Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 | Looking Back and A Year in Review

This is it. The last day of 2017 and I can't possibly put up a post on the very last day of the year without doing a year-end review.

A part of me feels that 2017 was a blur because the year really flew by very very quickly. Before I know it, here I am typing the last post for the year while trying to recall how the year had gone. The other part of me thought this is going to be a short entry because I didn't think a lot had happened. Oh boy, how wrong was I! Having done a recap to help me write this post, I can safely say that A LOT happened during 2017.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas Day | How To Be A Gracious Guest

When you live in a different continent and thousands of miles away from your family, you will have to make your own Christmas tradition. Over the years, I've done an equal number of times when I spend the holiday with the family and when I stay in the London to enjoy some quiet time. And it is often when I choose to do the latter that my lovely friends would welcome me into their homes on Christmas Day.

So today, I thought I'd pen down a few reminders on how to be a gracious guest that will guarantee you another invite in the future. None of these is groundbreaking, but there is no harm in reinforcing the importance of being a gracious guest.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Christmas Holiday | Things That I Am Looking Forward To

So it is one week until Christmas eve and for about a week, London will turn into a ghost town. If you are anything like me, you may well be excited at the prospect of an upcoming holiday, but actually not quite ready for the Christmas day itself. Work wise, I still have things that need finishing before the out-of-office can be switched on and gift wise, I haven't finished shopping so let's not even mention gift wrapping.

If you had read this post, you may remember the three things that will have kept me busy leading up to the present. It feels like a long time ago that I wrote it and at that time Christmas felt so far away.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Holiday Season Party Style | My Classic Essentials

December is always the busiest month when it comes to social diaries. I am sure it is the same everywhere else but even more so in London. Leave it too late, it will be almost impossible to see your friends before they break away for the Christmas holiday and you'll most likely won't be able to see them this side of the year.

As someone who often needs to balance work commitments and social diaries, I find having a few classic items in my wardrobe helps tremendously when it comes to dressing up for the festive season efficiently. Whether it is catching up over cocktails with my friends or attending the office Christmas parties, I found that these essential items have worked for me over the years.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Holiday Gift | What I Would Buy If I Was Buying A Gift For Myself

Christmas is not a festive celebration that my family and I celebrate but it is a day of celebration and a national holiday in Malaysia where I used to live before moving to London, which is my home now. If you don't already know, Malaysia is a multiracial country and its nationals celebrate every festivity that takes place throughout the year, be it Chinese New Year, Eid, Diwali, or Christmas, to name a few. 

Since living in London and fast forward to the present, Christmas has become a big part of my life. I mean, how can it not be? It's simply impossible to not get sucked and roped into all the festivities and holiday spirits that can start as early as September with the launching of Christmas shops in Selfridges, Harrods, and Liberty followed by the switching on of Christmas lights on Oxford and Regent  Streets in November. The festivity feeling fully peaked in December as my calendar gets filled with Christmas party invites, drinks with friends, office Christmas lunches and secret Santa gift exchange at work. Although I may not have many gifts to buy, I do get a small number of gifts as a token of appreciation especially for those who are in my support system.  

While it is nice to know that I don't have to sharpen my elbow wresting the crowd or cracking my head when it comes to gift shopping, it doesn't mean that I don't have a Wish List myself. So today, I thought I would share some of the items that have caught my eyes and if I were to buy a gift for myself, I'd start with this list. 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

My Simple Hair Care Routine

I recently realised that the one beauty topic that hasn't featured on this blog is hair care. The truth is, I am a very simple girl when it comes to my hair care. Honestly!

Wash, condition, clarifying shampoo, hair mask, and a haircut once every two months (or sometimes three) and boom, I am sorted. This has been my routine for the last 10 years, especially since I stopped colouring my hair. You'll be surprised at how my much time (not to mention money) you can save once you stop putting chemical in your hair! My bum has also been thanking me ever since as the length of time I spend for hair salon visits is now significantly shortened! Healthy bank accounts and happy bum...I mean...thumbs up!

Now let's get into the details...

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Books Recommendations: My Latest Discovery - Crazy Rich Asians Series

As the long days of summer have now turned into long wintry dark evenings, I now long for a quiet night in, curling on the sofa with a good paperback and a cup of tea - peppermint is my current favourite. Not only it is very good for my digestion, but also very calming and soothing for my throat, especially after a meal of comfort food at dinner.

Although I lived in South East Asia before living in London, Kevin Kwan is not a name that I am familiar with. I stumbled upon his books at a bookstore in KLCC while I was in Malaysia in May this year.

It turns out, Kevin Kwan is a Singapore based author and had authored three books to-date, the Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problem, which is his latest released earlier this summer. Both his first and second books became international bestsellers and his debut book, Crazy Rich Asians is being adapted into a film which is currently in production with the expected release date around summer 2018.

