A light year apart

After such an awful tragedy in Manchester, the life can never be carried on as before. I felt exactly the same when the 7/7 terror attack happened. I remember being excited about London to host the 2012 Olympic game. The days ahead seemed like filled with euphoria and optimism. Then, the very next day, the atrocity happened. All the bubbly happy feeling inside me disappeared into thin air, and I was left with a large hole in my heart. The happiness I felt the day before felt like a light year ago’s thing.

I am feeling exactly the same right now. For all those victims in Manchester Arena, who happened to be in a wrong place at wrong time, their life was cruelly cut short. And the families, how much heartache are they suffering Ther life is altered forever. I can’t stop thinking about them. It is frustrating that I can’t do much other than sympathizing with them. During the coming weeks and months, more facts regarding the attack will be discovered, and we will adjust our daily life to the new reality.

Contrary to a bright cloudless morning sky I see through the windows this morning, the future ahead seems to be turbulent and gloomy.

I will move forward and conduct my life as normal because that is what we all have to do against those cowardly jihadists. However, I will do so with a very heavy heart…

Obagi blues

‘This afternoon, the temperature will rise up to 20°C!’ A BBC weather woman chirped. Finally, bloody finally, the summer is crawling forward, and I can finally stop reaching out for a thermostat on the wall! I performed a twirl of joy in front of Bella and Hubbie.

Must make the best out of the weather, I thought. As Hubbie was in Richmond for a photo-shoot, therefore, my presence was not required at work today, I headed to Knightsbridge with Bella in tow.

‘Too windyyyyyy!’, Bella complained.

‘Are we getting on now?’

The skin clinic I had been using for the past four years was on Old Brompton Road, about 5 minutes walk from Harrods.

I underwent an Obagi Nuderm programme in order to improve my skin at the clinic and had been buying their maintenance products from them ever since.

Obagi was an amazing programme, especially the skin with pigmentation. Apart from my freckles, I also had skin prone to blemish if the environment was too humid or dusty. However, my skin became robust, supple and clear once I completed two months’ of Obagi treatment.

‘Are you thinking about doing another course of Obagi Nuderm?’ A friendly staff at the clinic asked me as she handed over a new bottle of Obagi Clear. ‘Ohhh, I would like to but I’m not ready to go through that experience again yet!’ I sighed.

I wouldn’t mind doing the programme a few times a year if it didn’t disrupt my life so severely. During that two months’ period, I had to live like a hermit, avoiding people and sunlight. The skin on my face was permanently red and itchy, and it was shredding and peeling like crazy by the end of each day. The experience did traumatise me in a certain way, and I was not mentally beefed up to the hardship yet. The staff and I both agreed that undergoing a full-on Obagi treatment during the summer months would not be very practical anyway so I should consider it towards the winter.

Having a hairy face would solve all the problem, wouldn’t it, Bella? I need no Obagi…

This is one place Bella will never be welcomed, you bloody Harrods!

Bella’s predecessor, Mr.B was invited to the place once when he was one year old. The store was advertising a wedding service for dogs (!), and we were participating in the photo-shoot. In spite of us having a permission to enter the place, we had to be escorted in & out of the store with a burly security guard with a stony expression which made us feel very unwelcomed…

Eventually, our slow moving No.74 bus had arrived to our favourite department store, the Selfridges…

We like them because they allows dogs into the store. Even though dogs are not permitted to walk on their floors, therefore, they have to be carried, we can shop together.

Bella fitting in perfectly in my Vanessa Bruno tote…

She seemed to like being carried around in a bag like this as long as she could look around.

After checking over their denim department for Khloe Kardashian’s Good American, we descended to the beauty department on the ground floor. I needed by a tube of Touche Éclat by YSL ‘Aww, what a cute puppy!’ Makeup artists at YSL squealed as they ran their fingers through Bella’s mop. I explained to them that I wanted the concealer to compliment my MUFE stick foundation. Soon, they found a very good match and my missions of the day were complete.

After arriving back to Old Street, I enjoyed a cup of mocha at Shoreditch Grind…

Oh Bella, I have an itchy eye! I hate hay fever…

Do you think having a fringe like yours will help my eyes from a pollen attack?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Vive Nouvelle Première Dame!

France’s new First Lady, Brigitte Macron, is the talk of the town, isn’t she? It looks like all the media, from broadsheets to tabloids, can not get enough of her, and I am loving it! Finally, I have someone who I can identify as a role model when I am growing old.

I don’t know anything in depth about her (yet), but there are many thing I like about her.

First of all, I love her smile…

I like it because her face is not frozen or puffed up (or both!) like many celebrities, including Mrs.Sarkozy.

Even if lenses zero in to her face, she appears comfortable in her own skin. Confident and relaxed…

Unlike another First Lady, Melania Trump, Brigitte’s face is not over-tweaked nor airbrushed. All natural and genuine, that is what I admire about her.

I also love her style…

Dressing for the occasion or casual, her is always chic. She knows what works for her through and through. Youthful, yet sophisticated. Polished, yet relaxed. Oh, how I love the way French women dress!

And look at her physique…

Beautifully toned. No fake butt. Just a lean, mean and svelte body. Ahhhh!

And finally, I love the way she displays her affection to her husband, Emmanuel…

Like two peas in a pod, they seems to be inseparable which I find it very charming. I am also amused by the way she behaves. She seems to be very spontaneous and not at all afraid of showing her feeling towards Emmanuel in public. It is refreshing to see a couple in the political life who are genuinely in love with each other. I am sure her husband respects her and cherishes her, unlike that ex-businessman president, who boosts his sexual assaults against women as his prerogative. No wonder his lady pulls away when he tries his “fake” affection on her!

