An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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My foray into Young Living Essential Oils

I got my first packages from Young Living a few days ago and I’ll be sharing my journey over the next few months. My friend Ana (One Drop Nirvana) kinda offered them to me and hopes that they would be beneficial to some health issues I’ve been facing. Ana was an ex-colleague and when I first met her, she was a new mother. Now she has 2 beautiful children and is using essential oils regularly to keep her family healthy and safe.

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Before I told her to sign me up, I asked her some questions to find out more.

1. How did you get started with this?

I started becoming acquainted with Young Living oils in 2009 when a very good friend gifted me with some, but only began using them seriously in 2011. Keyaan had started preschool and was falling sick every fortnight. It got to a point where it was ridiculous – fever every two weeks and doctors kept plying him with paracetamol, ibuprofen and antibiotics. All didn’t really help except to force the symptoms into submission. But his immunity was poor and so kept falling sick.

I decided enough was enough, pulled Keyaan out of school for a week or two and decided to really try out the oils exclusively. I went back to the friend and asked for help. The specific oil that did the trick was a blend called Thieves (https://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/products/essential-oils/blends/thieves-essential-oil), a highly anti-viral oil.

The difference was palpable because when Keyaan recovered this time, he didn’t fall ill again. In fact, my kids now rarely fall sick and when even they do, they recover quickly.

I keep up a maintenance routine of using one drop of Thieves essential oil on the soles of their feet, twice a day or before and after they enter an indoor playground or visit people’s homes (as much as possible).  When they’re ill, I ramp it up to every 15 mins or every hour.

2. Why Young Living and not other essential oils?

Young Living is the only company in the world that produces essential oils to a level that makes them therapeutic grade. Any grade lower than theirs’ would not be suitable for healing purposes. I’ve been to the farm (and about to visit two more this year), learned their Seed to Seal (https://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/discover/quality) process and am utterly convinced that it is the only oils that I would trust to use on myself and family.

Other oils (like NOW from iHerb) might be good enough for fragrance purposes or at best, food grade (doesn’t kill you to ingest, but no real benefits). I’ve smelled doTERRA, Mt Sapola and other types of oils – they range between smelling very “nice” and perfumy (i.e. fake) or rancid/faint (adulterated with alcohol, liquid paraffin and other fillers).

3. What are the 3 most common things you use essential oils for?

The health of my family is top priority for me, so I use a lot of anti-viral single and blended essential oils to build immunity and prevent disease. These include the aforementioned Thieves, singles like Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon, Frankincense, Idaho Blue Spruce, Copaiba, the Eucalyptus varieties and many more, including a collection called Raindrop (http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/company/media/events/raindrop) and other blends such as DiGize, ImmuPower and Purification.

I also practice drawing from what I call the Source or Universal Law of Attraction, so I use oils with a higher frequency for emotional and spiritual purposes. Some of my favourite blends (and the names of the oils gives you an idea of its purpose) are: Abundance, Believe, Magnify Your Purpose, Build Your Dream, Awaken and Valor.

On a more practical front, the oils are so versatile that they can actually replace some of my beauty and personal care products on a daily basis and even more so when I’m travelling and on the go. For example, Frankincense and/or Lavender make a great face serum; Sage is a great anti-perspirant; Petitgrain is a mild deodorant, and in a pinch I’ve even used the blend Valor (which is made with fractionated coconut oil base) as an eye make-up remover!

Hope these answer your questions.

And yes, they did and I want to experience some of those benefits too. Her answers were enough to pique my curiosity and so Ana got me a Basic Starter Kit as well as 4 other oils.

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The starter kit itself contained information about Young Living as well as some of their products. I got 1 small bottle of STRESS AWAY with a roll-on attachment, samples of the Ningxia Red dietary supplement (2 packets) and several small sachets of other oils like Lavender, Peppermint, Thieves, Lemon and Peace & Calming. I tried the STRESS AWAY immediately because the roll-on applicator made it very convenient to apply topically on my wrists. I also rolled some onto T’s wrists and he really liked how it smelt.

IMG_8072Ana also gifted me Lemon, Thieves, Progessence Plus and Geranium with some instructions on how to use them:

1. Progessence (for hormonal health) – apply one drop on either sides of your neck (carotid arteries) before bedtime and in the morning daily. Alternatively, apply on inner thighs.

2. Geranium (for stress) – apply one drop on your inner ankles before bedtime and also one tiny drop, rub lightly on your palms and dab it on your face as a serum. In addition to providing stress relief, is a great way to gently rebalance female hormones, especially for those facing some challenges in that area (e.g. PMS, PCOS, irregular menses, fertility etc).

3. Thieves (prevent disease, antiviral) – one drop on soles of feet, twice a day. If sick (or going to be), ingest one drop in a spoonfool of organic honey.

4. Lemon (antioxidant) – 3 drops in a litre bottle of water, once a day.

I posted some pictures of the products I’ve been using on Instagram and have started a healthy discussion with some friends who are also into essential oils. I’m keen to learn and would love to engage you in a conversation with them too. If you have any knowledge of essential oils or are curious about them, leave me some comments below or else just follow my journey over the next few months.

