Archive of ‘Things I Found On The Internet’ category

Being Positive + Some Links

(Image via Genevieve Caron)

I listen to a lot of podcasts. I listen to them any chance I’ve got – during my commute, when I’m doing the dishes (which is never truly done), on the way to the coffeeshop with W (on mornings when I’m working from home), during solo lunches, and even when I am trying to get to sleep at night. 

It feels uncool, to like them this much – I once read that a growing fondness for audio documentaries and stories is a sign of advancing age. But I am older. So, goodbye popular music (except for really catchy songs like Despacito because you can never have enough of those), and internet radio forever (and ever).

***

An episode that really stood out for me this week is this one by Strangers:

This is actually a follow-up an earlier episode (which you can find here). In a nutshell, it is about a man named Franky Carrillo, who was wrongfully convicted of murder when he was just 16, and sentenced to life in prison. He spent the next 20 years behind bars, all the while proclaiming his innocence, until he was finally given a retrial and then released.

What is striking about this story is not how tragic it is, but how Franky came out of the whole ordeal – seemingly without a trace of bitterness. There is so much to be sad and angry about, but this guy still manages to be the poster boy for positivity. That, I find absolutely astounding.

Which got me thinking about my own outlook on life, about resilience (how do you stockpile this stuff?) and how I really should be doing more with my life and freedom. My conclusion: stop complaining so much, and start doing more.

I am really happy to know that Franky is now happily married with two children, and may even be running for public office. It is such a fantastic ending to a terrible story of injustice. 

And don’t we all love a good ending?

***

And here are a few things that caught my eyes on the internet lately:

  • An app that turns your iPhone into an old-school disposable camera.
  • These baby sandals are adorable – but at US$40 a pair, nah.
  • 101 books to read this “summer” as recommended by TED speakers.
  • And speaking of books, I follow Penguin Kids and Random House Kids on Instagram for lovely children’s books.
  • Want: IKEA and Danish home brand HAY came together to make some beautiful things.
  • A really, really awesome tiny house that feels like a loft apartment.
  • Neil Gaiman reads a story, so of course we have to listen.
  • How book covers are made, according to an art director.
  • I am kind of in love with the adorable creations by Tiny Supply, a Singapore-based ceramic studio founded by two crafty sisters.
  • Say no to overworking (but that doesn’t mean underworking).

***

Cannot stop singing along to this song – sometimes, while doing a weird (but fun) dance with W in our living room. 

Red Lipstick + 5 Things To Want This Week

(Image via Alice Berg)

I am out-growing almost all of my clothes, even the loose-fitting t-shirt dresses that I have been living in for the past few months. [I opted not to buy any maternity clothes because 1. they are usually ridiculously over-priced and 2. buying something that would only be worn for a few months is just not part of my decluttering plan.]

Yesterday, I woke up feeling so unrested (trying to find a comfortable sleeping position is a real challenge these days) that I just reached for the most comfortable things in my wardrobe – a white t-shirt and sweatpants. At first, it felt like a kind of defeat, because sweatpants seems to be the sartorial equivalent of “letting yourself go”. However, after a day of feeling like I need a nap all the time, slouching around in soft cotton feels like a choice that I can live with.

To make myself feel more “street-chic” than “working in my PJs”, I decided that red lipstick is the answer. And many a morning, it does make me feel a lot better about stepping out of the house when I do not really want to – that slick of red is an instant face brightener and mood booster.

Currently, I am rotating among three lipsticks: Nar’s Jungle Red, Burberry’s Rose Pink and Tom Ford’s True Coral. A lip brush is a worthy investment in this case because crooked lines are so much more obvious in a bold shade – the Sephora one, featuring a retractable brush head, goes for just $19 and it works fine.

I am also a huge fan of Clinique’s Chubby Sticks (while not being exactly cheap, these are definitely more affordable than Tom Ford lipsticks, especially when you pick them up at the airport’s DFS), which are deliciously creamy and incredibly easy to apply. They come in a range of wearable reds, pinks and nudes that you can put on without the use of a mirror, which is great for quick touch-ups throughout the day.

What is your go-to trick for hiding a tired face?

***

I know that I am supposed to buy more consciously this year (I already have too many unnecessary things as it is), but that does not mean that I no longer want things. I figure that looking is harmless – I just refrain from reaching for the credit card.