Madam Macron, I salute you because I myself in my 40s, know how much effort it actually requires for “appearing effortless”. I can imagine she must be toiling behind closed doors in order to achieve what she sports in the full glare of publicity.

Brigitte, you are one remarkable woman who I am so want to know more about you.

Vive Brigitte Macron!!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Body & Mind

My apology for abstaining from blogging recently. During the past few weeks, I had been feeling exhausted, like my mind and body were not in sync at all. Ideas of what I want to do and what I ought to do were at loggerheads in my head all the time, and it made me feel bad. ‘Come on, move your lazy a**!’ A drill sergeant in my head shouted at my reluctant half, who just wanted to curl up and do nothing.

Ugh, I have to snap out of this!

So what was the cause of me being so tired and unmotivated? Well, I created this unfavourable situation by myself unwittingly.

I ramped up the intensity of my workout routine recently in order to tone my body, especially upper arms, for the summer, and I ended up overloading myself as a result. Don’t laugh at my vanity because my body does need a serious toning up! I gave up a regular exercise when I was mourning the death of my beloved Mr.B, and during the following autumn and winter months, my days were spent nursing one cold to another. Eventually, I started to feel free from ailments as the weather started to get warmer. It was time for me to embark on a new “Get ready for sleeveless tops” workout regime.

The regime went swimmingly for the first two weeks. I felt great and virtuous. I had a spring in my step when I walked to the office with Bella. My skin was glowing. Lean and strong! I am an epitome of health, I thought.

Then, all the overworking started to catch up with me. It felt like someone was placing a cape made out of lead over my shoulder one layer after another. I started to have less and less energy as I trudged through my workout routine. In the end, I just didn’t want to do anything physical anymore.

In retrospect, I think I overestimated my ability. I was a lot fitter when I was playing ice hockey twelve months ago, and the memory of me then made me unrealistically optimistic about the speed of regaining fitness.

Ugh, taking baby steps is not my thing, I sighed. Yet, I was so moody and irritable when I was at rock bottom with my fatigue. It was so severe that I didn’t even have energy or patience to play with Bella at length. She looked confused, frustrated and sad. What is the point of keeping on punishing myself if it is no longer fun and fulfilling?

So what is your solution?

I will never neglect you ever!

Another thing I have changed about my fitness regime is paying attention to my body more. The amount of the exercises should be increased / decreased depending on how I feel each day. I should never be too tited to be caring to my family and friends.

I also bought this for Hubbie and me…

A free standing punch bag by Lonsdale!! Unlike conventional punch bags which are suspended from the ceiling, this punch bag has a heavy base. Hubbie did countless trips to the bathroom to fill up the base so the punch bag will not topple when he throws heavy punches.

My workout pals…

Boxing gloves, hand weights and water!

Initially, the punch bag was solely for Hubbie’s stress management. However, I have discovered that throwing punches is surprisingly liberating and satisfying. Hitting at it with a timer app downloaded on my iPhone has added fun to my workout routine, and I love it!

Hope it will help me to make my upper arm lean, mean and ripped by the summer…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Don’t lose your head!

Eep! Where the hell is my card wallet?!?! I patted myself down furiously after rummaging through the content of my tote bag. Oh, shit! Where has it gone? What have I done with it? A cashier at Liberty’s stationary department went very quiet as she didn’t know how to intervene in my panick-stricken pantomime. ‘I’m sorry but I have to go NOW!’ I grabbed my bag and ran out on to Great Marlborough Street.

My first destination in search of the missing wallet was The Photographers’ Gallery’s cafe in where I had a mug of mocha early on. ‘No, we didn’t find anything by the till.’ A man in apron replied apologetically. Ahhhh, I was out on the street again, the next destination, Zara!!

All the blissful moment I enjoyed with my mocha was completely out of the window. Is this a divine punishment for feeling smug after my fortune of not having to cut out caffeine out of my daily life like poor Hubbie?!

Last Friday, we went to see his neurologist, and she advised him to have no caffeine and minimal sugar for at least three months in order to control his chronic migraine. He was already deprived of coffee, tea or chocolate for the past two weeks because of the detox regime prescribed by the nutritionist, therefore, he received the doctor’s recommendations with a resigned sigh. After the consultation, we had snack at Patisserie Valerie by Holland Park tube station. ‘Can I have a sip of your mocha?’, he pined as he sipped a glass of water. ‘No, you can’t. I am afraid.’

Anyway, back to my missing card wallet saga. After dashing out of the gallery, I made a beeline to Zara on Oxford Street. After running down the escalator, I rushed to the till and blurted out, ‘Did I leave my card wallet on the counter?!’ A girl at the till replied with a smile, ‘Yes, you did, madam. The wallet is kept at the main till on the ground floor.’ Thank god! And thank you, Zara!! Ahhh, how my legs felt like jelly after mad sprinting. I truly can’t trust myself nowadays. Should I chain my wallet to a belt loop like a skater?…

One more thing about Hubbie’s treatment for his migraine. Apparently, he has to detox his brain! The doctor has ordered him not to take any painkiller for the next three months even if he has migraine attacks. He was having way too many Nurofen Plus for far too long, and his brain needs to be cleaned out for good. ‘I have to go cold turkey.’ ‘Alrighty, I shall throw all the painkillers out of the cabinet!’ And that was the first thing I did when we got home.

I am very, very happy because Hubbie has finally realised his quality of life matters more than his workaholic lifestyle. Let’s hope he won’t have too many headaches during the detoxing period…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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