Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

Imagine a serum that can double up as a moisturiser too. This oil based serum is currently in my go-to skincare kit. To give you a bit of a context, I am not a big fan of oil based skincare products. Not in serum, oil form or moisturiser but this one made it into my approved list of oil based product (which probably only features two other products mainly cleansing oil and SKII facial treatment oil).

paula's choice

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum contains retinol hence it has a boost of antioxidant in it, however I believe the retinol level is pretty low resulting in this serum is suitable for both day and night use. ( I do however only use this only at night.)


Great for normal to dry skin, this non-irritating serum (contains anti-inflammatory ingredients) is not only designed to fight signs of ageing but also provides the hydration my skin needs.

oil serum

Overall, if you are in the market looking for an all rounder, easy to use and single step skincare solution, why not give this a go especially since most people are time poor these days.

Available to purchase online via their website 


Date: 23rd October 2016
Weight: 52.5kg
Weeks out: 6 months 1 week
Comp date: April 2017, TBC – ANB or INBA

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Quads, Glutes
  • Shoulders, Tricep, Abs
  • Back, Bis
  • Hamstrings, quads, glutes, abs

progress shot

As you can see, I haven’t been doing any cardio exercise this week. There’s no real reason behind this apart from “trialling something different” and also focusing in retaining energy for heavier lifting sessions. I am also very happy that I managed to squeeze in 2 x legs sessions despite a busy schedule this week.

Technically I went shopping for a solid 5-6 hours on Saturday so that counted as cardio right?

glute pose

Despite training my legs and glutes quite extensively; I find myself loving shoulders and biceps session more and more. I used to hate training biceps because it generally makes me feel weak. However, that’s completely changed now. You can say I am totes having a shoulder & bis moment.

Physique update:
ponikuta bodybuilding

Front – When will my quads decides to make an appearance? Not a fan of Nike Pro shorts, they always make me look like I’ve got love handles!!!

ponikuta fitness

Back – Where are my calves and hammies? Time to get my comp heels and to work on my posing routine.

ponikuta bikini

Side Profile – I was actually in mid conversation when this was taken. I believe I was in the middle of trying to flex and laughing at the same time. 🙂

Changes this week:

  1. I drank alcohol AND soft drinks this week.  Aim to cut alcohol & soft drinks out of my diet by November. Whilst it was moderated amount and in small doses, I still felt that they are still unnecessary calories and I don’t need the additional bloat from carbonated drinks.
  2. Started to research for my comp suit and heels. Deciding on bikini colour at the moment and I’m thinking of either purple, green or blue.
  3. I’m kinda torn between wanting to do more videos to capture my workout routine and wanting to focus on my actual workout without having to worry about fiddling with camera. I’ll aim to capture at least one session a week. I find these helpful to look at my posture and forms to ensure I am doing the right thing since I mostly train by myself.
  4. My gym membership expired this week. I found out about it by taking a full serve of preworkout and finding myself locked out of the gym on Tuesday night. With a mixture of jittery rage, I drove to good old Doherty’s in CBD to smash out my Tuesday session. All I have to say is that I’m glad Doherty’s is so close to home.
  5. Surprise, surprise I’ve unintentionally and subconsciously started ordering healthier food when I’m out having meals. Whilst I did had some chow kuey teow (half serve), dumplings and korean bbq – complete with pork belly when I was out this week; I’ve balanced it out with some healthier green options too.

crux and co

Think this was the vegetarian breakfast from Crux and Co.

smak eating house

Baked eggs from SMAK

lune macca saca

Naughty pastries from Lune.

See you next week!

Read all about my weekly progress here: Week 1, Week  2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5


Chapter 5 – Lean machine

Date: 16th October 2016
Weight: 53.3kg (Highest I have been in the last 16 months!)
Weeks out: 6 months 2 weeks
Comp date: April 2017, TBC – ANB or INBA

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Shoulders – heavy day
  • Back, bis, abs, 20 mins cardio

I did a grand total of two workout sessions this week. Not only have my motivation and energy level dropped to an all time low; I’ve been a little caught up with work and life. I’m still determined to power through and make sure this is not a regular recurrence.

ponikuta fitness

Haven’t train legs this week due to my heavy leg day last Sunday! The soreness in my hamstrings, lower back, glutes and (at one point) shins lasted for a good 6 days. I am also listening to my body and train only when it is fit for it. I was legit crawling for an entire week with those sore hamstrings.

