Style. Beauty. Lifestyle. Travel

How I stopped giving a f*** about what people think

Personally, I believe that I have really come a long way since my childhood days and teenage life. Gone are the days where I *worry* too much about what people think, what people would say, esp from people whom I don't even know personally or know at all. I wouldn't necessarily take pity on the old me but I think it was a phase in my life that I had to go through, just like everybody else.

Perhaps I would start my childhood story off by saying that, when I was in primary school, everyone (who had the guts to) kinda made fun of me. All was fine and dandy in lower primary until puberty hit me fierce and hard when I was in Primary 4 or 5. I had really really bad acne on my face and body. And when I say bad, it was like cystic acne kinda bad. I remembered going on Dermatologist trips with my Mom and even trying out Vitamin A that was the worst experience in my life. No wait, maybe facials were way worse than that. And then subsequently, I became so used to the pain and it's also probably why I developed a very high threshold for pain since then.

I would say that this acne infestation of my face, body and being probably lasted up till my mid 20s. Through secondary school days where us young girls, started to mingle with boys from schools across the road, boys from "exchange Art programs" in school, through junior college and then eating into university. It was an on-going battle. Some days it was under control, some days it was like as if life hated me with a vengeance.

Maybe it was a survival mechanism too because, I can't possibly NOT go to school cos my face was bombarded with pimples. I couldn't possibly NOT talk to anyone too or NOT go out at all. Life doesn't just come to a standstill whilst you are figuring out how to work through your insecurities. Yes, there were probably many days where I ran through in my head why some people were born with such great skin and even on days, blamed my acne on genes passed down by my dearest Mother (it is still probably 50% true, but I forgive you Mom - cos you went through it yourself too when you were young HAHA). But I sucked it all up and mustered enough courage to go to school, talk to my classmates, ignore all the boys taunting me about my bad skin, choose to believe that when people are looking at me, they are not focusing on my face and instead on the words that are coming out of my mouth. Strangely enough, I cannot seem to vividly recall a time where I actually cried about this, as most young children would I suppose.

Some time around 25 years of age, my skin started getting better (*finally!*) when I discovered retinol and stopped using those facial scrubs that had extremely huge microbeads in them. They could do you more harm than good with surface abrasions and all. Instead, I switched to a gentle cleanser, discovered The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol. Those were my saviours and to this day, I still swear by it. I wouldn't say my skin is perfect now, but it is definitely a whole lot better. I finally discovered what it felt like to have visibly clear skin and what people had with clear skin - confidence.

Maybe that was the turning point in my life, that I truly started being in my own skin (no pun intended). Coupled with all the years of learning to ignore, choosing to believe what I want to believe others are thinking. All those years of having so many thoughts and being a quiet opinionated person suddenly went out of the window cos I am no longer afraid to express my opinions verbally when necessary. I was so comfortable with myself that I started spending a lot of time on my own and learnt that I actually really love it. I would go to restaurants alone, watch movies alone, travel alone and I love that I can get to talk to strangers and not be judged by the people around me for being strange or weird cos everyone knows by now that I AM strange and weird. Y'know?

I think in this day and age where social media is so so apparent, and everyone is comparing about who has the nicest clothes, has the nicest house, has the nicest life even, I can imagine how hard it is to just be completely un-bothered by all the noise online. I used to find myself many years back, literally aimlessly scrolling through Instagram or trying to keep tabs on EVERYONE's lives until I realised how pointless it is and what a true waste of time it was. Since then, I stopped aimlessly scrolling cos they just don't excite me anymore. Instead, I find myself on the *discover* page a lot more now that saved pages works like pinterest. On the contrary, I do enjoy posting and sharing still (cos your girl has a lot of THOUGHTS). Maybe it's a good thing that I have decisively decided to start blogging again during this lockdown.