IMG_8087And here’s a picture of the lovely Ana and the Melissa plant. She visited Washington State a few months ago and got to experience the Young Living farms herself. In fact, they are also open for anyone to visit! Imagine fields of LAVENDER… Anyway, visit Ana’s blog ONE DROP NIRVANA and write to her if you are interested to learn more about oils.


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LYFE Kitchen (Las Vegas)

IMG_6930I first heard about LYFE Kitchen coming to Las Vegas in June and even though it opened this July, we didn’t get to visit it till a few days ago. T and I came here to celebrate my 1st full year living in the US. I’m very happy with my experience even if it wasn’t life changing. I’m glad the purported healthy eating is none too obvious here. T and I went to Cafe Gratitude in Venice Beach (California) a few months ago and we found the food (and ambience) rather contrived – maybe raw foodism just isn’t for us.

IMG_6929Technically this branch isn’t located IN Las Vegas but Henderson, which is a more family-friendly and upscale area just outside. But who cares? It’s about 30 minutes’ drive from where we live and about 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip itself, so if you live in Las Vegas or are visiting, this technicality is negligible.

What I loved about LYFE Kitchen:

1. The bright/airy decor – it wasn’t too crowded even when it was almost full. There is also outside seating.

2. Segregated menus for easy ordering – they have a gluten-friendly, a vegan-friendly, an EVERYTHING and also a wine/beer one.

3. Reasonable pricing – came up to about USD40 for both of us – 2 entrees, 2 starters and 2 drinks.

4. Good portion size – if you’re looking for buffet-style, value-for-money, then this is not the place. What we ordered was just right. I didn’t feel sick after eating everything nor did I go away feeling half-empty. In fact, we even had space for dessert elsewhere about 30 minutes later.

5. They offered 3 types of water on tap at the self-service kiosk where you grab your own cutlery and napkins.

IMG_6931T and I ordered: Vegan Unfried Buffalo Wings, Sweet Potato Fries, Crispy Chick’n Sandwich, Italian Sausage & Mozzarella Ravioli, Cucumber Mint LYFE Water and Hibiscus Beet LYFE Water. ALL 100% good! We polished everything clean and loved it all!

When I asked T if he preferred Veggie Grill or here, he said Veggie Grill only because he liked their fast-food concept. I am still undecided because both are delicious and warrant their own merits. Also both are very similar – down to decor and the way you order (queue at the entrance, order at the cashier, pay and find a table, wait to be served). I agree with T with regards to the more fast food type options at the Veggie Grill but I also like that LYFE Kitchen serves organic and low-calorie choices as well as the fact that we can bring non-vegetarian friends here because they also serve meat!

LYFE Kitchen, highly recommended. Only gripe is their dessert menu and I hope they open more branches in Las Vegas! 4.5/5*

LYFE Kitchen (Las Vegas)
140 S Green Valley Parkway #142
Henderson, NV 89012
Ph: (702) 559-0131


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Lurvehandles – a Singapore-based Plus Sized Store

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Today’s post features my beautiful friend Becky whom I’ve known back in Singapore since our IRC days in the late 1990s. Becky now lives in Georgia with her American husband and we’re still in contact via the Internet. Some time ago, LURVEHANDLES  sent me a few items for review (which I did HERE and HERE) but there was one item that just couldn’t work on me, so I mailed them to my lovely friend Becky (of Subscription Box-oholic) and she did justice to it!

IMG_6141Becky says:

When I first saw the dress I wasn’t sure how to work it. It seemed rather drab and unflattering. However, with some advice from the wonderful Esther, I paired the dress with a green cardigan from Kohls and black heels from Me Too. I matched the outfit with some random bangles and necklace I had laying around and my green Ivanka Trump purse was a perfect match. I’ve never been really comfortable with my body and this really made me step out of my comfort zone.  

Mustard Yellow Dress SGD35.90

Brown Slim Ribbon Belt SGD12.50

Even though they operate out of Singapore, LURVEHANDLES accepts overseas orders and does international shipping too!


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Fat-shionista #522

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To market, to market… to buy a fat pig… Except not. I’m vegetarian. I’m pig-friendly these days. But yes, this is what I typically wear when I do my grocery runs. Either shorts or leggings – depending on the weather. And either a t-shirt or a tank-top. I typically go to the supermarket about once every 7 to 10 days ALONE because T says his feet aches when he walks for too long on flat ground (as opposed to undulating terrain like when we’re hiking). Just as well, because I like to take my time and go round the aisles twice in case I miss out on a good deal. So yeah, this is my Housewife of Las Vegas ensemble. HAHAHA!

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What I’m wearing today:

Top: Grey TENNIS band t-shirt

Outerwear: Dark grey cardigan from LURVE HANDLES

Accessories: Natural bamboo weave bangle from ISLAND SHOP; Pink Skipping Girl brooch from ETSY; Brown slim ribbon belt from LURVE HANDLES

Bottoms: Light blue cuffed denim shorts from OLD NAVY

Footwear: Brown heeled clogs from OLD NAVY

Oh BTW, check out LURVE HANDLES, a new PLUS SIZE Online Store based in Singapore – don’t worry, they ship internationally too. They stock sizes from UK14-20 and prices range from S$12.50 for basics to S$45 maximum for dresses – that’s really decent right?

