Friday, 1 January 2016

2015 Year in Review

With just the last few hours of 2015 left to go, I thought I'd do a quick wrap-up of this year. It's been a fruitful year with quite a bit of travelling and settling down to life in a small town where there isn't any MAC counter within 100 miles. It's a quiet life but still pretty entertaining thanks to having a hyperactive toddler who is learning to talk and developing in ways that continue to surprise all the time.

January - We had just moved back to Singapore, after 3 years in Geneva. My son also started walking so he was a busy little beaver exploring all the playgrounds in Singapore.

February - Visited my brother in the UK and spent Chinese New Year there.

March - Moved to Urbana, Illinois, and caught the first sakura blooms of spring.

May - One of the nice features of our town is the abundance of parks, so this was our favourite daily activity with my son 'driving' along in his Mini Cooper.

June - Back to the UK to visit my mother and brother before returning to Singapore for the summer.

July - We were supposed to visit Tokyo but had to cancel it at the last minute as my son had a febrile seizure after spiking a fever. The few hours that he spent at the NUH ER were the scariest hours of my life. Fortunately, he recovered within a few days.

August - Returned to Urbana for the new school year.

September - Made our first road trip to Chicago, which is an arduous 3 hour drive away. Discovering the Kinokuniya and Mitsuwa supermarket in Arlington was the highlight of the trip for me.

October - Celebrated the little tyke's second birthday and found out that we were having twins. Think my first words were 'Holy s***'. As they are identical twins, I have to go for scans every two weeks. Thankfully, it's all been smooth sailing so far.

November - Another road trip to Chicago, which coincided with the first snowstorm of the season. In anticipation of the twins, we purchased a Toyota Sienna, which turned out to be awesome as the DVD player keeps my son entertained for hours with his favourite Pocoyo and Paw Patrol cartoons.

December - Enjoying his first Christmas tree, and the abundance of presents from his doting grandmother. He's also become a chatterbox, including often talking in his sleep. Favourite phrases include 'oopsie!', 'no thank you', 'nope', 'oh no!' and 'more biscuit!'.

Blogging-wise, I'm glad that I've managed to keep this little blog humming along, however sporadically. Many of my favourite bloggers have quit or gone on a long hiatus. Instagram is where most people seem to be drawn to these days, and it's certainly the go-to resource for sneak previews of upcoming collections. Nevertheless, I still prefer reading an in-depth thoughtful blogpost over a photo that has been filtered and hashtagged to death. All those artfully arranged flatlays with their random flower petals do nothing for me at all.

My makeup purchases have reduced significantly this year, partly due to the constant moving. The department stores in my town only carry Estee Lauder, Clinique and Lancome, so it's really quite sad but luckily there is Sephora and Ulta. I do most of my shopping at the latter two as most US drugstore brands hold little attraction for me compared to their Japanese and Korean counterparts which are light years ahead in terms of quality and innovation. I've culled a significant amount of old and expired makeup, but my stash is still far from a manageable size. Suqqu has pretty much taken over my daily routine in terms of eyeshadows, while I rotate through a variety of cushion foundations. There is still the constant temptation to try out new products, especially foundations, but I have much less excuse to do so now that I seldom write reviews to justify the purchase. It'll always be a constant struggle to balance it all, but I hope to do better in 2016 by using up more of what I have.

Here's wishing you a wonderful year ahead filled with love, beauty and happiness!


Anonymous said...

Dear Haru,

Have been lurking for the longest time, and just wanted to say congratulations and happy new year! And i couldn't agree more about what tou said about the flatlays on instagram - says nothing about the product and absolutely boring. Thanks for your blog and happy new year once again.

D. said...

Hi Iris,

Congrats and happy new year to you and yours!!!

saw said...

Congrats on the twins! Such a lovely post, thanks so much for sharing.

Citrine said...

Happy New Year to you as well!