Social media can be a lovely bed of roses and a pain in the butt at the same time. I do wonder about young people's mental health at times, esp the ones born into this social-media laden world. If someone's post affects you in a certain way, learn to first, acknowledge that it affects you and then really really make it a point to choose not to follow so avidly, even if it's a close friend of yours. If seeing what they post makes you upset, learn that it is okay to detach yourself from their online lives for a bit cos no one is there to take care of your mental well-being except yourself. You have to learn to love yourself first. Yes, I admit that Instagram and Facebook has become way easier to connect lives together but we were never born with this technology. There was a time where all these tech didn't exist and people still found a way to connect. If someone truly cares enough about you, they will find a way to check in on you.

For all of you who are stuck at home in lockdown and have way too much time scrolling on social, try reading a book instead. Or learn a new recipe. Don't let yourself be a victim of social noise.


Tokyo Style Diaries

Every single time I'm taking a holiday, I make full use of it to dress up cos I rarely get to do that back home. Most of the time, I'm in work attire (still working on expanding my work wardrobe). And on weekends, most of the time I'm also just chilling at home. So for me, taking a trip overseas on a holiday is the BEST time to piece together some snazzy outfits that otherwise, won't ever get to see the light of day.

Threw on a flannel over some black jeans and drew up some boots. I paired the outfit with a floppy black hat that I have not worn in a while and a huge cosy white cardi. The hat actually proved useful that day cos it started raining right after my coffee break.

Probably one of the more "risqué" outfits of the lot cos you might attract just a bit too much attention in the +65. But in Japan, who cares? It is a fashionista town! The inner bralet was actually a velvet one I got from Lasenza many years ago and it has proven so useful especially when pairing with a translucent top. Some white jeans and I busted out a new pair of white Supergas. Oh, and if you look closely, you'll spot me wearing this pair of dangly pearl earrings that I got the night before and they were a total dupe for the ones by Soru Jewellery and at a fraction of the price!

This was possibly my fav outfit the entire trip. If you could describe my personality in one outfit, it would probably be this. I like that it is slightly flirty, doesn't show too much skin and I have a slight obsession with knee high boots. Loving the color combination as well. This deep red color is sucha statement without being too showy.

I wore this outfit to venture to Shimo-kitazawa for the day. It is a hipster town and you will find yourself passing by many cool vintage shops selling apparels and furniture alike. Another accessory that I love bringing with me on travels are hats. I think diff hats are able to bring a whole other meaning to your outfit.

This is my go-to comfy outfit. A huge sweater (with slots for your hands!) over some extremely comfy Uniqlo relaxed jeans and my white Supergas. No prizes for guessing where I went to that day. I was extremely happy about my minnie ears cos can you believe it or not, this was my first proper Disney themepark experience! I really wouldn't count the Disney in HK cos all the rides were rather kiddish. Walked so so much that day, in the rain no less, yet so so happy. Oh, and did I mention it was Halloween special? It was so fun watching everyone dress up in so many cool costumes! I had on some cobweb hoops and a shade of deep plum on my lips to join in the fun (:


Are you guys missing traveling yet? Hopefully we can all get to do that soon. In the meantime, you can always put up your own loungewear fashion show whilst at home. or don some sexy lingerie for the hubs. I'm sure they'll appreciate it *winkwink*


The Viral Dalgona Coffee

Apparently, this is the hottest new trend in town and everyone on TikTok is making it. It has possibly been out for quite a while and given that most of us have more hands our our hands these days, it also means more time to experiment with new food and drinks! I kinda already knew going in that I probably will not like this cos I typically take my coffee without sugar, but decided to give it a whirl anyway. For the gram. Do it for the gram!

Kinda took the shortcut here and used an electric whisk instead of whisking it by hand cos ain't nobody got time for that! The result was a good amount of frothy coffee. You dollop a heap of it in a glass of ice topped with chilled fresh milk. It actually didn't tasted all that bad cos I only added a lil sugar (the original recipe called for 2 teaspoons of sugar). To be honest, I don't quite get the hype other than the fact that it looks pretty cos it resembles squishy whipped caramel clouds, making it absolutely instagrammable - if that in itself is even a legit word in urban dictionary.



2 tablespoons of Instant Coffee
2 teaspoons of Sugar
2 tablespoons of Hot Water


Whisk everything together like your life depends on it!