If you are looking for new reading materials, wanting to discover a new author and storyline which is not centred around the Western countries, I highly recommend that you pick up this trilogy in one go because once you read the first one, you will want to start the second and the third book as soon as you finish the previous book instantaneously. They are THAT amazing.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

My Favourite Spots to See Christmas Lights in London

Now that the Halloween is a thing of the past, we can move on and start talking about my most favourite time of the year - Christmas! Having said that, as a person who once lived in the States, there is a tiny voice within me that is rather unhappy that I am ignoring Thanksgiving. But as Thanksgiving is not really celebrated in England, aside from the Black Friday Sales that I am looking forward to, I am quite happy to start getting into the Christmas feeling.

Now, admittedly London is often criticised for the lack of variety when it comes to its Christmas decor. I mean, let's face it, as a City, we are guilty of putting up the same decorations year-on-year, but, repeated or recycled or not, they never fail to bring out the festive moods to Londoners, visitors and tourists.

So today, I wanted to share the key spots where I normally head to and the route that I often take whenever I want to kick off the festivities mood in London.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Algarve, Portugal

Portugal is a country that I've not been before and at the beginning of this year I put it up on my travel list, with an option of visiting either Lisbon or Porto. I have heard so many good things about Lisbon from friends who have been, as such, it was no surprise that when I was planning for a short getaway recently, it was very high up on my agenda.

But for some reasons, the world sort of conspired against me, as flights on the days when I wanted to travel were either limited or more expensive than what I was willing to pay. Not to mention finding a hotel to stay in, in the location that I wanted, within a reasonable price range, was fairly limited if not non-existent. 

In the end, I had no choice but to kick off Plan B. It was a good thing that by this time, I realised how exhausted I was and that I actually could do with a do-nothing kinda holiday. 

That's when the Algarve came into the picture. As I went during off season, flight options were aplenty and were reasonably priced. I also scored an independently run boutique hotel which caters for adult guests only, located a stone throw away from the Old Town. Perfect!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

5 Rules I Live By To Live A Happy Life

As I navigate through life, I have picked up some life lessons that I now live by. I have actually listed about 25 of them, but I thought I'd break them into smaller chunks, or else this post is going to be a really long one. 

Thinking that I am not ready - Nobody is ever a 100% ready for the opportunities that come knocking at our doors. But I truly believe that the best opportunities are those that stretch and challenge us beyond our limits and make us anxious a little. I am a firm believer that a little bit of anxiousness is always good, as it means that I care and those opportunities mean something or a lot to you.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Kinky Boots the Musical, London West End

Well, it was definitely around Christmas last year when I watched Aladdin the Musical at the London West End.

On reflection, I sometimes think I do take things for granted knowing that the West End is just there and that I could easily get tickets without having to plan very much well in advance.

And that is exactly what happened during the last Summer Bank Holiday weekend when I woke up feeling like I should take full advantage of the long weekend and do something. After a few messages exchanged with my friend, Sue, we agreed to head out into town to watch Kinky Boots the Musical.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Five Things I Love In Autumn

It seems that one is not a blogger unless one professes his/her love for Autumn season. Quite frankly, I am more of a lover of Spring. Blooming flowers, longer days, the prospect of summer, what is there not to love about Spring.

Having said that, I do see the attractions of Autumn. So today, I thought I'd share five things that I love about it.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

It only took me about 12 years of living in London before I finally get a chance to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa right in front of my eyes. Every time I make a trip to Italy, I always had Pisa in mind. Unfortunately, it was either not within the vicinity of the area that I was visiting, or we are short of time to squeeze it in, despite knowing that Pisa is a rather small town with the main attraction being the Leaning Tower. 

So when I visited Florence at the end of July this year, I made a point that I will make a pit stop at Pisa so I could tick it off from my list of places to visit.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The One Beauty Item That I Can't Live Without - Foundation

Each of us has one beauty item that we can't live without and that item is often personal and unique to the said individual. Because, no two people are the same, and more importantly, we all have different needs.

It got me thinking recently about what is the one item that I consistently have in my beauty stash? A must have to make me feel human, complete, finished, ready to face the world and doesn't make me feel naked when I leave the house. 

For some, it could be a mascara, and for others, it could be a lipstick. For me, it's the foundation. It definitely is a must have for me and no matter how late I am, and how desperate I needed to dash out the door, I have to put on the foundation and get my base done. 

So today, I thought I would share the four foundations that I currently have in my beauty drawer. While there is one firm favourite, I do reach out for different ones depending on the finished look that I am after, how my skin feels at that particular moment and the season of the year. 