The grey cardigan fits really well across my shoulders (17″ across) even though the sleeves are a little long for me (because I have short limbs in general). My shoulders are actually a lot broader than my hips and I’m an inverted triangle so the length of the cardigan is great for hiding my weird proportions. The belt however was too big for me. It’s a little over 53″ long and the first hole is at 44.5″ so if you’re a UK16 like me, you’d probably need to add more holes to get it to fit right.

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Mount Everest India’s Cuisine (Las Vegas)

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First off, when we saw the name we thought it should be Nepalese food instead of Indian but I guess both cuisines are very similar so it could work too. Who cares what the name is? This place is a keeper!! YUM! Non-pretentious, yummy and affordable!

The first Indian place T and I went to in Las Vegas is an Indian buffet place called India Masala. I had a crazy craving for spicy food and we happened to drive past. For just under US$40 for both of us, we ate till we were so full and I was excited to know that there was good Indian food here. And ever since, we’ve been on a hunt! Mount Everest is our 2nd and so far, the best (there’s a 3rd which I will talk about in another post soon).

Credit goes to our friend May Leng who said she’s always wanted to visit this place but never did. She suspected it might be good because there were usually Indians outside – an indication of authenticity, if you know what I mean.

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For US$48 (including taxes), we had Paneer Tikka, Malai Kofta, Channa Masala, Garlic Naan, Onion Kulcha, Samosas and a Mango Lassi (just me). The basmati rice came free (I say this because it apparently isn’t always the case.) It was so good that we were talking about it even days after this meal. The portions were pretty decent. T and I ended up doggy-bagging some of it! And guess what? It’s even more delicious the next day!

Authentic Indian cuisine, affordable prices, decent portions and good service – great casual dining experience.

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Highly recommended. Will definitely go back again soon!! 4.5/5*

Mount Everest India’s Cuisine

3641 W Sahara Avenue

Las Vegas, NV 89102

Ph: 702-892-0950


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POPSUGAR Must Have Box January 2014

This box came about 2 weeks ago and I never did sit down to talk about what I think of it. As with other boxes, there are hits and misses. More hits this round because I found the perfect recipient for one of the items in the box and there is a full-sized designer beauty product included (already worth more than the value of the box)!

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It’s crazy to think that we’re already into 2014, but there’s nothing quite as exciting as a fresh start. To help you check off those thoughtful resolutions, you’ll find one-of-a-kind products like designer beauty accessories and tech gear that’ll change up your routine for the better. Want to eat healthier or take a life-changing trip? Your supply box is right here. Cheers to all the great things the New Year has in store!

– Lisa Sugar, POPSUGAR FOUNDER & EDITOR IN CHIEF

Raves:

Rants:

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My favourite item in this month’s box is the face mask, followed by the tech gloves (which I really wanted). Strangely, no info could be found online about Jack + Lucy. Oh yeah, the PIPCORN was really good and in a different way from which the popcorn from last month’s box was good. I’d definitely buy both again. The popcorn in PIPCORN was tiny and they weren’t kidding when they called it mini. The truffle oil lent it a really subtle savoury flavour that was so fragrant. Mmmm… T and I loved it.
My main gripe with this month’s box is the calendar. Personally don’t need one because I haven’t got a place to put it nor do I need to tell the days anymore (sigh…) Also, a calendar is January!? I think people would’ve appreciated it if it came in November or December. Then again, I did see that on their website, it’s now US$12 instead of US$16 – perhaps they were included in this month’s box because they needed to clear them. With that said, I do think the RIFLE PAPER CO things are cute (but I’m not into stationery).


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POPSUGAR Must Have Box December 2013

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This box actually arrived over a week ago but I haven’t had time to look through its contents because of my family’s visit. I’d say it’s mostly (not all) good but I like it a little less than last month’s box mostly because there are some things that are of no use (i.e. zero value) to me.

We like to think of this December box as the wish list you never knew you needed. To make this time of year even more wonderful than it already is, you’ll find portable Champagne flutes, a revolutionary mascara, and rich caramel corn – and that’s just the beginning. Unwrap for plenty more surprises to keep the celebration going till 2014. Happy holidays from us to you!

– Lisa Sugar, POPSUGAR FOUNDER & EDITOR IN CHIEF

IMG_2069In terms of dollar value, it does exceed what I paid many times over but really, it doesn’t feel that way when there are so many things I don’t know what to do with. I’m not saying that these items are not worth what they retail for, it’s just that I wouldn’t have put up any money for them. At the same time, food items are somewhat cop-outs because I didn’t really subscribe to the POPSUGAR box for food. While I appreciate them, I’d rather get interesting items that I can actually use or try out.

Raves (i.e. stuff I really dig):

Rants (i.e. of no value to me)

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What do you think of my Rants and Raves divide? Are you interested in any of the items I don’t want? Would you like to swop me? Let me know!