Here are five of the lovely things that tempted me this week.

Birdhouse Bookshelf by Thing Industries. I have a pile of books perched rather precariously on my nightstand, which is actually a foot stool. This seem like a much neater (and cuter) way to organise bedside readings.

Leather Tote by mlouye. A super simple, all-purpose tote bag with a pretty surprise inside. I was actually looking for a potential diaper bag (let’s just say the conventional selection is not great) when I came across this. And really, why not, even if it does not have lots of convenient compartments and may be a little too small…

Designsix Geo Shape Clean Hair Clip by Designsix on ASOS. This is such an easy way to do something fun with your hair when you simply lack the magical skills of those girls who post hair tutorials on YouTube.

Png Kueh Girl Wristlet Bag by Ang Ku Kueh Girl. Because I am obsessed with cute, food-themed purses. The fact that I am currently using a purse that is shaped like a pineapple says it all.

Genuine Leather Ballet Shoes by Linge Shoes. I have a confession to make. I bought these – but that is only because I have been meaning to buy them for a good two years, and never quite got around to it. At my age, I feel like I can finally start buying decent shoes at not-so-cheap prices. To top it off, when compared to some other brands, these Linge ones are actually relatively affordable at US$49. (Shipping is going to cost a bit, but pooling purchases with friends would help to bring it down significantly.)

***

And I am leaving you with this wonderfully romantic video that features the haunting voice of Russian Red.

Too-Early Mornings, Diamond Rings + A Few Links

A photo posted by Ravi Vora (@ravivora) on


There are a lot of things to love about Instagram, but my favourite would have to be the “Discover People” section under the search tab. There is something incredibly awesome (and also considerably creepy) about how the app knows exactly what to bring up for me out of the thousands and thousands of users.

I can dwell on the question of “how much the internet knows about me”, but no, I am not going to go there because that would just be going down the rabbit hole and I love the internet too much to do that.

So, the plan is to regularly point you to accounts that I am smitten with for their good looks (yes, I am shallow like that) and/or creativity. Feel free to share feeds you love with me!

***

For some reason, I have been waking up a good two hours before the alarm goes for the past week. As a life-long deep sleeper, I find this early waking (sometimes coupled with short night wakings) to be quite disconcerting. I mean, I can almost always sleep in when I want to (although falling asleep at night is another thing altogether).

I suspect that it has something to do with the baby being particularly active during the night and early morning. Uncomfortable as I am with having my sleep cycles messed up, I cannot really find it in myself to complain about this – feeling the baby move feels like a mini-miracle every single time.

So, what happens when you are pregnant and find yourself wide awake at 615am, with falling back into sleep not being an option? Answer: You quietly obsess about being a mother in your head. I should know, because I have had a lot of practice doing that for the last few days.

Other than panicking in a general way about how everything is going to change, how you know next to nothing about caring for a tiny human being, and if eating (or even saying) something is going to be safe for the kiddo inside you, this is also the time to wonder (or more accurately, worry) if you are ever going to become one of those mothers in novels who are superhumanly inspiring and stylish, whose endearing “wrong decisions” are always forgiven in a heartbeat and who inadvertently become beloved icons for their grown children to model after.

Other times, I am fixated on the teeny, insignificant things – for instance, whether I would become someone who would put her hair up with one of those hair claw clips that are probably modelled after an old-fashioned animal trap.

On the bright side, I can always blame all of this on the potent cocktail of bad sleep and hormones. [Plus, I feel that I am entitled to an illicit cup of tea afterwards because this is obviously an emergency.]

***

He probably would have gotten married if he’d ended up with anyone else, but he liked the idea of two people choosing each other every day, rather than feeling stuck with one another, as though they were a failure if they couldn’t make forever happen.

- The Engagements, J. Courtney Sullivan

A little way into this book and finding it a breeze to read. In addition to the fascinating story about how the “tradition” of the diamond engagement ring was invented by an advertising agency for De Beers (whatever you may think about this, “A Diamond Is Forever” is a really great piece of copywriting), there are also several other related stories about “love, marriage, commitment and betrayal”. Nothing too heavy, but still emotionally engaging, which is just what I want right now.

***

:::A Few Links:::

Faith / Science + A Few Links

Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.

- Albert Einstein

Don’t you love it too, when faith and science meet?