So here are my top four favourites at the moment, starting with my firm favourite!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

A Purposeful Living - Three Things That Will Keep Me Busy Until Christmas

I know my post usually goes up on Sunday mornings and that this post had gone live slightly later than usual. As much as I do not want to sound like I am giving out excuses, hear me out, guys. I have had a superbly busy but an eye-opening and enlightening weekend, which kicked off on Friday - a cheeky but a nice treat especially considering that I didn't have a summer holiday.

When I started this post, I wanted to only write about what I did for the past 2.5 days but instead of making this a one event post, I decided to take this opportunity to give you a life update. You know, a little insight into my life.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Iconic Manolo Blahnik Satin Hangisi Pumps

When it comes to investing in luxury designer items, I am a handbag lady through and through. But recently, I realised that I have established a small family of classic shoe collections. I swear it must have been the Christian Louboutin Decollette in Nude pumps that kicked off this new love affair of mine. I now also own the same design in Black because everyone needs a pair of classic black and nude pumps in their wardrobe, right? 

But today, I wanted to talk about the latest addition to my luxury designer shoes family - the iconic Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Satin Pumps

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Sweet Heat Maple Granola

I tried to get on board with granola but there is something about the store bought ones that are just not up to my taste. They are either too sweet, taste chemically (if there is such a word), or contain ingredients that I am not a fan of.  So after trying out the different brands on the market, I managed to narrow down the ingredients that I tend to like in my granola - it's all about the nuts and definitely no dried fruits in it.

Then back in 2015, when I was in NYC, I had a bowl of fresh fruits granola with yoghurt for brunch. There was something about the taste of the granola that I totally love - it tasted fresh, nutty, sweet and there was a hint of heat as an after taste. I love it.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Liberty for Anthropologie Collaboration

When two of my favourite stores, Liberty London and Anthropologie, collaborated, I felt like I died and went to interior design heaven. I actually thought of freezing my debit and credit cards in the freezer, ala Shopaholic series, because before I even saw the collection, I knew I would want to add everything to my shopping cart.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Great Ocean Road, Australia | May 2017

When my friend Kylee got engaged at the end of 2015 and told me in NYC that her wedding is planned for May 2017 in Melbourne, Australia, I knew that I wanted to include the Great Ocean Road tour as part of my Melbourne itinerary. It would be my second trip to Melbourne and I missed the opportunity during my first trip simply due to lack of time.

I booked a day tour with a company called Go West Tour, which I discovered from Trip Advisor. It is a very long full day tour but it is worth it given the price point. The tour included pick up from and drop off at hotels located centrally in Melbourne City Centre. The group is small too, which is what I liked about it; mine consisted of nine individuals. There was just enough balanced between meeting new people and having conversations during the tour, but equally, the group was easy to manage and not much time was wasted on waiting on other people.

The all-day Great Ocean Road tour included a stop at Kennett River, which is one of the best places to spot koalas in their natural habitat, a chance to admire the natural beauty of rock formations at the 12 Apostles at Port Campbell Park, and a walk through the rainforest of Great Otway National Park.


Sunday, 20 August 2017

How the Too Faced Natural Love Palette Got Me On Board with the Brand

Confession time!

Until recently, I have never own any make-up and beauty products from the brand Too Faced. I know! I should have told you to make sure you're seated at the start of this post.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Travel Souvenirs Which Are Functional and Wearable

If you are anything like me, enjoy travelling and have a forever expanding list of places to visit, you will appreciate this post.

Travelling not only opens up your mind and expands your life experiences. It also gives you the opportunity to become a story teller one day.

When I travel, I not only look forward to witness how the locals live, experience the culinary delights, put my photography skills into practice but also to come home with nothing less but great memories of the places that I had visited.

One of the ways I do to remind myself of the places that I had visited is by collecting magnets. They are often readily accessible which means I will not have to go the extra miles to find them. In addition, they are small and light, which means they are luggage-weight friendly. But more importantly, they are not expensive at all, much to my wallet's delight. Having said, there is only so many fridge magnets that could put on your fridge, and if your kitchen is like mine, where all the white goods are fitted to the cabinet units, you may not have anywhere to display your pride possessions.

This brings me to today's post. Other than magnets, over the years, I have also returned home with very specific memorabilia from places that I had visited which are functional and wearable. When I say functional, I mean pieces that I can incorporate into my day-to-day life and elevate my outfits and style (other than the Venetian mask below, but hey it may come handy for a costume party, yes?).

Let's start shall we?


Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Ordinary Products I Am Trying Out

If you haven't heard of the brand The Ordinary, I don't know where have you been and what have you been up to.

The Ordinary is one of the brands under the umbrella company, DECIEM. They pride themselves as a company that offers clinical formulations with integrity. At the time of writing, there are currently more than 20 skincare products offered by the brand. These include acids, vitamins, retinods, hydrators and oils which are essential as part of a regimented skincare but are often hidden in the small prints of the ingredients list of the packaging of our skincare products. And this is the key differentiator of The Ordinary as a brand. They stripped back all the unnecessary marketing packaging, and focus on the products itself.