Lifting wise, I am back on the pre-workout bandwagon but mostly taking half of what is recommended to take. Additionally, I am also lifting heavier than before. I am guessing this has to be contributed by my current bulking diet.

Physique update:

physique update

Bulking = softer, fuller muscles. I am gaining significant CMs on my quads, glutes and arms. Abs are almost non existent at this stage.

bikini physique

Back – nothing much to update here aside from bulking season = zero definitions.

side chest pose

Side profile – at least one thing is popping up more, hamstrings! Makes all the heavy lifting and painful DOMs worth it I guess!



meal prep

I eat a fair bit of natto (fermented soy bean), wasabi (in oil, rice toppers aka furikake and seaweed in my daily meal prep. I love the taste and they adds flavour to my otherwise pretty plain and dull meals.

Here I mixed some sesame dressing with hot water and wasabi oil as my spinach udon noodles. So good!

comp prep

Most days, my dinner look like this. Brown rice, fish, vege and egg + egg whites. Topped with wasabi furikake of course!

cheat meal

My cheat meals – I take pictures of them to document what I’ve eaten this week that was naughty. Well, try to take pictures of all of them anyways. Sushi is no doubt my number one weakness.

Changes this week:

  1. Tried out this new pre workout (brand name: EXTREME) and it gave me such an intense focused session. I think I might get onto that once my current pre workout runs out.
  2. I can barely fit into most of my cotton leggings as quite a few of them are too tight around the thigh and glutes area; but too loose around the waist area. That squat booty lyfe though!
  3. Been consuming quite a bit of carbs – (brown rice, gluten free egg pasta, protein bread) and I am focusing on good quality carbs as much as I can.
  4. Surprise, surprise, I actually don’t have much of a cravings this week. I don’t crave for bad food, epic cheat meals and also find that my appetite have dropped quite a fair bit lately. Wonder if it’s just hormonal or if it’s because I haven’t been at the gym as much this week.
  5. Oh and my gym membership expired today, gotta get it renewed tomorrow!


See you next week!

Read all about other weeks here: Week 1, Week  2, Week 3, Week 4



Source: Ivy Muse

I love greenery but I am no green thumb.

So for the longest time I have limited myself to terrariums and fake plants when it comes to green plants around home. Having said that, I’ve been experimenting with more live plants recently in hope that I could give it a go at taking care of live, breathing things.

Today, I would like to share some of my favourite go-to places when I am plant hunting and I love nothing more than shopping for planters and plants on my weekend. You can say they are my happy places!

Here are some of my favourite nurseries around Melbourne:

  • Miniscape, Brunswick – I got my very first large terrarium from here and it is technically my go-to place for terrarium gifts for my closest and dearest. They have a variety of small, medium and large terrariums to choose from and because their terrariums are made in store, you can custom make your own and if you ask nicely, they could even swap and put plants in to your liking on the spot.
  • Loose Leaf, Collingwood – You can find a good variety of plants here and they regularly features a good selection of planters too. Terrarium wise, they mostly have big, centrepiece types from Lulu & Angel.
  • In Full Bloom, South Melbourne – This is my local go-to place for floral, succulent and they have been growing their selection of terrariums and indoor plants. Whilst they may be a little pricey but the quality is no doubt one of the better, premium looking ones. This place will always have a place in my heart; not to mention they deck out the shop in such a beautiful and whimsical way.
  • South Melbourne Market/Bunnings – You’ll be surprise what you can find here, plants, succulents, air plants, planters, etc.
  • The Garden of Eden Nursery, Albert Park – I can’t believe I’ve been driving past this place for years and have only discovered this hidden gem recently. They sell everything insta worthy from geometric mugs, marbles everything, gorgeous (and expensive too!) planters, seedlings and a HUGE variety of plants both indoors and outdoors to choose from. Let’s just say it is one of those places you can pop in and easily find a good and tasteful gift for friends.
  • Glasshaus, Cremone – They specialise in mostly indoor plants (various sizes), event plant hire, flowers and is such a lush and beautiful place to step into.
  • Lunar Store, Prahran – Technically, this is not a nursery but boy do they have a small selection of cute succulent mix and a great variety of planters. Love, love, love this quirky store.
  • Little Lands, Olinda – I haven’t been to this store as it is super far away, however I’ve been to their pop up store. Whilst they have an extensive variety of terrariums – large and small but you need to really look hard for unique pieces. They specialises in cute little figurines that lives in their terrariums and also regularly carry “trendy” pieces like – marimo balls, marbled planters, etc.
  • Ivy Muse, Armadale – Gorgeous selection of planters, stands and cute plants. I especially love their unique and signature stands.

