Steps to build self confidence

Imagine what life would be if we could stand before the mirror and focus on what we cherish about ourselves rather than what we wish we could change

It seems that a lot of times, most of us turn to negative thinking, paying attention to our so- called flaws. We are not only bombarded with pictures of famous people and “perfect” models on TV, magazines and billboards, even the app we refresh every possible chance we get – Instagram – can be a major culprit. Constantly feeding us with aesthetically-pleasing pictures of “perfect” people living their “perfect” lives, who have most likely gone through layers of filter to curate that perfection. And the result? A never ending supply of edited images and a load of viewers feeling inadequate and self-conscious in their own skin.

And just like that, you have endless unrealistic expectations you have to fulfill. What we should look like, the latest designer items we have to own, the tiny bikinis we have to start fitting into, the lavish lifestyles we have to start living! As technology advances and we’re more connected to the world wide web than ever, it seems that our self esteem is rapidly declining. My nerdy self has read a few articles on this topic and what I found is that there is a definite link between social media usage and low self esteem. It literally takes a person seconds on Instagram to feel rubbish about themselves. For instance, you can be on your feed and next thing you know you’re on your ex-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend’s best friend’s page wishing you had abs as solid as hers. (true story bro!)

To top it all, many of us have internalised negative comments from our past that has stuck like glue in our heads. We’re more likely to remember one negative comment from a first-class asshole than we are to remember all the wonderful compliments. In my case, I’ll always remember when this moron told me I need to “make” a thigh gap, but I don’t remember when someone told me I have the nicest hair she has seen!

Building your self esteem takes work. If you have very poor body image, it can take years to repair. Why not start now? There are so many things you can do to build yourself up and undo a lifetime of low self esteem. So, here are a few tips I learnt to slowly come out of that bad phase and start my #selflove journey, and I hope I can help someone out there too!

Nobody is 100% perfect

What is the meaning of “flawless”? How does one measure “flawlessness”? When you ask yourself these questions, chances are, you won’t be able to think of a definite answer because “flawless” does not exist in the human race. It is merely an misogynistic idea than it is a reality!
Aiming for perfection will only let a person down because when you don’t achieve that perfect goal, you will be left feeling miserable. So, the next time you flip through a Cosmopolitan mag or click on the “explore” tab on Instagram, please do yourself a favour and take everything with a pinch of salt. Try not to get too caught up in it. If you’re feeling low about yourself, it might be a good idea to have a social media detox/cleanse! 

Appreciate You

I know this part takes time and effort, but I guarantee you, it works! When you have some free time, take note of everything you like about yourself and write it down. When you’re feeling rubbish about yourself, revisit the list to remind yourself of all your wonderful and positive attributes. As your self esteem improves, you might find more of yourself that you have started to notice and love. See the correlation here? 

Confidence stems from you

Nothing bad happens when people compliment others. do allow yourself to accept compliments from people but don’t let this be your main source of confidence. Ultimately, confidence is going to come from within you. Sure, it’s nice to have reassurance from others that you look good, but you want to look and feel good from within and that means you have to do certain things to make yourself feel that way! The one thing that I have been doing is to set standards for myself and to catch myself when I think I’m not good enough, I can’t have, won’t get or aren’t good enough to get what I want. When that happens, I tell myself that my mindset is everything and so, gotta stay positive and dynamic!It’s not easy, but it is do-able!

Take Care of You

I know I have been slacking in this department lately, but this tip here is so effective in making you feel good about yourself. Move your body regularly and eat healthily. Working out and setting goals can help you feel great both physically and mentally. A balanced diet is key, as well. That being said, you shouldn’t compulsively over-exercise or obsessively count calories. Even though my PCOS and Hypothyroidism limit me from eating all that yummy carbs by the loads, I still occasionally indulge because what’s life without greasy fries and chocolate brownies! It’s tough to balance, but try to focus on the internal benefits of a healthy lifestyle rather than the external ones.

Conclusion: I learned to love myself, and in turn, developed a better body image than I’ve ever had before just by trying and executing these few steps. There’s no reason why you can’t too!

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Anniversary getaway

3 years married

We still can’t believe we have been married for 3 years! 3 YEARS! This feels like a dream!

I mean, it has been mostly great and “adventurous” as some might say, but there have been times we want to rip out each others’ heads! So we pretty much have a “well-balanced” marriage LOL!

Anyhoo, I know I have been quiet lately due to a bloody hectic schedule, I thought I’d share some pictures we took on this wonderful trip and of course, some travel tips!