***

(Image source: Ginger and Milk)

With days left to Christmas, the internet is brimming with things that you should be buying for someone or other in your life. I am not a huge gift-giver (to make me sound less Scrooge-like, I am also not a huge gift-expector), but I do really enjoy browsing gift guides. It is like window-shopping without having to do the legwork (town is a nightmare with the holiday crowds these days anyway).

Every year, I have my usual suspects when it comes to Christmas gift guides – Cup of Jo, This Is Glamorous, Bloesem, Design Love Fest and all the other blogs I have been following for years for their very, very lovely images and feel-good writing. I’m sure you have your own list of such reads, which you go back to again and again, even as blogs become increasingly old-fashioned in an Instamgram-obsessed world.

Maybe I am just getting a little old-er. I feel snug and comfortable in these familiar spaces – especially when I realised that I do not even know what Snapchat does.

So, what are some of your favorite old haunts on the internet?

***

I love clicking on links, so I assume you do too!

  • Speaking of Christmas, I would really like this floating pearl necklace, these sweet crochet slippers and maybe one of these gorgeous, super-chunky merino wool blankets (even if they are probably too warm for Singapore).
  • A really thought-provoking read about internet fame and money.
  • Will definitely be making time to hit the Makers’ Market at the National Museum this weekend.
  • Going somewhere fun for the weekend? Here’s a list of travel-friendly make-up and skincare products that will fit in your carry-on.
  • What Jesus Christ may really have looked like.
  • Ted Talk: This is what enduring love looks like.
  • A mother’s “Winter Blues Cure Jar“, for when taking care of a little one gets trying. (Can certainly work in a place where there is no winter as well.)
  • Although I have known about “40 Days of Dating” since the project debuted in 2013, I only started to really read it recently. And it really is quite fascinating. I am now at Day 21.
  • If you like cats and Jenga, you will love Cat Jenga.
  • Watching make-up tutorial videos on Instagram is one of my guilty pleasures. @cosmobyhaley is my new favourite follow.

Gold Magnum

(Image source: Črtomir Just)

I love, love, love gold. Don’t you?

Many things, most things, are better in gold. Even things that are already glorious, like a Magnum ice cream.

***

I keep meaning to write something useful here. Something that will add to your lives in a small but pleasurable way – instead of just something that came straight off the top of my head, onto the keyboard.

But the weekend stretched out luxuriously before time pressed in again suddenly. And it is back to the work week with blogging pushed to the fringe.

If I can, I would order a truckload of discipline. But from what I heard, those are in short supply these days.

***

As usual, the internet is brimming with good things. If I believe in anything, I believe in the power of the internet to do good. I believe in that the same way that Batman believes in the people of Gotham.

Anyway… here are a few links that you may want to click on.

Fashion Magazine Art + A Hemingway Fantasy

I always like it when people doodle or paint on the pages of fashion magazines. It has something to do with “desecrating” the careful work of stylists and editors, and adding something truly unexpected to the image.

If you have piles and piles of old magazines like me, why not get creative?

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(Image source: Tomas Markevicius)

***

We would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed with the windows open and the stars bright.

- Ernest Hemingway

To be honest, I am the only books person in the relationship – but that’s okay, because I like books enough for the both of us. And I certainly have enough books to weigh down any bed.

So I guess we are all good with living out this Hemingway fantasy.

Weekend Likes #1

On our recent trip to the U.S, we crossed path with a bear. Literally.

It is one of those experiences that happens in slight slow-mo – and you really do freeze a little when a big, black, furry mammal appears a few steps in front of you. But the moment passes and your brain just goes, “A bear, a bear, a real-life bear!”.

To give credit to the bear, it is a lot more unfazed than we were. It is obviously more used to seeing people than we are to seeing bears.

A couple of minutes later, it has already looped across the highway, disappearing into the trees on the other side.

***

That tastes like hope feels.

- Used to describe an energy bar, from John Green’s Paper Towns

I wanted to finish the book before the movie comes out because I’m just that kind of person who cares about whether the scenes match up to the images in my head. I’ve actually watched the trailer and the cast looks remarkably similar to the one from my imagination. I like it when that happens.

The fact that this is the only quote that stood out to me in a book that is supposed to be “profoundly moving” means:

  1. I like creative ways of describing nice-tasting food.
  2. I’m a little over the hill when it comes to feeling strongly about coming-of-age stories.
  3. I should probably stop reading them.