Have you tried it? I have seen some people making variations of it such as swopping out instant coffee for hot cocoa powder, or matcha etc. Opt for less sugar if you don't fancy yours sweet. It still gets you the same result.


Lockdown Care-packs

Before we officially went into a lockdown on Tuesday, I drove out to a mall to do some shopping cos I knew that I wanted to put together some care-packs for a few people to help ease up on the boredom and as a nice touch from me. Is it weird that I actually genuinely get all excited when I'm putting together nice thoughtful things for people? I guess that's why I have personally enjoyed planning surprises for people as well since young such as birthday parties, and generally anything with a personal touch to it makes my heart flutter.

On a side note, these boxes from Daiso are BRILLIANT. So sturdy, comes with a handle, making it the perfect box to plan your care-pack around. I threw in really random things like SPONGES lol, origami paper, nightsticks, balloons, S hooks, colored markers, lotsa lotsa snacks and the obvious handwritten card from me. I used to get a kick out of doing really brainless things like sorting out gift bags and this was really a good outlet for me to "wind down" my brain whilst still getting something done.

It's probably not possible to retail shop anymore (unless you get it from an online store) but if you would like to maybe gift something special to someone, you can always consider ordering food and delivering it to someone or even a carefully curated care-pack from Watsons/Guardian.

Stay home, stay safe and here's to another happy healthy week at home!


Tips to working from home productively

Regardless of whether we are under a lockdown or a "circuit-breaker" in our home countries, the matter of fact is that the large majority of us are currently working from home. Given that I do handle a large portion of my day to day admin from home, I thought it will perhaps be useful to share a few tips to working from home productively.

Most people work in an office where they are used to being in an environment with their fellow colleagues, have lunch with friends/colleagues and basically, have people to chat with if you are just bored at your desk working away. Having to suddenly go from that to just working from home is essentially throwing yourself in a different "working environment" and it needs some adapting to.

I know it is absolutely tempting to just laze in bed the whole day (especially if there is nothing to do) and before you know it, the day is over. You might not realise it now, but speaking from many years of experience, at the end of the month or at the end of the "circuit breaker" (cos let's be real - who knows how long this is going to last for), you'll be amazed at how much time you have just wasted. Thrown down the drain. I have been through some of these moments like these and the idea of it always makes me sick to my stomach. "Why the hell have I wasted all these time?!" - would be stirring in my brain. Furthermore, since we are all in a definite looming recession, it is The time for employers to seek out who to retain and let go if the company is in dire need of cutting cost and you do not want to be at the losing end of that stick. (Trust me: it will be v obvious to employers in this time)

So here are 5 tips from me:

Doing this helps you to get up, set the tone for the day and often you'll find that once you make your bed, it will deter you from wanting to jump back into it cos you just don't want to mess up a perfectly-made bed. I never used to do this, and you might think less of this simple task at hand but try it out, and by the end of month, you might see a difference.

Having a notepad beside your laptop on your table helps. I personally like to make a list of all the things I need to get done that day and if I think of anything else, I will just add it along the way. In a way, it is kinda like a space for you to brain-dump. I also have this habit whereby I will write the more important things to do on hand at the top of the list and the less-hurried ones at the bottom. That way, I can prioritise my time and check off the important tasks too. I think it also helps to get the things you dread doing the most first and for me, it is possibly replying emails. The day will get easier once you have those out of the way.

This is such a contradictory one as when I'm out and about on some days, I tend to not eat my meals at meal timings unless I am meeting a client for lunch. If the lunch meetings tend to be short, I will rather be doing the talking and then, have my lunch later alone when the lunch crowd has cleared. (Yes I actually do enjoy eating alone outside.) I am typically not a breakfast person as I tend to take longer hours to travel if I have to be in office in the morning and I will much rather clock in more hours in bed. Though on days where I do not have to be up so early, I find myself wanting to eat breakfast more. Perhaps it's the notion of not having to "rush" my meal. Having meals at proper timings whilst you are working from home allows you to break up your day so that it doesn't seem so long and dreary and it gives you something to look forward to, much like being in an office, hence it gives some form of familiarity.