Hoi An, Vietnam

We stayed in Hoi An for a total of 5 nights and 6 days, and this what went down:

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Let’s start off with some cheesy #twinning shots, shall we?

 

  The beautiful and magnificent structures in the Ancient City of Hoi An.

The town comprises a well-preserved complex of 1,107 timber frame buildings, with brick or wooden walls, which include architectural monuments, commercial and domestic vernacular structures, notably an open market and a ferry quay, and religious buildings such as pagodas and family cult houses. The houses are tiled and the wooden components are carved with traditional motifs.  They are arranged side-by-side in tight, unbroken rows along narrow pedestrian streets.

 

Our little boutique villa – the Hoi An Silk Village Resort & Spa – was (we think) the best choice we made for our 6 day stay. This lovely resort is set in a tranquil garden surroundings and has a peaceful ambience.  The rooms are spacious, clean, comfortable and tastefully decorated.

 

 

 

 

Your trip is incomplete without taking a million pictures at these mustardy yellow walls that are everywhere inside and outside the Ancient city!

 

It will amaze you that when you search for the “best Banh Mi in Vietnam” or the “best Banh Mi in the world, Google will direct you to this place – Banh Mi Phuong – Made famous by the late Anthony Bourdain, who claimed that the Banh Mi served here is a symphony in a sandwich, we had to give this place a try!

Tender, caramelised pork and slices of creamy pate, sandwiched in a crusty baguette with the crunch of salad, a spicy sauce and a sweet-salty mix of Vietnamese flavours I’d never experienced before, it really was a taste sensation!

 

We had dinner at all of the 3 Morning Glory restaurant branches because we loved it so much!! Just look at that yummy goodness!! The Lemongrass chicken skewers were to die for! As usual, we had to ask for extra spiciness, and to our surprise, they had a very tasty shrimp-y “sambal” that gave that kick! Guess who asked for an extra bowl of Vietnamese “sambal”?

 

 

It’s such a pity that we only discovered the best place for Com Ga – Vietnamese version of chicken rice – on the second last day! Such a plain-looking dish, but don’t let it fool you. This dish is packed with flavors and we loved every single bite we took!

 

Took us a while to get adjusted, but we got the hang of riding these bikes very quickly. BUT since we already rented a bike, we ditched the idea of riding the bicycles around!

 

We also visited the Marble Mountain in Da Nang, about 45 minutes bike ride from Hoi An. The mountains are comprised of five limestone hills from the surrounding village, each riddled with caves and grottos, with some made into pagodas and shrines. The top offers spectacular views of Da Nang and the surrounding mountains. A better vantage point is reached through a small hole at the top Heaven’s cave, with the views including Non Nuoc beach, the Son Tra Peninsula and Cham Islands. But we were sooooo tired that day after a dauntingly long journey to and back from the Hai Van Pass that we gave up halfway. Off we went back to the hotel.

 

 

 

Hair care tips for gorgeous hair!

Hello my lovely friends!

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Most of my friends and followers know that I have PCOS and hypothyroidism, which causes my hair to act up, misbehave and occasionally go wild when my hormones kick in (or out). Ever since I started blogging on CurvyKaur, many of you had asked me how I look after the crazy mane I have on my head. One day (possibly the day the crazy hormones kicked in, yet again), it hit me – I should write a blog post on hair care!

So here it is, a more detailed version of the steps I take to ensure I keep my hair tame, frizz-free and beaut!

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I know, I know, this is a tough one to avoid for all you styling queens! Unfortunately for those who love a good blow dry and glam feels, I have bad news for ya! Blow-drying not only fries your hair by damaging the hair cuticles, it also causes breakage that leads to ugly split ends. However, if you absolutely HAVE to use a curling iron, hair straightener or any other heat tools, I suggest using a good heat protector to prevent as much damage as possible. I invested in the Schwarzkopf Guardian Angel 220°C Heat Protection Spray, used it a few times, kept it away, and forgot all about it – because I hardly ever use any styling tools on my hair. Bottom line is – Air-drying is the best!!!

Hair Serum

All of us can’t avoid using styling tools forever, but we can keep our hair as healthy as possible. An important step is to always apply serum after each hair wash, blow drying, curling, or straightening your hair. These nutrient-packed serums come in many different brands and they can be found at any pharmacy or drug store. The hair serum that was recommended to me by a dear friend and also the serum that I absolutely love is the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Omega Nourishing Hair Oil.