I giggled when I saw the "hashtagged to death" part, I like instagram enough to stalk a few bloggers (and am just glad that they chose to update somewhere)but I have been looking for idea (stuff to buy)on Weibo as well, it has the handiness of instagram and posts can get quite detailed if the bloggers want to...There are so many of them around so the whole PR scence haven't ruined them yet (it's too big to buy out).

Unknown said...

i loved reading this!!! what an adorable boy and your pictures are just precious!!!! thank you for all you do!!!! happy new year!

Anonymous said...

Happy new year!! I've been reading your blog for years and leaving comment mostly on 1/1 to express my appreciation for you! I wish you a happiness and never ending fortune year to you. Bless you and your coming soon Twins!! SHINO.

Haru said...

Hi Shino,
Thanks for the well wishes and also for reading all these years, I really appreciate it! Wishing you all the best for 2016 too!

hi SJ,
Glad to hear that you enjoyed the post. Happy new year to you too!

hi Citrine,
Weibo is too messy for me to navigate so I don't really try, plus it will probably spark more lemmings than I need! Hope you have a wonderful year ahead!

Hi Sara,
thank you! Happy new year!

hi D.,
Thanks and hope you have a lovely year ahead too! Looking forward to more of your posts!

hi Anonymous,
Thanks for delurking to leave a comment! It's always touching when people do that, especially on posts like this. Have a great year ahead!

Jacqueline said...

Looking at your pictures of your happy little boy is always such a joy, what a cutie he is. Congratulations on your twins my dear, I am so happy for you. Take care and have an awesome 2016.

Anonymous said...

Hi Iris
So happy for you and your family especially your son and your twins. Keep going! Thank you so much for all your updating despite having a tight schedule. I enjoy reading all your posts. Happy New Year!

Christina said...

Happy New Year! I've been reading your blog for many, many years now, and I'm honestly glad to see your posts pop up here and there. I like instagram to see new releases, but like you, I like in depth reviews and unfiltered pictures. I think what I love most about your blog is your posts for upcoming Japanese makeup releases. I can't buy most of them, but I enjoy seeing what innovations/trends they come up with next.

Here's to wishing you another fantastic year!

Adeline said...

Happy new year! It's always lovely to see an update on your blog. Thank you for the hard work you put in.

Bellyhead said...

Dear Iris,
What an eventful 2015! I hope you and your growing family will have a wonderful 2016! :D

Thank you for being such a constant for all beauty fanatics. Your blog has been a true anchor for me for many years. (And your kiddo photos are too adorable to boot. !!! Now I am super excited to ponder moar and MOAR babby pictures. Or is it babbyS pictures!)


Haru said...

hi Belly,
Thank you so much for the kind comments! I'm so happy that you've re-opened your blog too, that was the best new year present to all Suqqu fanatics!

hi Adeline,
Thank you and hope you have a wonderful year ahead too!

hi Christina,
Same here, I can't purchase most of the collections that I blog about but I still like seeing what's coming up on the Japanese makeup scene even though K-beauty is much more in vogue at the moment. Thanks for reading all these years and have a great year ahead!

hi Virginia,
thank you, I'll try my best! Probably should cut down on playing games and devote more time to this blog. Happy new year!

Eileen said...

What a delightful and wonderful little boy! At that age, every day brings surprises. Enjoy each and every one. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family

teetee said...

I am so happy for you and your family! I hope the year 2016 will bring much joy and good health to your loved ones! I also can't agree more, I miss the old beauty blogging days where I can read a long in-depth post about a product, it just isn't the same with instagram! Please continue writing this blog whenever you can, I check frequently and I hope you know you do have supporters! All the best in 2016 :)

Jessy said...

Lovely post! Hope everything goes well with your pregnancy and delivery..

saltvinegar said...

You're one of the rare breeds who still blog! Though truthfully I'm not a make up junkie, I love reading about how you're doing. Congratulations on the twins!