It's that time of the year again!
The frenetic flurry of activities that are a part of Chinese New Year visiting don't always have to translate to an oily face, aching feet or blistered toes.
Here are 10 tips to survive house-hopping in style and comfort.
You definitely don't want to be fussing with your shoes at your relatives' doorstep - it's just not good form, especially if fiddling with your heels means holding everyone up from partaking in the customary greetings to your elders.
(Yup, been there, done that.)
Truth be told, I was actually even more afraid of accidentally exposing myself when bending down or squatting to tend to the straps of my shoes.
Always wear shoes that can be easily slipped in and out of.
This trick may be a no-brainer, but plasters are truly a life-saver when dealing with blisters in the middle of CNY visiting.
Most of us will be showing off our new shoes, and it takes time to break them in.
Given the tight squeeze, blistered toes may be inevitable, so it's always good to have plasters at the ready.
Just slip a few of them into your various handbags the night before - you can thank yourself later.
3. A SHAWL
It's always good to bring along a shawl as you'll never know when you need to cover up (this is especially handy if you have a grandmother who may raise an eyebrow or two at your tube tops and V-necks).
A shawl is also a stylish way of keeping yourself warm when you're stuck in a pad with freezing aircon.
Of course, a good shawl also makes a perfect prop for your #OOTDs!
4. EAT IN MODERATION
We know, the good old bak kwa and pineapple tarts are irresistible, but CNY goodies don't just bring happiness - they're also chockfull of calories.
Want to eat smart and keep trim?
Don't go visiting on an empty stomach, as you'll end up stuffing your face on said snacks.
Nibble on some fruit or nuts before house visits, and ration yourself such that you only sample one or two of the festive goodies per household, rather than eating everything that is offered at each place.
5. DRINK TEA
Tea aids in digestion, so sip on a cup of your favourite brew so you won't feel so bloated after indulging in your favourite snacks.
If you don't want to trouble your relatives, you can bring a small thermos bottle with tea leaves, and just get some hot water from each household to steep them in.
6. STRATEGIC TOILET BREAKS
Given the sugary drinks you'll be chugging back in a day of visiting, having to take frequent toilet breaks may be unavoidable.
But you may not be comfortable with using the toilet of a lesser known distant relative, so make a mental note of the list of homes you're going to for the day, as well as where you should be drinking less to avoid having to pee then.
7. FACIAL SPRAY
Stash along a purse-sized bottle of facial mist and spritz regularly to "reset" your makeup and rehydrate your face in the middle of the day.
Take note: You should be holding the canister at arm's length for the finest mist possible; larger droplets will drench your skin and ruin your makeup.
Also, you should dab off the excess after a few minutes, instead of leaving the mist to evaporate, which may draw out precious moisture from the skin and leave it looking dry and patchy.
8. WET WIPES
Wet wipes come in handy when you're feeling sticky and lethargic - a quick pat and you'll feel renewed and revitalised.
They're also a great quick fix if you don't have time to wash your hands after handling greasy slices of bak kwa!
9. DRY SHAMPOO
Your tresses can become limp and greasy from hopping from house to house in this humid weather.
Take along a travel-sized bottle of dry shampoo and shake vigorously before spraying into your roots.
Flip your hair upside down, use your fingers to blend the powder, shake out any excess and flip your hair back.
Gently smooth out your hair to achieve a clean and volumised look.
10. PORTABLE CHARGER
You'll be taking lots of pictures amidst the festivities, so it's vital to ensure your smartphone battery doesn't die on you.
You can also use your fully charged phone to scroll through social media — and read good stuff online — during awkward pauses in a family conversation.
This article was first published in Her World Online.