best terrarium

Most of these stores do not list their products on their website/instagram because it is impossible to, so I highly recommend to make a trip down to each shop to check them out yourself. There’s something about keeping indoor greens that gives me a satisfying accomplishment.

I am sure I have barely covered most of the nurseries in Melbourne, however here is my next go-to list to explore.

  • Nature Boy Nrth, Fitzroy North
  • Plant by Packwood, Fitzroy
  • Ceres nursery, Brunswick East
  • Mr Kitly, Brunswick
  • Acorn nursery, Surrey Hills

In addition, I am going to The Finders Keepers Market this weekend, I can’t wait to go as there will be so many cute things to discover.


Chapter 4 – Some is better than none

Date: 9th October 2016
Weight: 52.8kg [ time of the month, water retention weight is of expected]
Weeks out: 6 months 3 weeks
Comp date: April 2017, TBC – ANB or INBA

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Shoulders, abs + 30 mins cardio
  • Quads, glutes, abs
  • Bis, tris + 30 mins cardio
  • Hamstrings, glutes, abs

Pretty sure I have hit an all time low – in terms of motivation and energy to physically get myself into the gym. Especially when I had to commit to the cardio sessions. I have also noticed that I tend to lack energy, motivation and discipline the week before period, damn those hormones.

ponikuta progress shot

Train yo calves!

Having said that though, I still try my best to stick to a minimum of four gym sessions a week and to convince myself that a shitty gym session is better than no gym sesh at all.

ponikuta bodybuilding comp

Sometimes I find motivation in the form of fitness athletes on YouTube videos and instagram videos to get inspiration to trial out new workouts to spice things up.

Physique update:

ponikuta fitness bunny

Back & hamstring muscles, where you at?

fit bunny

Overall, I feel softer and fuller this week; no thanks it being time of the month (Day 2 when this was taken), having said that I am glad that I’ve squeezed in the minimum four gym sessions this week.

ponikuta side pose

Can you tell I’m working on the posing? All I can say is that I’m no natural when it comes to pose down.

Changes this week:

alpine bread

  1. I discovered Alpine Bread that is high in protein (YAS!) & a butter alternative – Nuttelex. Such a great combo for pre-workout snack and I’ve had it with a layer of peanut butter too. So, so good!
  2. Train smart not hard – I am currently limiting my weight lifting sessions to a maximum of an hour for one body part at a time.
  3. Listening to my body. If I have a craving bad and I know I’ve worked hard for it, I don’t deprive myself from it. If I needed a nap, I take a nap. I always pay attention and document my body needs to ensure I am not overworking myself.

Some of my cheat meals this week:

heirloom melbourne

Heirloom, Melbourne

DOC Albert Park

D.O.C. Albert Park

higher ground

Higher Ground, CBD

See you next week!

Read all about other weeks here: Week 1, Week  2, Week 3.


Recently, I came across this article about skincare tips in particular for the 2os to the early 30s.


The article touched on the changing landscape of beauty especially for the millennials and boy do they have pressure unlike any of us have had experienced in the past decade (no thanks to smartphones, smart cameras and social media of course to amplify the instant need for validation and documentation of our daily lives).

Another great point that was raised especially for those who are in their 20s is the sheer amount of information available from product reviews, treatment reviews to accessibility to procedures.

As a results, we see an increasing tribe of young girls who aggressively overused procedures and injectables which causes unfortunate irreversible changes that can actually age a young face more than prevent ageing.

megan_fox plastic surgery

Yikes, think Megan Fox!

For the full list of what to look out for and if you are interested in clinical procedures, how to find the right practitioner and what procedures to trial, read this article here

Speaking of procedures, what are your favourite procedures/beauty treatments?

Mine are regular SNS nails, eyelash extensions and once in awhile good old microdermabrations and annual thermage & fillers procedures.