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Colour chemicals 

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I recently got my hair coloured after 3 years of dye-detox. I think I regret it a little now that my hair is a little dry and not as healthy looking as it was before. Truth is, hair dye has tons of harsh chemicals that can damage your hair (as it did mine), and if done too often it’s nearly impossible to repair that damage. If you are willing, stick to your natural hair colour. But if you insist on revamping your hair colour, don’t go crazy like the Kardashian sisters changing their hair colour to suit their OOTDs! Another important note, you should practice colour care and treatment after dyeing your hair, or you will end up with hair that looks like dried grass on your head, and we don’t want that, do we? Just consult your hairstylist on the various types of hair treatment and they will advice you to do the one that suits the nature of your hair. 

Wash when necessary

God knows how many times I have gotten the look of dismay from people when I tell them my standard hair wash protocol is twice a week, thrice when I work out and sweat like a mofo. Unless you have a naturally oily scalp or you sweat profusely after exercise, you only need to wash your hair every other day or a few times a week. Washing your hair everyday strips the natural oils that make our hair healthy and beautiful. Of course, if your hair feels like it’s greasy and needs a wash, give it a wash. You don’t need to stick to a strict schedule, just play by how your hair reacts to the weather, physical activity, hair products applied and your gross level of laziness (me) LOL! 

No hot water!

I cannot stress this point enough! Ever since I was a teenager, my mother nagged me countless times to never wash my hair using hot water. I guess this advice grew on me after all those years! See, hot water can actually strip your hair of protective oils that serve as a natural conditioner. I’ll tell you the 3 main reasons why I only wash my hair with cool or lukewarm water (on colder days): 

  • Locks in moisture and smooths out my hair – Bye-bye dull hair!
  • Shinier and softer hair – Who doesn’t love a good dose of healthy shine?
  • Reduced frizz, fly-aways, and breakage
  • Cools my head in this hot weather, kind of like a ‘de-stress’ of some sort. 

Condition the right way

A huge mistake I made for the longest time was applying conditioner all over my hair from root to tip, until I learnt that doing so creates a lot of residue buildup on your scalp, which is not very good for your hair, obviously. So, just apply conditioner from the mid-length to the ends of your hair, leave it on while you do other things like shave and sing in the shower, and then wash the conditioner off after 2-3 minutes. 

Trim away the fly-aways

Ok, I don’t have the time to trim my hair every other month. I only drag myself to the hair salon when my hair starts to drag down my face and look dead. (Please do not follow my footsteps). In humid Asian countries like Malaysia, our hair is very prone to split ends, so going long periods of time without trimming your hair can cause the hair to look damaged, out of shape and unhealthy. Try to get your hair trimmed every 2 months or so, and if you are really prone to split ends and unruly hair, trim your hair every 5-6 weeks.

Go natural!

There are a ton of hair products you can buy to improve the quality of your hair. But it is always better to use natural ingredients, and some of the best things for your hair can be found in your pantry. Personally, I oil my hair once a month and it has proven to be the best way to keep my hair healthy. Some of the oils I use are:

  • Olive oil: Great moisturiser for dry hair – Apply to your hair overnight, then shampoo as usual.
  • Coconut oil: An amazing natural conditioner – Apply to your hair overnight, then shampoo as usual.
  • Castor oil: Overall, the best remedy for beautiful hair in my opinion -Apply to your hair overnight, then shampoo as usual.

 

So, there you have it, my hair care tips! Do share with me your hair care routine and tips. I would love to know what you guys do to keep your hair healthy and beautiful! Happy rest of the week, beautiful people!! 

Much Love,

NB

 

12 Curvy Girl Struggles

I have been curvy/plus size most of my life and I have certainly come to love me the way I am. I secretly do at times wish I was a couple of sizes smaller (only for the sake of wearing nice clothes that fit well), but at the same time, many girls wish they had my curves! I’ll have to admit, being curvy is actually pretty darn AWESOME!

I consider myself blessed to be curvy, but living in this body comes with some struggles. So, if you are a curvy girl wanting to know if someone else shares your big girl qualms, or if you are not on the curvy side but don’t mind a little insight (and a little laugh) as to how we curvy girls do it, read on:

1. Nothing fits you well.

If it fits you well on the arms, it might be too tight at the waist. Sometimes, the pants might fit well at the waist, but it will be too short because your big ass pulled everything up! I once tried on a beautiful blouse with lovely prints but I couldn’t purchase it because it couldn’t even go down my boobs! Imagine my frustration at that time, knowing that blouse was the biggest size available in that shop!

