing over, matter. 

That bitchy colleague? – Who cares. I want my rest.

That nasty person at the bus stop the other day? – Who cares. 

That annoying ‘friend’ on facebook who went on a holiday? – Who the hell gives a damn when I am crampy?

That rude person who never replied to my SMS? – Well, I don’t give a damn, if they don’t.

I do not exactly remember the exact phrase but Christiane Northrup said some thing like this – “the issues which keep cropping up every time around your periods are ones you have not fixed in your life. It could go worse when you hit menopause and hit you even worse.”  While I am no menopause expert, I definitely agree  with her because only things that really bother me on a deeper level are what come up to me during this time. Things I have been avoiding. Not really dealing with. 

Do you notice changes in your body and moods?  How do you feel during periods?

I like cleaning

- I like cleaning.

- I like doing laundry. 

- I like being a domestic goddess.

- I am almost always wearing dresses or skirts.

- I don’t refuse when people offer to carry my bags.

- I do not have too much of an issues being a stay-at-home-mom.

- I don’t have much issues moving to another place (depends on the place) for my partner’s career. 

- I am a homebody.

And I am a Feminist.  And fiercely independent.  And stubborn. Feminism does not have to be defined by rejecting every thing traditionally considered feminine. It means treating women as people. With their likes and dislikes. With their fallacies.  And respecting them as an individual for who they are.  Understanding that they are not perfect, just like everybody else.