Chapter 3 – Balance

Date: 2nd October
Weight: 51.9kg
Weeks out: 7 months
Comp date: April 2017, TBC – ANB or INBA

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Bis, glutes, abs  (Light session)
  • Chest, back + 25 mins cardio
  • Tri + abs
  • Quads, glutes, hamstrings + infrared sauna + hot spring
  • Abs + 40 mins cardio

My workout routine are usually quite flexible. It is normal for me to change things up depending on how I feel on the day and my movement around the week to make sure I squeeze in all my mandatory workouts and is able to find balance in life too.

infrared sauna bodybuilding

This week, I had the long weekend off so I had to pre-plan my workout session around my road trips. It’s all about finding the balance and what works for you. If I know I have a busy week ahead, I’d plan my workout sessions around the busy days to ensure I do not cave into any excuses or skip any workout.

Physique update:

ponikuta fitness

Back shot – flexed
ponikuta progress shot

Front post – non flexed

ponikuta bodybuilding

Front post – abs flexed

You probably can see very little difference between the flex and non-flexed version due to the high amount of body fat I am carrying at the moment. The bulking life~

I’m thinking of including side shots of my glutes development as well. Perhaps I’ll start incorporating those in my next week’s progress shot.

asian girl with glutes

Changes this week:

Taking a break from pre-workout 

This week, I decided to challenge myself to tests out my usual workout sessions without pre-workout. For the past year or so, I have been downing a shot of pre-workout (I take C4 and have recently changed to GAT) before I start my session.

To be entirely honest, I didn’t noticed a massive amount of difference in training for the first two days without pre workout AND THEN, it hit me! I was lacking in energy (no changes in diet), lacking in focus and motivation.

Just to clarify, I don’t take the recommended amount of pre-workout (usually one – two scoops), I usually go with half of the recommended serving recommendation and only rarely do I go for one full scoop.

luxbite cake

Especially when you have a bf that shows up in your door step with these…. 

Limit cheat meals 

My weakness for food will most probably be my downfall for comp prep. Since young, I’ve been brought up to believe that one should never deprive yourself from food. As a result, I always think “why not” whenever temptation is presented in front of me.

This week I feel bloated like a puffer fish. This could be due to my period is coming in the next 10 days or so and/or combined with the fact that I’ve had multiple cheat meals that were high in carbs and sodium mostly for dinner consecutively for a couple of days.

tsukemen ramen

As a result, puffy face and water retention all throughout my body. I have however slowly upped my cardio sessions from 20 minutes to 25 minutes this week. Whilst it doesn’t seem much but it adds up another 20 minutes of cardio on top of my 80 minutes per week. I don’t even know how I used to do 40 minutes cardio session for 4-5 times a week.

Need to find that fire in my belly again!

Supplement & Food (meal prep): 

Nothing changes much in this area. I’m still taking the same supplements apart from pre-workout and I’ve been eating similar meals for my meal prep. I don’t foresee this will change much in the near future at all.

As a female, I still find it hard to hit my protein macros but is constantly working on it to ensure I am being smart about the meal choices I take/make especially when I am out and about.

asian girl who works out

See you next week!

Read all about Week 1, Week  2 here.



mesoestetic Stem Cell Body Serum

mesoestetics stem cell body serum review

When I think of Spain, I think Ibiza, Madrid, Barcelona, all sorts of gorgeous coastlines and ladies clad in bikinis.

This is also the same reason why Mesoestetic (made in Spain) is a brand that focuses in launching body products targeted specifically for our key concern around smooth skin, firmer finish and moisturising skin all at the same time.

Enter Mesoestetic Stem Cell Body Serum, this lightweight body lotion is an anti-aging treatment to help with:
Improve body metabolism and microcirculation
Stimulates cell regeneration and collagen
Firms and tightens skin
Provides moisturisation

Key to best result is to use every day after shower on towel dried skin, using upward circular movement to massage all over body. Paying extra attention to key areas most prone to sagging and cellulite.

mesoestetics stem cell body serum

Overall, I’ve been using the Stem Cell Body Serum for two months now and I am absolutely hooked from the buttery light texture, unique comforting scent to how smooth my skin is lately. I massage this religiously all around my glutes, thighs and arms to ensure I give my body a thorough massage through each day too.

RRP AUD$120 (200ml)
Available in


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