Also, you should know that this is leaps and bounds better than 50 Shades. But that’s not saying very much, because most books are.

***

We have been doing very little over the long weekend, and I have been keeping off the internet, so l just have a handful of links before the work week starts.

Sweet Eats, Sweet Feels

(Image source: A Beautiful Mess)

It has been incredibly hot these past weeks, even for Singapore – which got me thinking about the popsicle mould that we bought when we first moved in, all caught up in a wave of optimism and faux determination, thinking that we would be doing so much in our new kitchen.

But, better late then never. And baby steps. This recipe for strawberry cocktail popsicles looks simple enough: sugar, water, a nip of alcohol, bits of strawberries, then into the fridge. TA-DA – instant domestic goddess.

(Image source: Design Love Fest)

But if you need a drink drink, just shake up some strawberry basil daiquiris.

***

How do you fall in love?


You don’t fall in love like you fall in a hole. You fall like falling through space. It’s like you jump off your own private planet to visit someone else’s planet…


And the falling was really the big jump that you had to make to be with someone you don’t want to be without. That’s it.


PS You have to be brave.

- Jeanette Winterson in Big Questions from Little People & Simple Answers from Great Minds

The full quote and a matching song can be found on Literary Jukebox, a side project by Maria Popova of Brainpickings. What a great idea, to bring words and music together.

Anyway, this is the second space-related quote in three days. Considering that New Horizons just flew by Pluto (how very awesome), I absolutely have to hashtag it #cosmic.

(Image source: Marta Syrko)

Oh, and there is this post about romantic relationships that I stumbled upon – the universe is conspiring to get me feeling all lovey-dovey! I think its spot-on in its description of being in that “after a while” phase, where there are no butterflies or quickened heartbeats all the time. And it is actually nicer when you don’t feel all pumped up when you are together.

***

Before I head off for the day, a few links:

  • A not-so-classic braid for up-ing your hair game.
  • I don’t keep up with the fashion shows anymore, but I still take time to drool over Elie Saab’s collections. Here’s a video of his AW 15/16 Haute Couture show. And this Tumblr of backstage snapshots.
  • An Anti-Stress Coloring Book for adults. That’s right, we should be coloring well into our old age.
  • I am pretty obsessed with the Afternoon Acoustic playlist on Spotify. Works like a dream as work music.
  • Currently reading: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Young girl dies mysteriously in small town America, family secrets / drama kind of story. [I am just a few chapters in… may report back if it is good.]
  • A heavy sleeper’s guide to getting up in the morning.
  • Cute illustrations of a raccoon (i.e. Couture Bandit) that steals designer goods.
  • I am already fascinated with the contouring make-up technique, but these “clown contouring selfies” bring it to a whole new level.
  • A hilarious open letter to the people who live in fancy tiny houses. Because teeny homes are the new black.
  • A pretzel necklace feels oddly right.

One Ring, Two Years Later

 (Image source: Erick Davila)

Today marks two years since the question was popped – two years after “saying yes” and two years of wearing my first ring that means something (most of my other rings are just really pretty).

“I choose you over everybody else.”

That’s the spirit, isn’t it? [That’s also something I found in Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. I am not going to comment on why I am reading YA books. Just. Don’t. Ask.]

***

I spent so much time on the internet every day that I thought I should share some of the things that caught my eye – because you may like them too.

  • City guides to Singapore, Tokyo and Okinawa. Its always nice to have somewhere new to go, something new to do.
  • An interview with Christoph Niemann, a cartoonist who contributes to The New Yorker, among other cool places + a peek into his studio in Berlin.
  • Garance Doré, my favourite French lady on the internet, has written a book!
  • DIY art for your home: framed palm leaf. It is slightly more cool than it is hipster.
  • I recently started looking at Louise’s blog again. Somehow, she has managed to become even more awesome than ever.
  • Okay, I have to talk about YA literature again, but I’ll be real quick. Whoever just read Fangirl and like (or love) it, you may be pleased (or super, super excited) to know that there is going to be a Carry On book.
  • This Needle Felted White Whale stuffed toy. Because its serene expression is so cute.
  • There is no such thing as following too many home / interior design blogs, so here are 10 more to add to your list.
  • Listening: Local band The Sam Willows’ first single on their new album, Take HeartCheck it out on Spotify.
  • A pretty gold / pearl ring that a mermaid will wear.