As a self-confessed skincare lover, it is hard to miss that almost everyone in the beauty industry is talking about this affordable and accessible skincare. So I decided to jump onto the bandwagon and see for myself what the fuss is about.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Another Age Milestone Unlocked!

My birthday this year fell on Saturday. It was the one that just past. Definitely a year older, hopefully slightly wiser too?

On the day itself, I had a bit of reflection and here are the top ten things that came to my mind.

I thought it would be useful to capture these here and to share them with you. After all, we do occasionally need the reminder especially when we are too busy speeding on the fast lane.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Large Supple Lady Dior Handbag

Every bag has its own story, which is why it is never just a bag. Well at least to me, a hard core handbag lover!

Dior is the first luxury designer brand that I was introduced to and the very first Lady Dior handbag that caught my eye was a gorgeous Red Lady Dior in crocodile leather. I was still in school at that time, pretty much clueless about designer handbags, but pretty discerning, at such young age. It was that particular moment that the handbag monster in me was unleashed, I am sure.

Fast forward to the present, and over the years of my working life, I have accumulated an impressive and sizeable collection of Dior leather goods, ranging from small leather goods such as its square and long wallets, to its iconic handbags such as the Saddle bag, the Boston bag, the Granville, and the Lady Dior.

So last week, on my very last day at Florence, I walked into the Dior Boutique to see if their Autumn/Winter Collection had arrived in store. While I always knew that my next handbag would be a Large Lady Dior, I have yet to decide on the colour.

Friday, 2 June 2017

June Goals

Hello there my lovelies.

Yes, I know I have been pretty quiet and haven't not been investing time on this space. Life definitely got the better part of me, which I think is not necessarily a bad thing.

To pick up from where we left and to celebrate the arrival of yet another new month, I thought I would create a list of things that I really want to focus on this month.

Friday, 17 February 2017

My Nude Lipsticks Collection

Today I thought I'd do a quick round up of all things nude. More specifically nude lipsticks.

Quite frankly, I can't recall when exactly that I jumped onto the nude lipsticks bandwagon. I recently re-organised my make up collection, you know the whole new year declutter jazz, and very quickly it became apparent to me that I have quite a fair share of nude lipsticks collection.

Obviously, there will be others who own more, but considering that I can't even recall when my love for nude lipsticks started, I was rather surprised by the number of these stashed in my make up collection.


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Majestically Beautiful Edinburgh

The trip back in December 2016 was my 4th trip to the majestically beautiful Edinburgh. I've seen it in all seasons with the exception of Autumn (or Fall as you call it in America). Having been to Edinburgh for both work and leisure, (it was leisure this time), I was unsurprised that my excitement was rather lukewarm. After all I've seen it all but if there was any excitement in me, it was more because I'm going somewhere and doing something as part of my Christmas holiday and not simply hibernating and rotting in my London flat.

But what I've learnt is that, Edinburgh being a magical place, will take your breath away regardless how many times you've been there. That was exactly how I felt as soon as I stepped out of the Edinburgh-Waverly train station.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Aladdin The Musical, London West End

Aladdin The Musical is one of the latest musical productions that is currently showing in the London West End. At the time of writing, the show is expected to last until beginning of June 2017.
Having seen the show around Christmas time last year, I have nothing but great things to say. The show definitely lived up to all the raving reviews that it has been getting from the press as well as word of mouth from the masses.

It's an absolute magical theatrical production - one of the best I've seen thus far and I have seen quite a lot in the last 11 years of living in London.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

How To Deal With Post Holiday Blues

Hurray! It's a wrapped and we survived the first week back at work in the new year.

It goes without saying that the first week of January is the most dreadful time of year. Not to mention, the first day back at work is the most depressing day ever.

After almost two weeks of holidays, copious amount of food and drinks, and practically living in pyjamas the whole time, even the most highly motivated and ambitious individuals often need to re-learn the art of getting back to work, how to re-engage the brain and be productive.

With that in mind, I thought I'd do a little write-up on tips that I always find useful when returning to work - every time after a holiday. Essentially these are tips on how I survived the week that had just gone.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Beauty Products of 2017


Ready or not, 2017 is here and 2016 has become something of yesteryear. Without wanting to be a cliché, a new year usually inspired us to become the better version of ourselves, which is not necessarily a bad thing. What often comes with that is a list of new year's resolutions or goals (whichever you use, it's semantics).

As a person who values tradition, I did draft a new year's resolution post, but I don't think that it will see the light of days. When I re-read my 2016 goals I didn't think the 2017 version would be any significantly different to the year that had just went by. There was a theme going on there! So on that note, I thought I'd write  about something slightly different for my first post of 2017.
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