January 2016 archive

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?

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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.)

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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!

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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.]

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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.

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:::A Few Links:::

Looking Forward, Looking Back

(Image via Garance Dore)

So, first things first.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It is going to be a great one – you just have to believe it. Oh, and no resolutions, because when you are in your 30s, you should know well enough that they do not work.

Resolutions or not, there are still some things that I hope would happen in the next 365 days. I hope to read more books (although with the baby on his way, I will not be so hard on myself about this), have less stuff (decluttering is the goal and Carousell may be the answer) and be more content about who I am and where we are (which means to stop comparing myself to people with “perfect lives” on social media).

And one other little thing: I hope to not only survive motherhood, but actually thrive in it. There is no doubt that this is the most ambitious thing that I have ever set out to do, so wish me luck! I would definitely need truckloads of it.

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(Image by Alex Mazurov and Anastasia Glebova)

Almost exactly 10 years ago, I came back from Copenhagen after a semester of being an exchange student. It is definitely one of the most memorable and cherished periods of my life to date. Naturally, I was reluctant to return home – I mean, there was nothing much to look forward to, with (what I expect) to be a gruelling final year ahead (and thesis-writing is not usually the most pleasant of tasks).

While I was moping around, suffering from withdrawal of my time away, the friends I made during those short months were enjoying another semester of carefree foreign student life. And during the summer of 2006, they made a trip to the Faroe Islands – I knew all about the magnificence of that magical place because they wrote me a beautiful postcard.

Ever since then, I have wanted to go there myself. Unfortunately, it is not the kind of place you go to on a whim, and the chance never quite came up.

In the meantime, before I get there, there are these gorgeous photographs by Alex Mazurov and Anastasia Glebova of travel blog Near The Lighthouse.

Enjoy.

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If being grown up means being committed—to a business, a project, a person—then it’s impossible to peak. And the deeper the commitment, the deeper the meaning that can emerge.

What Separates the Peter Pans from the Pros, Jocelyn K. Glei

A thought-provoking quote via Swiss Miss, which feels just right for the beginning of the year.

What are you committed to now, and what do you hope to commit to in the future?