Much like the first pointer, the key is NOT to work from bed cos you'll NEVER get out of it! Period. So, make your bed and find a nice conducive space in your home to work from. It could be from a room desk, a home office if you have one, or even the dining table where there is essential table space and proper lighting. It also helps that your eye is not facing the tv (and do not even think of multi-tasking) because once you're playing an episode in the "background", soon that episode becomes an entire season.

If you're feeling dreary and need a pick-me-up, have that afternoon coffee. Grab a cookie from the kitchen. Phone a friend so that you can share with each other how's work and what you've achieved that day and work-sy stuff. It's preferable to phone a friend whom you prob know is also making the most out of his/her time working from home as well so that you are able to rub energy off of each other and motivate/inspire each other as well. It also helps to give you that social interaction that you are lacking from not being able to work in an office.

A lot of us are in various situations right now. Some of us are trying to cope with working from home and having to entertain their children at home as well. For most, it is possibly the first time you're getting to finally witness how your partner is like during work hours and perhaps you are trying to deal with being with each other 24/7, whilst some couples/families are coping with being away from their partners and family because they are being called up to serve the Nation or the front-liners at hospitals who are afraid to go home for fear of passing the virus to their loved ones. 

Whatever it is, know that we are all facing different situations so it will be helpful for everyone to be more sensitive with their words on social media. I think mental health is also v important for people right now and doing something positive and something that brightens your day everyday is not only good, but healthy for the soul.


Visit to the Meiji Jingu Shrine

Thoughts seem to come to me many-a-times when I'm showering, or commuting on the train or moments before I fall asleep at night. But mostly, when I'm showering. Perhaps it could be the idea of cleansing or having water fall on your head in a really metaphorical way whereby thoughts, like a shower of water, is planting ideas into your head. Wow, that got real deep real quick. Honestly had no idea where that came from.

Last Autumn, I was lucky enough to have made a trip to Tokyo and visited the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Before you enter the grounds of the shrine, locals will usually bow three times hence I followed along. I think the whole point of traveling to different countries and cities for me personally, is to learn about the cultures and only by immersing yourself in the daily rituals of the locals are you able to fully understand a little more of their history and way of life. The grounds was really huge and not long, you'll reach the entrance of the actual shrine where locals and visitors alike will cleanse their hands before entering. I happened to be there when a guide was explaining to his guests on what the steps to proper cleansing was like and *Surprise SURPRISE* I followed suit! I've alwaysss wanted to do this after seeing it on countless vlogs and movies as well. 

I guess another thing that I've always wanted to do was to write my wishes on a wish paper and then drop it into this box and hope my wishes come true. (Yes, if you look closely enough, I was writing it all in Mandarin) If I knew that this ongoing virus that we are currently battling was here to stay for a long time, I would have also wished that it didn't have to come to this. That there could be a better way to remind us humans to show the Earth a little more kindness. 

Anyhow, back to my thoughts in the shower, I was just thinking about how lucky I am in my current state of life. I feel like, it may be assumingly difficult for others to believe that, someone who has such a go-getter personality like me could also be gratefully contented. Even though I always feel like I can do more, be better, inspire more, I know deep in my heart that it is also extremely important to reflect and be grateful for the things you currently have in your life - to learn content. And I for one, have many things to be grateful and thankful for. 

Right at this moment, I am thankful that my family is safe, even though I still worry (in my head). Though luckily, everyone's living under the same roof so it's easier for me to "be there". And hopefully, the grandparents are doing fine. Apart from that, I guess I'm happy. Many a times, people feel that happiness ought to be shouted out loud and proclaimed and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But to me, true happiness is a quiet glow. No one needs to know, other than yourself cos only you - can dictate your own happiness.

If you're feeling down or sad about what is going on out there right now, take a few moments in your everyday life at home to find that quiet glow of yours. Be it making yourself a cuppa Dalgona coffee, or baking some cookies, do something that makes you happy and content and grateful that you're safe. I hope this post inspires you to make the most out of your sheltered days indoors.

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