2. Forever 21 what?

You can shop at large retails like HnM, Forever 21 and Zara only in your dreams. In Malaysia and other Asian countries, it’s like winning a lottery if you manage to snag yourself some nice clothes that fit well from these retail outlets! I mean, most of their clothes go up to size UK 16 max, how rude!

3. Online shopping is a breeze. Not.

Forget shopping online. Don’t even bother with their sizing charts because those charts tell lies. I once purchased a dress online by trusting their sizing chart and I was shocked when I received my order. The dress looked like it could only fit my neighbour’s 13-year-old daughter. So, if you are curvy/plus size and feeling adventurous to shop online, be prepared to order two sizes and return the one that least fits (that too, if they accept returns and exchanges)

4. Sexbomb all day

Instantly turn a decent outfit into something “sexy” or “slutty”. Even a basic loose dress may look like a bodycon dress on a curvy body. We are only left with two choices when it comes to outfits: Either we wear huge sweaters that make us look like 3,895 kilos OR wear a basic dress and walk around in broad daylight looking like Salma Hayek ready for a fiesta!

5. Stretch is porno

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Ask any curvy/plus size girl about stretchy jeans and jeggings and you will hear her rave on about it for hours. Trust me, non-stretchy jeans and denim are a big no-no for girls with bigger everything. Personally, I survive on stretchy jeans and comfy jeggings. Also, jeggings are god-sent for those bloated and “fat” days because they hug the extras and don’t make us feel like somebody is squeezing the life out of us!

6. Tugging is cardio

Denim shorts look like underwear on us. Not only do we show off more than what we are comfortable showing, we also suffer crazy thigh chafing caused by repetitive friction. No amount of baby powder or deodorant stick can help. oh, and dare i forget the arm workout we do to tug our shorts down a thousand times when they ride up?

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Speaking of tugging, let’s talk strapless bra.  Strapless bras and big boobs don’t get along, ever! Our boobs are too heavy for bras that don’t have any support.  Even though we buy our perfect fit and size, it never properly fits and we look idiotic trying to reposition our bra every two minutes.

7. No clothes sharing

Like one of your friend’s outfit? Feel like borrowing your friend’s clothes for a date? Forget about it. Chances are they won’t fit because none of your friends are the same size as you are. Also, you risk stretching your friend’s clothes out so just stick to your own closet and deal with it gurl!

8. Hello Jiggly Puff

Imagine running on the treadmill and with a bagful of rocks attached to your butt and boobs. That’s how we feel when we run and it is mortifying. Not only is running harder for us, we cannot help the not-so-graceful jiggle that follow. But we are absolutely cool (not) with it and will continue to try to jiggle away our coat of cellulite.

9. Ass-ets in your face

Our bulging assets don’t usually allow for tight manoeuvring through chairs and tables. We literally say a silent prayer before walking through small spaces because we know we risk hitting something or someone. Going to the movies require some planning – like toilet visit before the movie and limited soda intake – so you don’t pull a mid-movie pee break and graze your butt into people’s faces on you way out.

10. All about the Bass

We don’t fancy being associated with “fat” girl songs. Thanks to Meghan Trainor and Nicki Minaj for their song contents, we get THAT look from everyone when their songs play because they expect you to dance like you own the song! Rappers are constantly trying to tell you what to do with your ass – drop it low, back that ass up and what have you these day. Thanks for the compliments but no, I don’t like “Anaconda” and I will not twerk for you dickwits.

11. Boob emergencies

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I carry safety pins in my bag and my car for boob-gap fashion emergencies. See, button-down shirts always pop open at the boob area, giving viewers a good sight of our cleavage (sometimes we walk around flashing our boobs the whole day without knowing). If we curvy girls want to avoid this problem from happening, we’ll have to get a size up. But this also means we now look like we borrowed our Grandpa’s shirt to work.

12. Spanx me silly

Almost every girl I know dislike wearing Spanx or shape wear. We curvy/plus size girls HATE them. Although shape wear works like magic to tuck in all the loose chunky bits, wearing it suffocates us, makes us uncomfortable, unexpectedly rolls out and creates a very visible line. Last but not least,  wearing Spanx require acrobatic skills when using the bathroom. But we still suck it in and do it anyway, cuz ain’t nobody got time for fat rolls!

So there you have it! The struggle is real for me and all the other curvy/ plus size girls out there but truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my body, wonderful curves and all, and ultimately I love ME.

Her curves aren’t a curse.

Her body’s a blessing.

Her thighs are thunder and her hips are heaven. 

To those of you who share the same kind of struggles or have other struggles that you want to share, do comment and we can have a chat!